“The only possible realization in the West Indies is art.” Political power, economic power, these are uncertain, these will change. “Art is lasting. It will outlast these things,” (quoted by 1992 Nobel Prize Literature Winner, Derek Walcott— www.trinidadtheatreworkshop.com.
Theatrical performances in the Caribbean are beneficial as the creativity unites people in the creation of unique opportunities. Theatre companies in Trinidad, Jamaica, Grenada and Barbados are stepping stones for its people to showcase their natural talent in entertainment and other means of expression.
The republic of Trinidad and Tobago is very rich in the arts and creativity is their natural talent among others. The biggest theatre company is Trinidad Theatre Workshop which was established in 1959 by Derek Walcott, and since its inception has produced many productions by renowned artistes such as Tennessee Williams, Neil Simon, Athol Fugard, Dario Fo and Anton Chekhov to name a few. Also the Workshop has presented shows like Belle Fanto, The Road and The Blacks by equally noted performers.
The theatre is seemingly not only for the famous, but in order to make an impact on both children and the community, as the workshop has offered educational and community programmes for students and interested persons to broaden their scope and experience of the performing arts and theatre. The official website for the Trinidad Theatre Workshop — www.trinidadtheatreworkshop.com — states that the company is a flagship for theatre and development in the country.
The Little Theatre, Little Theatre and Ward Theatre are a few of the renowned theatres of the island. “May its doors be ever open to all talent and its building a centre for all creative artists and its productions a constant source of enjoyment.” quoted by Greta and Henry Fowler, founders of the Little Theatre, is a reminder of the rich cultural talent rich of Jamaicans. While the Ward Theatre is the landmark and exhibition of the island’s culture, the Little Theatre is the center stage of all of Jamaica’s cultural performances. Both have undoubtedly contributed to the country by staging countless legendary plays, shows, and pantomimes.
Grenada’s performing arts encompasses art and local culture. “To be an instrument for creativity and a medium for entertainment, education and social development in Grenada.” Is the mission statement for the Heritage Theatre Company. The company has staged to date 25 full length plays and 11 comedies and has performed in many Caribbean countries and the U.S.
Theatre is active in the country and it captivates its audience in stories ranging from comedy to drama performed by talented Bajans and international actors. The Gale Theatre of Barbados and London, a non-profit organization, is a cultural exchange opportunity as its policies include uniting talent and cultural exchange, promoting play- writing, and delivering quality entertainment to its audience.
Various theatrical entertainment productions — from dinner shows to more formal theatre performances — have greatly contributed talent and culture to the world, as the passion of actors and performers is exhibited in each performance; this makes Caribbean theatre worthwhile.
By Alexandra Daley