Tag Archives: Caribbean theater

Blacktip Island Thespian Injured In Rehearsal Mishap

cthulu on the roof

Part of Antonio Fletcher’s costume for the upcoming Blacktip Island Community Players spring production. The costume was destroyed by medical professionals treating Fletcher’s injuries after Fletcher fell from the roof of his house. (photo courtesy of Eric Kilby)

Blacktip Island Community Players actor Antonio Fletcher is resting in stable condition Friday after falling from his roof while practicing for an upcoming BICP production.

“‘Tonio was balanced on the roof beam of his place, dressed in some kind of squid costume and singing about rising from the deep,” neighbor Hugh Calloway said. “We yelled for him to come down, and next thing we knew he lost his footing, slid down the metal sheeting and fell two stories.

“A clump of sea grapes broke his fall, but I think it was the booze that saved him,” Calloway said. “He was so lit on white rum he was pretty much limp when he hit the ground. That fall would’ve killed a sober person.”

Medical personnel were slowed in treating Fletcher due to his elaborate costume.

“Mr. Fletcher was wearing layers of blue and black taffeta, which had to be cut away before we could assess his injuries,” nurse Marissa Goby said. “And then there were the canned octopus tentacles sticking out his mouth and nostrils. We thought it was the remains of a recent mean, but apparently that was part of the costume.”

A BICP spokesperson confirmed Fletcher’s injuries were theater related.

“Our Easter production is a comic-horror musical titled ‘Cthulu on the Roof.’ Antonio was the lead,” said director Doris Blenny. “We had hoped to keep the costume a secret until Cthulu’s grand stage entrance in Act Three.

“Now that the costume has been cut to pieces, and so many have seen it, we’ll have to come up with a completely different costume to ensure proper dramatic effect,” Blenny said. “And a proper bass-baritone as well, should Antonio fail to fully recover.”

Local religious leaders say the incident was no accident.

“Hand of God is what it was, slapping ‘Tonio down for glorifying a pagan deity,” the Reverend Pierre Grunt said. “Especially for an Easter performance. We’ll be picketing the play, and as much as legally possible, blocking access to the Heritage House during its performance.”

Grunt’s protest found unexpected allies among the island’s Cthulu adherents.

“The Lord of R’yleh is nothing to be joked about or mocked,” said longtime resident Kay Valve. “Say his name too often, or show disrespect, that’s just the sort of thing that’ll wake him.

“Antonio was lucky. We all were,” Valve said. “Call it divine providence if you want, but that fall may have saved us all from being eaten alive.”

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Blacktip Thespians To Perform Underwater ‘Day Of The Staghorn’

day of the staghorn

Detail of Lee Helm’s Staghorn King costume for the Blacktip Island Community Players’ underwater staging of the post-apocalyptic drama ‘The Day of the Staghorn.’ (photo courtesy of Onislandtimes)

The Blacktip Island Community Players will perform the post-apocalyptic underwater drama, The Day of the Staghorn, off the Sand Spit Bar Saturday and Sunday to draw attention to the plight of the Caribbean island’s ailing coral reefs.

The play, written by Blacktip resident Payne Hanover, is based loosely on The Day of the Triffids, the 1951 novel and 1962 motion picture about intelligent, animate plants that take over the Earth.

“In this, it’s the coral that’s a threat to mankind, so it’s different,” Hanover said. “Dump runoff gives one coral species the ability to think and move. Then the coral attacks the people that threatened it.

“The story’s set underwater, after rising seas cover the island,” Hanover said. “Humans have to build an undersea haven, then protect it from the marauding coral. It’s actually turned out quite well, all things considered.”

The play will be performed underwater to highlight the island’s coral damage.

“It started with wondering what would happen if the reefs could fight back,” said director Doris Blenny. “For the audience to see how much damage there is to the actual coral, it really drives that point home.

“As for the staghorn suits, Elena Havens and the costumers put in long hours making them as realistic as possible, right down to the stinging cells,” Blenny said. “And we did vote down repeated suggestions to make it a musical. It was a close thing”

The scuba-certified cast includes:

  • Hugh Calloway as Bill Mason
  • Marina DeLow as Josella Playton
  • Finn Kiick as Wilfred Coker
  • Gauge Hoase as Michael Beadly
  • Jessie Catahoula as Miss Durant
  • Lee Helm as the Staghorn King

Though island environmentalists praised the play, resort owners are concerned about its impact on future business.

“All this touchy-feely talk about coral is fine,” Club Scuba Doo owner Ham Pilchard said. “But showing a damaged reef is going to scare off divers. The Caymans are gonna eat our lunch over this. And casting divers as the bad guys? There’s gonna be some ugly blowback on that.”

Producers, however, insist the play will do more good than harm.

“We expect it to draw additional divers to Blacktip rather than scare them away,” Blenny said. “We’re staging multiple showings, as the actors’ no-decompression limits allow, so as many people can see it as possible.

“The only negative so far has been Lee Helm developing an unnatural attachment to his Staghorn King costume,” Blenny said. “He kept sneaking around the island bars stinging people. It took three of us to hold him down and peel the suit off of him.”

All proceeds from the production will go to the Nature Conservancy’s Coral Reef Preservation Fund, Hanover said.

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