An ensemble comprised of some of New York’s best known Caribbean American actors came together last week to pay tribute to one of the region’s most iconic playwrights.
From Page to Stage- A Caribbean Journey celebrated the work and the legacy of award winning Trinidadian playwright Zeno Obi Constance.
The event took place on Monday December 10 at TheaterLab Studios in Manhattan and was produced and directed by Merlina Rich, Artistic Director of Banana Boat Productions.
According to Ms. Rich, “Mr. Constance is the author of several scripts in the Banana Boat production repertoire and his work has, for over fifty years, helped to correct many of the misconceptions frequently presented to the outside world about Caribbean people. In honoring Mr. Constance, we are also celebrating the vibrant and culturally significant theatre making tradition throughout the English speaking Caribbean, which is largely unknown in the U.S. and New York City theatrical communities.”
Mr. Constance has to his credit over 20 stage plays, many of which have been performed extensively throughout the Caribbean region and the diaspora. Among these are De Roaring 70’s, The Road Made To Walk, Duelling Voices and perhaps his best known work, The Ritual. The Ritual has become required reading for students of English and Drama at both the university and high school levels throughout the Caribbean.
Among his numerous national and regional awards are the Vanguard Cacique Award for his contribution to theatre at high schools in Trinidad, The National Council Playwriting Award for Duelling Voices and The Trinidadian Ministry of the Arts and Multiculturalism Award for his lifetime achievements as both a playwright and director.
A calypso collector and book author as well, Constance has published works on Calypso, including Poet And Prophet – the career biography of Calypsonian Brother Valentino- and Sheer Genius.
From Page To Stage-A Caribbean Journey explored Mr. Constance’s work through staged reading excerpts from several of his plays including Agouti’s Tale , Patricia- A Love Story and Cinderella Syndrome , along with video presentations and testimonials from past associates.
The cast for the event included several award winning actors of Caribbean ancestry and is comprised of Lincoln Brown, Nyanda Cammock, Akeil Davis, Dianne Dixon, Emilio Evans, Marsha Ann Hay, Lori Sinclair Minor and Karl O Brian Williams.
Golden Krust Caribbean Restaurant provided refreshments and the event was also sponsored by The Puffin Foundation.