Trevor Rhone’s ‘Two Can Play’ (Trinidadian theater)

trevor-rhone

Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW) will present the latest in its Dinner Theatre Series, Two Can Play by Trevor Rhone, performed after a sumptuous spread of local dishes and drinks. The production runs today and tomorrow with both performances beginning at 6.30 pm.

Two Can Play stars Janique Dennis and Kevon Brooks, and is directed by TTW’s Timmia Hearn. Rhone’s comedy was first performed by TTW at the Little Carib Theatre in the 1990s to packed houses, and now returns full of flare and twists and turns which are just as relevant today as when the play first came out.

In the play, a couple living in a once peaceful, now bullet-torn community, learn to deal with the continued struggle that is relationships. Having sent their three young adult children to the United States to make a better life for themselves, Gloria and Jim develop a complicated scheme to get themselves States-bound as well. As their plot unfolds in a shower of problems and solutions, the pair come to realise that something other than bullets is their problem. When Gloria announces that she will not act as Jim’s wife again until he pursues her and wins her over again, Jim must re-assess what it means not just to be a man, but to love and be in a relationship. With comedy and tenderness this play takes us through some of the more gritty and honest layers of romantic relationships, exploring gender roles and dynamics, and, through laughter, bringing the audience and its characters to a place of grater fulfilment.

Rhone (1940-2009) was one of Jamaica’s foremost playwrights. He studied drama at the Rose Bruford College in Kent, England, founded ‘Theatre 77’ in Kingston, Jamaica, and is most well known for his published plays including Old Story Time, Smile Orange and School’s Out. He also co-authored and produced the internationally successful film The Harder They Come (1972). Rhone’s realistic comedies about Jamaican life all combine serious social criticism with buoyant humour, and are acutely sensitive to a wide variety of dialects and modes of speech.

TTW’s Timmia Hearn studied at Yale University where she specialised in directing. She has taught acting and playwriting in the US, Nepal and Trinidad and Tobago. She joined TTW in May 2012 where she currently works as director of the School for the Arts: teaching, developing new talent, and directing productions. She is the current Vice President of the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), and works independently as a script consultant, freelance director and talent manager.

Brooks has been acting, scriptwriting and directing since secondary school. A copy writer and commercial actor by day, Kevon represented Trinidad and Tobago in 2008 at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Los Angeles where he won the title of Overall Contemporary Actor (Male). His stage credits include Hott Mouth Granny and Eric Barry’s Round the City. He was most recently seen in the award winning feature film Home Again alongside an ensemble cast comprising of his local, regional and international peers.

“Djeliba” Janique Dennis has dabbled in the performing arts in its various forms for almost a decade. She is a singer-songwriter, poet, as well as English lecturer at UWI. Her involvement in acting in theatre include: Echoes of Parenting (2007), The Brand New Lucky Diamond Horseshoe Club (2005) and recently the captivating role of the Mafia Queen in the People’s Choice Award Winner short film, Jab in the Dark (2013).

Proceeds from this event will go towards TTW’s Scholarship Fund, which was created to expand participation in TTW’s Theatre Workshops. Over the past decade TTW has provided scholarships each term for students in their Teen’s Theatre Workshop, and more recently their Children’s Theatre Workshop.

Through these fund-raising efforts TTW hopes to be able to provide more students with the opportunity to study theatre, as well as receive professional training through their vacation theatre camp – Camp Anansi.

Trinidad Theatre Workshop is the recipient of over 20 Cacique Awards from the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago for excellence in theatre, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for Artistic and Managing Director, Albert Laveau.

Over the years, no fewer than five members have received National Awards for their contribution to the arts with TTW itself receiving the Hummingbird Medal (Silver).

TTW was founded in 1959 by Nobel Laureate, Derek Walcott and is the icon in the industry for producing excellent, local work that meets an international standard.

For further information call TTW at 624-8502, email trinidadtheatre@gmail.com, or log on to http://www.trinidadtheatreworkshop.com.

For the original report go to http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,191574.html

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