Heroes &Vill-ians; a play by 19-year-old Ifayomi Aluko, is the latest production from the San Fernando based Artspire Production Company.
The Company’s co-founder and Heroes & Vill-ians artistic director; Keegan Miguel, said Aluko’s play was originally written as part of his requirement for CAPE Theatre Arts. Miguel said the piece had such an overwhelming response that he proposed to Aluko that they produce it through Artspire. Aluko agreed and added content to the play, while Miguel wrote eight songs to transform the production into a mini-musical.
The play tells the story of Ralph and Lo Renzo, the Vill-ains of Oakville, and how their shady dealings affect other villagers. Ralph and Lo Renzo; “Beavis and Butt-Head types”, are seen as providers and protectors as they give the villagers money and take care of them. They claim to be businessmen, but their business is conducted at night and no one ever sees them working. Things come to a head when Inspector Marcus Daniels comes to the village to investigate a series of thefts.
The play also embodies some of the characters found in villages, such as the elders, the village maco and the smart men. An added twist is the presence of the obeah man who Lo Renzo and Ralph approach for protection, who may or may not be scamming them. Miguel said all the elements come together to form a musical comedy.
“Everyone’s intentions and motives in the play aren’t clear so someone may appear to be an upstanding citizen but then they might do something that is kinda shady.”
Miguel said he believes young people will enjoy the play, more so because it is written and produced by young people. This is one of the reasons the production will be hosting a school show, as they recognize the difficulty parents would have in bringing their children to see the show.
“The cast, stage management team and production team are all young people as young as 15 years old. What I do in Artspire is I give young people opportunities and I guide them and teach them how to do different things in the field of theatre and I believe beyond the message of the play, people will really be blown away when they see the talent that is being displayed by these young upcoming professionals.”
Miguel said as a teacher he has seen the positive impact that the visual and performing arts have on children. “One of the purposes of Theatre Arts is for teaching, not just for entertainment. I find where young people feel they could see a piece of art or a performance in a relaxed environment, sometimes a message sticks longer. They may not necessarily change their ways immediately but the message is always lingering in their minds because they remember that was such a great show. So I think theatre is the best medium to interject and intervene in young people’s lives.
Heroes & Vill-ains will run from 13th – 14th September, 7:30PM at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA), with a special 11AM school matinee on September 14th. Admission: $150 (General Admission) | $60 (School Matinee)