Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 24th 2015 Contents of many Caribbean folk working reg-
ularly on Broadway.
What have you learned that you
didn t acquire in Trinity Rep MFA Pro-
grams at Brown University?
A conservatory is a demanding but
often protective environment.
You don t learn the business side of
the profession in school. You leave
school not knowing how much rejection
you [might] face. You don t learn the
perseverance it takes to survive the ups
and downs of a life in the profession.
These things you only learn by practical
experience. What school offers you is
craft, technique, and an opportunity
to explore your truth as an artist in a
What does the Broadway experience
offer young minds?
Theatre offers young people the
opportunity to have their imagination
encouraged and rewarded. We grow up
in a world that often curbs our creative
thinking. But it s creative thinkers who
make the biggest contributions to soci-
ety. Theatre reminds people, young and
old, how to access their sense of wonder
and say, "What if ..."
Is there a Trini story that seems
suited for an off-Broadway stage?
I can t think of one, which is partly
my own ignorance, but which also says
something about our ongoing failure
in fostering a healthy Trinbagonian the-
atre. It s all the more sad when you
consider that T&T has several of the
ingredients necessary for a vibrant the-
atre culture. With Carnival and other
festivals, we have nurtured an innate
sense of theatricality and spectacle. We
have a local and expatriate literary tra-
dition that is highly esteemed.
Third, is a rich calypso social com-
mentary tradition, which means we are
used to using the performing arts as a
way to critique our lives.
What we haven t figured out is how
to cultivate an audience for meaningful
theatre, how to take these ingredients
and create a theatre culture that is dis-
tinctive and feels relevant to our world.
Theatre and dance are more vulnerable
than other art forms because they
depend on a live local audience in order
to survive. If we can educate ourselves
and our audiences about what great,
fresh theatre can actually look like, and
think regionally about creating and pre-
senting work, there is potential for a
richer future for Trinbagonian theatre.
The late, great Geoffrey Holder s
work in musical theatre and dance was
celebrated specifically because the the-
atrical worlds he created onstage inte-
grated the pageantry, ritual, sensuality
and spirit that make up the heart of
How can visitors research Broadway
shows to make informed choices?
Playbill.com, Broadway.com and
Broadwayworld.com are good places
to get info on what s playing. In the
middle of Times Square is the [famed]
TKTS booth, which offers discounts
for each day s Broadway performanc-
What do you miss about T&T?
I miss all the people who, against
cultural forces that tend to coerce us
into narrow lives and narrow thinking,
they opened my mind in ways I couldn t
In your downtime are you scripting
your dream play, and does it involve
bloodshed and corruption?
I have three plays at varying stages
of composition, but they re more exis-
tential arguments than plot-driven nar-
ratives, though bloodshed is a possible
outcome in at least one of them. Two
are set in a fictionalised Trinidad, and
I do dream of having them produced
at home with Trini actors.
If your life s journey became a play
what would be the title on its play-
A Chronicle of (Un)Becoming Whole.
May 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Cultivate an audience
theatre in T&T
Jude Sandy puppeteering the head of Joey, the title character in the Lincoln Center Theater/National Theatre
of Great Britain's Broadway production of War Horse, with Seth Numrich as Albert.
PHOTO COURTESY LINCOLN CENTER THEATER
From Page B6
If we can educate ourselves and
our audiences about what great,
fresh theatre can actually look like,
and think regionally about creating
and presenting work, there is
potential for a richer future for
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