Playwrights Workshop Reads Nigerian Adaptation of  Hamlet at Queen’s Hall

The April instalment of the Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) Monthly Readers Theatre Series (MRTS) will feature the cold reading of “Oga Pikin” (Hamlet in pidgin) by Nigerian playwright Ogini Bernard. The reading, which marks the reintroduction of in-person sessions of the MRTS after three years, will take place on Wednesday April 5 at 7:00 PM (GMT -4)/Thursday April 6 at 12:00 AM (GMT +1) at the Helen May Johnstone Room, Queen’s Hall, 1-3 St Ann’s Rd, Port of Spain,  and online via Zoom.

The Helen May Johnstone Room, Queen’s Hall

To mark the return of the in-person sessions, refreshments courtesy Whipped Cakery, will be served at the Helen May Johnstone Room. Persons who wish to attend the in-person reading are required to go to to RSVP no later than Saturday 1st April 2023. 

RELATED: National Drama Association Resumes In-Person Readings in April

“Oga Pikin” is an adaptation and translation of Williams Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” in Nigerian pidgin. Birthed out of sporadic and limited contacts between Europeans and Nigerians from the 16th through the early 19th century, this grammatically simplified English-based language provided a means of communication to facilitate trade. Nigerian Pidgin later evolved into a Creole Language, solidifying its place as the country’s lingua franca, alongside the official language – Standard English.

Nigerian Playwright – Ogini Bernard

Ogini Bernard is an advocate of Nigerian Pidgin, playwright, poet, and a researcher. He has translated over ten Shakespeare’s works to Pidgin English and has a pidgin anthology of poems. He has also written up to five plays in Nigerian Pidgin English and some academic papers on language, drama, and performance. He has collaborated with various international organisations like UNESCO, Afrika Youth Movement, Institute of French Research Africa, Initiative for Information Arts and Culture Development (American Corner), Vistatec Translation Service Dublin. He holds a B.A. and M.A. in Theatre Arts, University of Ibadan.  He is currently the language Propagation Officer of Centre for Digitization of Indigenous African Languages (CDIAL) an African cloud base software Organisation aimed at researching, standardising and providing Digital inclusion via Indigenous African Languages.

Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) is inviting actors, playwrights, directors, producers and the general public to join us in person at the Helen May Johnstone Room, Queen’s Hall,  or via Zoom to listen to the cold reading and participate in the discussion to assist the playwright with the further development of the script. The event will be held on Wednesday April 5 at 7:00 PM (GMT -4)/Thursday April 6 at 12:00 AM (GMT +1). Persons who wish to attend the in-person reading are reminded to RSVP no later than Saturday 1st April, 2023.

Join Zoom Meeting: | Meeting ID: 894 3958 2396

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PWT reads new stage, screen, and radio plays on the first Wednesday of every month. Plays read in 2023 for the Monthly Readers Theatre Series will qualify for workshopping, staging and award consideration at the New Play Festival 2024. 

For further information or to submit a script for reading in the MRTS, email; contact (868) 351-6293; find us on Facebook and Instagram @playwrightsworkshoptt; or on NDATT’s website

The NDATT extends its gratitude to the Board and Management of Queen’s Hall for the use  of their facilities for the April 2023 instalment of PWT’s MRTS. 

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