Ian K Ramdhanie, msC,
The Theatre Festival, hosted by the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), will run from October 22 to October 30, and will be staged at two locations—Little Carib Theatre on White Street, Woodbrook, and Trinidad Theatre Workshop on Jerningham Avenue, Belmont.
The Festival was launched on October 3 at the Little Carib Theatre where it was announced that the edition is dedicated to Anthony Michael Hall more popularly known as Tony Hall, pioneer in community television, and renowned writer/director for stage, screen and street performances.
In brief remarks at the event, Hall said he felt humbled by the honour, and opined that the Festival was a method of “supplying oxygen” to the populace through the various plays that would be staged over the duration.
“All we ask, as play-makers, is to have this opportunity to stage our work and, in the process, supply oxygen so that all who attend may experience a chance to breathe freely while appreciating the contributions of the featured artistes,” he said.
One of the objectives of the festival is to present the theatrical production of new plays, and plays already done, featuring, especially, young directors and actors. To this end, short synopses of some of the plays to be presented were delivered by the writers/directors. Among them were Bitter Cassava directed by Shawn Smart; Independence directed by Saira Dhanoo; Body=Barriers written and directed by Brendon O’Brien; and 50/25 directed by Marvin George. Bitter Cassava opens the Festival on October 22 at the Little Carib Theatre.
Another of its objectives is to conduct workshops and seminars on the process of making and presenting plays. This would be facilitated during the week-long event through playwrights workshops, actors workshops, music workshops, light and sound workshops, and comedy workshops, along with stage readings, and a public forum.
The main sponsor of the festival is First Citizens Bank. Its representative Dexter Charles, said as the only truly local bank, it was fitting that the institution lend its support to NDATT, another local organisation that has proven its sustainability since its formation in 1979.
“NDATT is an organisation young people can learn from,” he said. “It has a proven track record in our cultural landscape, and this festival seeks to encourage the infusion of new energies into the art form, and encourage growth of the national theatre industry.”
The festival’s theme is: Go See A Play. Come To The Theatre. The aim of NDATT is to foster and promote an interest in and to develop all aspects of the art of drama in Trinidad and Tobago and elsewhere.
President of the organisation Trevor Jadunath said the Festival presents an opportunity to “raise the bar” in terms of presentation and production from where it has been residing for the past years.
Also supporting the initiative are the Ministries of Community Development and Arts and Multiculturalism.