Tomorrow, the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago’s (NDATT) Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT), will feature the reading of Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) by Jamaican playwright – Desmond E. Dennis, for the July instalment of the Monthly Readers Theatre Series (MRTS). The series, which is held the first Wednesday of every month, will continue online in light of the precautionary measures implemented as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The reading will take place at 7 PM (AST GMT-4) via Zoom.
Kristallnacht tracks the stories of two families —one Jewish, one German — forced to live on the German ‘fringes’ during Hitler’s reign in the 1930s. The work addresses such themes as racism, gender roles and norms, and sexual minorities in a reimagined pre-Holocaust Germany.
“For me there was something very interesting about the way that the Germans conducted themselves during the time of the Holocaust,” Desmond said in an interview with the T&T Performing Arts Network. “I wanted to explore how the families living on the fringes during that period of time would have been affected, and find the parallels to what is happening in our time.”
Over the past eight years, Desmond has consistently used his Art to offer social commentary on topical issues within the regional space, but through Jamaican lenses. He has earned himself several wins, across multiple categories, at the Tallawah Tertiary Dramatic Arts Festival hosted by the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts — including the award for ‘Best New Play’ in 2017 and 2019. Kristallnacht is one of his first plays, a longer version of which was entered into the Festival in 2015.
“I think my work has gotten a lot stronger since 2015”, he shared. “When I learned about the purpose [of the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago] and the opportunity came to submit, I figured the work from my catalogue that need the most work would be my early pieces […] and I wanted to submit one of the pieces I felt closest to and which I have bigger plans for.”
Playwrights Workshop Trinbago is an NDATT project coordinated by playwrights for playwrights, for the making of plays. Actors, fellow playwrights, directors, producers and the general public are invited to join them on Zoom, to listen to the reading and participate in the discussion to assist the playwright in further development of the script. The event will be held on Wednesday August 4, 2021 at 7 PM (AST GMT-4).
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PWT reads new stage, screen, and radio plays on the first Wednesday of every month. For further information or to submit a script for reading in the MRTS email firstname.lastname@example.org; or call/text/WhatsApp (868) 351-6293; or find us on Facebook and Instagram @playwrightsworkshoptt.