The Jamaica Musical Theatre Company (JMTC) and Tuff Gong International are set to unveil a musical based on the childhood of Reggae music’s king, Bob Marley in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the late singer’s birth, according to reports Friday.
The musical, Nesta’s Rock, is centered on a young boy by the name of Ness, a youth based in Kingston who is ridiculed by his friends before embarking on a journey through Nine Miles, where he would begin his trek toward musical superstardom. The musical is co-written by JMTC’s Samantha Chin Yee and Jodi Ho Lung while choreography is coordinated by the company’s artistic director, Tony Wilson.
The hope, according to JMTC producer, Danielle Stiebel is to get the attention of major international markets through this project.
"Over the past two years we at the JMTC have really been working on taking Brand Jamaica to an international audience through our productions,” Stiebel told the Jamaica Observer. “We have been adding Jamaican elements to our performances. The decision by Tuff Gong to come to us regarding this production is just perfect timing, and together we are looking to get Broadway's attention with Nesta's Rock.”
Nesta’s Rock will run at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts at the University of the West Indies Mona campus from Jan. 9 – Feb. 22, with a special showing on Marley’s birthday, Feb. 6.
The musical will feature adaptation of some of Marley’s hits, including Redemption Song, Could You Be Loved and more. Producers of the musical are set to host auditions from on Sept. 6, 7 and 9 and are open to Jamaicans between the ages of nine and 21.
Cedella Marley, daughter of Bob Marley and CEO of the Marley Group of Companies said of the initiative, "The life of our father Bob Marley continues to inspire the young and the old as we continue to spread his positive message to the younger generation.”