“Sarah and Addie always in a fuss…” so begins the catchy tune that opens the one-minute trailer advertising the November 8 release of the Sarah & Addie Movie, a compilation of five comical skits depicting the life and times of two fictional market ladies in 1940’s and 50’s St. Croix.
In partnership with the V.I. Public Broadcasting System (WTJX), the Virgin Islands Department of Education’s Division of Virgin Islands Cultural Education (DVICE) brought Sarah & Addie--originally written as a 19-skit stage play by playwright, Anton C. Teytaud--to life on the silver screen in St. Croix and St. Thomas—a first for the Department of Education.
The idea to adapt Sarah & Addie into a movie that would feature student and Department of Education cast members was the brainchild of DVICE Director Valrica Bryson. She prepared a plan, discussed the idea with Tanya Singh, WTJX CEO, and the rest is, as they say, history.
The cast began filming at the Christiansted market during the summer of 2019 and concluded in September 2019. The movie--comprised of five short skits that follow Sarah and Addie on a hilarious, Crucian dialect-rich journey--addresses topics of culture, marriage and divorce, appropriate attire of the times, tourism, and more while the two feisty friends sell their goods at the local market.
To celebrate the accomplishment of Sarah & Addie Movie, a red-carpet premiere was held on November 7 at Caribbean Cinemas theater on St. Croix. It brought together cast and crew members, Government House officials, Department of Education officials, culture bearers, donors, teachers, and well-wishers. On November 8, groups of students from schools on both St. Croix and St. Thomas were given a first look at the movie in a special morning screening, complete with popcorn and drinks, before it officially opened to the public later that evening through the weekend.
As for that catchy tune, it was written by Bryson, sung by Addelita Cancryn music instructor, Malvern Gumbs with Spectrum Band-mate, Wendy Joseph, and produced by Kevre Hendricks, music department chair at St. Croix Educational Complex High School. Students and Department of Education cast members, included Cleone Lynch as Sarah and Jamilah Harvey-Moorehead as Addie; Sayeeda Carter, creative director; and students Azadi Sage Knight, Jahmaris Martha Nesbitt, Liza Perdomo Alvarez, Ma'at Manuel, Zuma Nisbitt, Maria Aurora Stiles, and Anai Browne.
Although the movie is no longer in theaters, Bryson saw to it that students and teachers in Virgin Islands classrooms would have the opportunity to dive deeper into topics discussed in the movie with the creation of a comprehensive Sarah & Addie Movie curriculum, complete with teacher’s guide and student workbook.
In the spring of 2020, a contest will be held for students to script their own adaptation of Sarah & Addie Movie, but with a modern twist.