- Faith & Family
Genji Jacques, 38, says he always wanted to use theater as a means of encouraging spirituality and communicating the importance of faith. In his latest play, “Hoztage,” he blends suspense with comedy and Biblical truths to tell the story of a devout minister who is kidnapped along with three others. They face the wrath of an evil drug lord, Diablo [capably played by Jacques], who wants to know the pastor’s “master plan” which he says he will employ to rid the neighborhood of drugs and prostitution. Along the way, the disciples of Diablo, including the ironically-named Judas and those kidnapped, each learn something about themselves and how their past has kept them “kidnapped.”
The production took place last Saturday at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center. It debuted at Nova Southeastern University earlier this year and was staged at the Kravis Center in West Palm.
“There are many things that hold us hostage but there’s only way to get out,” Jacques said.
Before the play, Christian comedienne Felicia Fefe More set the tone with positive humor. As she says, “don’t settle for happiness which is temporary — seek joy which is permanent.” Also opening the show was an eight-year-old wonderkid and vocalist, Jaden, who amazed the audience with his singing.
Sometimes local theater can lack polish with a cast of untalented, wanna-be actors. But such was not the case in “Hoztage.” Daniel Dasent, 44, who plays Rev. Paul Siras, is a seasoned actor who captured our attention from start to finish. Oswald Russell, 32, a Miami native, says he caught the acting bug 10 years ago and has been hooked ever since. He brought a sense of passion and believability to his role. Finally, Vicky Joseph, 25, a Pompano Beach native and recent graduate from Barry University master’s program, performed like a veteran despite this being her first on stage appearance.
“As a young Christian woman, this play spoke to me,” she said. “I had never acted before but I had done spoken word and helped with other productions. This time I was able to say through my character, that no matter what our circumstances, we can all change for the better.”
By D. Kevin McNeir