Virtual Play Reading of Zeno Constance’s ‘My Father’s Child’ this week

Zeno Constance
Zeno Constance | Source:

The June instalment of the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago’s (NDATT) Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) Monthly Readers Theatre Series (MRTS) will feature the reading of My Father’s Child, a play by renowned award-winning playwright, Zeno Obi Constance.

In light of the precautionary measures implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this reading will take place via Zoom and will also be streamed live on the NDATT’s Facebook page on June 3 at 7 PM (AST). The June 2020 instalment will also be featured as a podcast, which can be accessed at a later date HERE.

My Father’s Child deals with incest, and examines the trauma of the victim daughter who contemplates suicide as a form of escape; the perpetrator father whose remorse is never accepted; and the grieving mother whose voice is strained with anger, disbelief and hurt. For all three their lives have been changed forever.

Between 1985, when My Father’s Child made its debut at the Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival, and 2017, the play has been produced 11 times, making it the most performed play at the festival along with Duelling Voices (18), The Ritual (17) and Odale’s Choice (11). It was also televised on TTT’s Play of the Month in 1986 and was commissioned by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) for Caribbean and Latin American viewing in their fight against incest.

Constance has written over 20 award winning plays. In 1985 he was the winner of the National Cultural Council’s playwriting competition with ‘Duelling Voices’. In 2003 he was honoured by NDATT with the vanguard Cacique Award for his contribution to theatre at the Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival, where he captured the Original Playwriting Award an unprecedented 15 times since 1978. He was selected as the Best Director at both the 2007 and 2008 Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Folk competition and a triple time winner of the Best Script category at the Best Village Folk Theatre, and in 2015 Constance was recognised as a Master in the field of playwriting and technical direction for stage by the then Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism.

His debut play, The Ritual, is the most famous of his body of work, which also includes the Calypso musicals De Roaring 70’s and The Road Make to Walk; Cinderella Syndrome; Agouti’s Tale; Patricia- A Love Story; and Even The Dragon Can Dream. The Ritual has been published locally, and in Europe and the Caribbean by Heinemann Press and Carlong Publishers respectively, while ‘Duelling Voices’ has been published by Macmillan Press. Constance, a calypso collector, has published works on the Calypso, including Poet And Prophet (1985), the career biography of Calypsonian Brother Valentino, and Tassa, Chutney and Soca: a study of the East Indian Contribution to the Calypso (1991).

Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) is inviting actors, playwrights, directors, producers and the general public to join us on Zoom and Facebook @IamNDATT to listen to the reading and participate in the discussion in the comment section of the post. The discussion on playwriting will be led by Zeno Obi Constance. The reading will be held on Wednesday June 3, 2020 at 7 PM (AST).

Zoom meeting link
Meeting ID: 849 2510 1676

PWT reads new stage, screen, and radio plays on the first Wednesday of every month. For further information email; or call (868) 351-6293; or find us on Facebook and Instagram @playwrightsworkshoptt.

PWT June 2020 Reading

About the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago

PWT is a project coordinated by playwrights for the making of plays. It is dedicated to the memory and work of renowned Trinidadian scholar, academic, theatre historian, playwright and director ERROL HILL (1921-2003) and Tobagonian poet, playwright, essayist and journalist ERIC ROACH (1915-1974).

In 2020, the workshop initiated in 2003 by Tony Hall with support from Trinity in Trinidad Study Away Programme of Trinity College, Hartford, C.T. Lordstreet Theatre’s Jouvay Institute and the National Drama Association of Trinidad & Tobago, celebrates its 17th Anniversary. It continues to have its Monthly Readers Theatre Series on the first Wednesday of every month, at NDATT Studios. Playwrights and aspiring playwrights are reminded that scripts read at the Monthly Readers Theatre Series can qualify for further development at the Annual New Play Festival.

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