New Play Festival Returns to the Big Black Box

The Playwrights Workshop Trinbago’s New Play Festival (NPF) returns to the Big Black Box from December 6 – 9, 2018. This year’s festival is being held in memory of Tobagonian poet, playwright, essayist and journalist Eric Roach (1915-1974) and will feature workshop performances of three plays written by Earl Lovelace, Rhesa Samuel and Narad Mahabir.

earl-lovelace
Earl Lovelace

As the featured veteran playwright for NPF 2018, Earl Lovelace, will be adapting his popular novel, ‘Salt’. Hailed as one of the foremost novels of Caribbean literature, Salt explores the plight of a legally free, but not quite emancipated people. Through the stories of two men, ‘Salt’ applies to any nation struggling with unresolved racial issues and to any people struggling to free themselves from their past. The New York Times Book Review called Salt a West Indian novel of generous, torrential prose.

In a statement to the T&T Performing Arts Network, NPF Festival Coordinator, Safa Niamat-Ali said

“It is indeed a great honour to have Earl Lovelace as our featured veteran playwright this year. It helps bring validity to what we are trying to achieve if this internationally renowned writer recognises us enough to adapt his novel specifically for the festival.”

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.

Also included in this year’s festival is Narad Mahabir’s ‘The Ford’ and Rhesa Samuel’s ‘Asylum’.

narad-mahabir
Narad Mahabir

Told from the perspective of the Amerindians, ‘The Ford’ tells the story of two Kalinago men who survived the Arena Massacre of 1699. Haunted by the event, they try to come to terms with the oppression of the Spanish rule and their rebellion at the ford. The playwright, a recent graduate of the University of Trinidad and Tobago Academy for the Performing Arts, said he was inspired to write this play after spending time with members of the Santa Rosa First People Community. Having gained insight, and in doing research of his own, Mahabir sought to explore the mysteries surrounding the infamous event and create a piece of work which represents an often-forgotten demographic of our national community.

rhesa-2
Rhesa Samuel

In ‘Asylum’, Rhesa Samuel explores mental illness through Malcom, a young man who unearths the truth about himself and his childhood. It was first developed while the playwright was a student at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine (UWI), and was initially read at the PWT Monthly Readers Theatre Series in May of 2017 as part of its commitment to the reading of the scripts of UWI Playwriting students. Samuel graduated from UWI with First Class Honours in Theatre Arts later that year.

The New Play Festival (NPF) is an initiative of the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) – a non-profit organization coordinated by playwrights for the making of plays; in collaboration with the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), The Trinidad and Tobago Performing Arts Network (TTPAN), Big Black Box and the Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW).

The Festival will run from December 6 to 9 at the Big Black Box, Murray Street, Woodbrook. Admission: $50 per performance or experience all three plays with a Festival Pass for $125 (3 plays – 1 ticket)

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s