One year after the successful staging of their flagship virtual production, ‘Finding Romeo’, Arts-in-Action returns with their latest Zoom theatre offering ‘Gundelera’. Now in it’s second week, this production will run until May 30th.
‘Gundelera’ follows the mandate set by the Art Education organisation to be a leading voice in advocacy against gender based violence (GBV) and Violence Against Women and Girls (VWAG). In November 2020, while various Trinbagonian organisations celebrated 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence, we mourned with the families of Andrea Bharrat and Ashanti Riley as their bodies were found discarded in forested areas. For every story that is highlighted, there are hundreds and thousands that never see the light of public exposure.
During their work to develop this production, Arts-in-Action examined the question; what would happen if justice was put in the hands of the people or in this case, Angel Walker. When Neoma Walker (played by Tishanna Williams) is brutally murdered, her sister Angel Walker (played by Shelby Outar) takes the law into her own hands by assuming the role of a dreaded, vigilante gunslinger, ‘Gundelera’. The production is set against the torturous interrogation of Jamal Granger, a role shared by Emmanuel Ansolia and Christopher Best.
In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, Arts-in-Action has been able to pivot and continue their work in advocacy against Gender Based Violence and Violence Against Women and Girls by partnering with organisations such as CariMan and the Office of the Prime Minister. Aside from being one of the only companies to successfully innovate live theatre in a virtual space, Gundelera was designed by directorand co-writer, Rayshawn Pierre to contain all the interactive elements the Art-Ed company is traditionally known for. The production takes a modern Brechtian approach to playmaking which creates both a story-telling and gaming experience for the audience.
According to Pierre, “The idea is that, like in the case of Boal’s forum theatre, the audience is invited to enter into a game which will serve as a vehicle to educate and empower them for change action. In this case, the development of the plot is ideally dictated by the audience, as they determine each of the major choices the character makes.”
Artistic Director, Brendon LaCaille who also co-wrote the piece warns that though the play features simulated violence, it is neither a glorification of such or a ‘revenge piece’. He states, “We are saying that we cannot just say we care anymore. The tone of the play hovers between conservative ‘echoes’ and ‘radical’ ethics. It warns and asks certain questions- separate from the traditional approaches.”
Gundelera opened Thursday 20th may, 2021. Its second week began on May 27th and will continue till May 30th. Ticket payments can be made via bank transfer as well as other online avenues. for more information contact arts-in-action at 353-3284, 289-4AiA or via firstname.lastname@example.org