Eugene Williams is one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated and accomplished directors. Having recently retired from his 17-year stint as director of the School of Drama, Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, he has turned his attention to directing Woman Tongue, his first piece of commercial theatre in several years, Jamaica’s Gleaner reports.
The anthology play, written by Tanya Batson-Savage, is being produced by Scarlette Beharie Productions and is on at the Courtleigh Auditorium, New Kingston, Thursday, April 28 – Sunday, May 1.
Williams provides one of the few servings of testosterone that populates this very woman-centric play. It’s all powerhouse all-female cast comprises Barbara McCalla, Carol Lawes, Karen Harriott, Hilary Nicholson and Bertina Macaulay.
He explains that he has to approach the production with both a clear vision and keen sensitivity that will allow him to create realistic and authentic portrayals of women at some of the most sensitive points of their lives. Williams remarks, however, that his years of experience as a director have helped to prepare him for this current challenge.
“Many of my projects as a director have required me to engage with issues that are of particular concern of women at various stages and regarding several aspects of their lives,” Williams said.
“I agreed to direct Woman Tongue because, first all I have not directed a production in the professional arena for a while and more particularly because I was taken by the sincerity and sensitivity of the language of the play,” Williams explained. He also admits to keenly admiring the playwright’s insights into elements of character.
Woman Tongue explores how women navigate the complexity and simplicity of life as they grow older. It addresses with humour and pathos questions of love, sex, sexuality, evolving family dynamics, changing mores and values, life and death.