Lordstreet Theatre Company and Little Carib Theatre will present the Caribbean Premiere of Carnival Medea: A Bacchanal in time for the T&T Carnival 2017. The play, written by Dr. Shirlene Holmes of Georgia State University and T&T’s own Rhoma Spencer, re-tells the classic Greek tragedy of Medea, whose husband casts her aside for a younger woman, and how she takes revenge for the infidelity. The work is re-imagined in a Trinbagonian setting, with the actors bringing to life such Traditional Masquerade characters as the Baby Doll, Pierrot Grenade, Dame Lorraine, Midnight Robber and Batonye.
In Carnival Medea, the Grenadian Medea, a baby doll, flees Carriacou with Jason, a Tobagonian stick fighter to live in Trinidad. After some years of marriage, he forsakes her to marry a younger woman. Distraught, she is determined to wreak havoc on the new bride and spite Jason where it hurts the most, by denying him access to his two sons.
The play was originally being written by Holmes, whose award winning dramatic works have been produced throughout the USA and international stages. In 2002, she invited Spencer to dramaturge the play. However, in 2014 when Spencer was invited by the University to work on the play as a visiting fellow, Holmes immediately insisted Spencer be its co playwright as Spencer’s dramaturgy extended to rewriting and writing new scenes which Holmes was not culturally adept at as an African American. The play was presented as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Scotland in 2015 where it received a 4 of 5 star review.
Carnival Medea will feature an all-star cast to include acclaimed Trinidadian- Canadian actor, Joseph Jomo Pierre as Jason, Tishanna Williams as Medea, Penelope Spencer, Cecilia Salazar, Susan Hannays-Abraham and Marie Chan-Durity as the Macomeres (Chorus) and Kearn Samuel. The production also introduces leading Bajan actors, Sonia Williams as Nen/Mama Neza, and Levi King as Tan/Chantwelle.
Carnival Medea is set in Trinidad circa 1950s when the traditional masquerade characters were at the zenith of their existence in Carnival on the streets of Port of Spain. Spencer said “the decision to use the Mas characters was inevitable as they are a dying performance art form, and the full potential of the playing of these characters is not being expressed in neither narrative, dance nor costuming today.”
Carnival Medea will run on February 9 to 12, February 16 and 19 and March 2 to 5 at the Little Carib Theatre. For further information go to www.carnivalmedea.wordpress.com or find them on Facebook- Carnival Medea- a bacchanal and join their mailing list.
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