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Charlotte Amalie
Sunday, June 26, 2022


"Jankobum," an original musical by St. Thomas historical researcher Eddie Donoghue, will have its premiere at the Reichhold Center for the Arts on March 23-25. Presented by the St. John-based Carabana Ensemble Theater Company, the play depicts life, love, envy and betrayal in the Danish West Indies in the time of slavery.
Donoghue's story is loosely based on a composite of heroes who played integral roles in the 1759 slave revolt on St. Croix. "It is an interesting and intriguing story to tell," he says. "It touches on mythology and is a challenge to bring to life."
While numerous dramatic works have examined slavery and its ramifications upon generations, few have detailed the lives of the slaves themselves. "Jankobum" explores the dynamics of the marriage of a white man and a mulatto woman, drawing on the sub-themes of the abolitionist movement and racial, economic and tribal divisions.
Carabana artistic director Clarence Cuthbertson is directing the production in the theater company's debut on the Reichhold stage. "The play is entertaining, educational and empowering," he says. "It demonstrates that our story could be told through this genre. There is a need for us to tell our stories – these are real people in real situations."
"Jankobum" is being produced under the not-for-profit umbrella of The Montserrat Association. The opening night will be a fund-raiser to benefit the association's charitable outreach in the Virgin Islands and the region. The organization has provided financial assistance to the E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School, the Lucinda Millin Home for the Elderly and hurricane-ravaged Caribbean islands, most recently Anguilla and St. Martin.
"Jankobum" will feature a cross-generational, multicultural local cast. Seating will be in the covered section of the theater. Tickets are $25 and they will be available beginning Saturday, Feb. 26. Outlets are both Modern Music stores, Crystal & Gifts Galore, Parrot Fish Music, The Drafting Shaft in Sub Base and the UVI bookstore on St. Thomas; and Connections on St. John.

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