Coming Together for New Play Festival 2018

Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) announces the return of the New Play Festival (NPF) later this month. The Festival, now in its third year, will feature workshop performances of three plays; Earl Lovelace’s ‘Salt’, Narad Mahabir’s ‘The Ford’ and Rhesa Samuel ‘Asylum’, which will run from October 25 to 28 at the Big Black Box.

NPF’s aim is to foster the development of original storytelling through drama and playmaking, provide opportunities for new plays and indigenous storytelling to be performed for personal and collective development. NPF also provides an opportunity for theatre practitioners of varying generations to work together, and a forum to raise awareness of local theatre works, inspiring appreciation, respect and support for local theatre.

NPF 2018 Cover

Partnering with the PWT on this initiative is a consortium of organisations which include The Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network (TTPAN), the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), Big Black Box and Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW).

The T&T Performing Arts Network has been supporting the New Play Festival since its 2016 inauguration and the PWT for its Monthly Readers Theatre Series. Triston Wallace, the founder of the Network said

“There’s nothing more profound than seeing the arts community come together to create a new product that is uniquely Trinbagonian. Allowing PWT to harness our expansive network to access the skills and talent they need, while also facilitating the opportunity for new, emerging and established practitioners to be involved in the process of creating new work, gain practical experience, while expanding their own personal network, helps to build a more unified and collaborative creative community, which is at the core of what we do.”

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Jovone Brown and Kala Neehall in a workshopped performance of  Ronald John’s Miracle for the First Annual New Play Festival 2016 at Trinidad Theatre Workshop | Photo Credit: Clulturego

The National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago has also been partnering with NPF since 2016. In a statement to the T&T Performing Arts Network, Paula Lindo, Public Relations Officer of NDATT said, “As part of our mandate to develop all aspects of drama, it is our honour and privilege to continue our support of this project which provides another opportunity to develop the skills within our membership.”

Wendell Manwarren, one of the directors of the Big Black Box said, “The New Play Festival is the kind of initiative we welcome and want more of in the space. Playwriting is critical, and the New Play Festival actively encourages the development of the form and creates an opportunity for the young and the not so young who are interested in getting involved in that side of theatre.”

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Workshopped performance of Toni Lima’s ‘Bedbugs’ for New Play Festival 2017 at Big Black Box | Photo Credit: Curtis Bachan for the Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network
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Workshopped performance of Tony Hall’s ‘One From Ten Leaves Nought’ for New Play Festival 2017 at Big Black Box| Photo Credit: Curtis Bachan for the Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network

TTW continues to support PWT by providing a venue for their Monthly Readings on the first Wednesday of every month.  Scripts read at these sessions are then shortlisted to be workshopped and staged at the Annual New Play Festival.

When asked their thoughts about the involvement of so many partners in this year’s festival, Tony Hall, Artistic Director of the Playwrights Workshop said “It is long overdue” while Safa Niamat-Ali, the coordinator of the New Play Festival said “It is refreshing that so many organisations recognise the value of playmaking toward building a theatre industry which bears our national identity, to come together to support this project.

The Playwrights Workshop Trinbago in collaboration with NDATT, TTPAN, Big Black Box and TTW will presents the New Play Festival 2018, from October 25 to 28 at the Big Black Box, located at #33 Murray Street, Woodbrook. Admission: $50 per performance or experience all three plays with a Festival Pass for $125 (3 plays 1 ticket).

For festival schedule, tickets and more information, visit http://iamndatt.wordpress.com/projects/npf2018, email playwrightsworkshoptt@gmail.com or call (868) 351-6293.

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l-r: Safa Niamat-Ali, Tony Hall, Paula Lindo and Ria Carerra Toney at New Play Festival 2017 | Photo Credit: Curtis Bachan for the Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network

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