New York, New York –Full casting has been announced for the Banana Boat Productions and New Perspectives Theatre Company New York revival of Nigel D. Moffatt’s Caribbean drama Mamma Decemba, which will open at The New Perspectives Theatre Studio on Thursday May 4 for a limited run of eight performances.
The show will run from Thursday May 4 through Sunday May 7, and from Wednesday May 10 through Saturday May 13, with all performances at 7pm except the Sunday May 7 matinee performance at 2pm.
The three-member cast of Mamma Decemba is comprised of Paula Galloway, Christopher Laing and two-time Audelco Award nominee Dianne Dixon.
Merlina Rich, Artistic Director of Banana Boat Productions, will direct.
Set in England during the 1980s, Moffat’s comedy- drama was the winner of Britain’s 1985 Samuel Beckett Award, sponsored by the Royal Court Theater and Channel 4.
Production notes describe the play as “a bittersweet story that raises questions about the true nature of lifelong relationships, as an elderly Jamaican woman living in England (Galloway) finds herself widowed, jobless and seemingly deserted by her children in her waning years. Her attempts to cope with her increasing solitude involve hauntingly honest, frequently humorous, and sometimes painful reflections on her past, especially the death of her husband John (Laing). Sharing in her most private moments is her best and perhaps only friend, Mertel (Dixon).”
Paula Galloway has appeared in New York and regionally in both dramatic and musical productions including SISTAS- The Musical (Off Broadway), Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing and As You Like It as well as A Raisin in The Sun, The Colored Museum, Pippin, The Wizard Of Oz, Smokey Joe’s Café and The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s A Christmas Carol in Harlem. Mamma Decemba will mark her Banana Boat Productions/New Perspectives Theatre Company debut.
Gospel singer, actor, musician and songwriter Christopher Laing will make his professional New York stage debut in Mamma Decemba. He began his performing career singing in church and acting in numerous school plays in his native Jamaica before going on to produce several gospel albums as an adult. His song Step on the Enemy-Trample the Dragon was a major hit on the Caribbean Gospel circuit. He was recently cast in his first major film role in the drama Doomed Village, and can shortly be seen in television’s New York Homicide.
Dianne Dixon is a two-time Audelco Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress for the musical Jamaica and for the drama Dinner at the Manse. She has also appeared on the New York stage in Haiti’s Children of God, Not About Eve (New York and The National Black Theater Festival, Winston Salem, North Carolina), Falling in Love With Mr. Dellamort and Flambeaux (Off Broadway) and in the New York staged reading premiere of Trey Anthony’s How Black Mothers Say I Love You at The Public Theater, directed by Tony award winner
Kenny Leon. Her film and television credits include the independent feature
RURI, North Shore Television’s Echoes of a Lost Son and HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness.
The production’s director, Merlina Rich–who produced the play several years ago–is excited to be working with a new cast on this revival of a piece which she believes is especially timely in light of the covid pandemic and the international lockdown that resulted.
As Rich puts it, “I am truly looking forward to working with Paula, Christopher and Dianne on this revisit to the world of Mamma Decemba, because I believe that the play tackles many issues we were forced to confront during the pandemic, such as loneliness, anxiety, isolation, regrets and our own mortality. It caused us to take stock of our lives, to reconsider life decisions we made, and things we might have done differently. Mamma Decemba is a woman facing all this and more. And although it was written so many years ago, the play feels very much like a story for this moment. We are very excited to see how audiences will receive it this second time around.”
Co-producer of Mamma Decemba is Melody Brooks of New Perspectives Theatre Company and Production Stage Manager is Soyini Crenshaw.
The New Perspectives Theatre Company Studio is located at 458 West 37th St. at 10th Ave., New York, NY 10018.