The 7th edition of Dominica’s Nature Island Literary Festival and Book Fair is hoping to be a delight for all drama literature enthusiasts.
The Festival was officially launched on Friday 18th July under the theme, ‘The Play’s The Thing: Celebrating Caribbean Theatre.’
Addressing the launch, Chairman of the Literary Festival Committee, Dr. Alwin Bully, revealed that this year’s festival will honor revolutionary playwright, William Shakespeare on this his 450th anniversary year.
According to Bully Shakespeare was [one of the few] able to recognize what was happening with slavery and how people responded to slavery in that time.
“A lot of his plays have to do with human rights and the condition of man, the whole question of justice and injustice, social equity, equality among people and so forth. All very noble goals that [in the] Elizabethan [era, people] weren’t thinking about. [Shakespeare] brought these things to the minds of all mankind. Not only in those times but today in the 21st century his plays are still relevant and new aspects of what he [was] saying become apparent. In fact, a lot of the things [that he wrote about] are very prophetic and we see them coming to pass, like the wars that exist and how people respond to wars and captives etc.”
Dr. Schuyler Esprit gave a brief overview of the Festival’s calendar of events.
“We have our official opening of the Festival on Friday August 8th with a play performance. We have our usual open campus site activities on Saturday August 9th and all the daytime events will be held at the UWI Open Campus Site.[Activities such as] workshops [on] acting for stage and screen; directing for film and theatre; reviewing creative arts, and J’ouvert theatre about which I’m very excited. [This course was] inspired by the notion of carnival and will be facilitated by Tony Hall one of our invited guests. We will have our usual ‘I and I’ which is our issues and ideas panel which will be on in the morning on Saturday August 9th.
“In the afternoon, we will have play performances by local theatre groups; we will have another showing of the Romeo and Juliet Dominica style by the Old Mill Children’s Theatre group. We will also continue to have poetry events as part of our schedule and that will include the open mic,” she said.
Other plays to be showcased during this year’s Festival include Sizwe Banzi is Dead; This World Spin One Way, and Hamlet Prince of Denmark.
There will also be a commemorative Slave Protest Walk from Hillsborough Estate to the Roseau Old Market Square on Sunday August 17th.
Esprit also informed that entry into all events will remain free of charge as in past years, with the exception of the staged plays to be held at the Arawak House of Culture and the Alliance Française.
The public is encouraged to visit the Festival’s website www.dominicalitfest.com to register for workshops, gather more information or view the full list of activities scheduled for this year’s celebrations.