“More than ever, theatre arts is needed in Trinidad and Tobago. Telling stories through the avenue of drama and playmaking can be used as a vehicle to process fear, anger, shame and neglect, and begin the transformation of frustration and suffering into creative action and the blossoming of organic problem-solving intelligence.”
Chairman of the New Play Festival Committee, thespian Michael Cherrie, made the statement as he addressed an audience at the media launch of the New Play Festival 2017. The Festival will again be producing in workshop format three plays which have never before been staged, following a four-month-long process of script development and play building. The plays to be staged this year are Tony Hall’s “One From Ten Leaves Nought”, Aryana Mohammed’s “Sunrise Love to Sunset Hate” and Toni Lima’s “Bedbugs”.
Cherrie said the plan is for the Festival to have a long life as it serves the purpose of bringing the stories of the people of T&T and by extension the Caribbean to life.
“Because of the nature of our work, it’s not the story that Nigel R Khan sells on their shelves, it’s the story that comes to life in the same way we look at life, how we see stories unfold in front of our faces every day. That’s our task, bringing our stories to life.”
Cherrie extended thanks to the community which had helped the Festival come to life, including sponsors Republic Bank Limited, production partners Trinidad Theatre Workshop, the T&T Performing Arts Network and the National Drama Association of T&T; St. George’s College, Barataria, St Francois Girls’ College, Belmont, San Juan North Secondary; the Princess Elizabeth Centre; Edwin Erminy, Raymer Diaz and the students at The Scene Shop of the Academy for the Performing Arts, UTT.
Founder of Festival producers Playwrights Workshop Trinbago, famed thespian Tony Hall, reminded the audience that the event is a continuation of work begun by pioneering theatre practitioners Beryl McBurnie, Errol Hill, Errol John and Eric Roach in the 1950’s. “We’re very bad at carrying out these legacies. If you want to do something, it’s so easy to just read the history and pick up a baton and keep it going.” He made special mention of Trinity College, Hartford, Connecticut, as he said it was their hiring of him to create a Playwrights Workshop in Hartford that inspired him to also create on in T&T.
Hall called on the young theatre practitioners participating in the Festival to pursue projects for themselves rather than working for someone. “Enjoy the work, it must be fun! It is called play for a purpose, playing for a purpose, we are playwrights for a purpose, we create plays, forget work, we want to play!”
Tickets for the event cost $50 per play and are now available. The New Play Festival 2017 runs from November 2 – 5 and 10 – 12 at the Big Black Box, Murray Street, Port of Spain. [CLICK HERE FOR BOOKINGS]
For more information, find Annual New Play Festival 2017 on Facebook and email firstname.lastname@example.org.