Milestone for East End Special Players

A farce set in a downbeat apartment building somewhere in Jamaica, Queens
Suzanne Mary Windells, Eric Hegi, and Aurore Berty are three of the stars of the East End Special Players’ “Trouble in Jamaica” production. Ken Robbins

The East End Special Players are celebrating their 30th year with a performance of their first completely original play. “Trouble in Jamaica: A Stinking Dirty Musical,” a farce set in a downbeat apartment building somewhere in Jamaica, Queens, will be presented on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Guild Hall.

The Special Players premiered “Trouble in Jamaica” last year at Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor.

The play, much of it set to music, centers on a group of eccentric, off-the-grid residents whose comings and going are orchestrated by the character of the building’s superintendent. It is peopled with jewelry thieves, cops, a waitress, a marriage counselor, and a country-western singer. Every vignette is the result of a narrative collaboration among the troupe members, whose disabilities include Down syndrome, autism, bipolar disorder, hearing and sight loss, and other physical and mental challenges. The members meet weekly to rehearse, develop new material, and practice their craft. 

Jacqui Leader is the company’s longtime artistic director, Abby Dupree and Gabriele Raacke its producers, and Dominique deCock its production designer. 

It can take up to two years for the players to develop a new play. In the past the group performed such traditional works as “Cyrano de Bergerac” and “The Scams of Scapin.” More recently members mined their own lives for improvisational theater that was both funny and poignant, such as an earlier original production, “Gigi, the Life of a Doll.”  

Tickets for Saturday’s production are $25, $10 for students.