Jamaican play ‘Mamma Decemba’ makes it Off Broadway

There is exciting news for theatre enthusiasts as another Caribbean play made its Off Broadway return, fresh off of the opening of The Harder They Come.

Dianne Dixon (left), Paula Galloway and Christopher Laing in Mamma Decemba

“Mamma Decemba,” a Caribbean drama written by Nigel D. Moffatt, opened at The New Perspectives Theatre Studio. New York, May 4th. Directed by Merlina Rich, a Jamaican-born producer and director, the play explores themes of love, loss, and mortality through the eyes of an elderly Jamaican woman named Mamma Decemba, played by Paula Galloway. Her attempts to cope with her increasing solitude involve hauntingly honest, frequently humorous, and sometimes painful reflections on her past, especially the death of her husband John (Christopher Laing). Sharing in her most private moments is her best and perhaps only friend, Mertel (Dianne Dixon).”

Paula Galloway indicated how pleased she is to be working with Paula, Christopher and Dianne on this revisit to the world of Mamma Decemba.

“I believe that the play tackles many issues we were forced to confront during the pandemic, such as loneliness, anxiety, isolation, regrets and our own mortality,” commented Rich. “It caused us to take stock of our lives, to reconsider life decisions we made, and things we might have done differently. Mamma Decemba is a woman facing all this and more. And although it was written so many years ago, the play feels very much like a story for this moment.”

Galloway has appeared in New York and regionally in both dramatic and musical productions including SISTAS- The Musical (Off Broadway), Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing and As You Like It as well as A Raisin in The Sun, The Colored Museum, Pippin, The Wizard Of Oz, Smokey Joe’s Café and The Classical Theatre of Harlem’s A Christmas Carol in Harlem. Mamma December marks her Banana Boat Productions/New Perspectives Theatre Company debut.

Gospel singer, actor, musician and songwriter Laing will made his professional New York stage debut. He began his performing career singing in church and acting in numerous school plays in his native Jamaica before going on to produce several gospel albums as an adult.

Dixon is a two-time Audelco Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress for the musical Jamaica and for the drama Dinner at the Manse. She has also appeared on the New York stage in Haiti’s Children of God, Not About Eve (New York and The National Black Theater Festival, Winston Salem, North Carolina), Falling in Love With Mr. Dellamort and Flambeaux (Off Broadway) and in the New York staged reading premiere of Trey Anthony’s How Black Mothers Say I Love You.