The Dramatic Group the Amity Players was formed last year for a reading of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood, in celebration of the one hundredth anniversary of the poet’s birth. The group performed the play at the Amity Gallery in October. The Amity Gallery, which is owned and operated by the Chardavogne Group, was completely refurbished and opened for a space to exhibit art and to hold cultural events. Since its opening last May there have been several successful art exhibits there and more are planned in the coming months.
Dylan Thomas finished his radio play Under Milk Wood in May of 1953 and was still typing the ending as the audience was filing into the performance space at the Y. M.H.A. Poetry Center in New York City. The play is a stroll through one Spring day in the fictional sea town of Llaregub (read that word backwards and you will have an insight into Thomas’s self-deprecating humour.) The colorful characters in the town reveal a great deal of humour and deep pathos. We are introduced to the many characters through a series of vignettes in which their unique peculiarities are revealed to us. The narrator, Voice 1 invariably explains to us who is speaking. Love and death are recurring themes in the play. This focus on death is made more poignant by the fact that Thomas died just a few months after this first performance at the age of 39. Though Thomas was not a native Welsh speaker the poetic sense of the Welsh language is very evident in this work. Even if some of the words are unfamiliar, the beauty of the language speaks for itself and reflects the ancient Welsh bardic tradition of beautiful language and music.
The Amity Players: From left to right- Ethel Hemsi, Ekua Sharp, Judy Kessler, Roslyn Fassett, Susanna Hatenboer, Donna Spector, Pat Foxx, Ernie Haim, Patricia DeBruhl, Griffis Fassett and Marshall DeBruhl (missing from the picture is Bernard Carneol)