Erna Brodber’s Jane and Lousia will soon come Home” takes on a new life as Ratoon: A New Jamaica

Kingston, Jamaica – The month of October is abuzz with excitement at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts with the 3rd. biennial Rex Nettleford Arts Conference which features prominently a special dance production, Water the Roots Concert and the opening of the first play for the school year “RATOON: A new Jamaica”.

Directed by Lecturer at the School of Drama, Ms. Carolyn Allen, the play is an adaptation of Erna Brodber’s novel Jane and Lousia will soon come Home. Allen shares that “the process has been heavily collaborative and communal. We have had readers and listeners and have taken many of their suggestions on board.” The script was done by novelist and social historian Erna Brodber’s who explains that this work focuses on the generation of the 1970’s and is dedicated to the youths of the 1970’s and particularly to those who landed in the Rastafarian house known as Twelve Tribes of Israel. “We watch this generation as it comes to life and tries to lay down values by which to live. There is an old spirit that stays with them. She is Aunt Alice and she manifests sometimes in the flesh. She guides the youth in the fiction and she explains issues to the audience usually by song. Ratoon, with some additions re-presents the characters which are in my novel, “Jane and Louisa will soon come home,” Brodber posits.

The word ‘Ratoon’ is derived from a method of harvesting a crop which leaves the roots and lower parts of the plant uncut. The main benefit of ‘ratooning’ is that the crop matures earlier in the season, and patrons will definitely journey with the characters as it comes to life and tries to lay down values by which to live. With the didactic script of monologues and dialogues, a predominantly female cast along with the expressionistic and dreamlike staging, the 75 minute production is sure to leave the audience with something to think about.

Ratoon will be staged on October 16 & 18, and 23-25, 2015, with the Friday and Saturday Nights beginning at 7pm, and 5pm on Sundays. Adults pay $1000 while children and students with ID will pay $400.

For more information, interviews or bookings contact 920-4633 or 508-5407 or visit our website at

The Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts has been through several stages in its evolution. The four Schools—Drama, Music, Dance, and Visual Arts—started out at different locations in Kingston. Two of the Schools, namely the School of Art and the School of Music, are historic because of their establishment in 1951 and 1961 respectively, before the island gained its independence from Britain in 1962.

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