By ARTHIA NIXON, The Ambassador Agency
(Nassau, The Bahamas)… When Radel and Ranel Hanna set their eyes on the arts as youngsters, the twins had no idea that they’d be ending 2012 with a bang as their scandalous play The Other Woman is creating a lot of buzz leading up to the December 14th debut at 8p.m. the Rain Forest Theater, Wyndham Nassau Resort. Two shows are also available on Saturday the 15th.
The sisters, who first burst onto the scene over 15 years ago as actresses and assistant stage crew members are now co-owners of Redemptive Productions, an arts and entertainment company which utilizes their skills in nearly aspect. They write, produce, direct, act and have hosted workshops for the local entertainment industry. And why not? The sisters have worked closely with major names in the Caribbean market and have even done casting and locations scouts for the likes of Hollywood heavyweights including Rush Hour franchise director Brett Ratner, when he was shooting the Atlantis resort commercials.
And with age and experience of course, the young twins of Bahamian entertainment have grown into women personally. Radel is mother to a young son and married to hip-hop star and Dunamus Soundz Music Group founder and CEO, Lavard ‘Manifest’ Parks. Meanwhile, Ranel is wife of champion martial arts fighter and instructor Jawara Pierre (who is also a twin!) and has a daughter. Now in this season of their life, they are ready to tackle much more mature subject matter. Hence, The Other Woman.
“The subject matter is so relevant and affects almost every home in some way shape or form, even if one is just a relative to someone that’s been grossly affected by adultery, it still affects the family, community, society,” said Radel, who serves as writer for the play. “We also wanted to show another side of the topic that’s not usually shown in modern art and that’s from the perspective of the other woman – not the wife or the husband that may be scheming.”
They agreed that themes that need to be brought to stage that even the church sometimes shy away from.
“We wanted to address the very real perspective that ‘scheming’ for a woman, particularly a wife and/or mother can affect that woman in ways a man may not experience,” she added. “And finally, we believe that this art can spark healing, restoration and healthy dialogue in the country [Bahamas].”
Ranel revealed who will be taking the stage to bring the characters to life.
“The main character ‘Karen’ is played by Charlene Taylor, a former actor from our last play, One Mans Struggle,” shares Ranel about the lead characters. “Kirk Johnson plays her husband ‘Kendal’. Not too ironic as these two persons are engaged in real life. The there is ‘Wade’, Karen’s co-worker and ultimately her lover, played by Ellis Peet Jr. and ‘Sophia’, Wade’s wife, is played by D’Adra Smith-Owen who was in our play One Man’s Struggle.”
The sisters also revealed Bahamian entertainer Matthew Wildgoose will be taking the stage in this production.
“Matthew is also a famous face in Bahamian theater and he ‘Derek’, Karen and Wade’s boss who has some secrets of his own that affects all their lives,” they noted. “We are also pleased to introduce Sylvian Rahming, a former Miss Gospel Bahamas, as ‘Miranda’. Sylvian is new to theater but is doing a superb job in playing a very conniving and seductive woman.”
For those who are not able to get hands on the tickets which are now very few and far between, Radel and Ranel hinted that the play may be considered for a straight to DVD film and book. A tour through a few Bahamian and Caribbean islands plus a few US cities could possibly be on the agenda as well. While they didn’t confirm or deny the possibility, they advised for interested persons to simply see the play during its three run debut this weekend.
All in all, the sisters say that every now and then, “we all get tempted into adultery at some point in our marriages or relationships”.
The conversation with the sisters took a deep turn when I asked, “Assuming that your marriages haven’t had this particular challenge, how did you so accurately pull out the theme of your play?”
“We are women that know what it means to find others admirable and by that we don’t mean a simple ‘he looks good’ type of attraction, but an appreciation that there are men out there with attractive qualities,” Radel replied. “We have asked ourselves the famous ‘what if’ question, what if this what if that. This is something that most may not admit to because they feel judged by it. However we don’t have to sleep with another man to understand the damage that can be caused by entertaining an affair.”
“We also talk to other women,” added Ranel. “In fact, the relationships we’ve gained in our adulthood have helped greatly in making the play ‘real’ and we’re thankful for those who have shared. We also draw on stories, other art work that has reflected on the issue. We’d like to say we’re the first addressing it from a woman’s perspective but we’re not. The film ‘Unfaithful’ did that very well about 10 years ago or so.
Bottom line, they both want people to leave the play realizing that the decisions they make can affect others and “even in the midst of that, God can heal, fill and provide grace to your every need. Redemption is yours”.