Surinamese playwright and director Henk Tjon died of undisclosed natural causes on Friday, September 18, 2009, at the age of 61. Tjon was co-founder of the Doe-theatre and founder and artistic director of the National Theatre of Suriname and the Alakondre Dron Music Ensemble.
Tjon was committed to the development of a Surinamese theater that was reflective of the postcolonial society in which it emerged and which functioned as a vehicle for social criticism. His plays Land for Sale and Revo Lucy were instrumental in developing a professional theater in Surinam and remain as examples of the ways in which Tjon’s work addressed the postcolonial realities of the nation. Henk was also a passionate advocate for CARIFESTA and for any project that fostered the cultural integration of the region. He actively participated in every CARIFESTA since its inception in 1972, and served seven times as designer and artistic director of Suriname’s cultural contingent to CARIFESTA and as Artistic Director of the CARIFESTA VIII held in Suriname.