January 28 – We promised you Part II.
Since the last time we spoke, Dahlia has been ‘playing’ Ring Games, one of her latest projects. That has been making circles around Jamaica and has even had a marathon run on TVJ. Now when you hear marathon, you think of those other series some of us like to watch on international networks, but no, Ring Games made it!
Ring Games is an intriguing romantic comedy that explores the challenges of relationships when family and society come into play.
Here is an excerpt of an interaction Dahlia had since Ring Games came on TVJ – When a grade two student asks “why you don’t leave Betty alone? then the senior citizen in the store says “your father deserves happiness, you need to go back to America! “I don’t need a thing more to reinforce what I know about the impact of local television. Now if we could only get Corporate Jamaica to acknowledge this and throw support behind local programmes.
Here is feedback on Ring Games, from a writer/producer/marketer, “Hi Dahlia Harris, I noticed that Ring Games is a rising plot… with the characters developing into a revelation of who they are… Keep it going. I am in support of all drama programmes local… While we will not be able to shoot Empire or The Good Wife here, we certainly can keep something like this going…”
Now we asked this hard-working lady a few other questions to include sport, theatre and Portmore.
Before we get there though, there is some more exciting news. Coming in February there is a production called Country Wedding. You won’t want to miss that.
COUNTRY WEDDING opens on February 14. Mas Aaron’s one nephew Glenmore is finally back from London where he has been studying Agricultural Management. He is not just the pride and joy of the Watson clan, but a shining example of how “brightness” can elevate you ‘to de worl’.
Mas’ Aaron can’t wait to reap the rewards of his investment in Glenmore however, his young nephew is only here to bid farewell as he aims to join his British fiancée Annabelle in colder climes. With the help of the village busy- body Miss Nella, Mas’ Aaron offers to host a real COUNTRY WEDDING, but his plan is to pull the love birds apart so he can hold on to the Watson legacy.
Greatful Valley gets turned upside down as the colourful sights and sounds of the COUNTRY WEDDING form a backdrop for secrets and schemes as they unfold. While the wedden booth goes up and the cakes get ready for the parade, Mas’ Aaron races against time to rekindle Glenmore’s love for the land of his birth. Is it enough to wrestle him away from Annabelle’s clutches or is this goodbye to all the traditions he holds dear?
And in between that, Dahlia and her peers in the business will be conducting workshops as part of the Caribbean Play Reading Series in New York.
Q: As a Woman in Sport – how has you work in sport helped in your work in theatre
A: Like Sport, theatre is all about teamwork. Doesn’t matter if it’s a one woman show…without technical support it just doesn’t work. Sport has taught me that the success of the team cannot be overlooked if you hope to achieve individual success. Respecting the contribution of every single individual is important to me. My work in Sport media taught me to focus on doing the job rather than trying to convince people that as a woman I was as capable as my male peers. Doing the job speaks for itself. Everything else is distracting. I apply that principle to theatre. I work on getting it done.
Note: Dahlia still produces sport shows and was part of the memorable London 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
Dahlia’s passion spreads far and wide. We would not say ‘politics’ but maybe
Q: If you were Mayor of Portmore for a day, tell us some of the things you would like to see get done
A: If I were Mayor, Portmore would grab the opportunities that both Kingston and Montego Bay have failed to capture with respect to establishing themselves as a rival to other cultural capitals across the globe. The New York/London/Toronto models allow the business traveler to grab a taste of culture on the go. I would develop areas where visitors could access local cuisine or even just drinks accompanied by live performances, where they could view night galleries and museums, where regional Arts festivals could be hosted twice a year, where Heritage tours are also accessible. Thanks to both highways, north and south coast visitors could easily make a tour to Portmore a part of their itinerary. Think about it. We have beaches, horseracing, a golf course just a stone’s throw away…we have the diversity to fulfill the needs of almost any traveler. I think the partnerships that have been forged with other cities with regards to developing effective climate change strategies in Portmore is a major accomplishment. I would try to secure other partnerships in the areas of skills training and Arts development so that the citizens of Portmore are ready to take advantage of and sustain these programmes.
Now from all signals, 2016 was a good year for Dahlia and we asked:
Q: Would you have done anything different?
A: There are a number of projects I really wanted to get done but didn’t have the resources to get them completed. The world is clamouring for Jamaica. Non-Jamaicans are taking advantage of that demand, churning out products that represent us but for the most part lack authenticity because they do not spring from our lived experiences. We are way behind in maximising on this Brand that we all have created as Jamaicans. The world isn’t waiting and as creatives we shouldn’t either. While I will continue to lobby for support here in Jamaica, I will now be looking to garner support from overseas as well.
So there you have it! Who to tell what may happen after Country Wedding?