Sunshine Theatre Celebrates 35 Years of Promoting Jamaican Culture

Sunshine Theatre brings Jamaican Culture to the diaspora in the United States

SOUTH FLORIDA – Sunshine Enterprises /Sunshine Theatre Company is one of the oldest promotional and entertainment companies in the South Florida Caribbean community promoting Jamaican culture.

Jackie & Michael Shaw of Sunshine Theatre Celebrating 35 Years of Promoting Jamaican Culture
Jackie & Mike Shaw

Mike and Jackie Shaw are the principals of  Sunshine Theatre Company and their venture started in the 80’s when they promoted Trevor Rhone’s production “Two Can Play” (starring Charles Hyatt and Grace McGhie) in Miami. This was done in celebration of “Jamaica 21” at the prestigious Gusman Cultural Center, downtown Miami.

The venture was not very successful and Mike vowed never to promote anymore of these shows. He remembered the Theater Manager telling him, “If he was truly into theater, when the bug bites you can’t resist.

Their next venture not long after was Basil Dawkins award winning ‘Champagne and Sky Juice’ was more successful’.

Other successes led to more ambitious projects, including Louis Marriott’s Bedward  that had a cast of 45 people. The success of this project with such a large cast led them to consider the LTM National Pantomime.

After months of discussion the LTM agreed to tour South Florida, but this first visit was filled with problems that included not getting the visas granted. It took the concerted efforts of the LTM, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the US State Department to make this tour possible. The show ‘Schoolers’ was a resounding success and the annual LTM Pantomime became a regular visitor to South Florida until later when New York was added to the tours. The changing financial and economic climate of the 90’s however made it increasingly challenging to secure sponsorship, and eventually promoting large groups like the LTM and ASHE Ensemble were curtailed.

Over the years Mike and Jackie have worked with many producers with varying degrees of success, Basil Dawkins and more recently Stages Productions and David Tulloch have been their most successful and consistent shows especially those featuring Shebada and Delcita.

Some of the many actors and characters they have worked with and have fond memories include Miss Lou, Charles Hyatt, Leonie Forbes, Oliver Samuels, Volier’ Maffie ‘Johnson, Deon Silvera,  Audrey Reid, Winston ‘Bello’ Bell, Michael Nicholson , David Tulloch and Terri Salmon.

Their efforts are not limited to Florida, (Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Orlando, Ocala and Lehigh Acres) they continue to expand promoting the Jamaican culture to other areas of the Diaspora such as New York, Washington DC, Maryland (Baltimore, College Park, Columbia) and Atlanta.

Sunshine Theatre Awards

Mike and Jackie have received awards from the Consul General of Jamaica for their long dedication and promotion of the Jamaican culture across the Diaspora (which was presented by Prime Minister Bruce Golding) and at the  Consul General’s 50th Independence  Gala celebration was one of the ‘Vanguard’ honorees ‘.

They have also received the ‘Jamaican Milestone Award’ from the Jamaican/USA Chamber of Commerce.

Jackie has received a ‘Woman of Excellence award’ from Nostalgia In Gold and an Outstanding Leadership award from the USA Netball Association as President of the Association who led the USA Team to their first World Championship tournament in Birmingham, England in 1995.

As they enter their 35th year of entertainment and promotion they hope you appreciate their efforts and their struggles and continue to support them in spreading the Jamaican culture across the Diaspora.

Sunshine Theatre would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have assisted and supported them over these many years, especially the Sponsors, Advertisers, Ticket  Sellers, Volunteers and most importantly the many loyal Patrons .

Roster of  Sunshine Theatre Promoted Shows
  • Trevor Rhone’s “Two Can Play”, “Old Story Time”,
  • Basil Dawkins’ Champagne & Skyjuice, Toy Boy, Feminine Justice, Gift for Mom, Hot Spot, Uptown Bangarang, Where Is My Father, God Don’t Wear Pajamas
  • David Heron’s, Ecstasy, Intermission, and Against his Will
  • LTM Pantomimes; Schoolers, 50/Fifty, Reggae Son, Man De Yah, Moon Splash, Anancy Come Back
  • Jam Biz’s; Run For Your Wife, Puppy Love, Cutie & the Freak, Oliver & the Genie, River Bottom,
  • Ashe Ensemble’s; Songs of Freedom, Hush, Vibes in a World of Sexuality,
  • Stages Productions’ ; Ova Mi Dead Body, Money Worries, Ghett Out,  Bashment Granny ,       The Plumber, The Politicians, Wedding Scamma, Bangarang, Shebada Goes to School
  • Big Stage Productions; Court House Drama, University of Delcita,  Miss Elsada, Border Patrol, Corpral Del.
  • Pablo Hoilette – When the Cat’s Away, Remember Me, The Love List.
  • David Tulloch/Probemaster – For My Daughter, Prayer Partner, Across the Bridge
  • Fabulous Five Band: Annual Grand Christmas Ball & Celebrity Fashion Show

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