Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 29th 2017 Contents Sunday, January 29, 2017 guardian.co.tt
sunday arts B31
Moodoo's The Inspector wins
Secondary School's Drama awards
The Inspector, an original play
written and directed by Simeon
Chris Moodoo and performed by
students at Naparima College,
won eight awards at the 2016
National Secondary Schools
Drama Festival and topped the
festival on points.
Its author Moodoo teaches at
Point Fortin West Secondary School
and is a consultant with Naparima
College on The Inspector. He's an
actor as well as playwright.
The Inspector will be represent-
ing T&T at the Caribbean Second-
ary Schools Drama Festival, which is
planned for Antigua later this year.
The awards for the November
2016 local competition were dis-
tributed January 17.
The awards included the Zeno
Constance Award for Most Original
Script, the Victor Edwards Award
for Directing, the James Lee Wah
Award for Outstanding Production,
the Mark D Moment Ltd Award for
Stage Management, two Outstand-
ing Actor Awards, a Supporting Ac-
tor Award, and certificates for Music
and Best Ensemble Performance.
Moodoo was overjoyed to have
won the Victor Edwards Award for
Directing and a Zeno Constance
Award for Most Original Script.
The teacher was inspired to write
the play after the 2015 jailbreak in
Port-of-Spain and the Vindra Nai-
paul-Coolman trial of the accused
murderers. He had put it aside, but
finished it for the festival because
he couldn't find a play with only
roles for boys in it. Moodoo said he
wanted to explore why a man who
had broken out of prison would turn
himself in, as happened in 2015.
The two main characters, the In-
spector and Monster, meet on the
San Fernando Wharf as a manhunt is
continuing for the last escaped pris-
oner. Although Monster is disguised,
the Inspector recognises him, but
does not arrest him immediately.
Through the use of storytelling and
flashbacks, the Inspector finds out
how Monster came to be called, and
act like, a monster.
Moodoo said that working with
the students he felt a mixture of
frustration and awe at their growth.
The two main actors, Daniel Baptiste
and Justin Lee, who played the In-
spector and Monster, respectively,
are Sixth Form students who came
second and third in the Performing
Arts Unit Two Cape Exam in the
"Working with those two boys
in particular was interesting and
rewarding in the sense that they're
two different types of actors: one
was more naturally talented and the
other one was more skilled in that
once he worked on it, he got it, and
it was good seeing the two of them,
with their two different strengths,
work together, fuelling off each oth-
Most of the other actors were
Form One students who had never
seen a stage before.
Moodoo said, "I promised the
Form One students an extra ten per
cent in their final exams if they par-
ticipated in Drama Festival, because
only a very few people went on to do
performing arts at a CXC or Cape
level, and so I wanted to give them
a love of theatre early."
He said what made the process
enjoyable overall was that everyone
contributed to the creative process.
"The boys were very co-operative
and I asked them to create a lot and
I edited and moulded everything.
"With the musicians, I also gave
them full licence to create what
they wanted and just told them
what would and wouldn't work. It
wasn't just me telling them what to
do, but we tried different things on
stage and eventually came up with
the final product. The highlight of
the process for me was the creation
of a rock version of the National An-
them which ends the play, because
the musicians just came together
and created it spontaneously."
Moodoo said he was glad to see the
students' reactions when they won,
especially Baptiste and Lee, who had
gotten to the semifinals in previous
performances. Moodoo pursued
Theatre Arts at CXC and a Theatre
Arts Degree at UWI, St Augustine.
He acted in Willie Chen's Freedom
Road in 2013, 3Canal's More Love
in 2014, and Ayinde's Chalkboard's
Doll's House and Iere Theatre's Sun-
dar---A Love Story in 2015. He has
written the plays Under the Man-
go Trees and The Inspector, and is
working on another play.
The Inspector will go on to rep-
resent T&T in the Caribbean Sec-
ondary Schools Drama Festival, as
well as a school tour. Following this,
Moodoo said, he wants to rewrite
and add to the script and take it out
to the public.
"The focus of the play is to call
out corruption. I think more peo-
ple need to see it, as the content is
important, especially in our current
Curtain call for the cast of the award-winning play The Inspector. PHOTO COURTESY: T&T PERFORMING ARTS NETWORK/ REVOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHY/RYAN MANNETTE.
Some of the winners of the 2016 National Secondary Schools Drama Festival. PHOTO COURTESY TRISTON WALLACE
Links Archive January 28th 2017 January 30th 2017 Navigation Previous Page Next Page