Positive Caribbean and Latin America News: Daily Updates from News Americas

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. April 25, 2024: Celebrated Caribbean immigrant actor and producer, David Heron, winner of the Broadway World Award, is set to produce and direct the American Premiere of Dominican playwright Alwin Bully’s Caribbean drama “McBee,” in Jamaica, Queens, this June, Caribbean American Heritage Month in the US.

Jamaican-born actor David Heron and Patrice Foster as Lord and Lady Montague in  Romeo and Juliet. (Photo courtesy of Shakespeare Festival of St Louis.)

The play, inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth, will be staged as a one-night-only event at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (JPAC) on Sunday, June 23 from 7 p.m., with a Caribbean cuisine reception starting at 5:30 p.m.

David Heron, c., flanked by Dominican playwright, the late Alwin Bully, l., and his wife, Anita Bully, r..
(Photo courtesy of David Heron.)

Heron, a Jamaican-born talent, recently received acclaim for his role in The Colonial Theatre of Rhode Island’s production of “The Tempest.” His decision to present “McBee” during New York City’s Caribbean American Heritage Month celebrations is a tribute to Bully, a renowned Dominican playwright and mentor to Heron, who passed away.

“McBee” tells the gripping tale of politician Allan McBee and his wife Alice as they navigate ambition and destiny in the backdrop of a Caribbean island. Written by Bully in the 1990s, the play makes its American debut following Bully’s passing in 2023. Heron, deeply influenced by Bully’s legacy, aims to honor the playwright’s vision by bringing “McBee” to American audiences.

“Sadly, Alwin transitioned before we could get any incarnation of the play on to an American stage,” Heron says, “So this American premiere production is really a celebration of him and his lifetime of amazing achievements, of which McBee is only one.”

“Along with another great Caribbean artist, the late Trevor Nairne, Alwin Bully has been the single greatest supporter, influencer and mentor in my entire career,” he added.  “I would not be the artist I am today without him. And several of the actors in our production feel the same way. So we are using Caribbean American Heritage Month and this event to share Alwin’s legacy with the world and to provide an evening of theatre that will be truly memorable for our audience, right in the heart of Jamaica Queens.”

Born in Roseau, Dominica, Alwin Bully was a cultural administrator, playwright, actor and artist who designed the national flag of Dominica. His association with Heron and many other major Jamaican artists flourished during his two decades in Jamaica as UNESCO’s Caribbean Cultural Advisor. In addition to McBee, his other plays include The Ruler, Good Morning, Miss Millie and The Nitebox. He received Dominica’s second highest national honor, The Sisserou Award of Honor, in 1985. Upon his passing in 2023, he was hailed throughout the Caribbean as a cultural icon and was accorded a full state funeral by the Dominican government.

In addition to his award winning role in The Tempest, Heron’s Shakespearean resume also includes Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello and Hamlet among others.

With an illustrious cast from stage, film, and Broadway, the production promises to be a memorable cultural experience. Casting announcements will be made soon, and tickets for the premiere will be available for purchase in early May. Don’t miss this exclusive theatrical event celebrating Caribbean heritage in the heart of Jamaica, Queens at the Jamaica Performing Arts Center, 153-10 Jamaica Avenue, Jamaica, New York, 11432.