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Cathy Levy Returns to Theatre With 'Imagine"

Cathy Levy (second left) with past and present members of Little People

Cathy Levy is making her return to the theatre and she is bringing an army of puppets, dancers and designers with her. Imagine, the simple yet telling name of the upcoming show being staged by Levy’s Storybook Theatre Productions, is a full length variety show the majority of which will consist of theatre in black.

Imagine, Levy’s biggest production to date, is set to take over the National Indoor Sports Centre which is being transformed to imitate a full theatre. The production features a cast of 30 members, 10 of whom are deaf. Imagine is therefore being staged to appeal to both the deaf and hearing community with full sign-language translation.

Levy explains that the seeds for Imagine began germinating about a decade ago, as a suggestion by her late mother Verna Levy. However, it was not until 2011 that she began to actively pursue it.

According to Levy a number of factors make 2013 the perfect time to put on Imagine. First among “We were desirous of contributing to Jamaica's 50th Anniversary celebration and to playing our part in a meaningful way ... while doing what we know best ... Theatre!” she said.  She also pointed out that May 2013 will mark the 25th anniversary of another of her imaginative endeavours, the Little People performing troupe, which she reveals may soon be making a comeback with a reunion show.

Interestingly,  former members of the Little People are also involved in the production with the theme song being written by Jon Williams and performed by Tessanne Chin, Michael Sean Harris and Renee Rattray.

Levy argues that the greatest challenge has been funding, noting that theatre is at the back of the line of events seeking sponsorship. Storybook Theatre however,  finally found favourable patronage and Levy argues that these corporate entities are a part of what inspires her to keep pushing the project forward.

The majority of the pieces in Imagine have been written by Levy but she has also enlisted technical experts including Jeremy Thorpe - Master props and puppet creator for Disney and Sesame Street Live as well as Broadway choreographer Paul Rubin. With their talents in her arsenal, Levy promises that Imagine will provide rare spectacle.

“How often do we see actors flying 25 feet above the stage in a hair-raising chase sequence? Or 3D Blacklight puppetry where props come to life and puppeteers disappear?” she said, suggesting that the show with awe and thrill.

Imagine will run for two weekends, playing May 17-19 and May 22-23.