Tag Archives: Jermilla Kirwan

Playwrights and Screenwriters (the Antigua-Barbuda connection)

I wanted to create a separate page for playwrights and screenwriters. You won’t find these in the listing of Antiguan and Barbudan writers or any of the genre listings, unless they’ve written books. This list refers specifically to contributions as writers for screen and stage. It is a work in progress, so please inform me of any ommissions/oversights. T’anks.

PLAYWRIGHTS

 (Playwright)           – Rising from the Ashes. Performed by Popular Theatre Movement. (formed 1988)

Antigua Community Players – This group was inaugurated in 1952. Musical dramas written and performed by the players include Priscilla’s Wedding and Celebration in the Marketplace. The group eventually morphed into a choral group well known for its folk music presentations and musical productions.

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Eleston Nambalumbu Nambalala Adams - (play titles?). Performed by Rio Revealers (started 1979).

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Barbara Arrindell – Dreams…Faces…Reality. Performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group. (2001 debut)

Barbara Arrindell speaks with the audience after a performance of the AIDS themed ‘Dreams…Faces…Reality’ performed by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group

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Edson Buntin - (Play titles?). Scaramouche Theatre. Also plays at the Antigua State College such as Conjugal Bliss.

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Oliver Flax – A Better Way (1976) and The Legend of Prince Klaas (1972). Performed by Bobby Margetson’s Little Theatre.

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Owen Jackson - As writer/director with the National Youth Theatre, Jackson produced several plays including After 9/11 and My Birthright the throughout the 2000s and ongoing.

Owen Jackson taking high school students through a drama warm up exercise.

Youth drama club – tableau in downtown store window …and attracting a small crowd doing it

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George ‘Rick’ James – Various plays including the one man play Oulaudah Equiano and the all-star-cast Our Country in 2007 tracking the life of Antigua from pre-Columbian times to present.

Our Country: an arawak chief Our Country: Slave ship scene

slaves at market

Performed by Theatre Ensemble (which included many prominent persons in Antiguan and Barbudan society). Also an actor in the British theatre

James performing in Sit Quietly on the Baulk

for many years and an award winning costume designer in local mas.

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Colin Jno Finn – playwright and director with the Nazarene Drama Team – On the Block (2008) of a young man’s struggles with the church; Nine to Five (2009) about challenges in the work place; It’s Too Late (2010) of a strained relationship between a father and son; and Power Struggle (2011) of one person’s attempts to boost another from office.

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Edgar O. LakeSome Quiet Mornin’; Matters of Antiguan Conspiracy: 1736; The Stone Circle; The Killing of Arthur Sixteen; more… (dates unknown)

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Iyaba Ibo Mandingo – ‘He is a Poet, Painter, Writer, Sculptor, Actor, Teacher, Mentor, Author and “continued work in progress”, as he puts it…His “Self-Portrait”, a one-man play performed in his studio, speaks of his life through poetry and prose, concurrent to him painting his self-portrait during the show.’ – from this interview with the artiste which also references his chap books (41 Times and Amerikkkan Exile), his company (Iyabarts), his art series (War, Spirit Drawings), in addition to his plays (Self-Portrait which has grown into unFRAMED, his first full length play), and forthcoming work (novel Sins of My Fathers, chap book 30 Days of Ink, ad the off broadway run of unFRAMED). As his biography shows, he is a native Antiguan who migrated to the U.S. as a boy.  These roots as well as his experiences in America infuse unFRAMED as seen in this excerpt.

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Motion – Canadian of Antiguan descent, Motion’s stage productions include  Aneemah’s Spot/The Base, 4our Woman, and Dancing to a White Boy Song -  featured at several renowned venues such as the International Black Playwrights Festival, Cross Currents Festival,  the Rock.Paper.Sistaz Festival, and the Summerworks Theatre Festival.

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Dorbrene O’Marde –  – synonymous with quality theatre in Antigua and Barbuda in theatre’s heyday (i.e. the 1970s to early 1980s), his Harambee Open Air Theatre is “considered the most important group of recent times” (from The Cambridge Guide to Theatre by Martin Banham). On stage, O’Marde – also a calypso writer, publisher of Calypso Talk magazine, social and political commentarian and activist, and more – wrote and directed Badplay, Homecoming, For Real: A Caribbean Play in Three Acts (1976), Fly on the Wall (1977), The Minister’s Daughter, We Nativity, Tangled Web, and The World Spin One Way; and directed several others (in addition to his other cultural and artistic work)BIOGRAPHY deo 2010 .

       

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Eustace Simon – several plays including Crossroads, The Awakening, Betty’s Hope, and Illusive Dreams. 1990s. Modern Theatre.

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Lester Simon - Obeah Slave. Performed by the Grammarians. 1969.

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Leon Chaku SymisterVoices of Protest, 1976; and Time Bomb, 1977; Tilting Scales, 1980. Third World Theatre.

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Stage One – This youth drama collective led by Kanika Simpson-Davis favours adaptations (which involves some re-scripting) of popular tales like Cinderella , Snow White, and Anansi and Snake. 2004 – present.

Stage One: Anansi and Snake

Stage One: Cinderella Reloaded 2007 Stage One: scene from Cinderella

Stage One: scene from Cinderella

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Women of Antigua – playwrights/actresses/directors Linisa George and Zahra Airall shepherd this femalecentric brand of theatrical activism. The original production When A Woman Moans  (see Review here http://www.365antigua.com/cms/content/arts-live-performance-review-when-woman-moans-29-may-2010) was mostly scripted by them with inputs from Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Floree Williams, Greschen Edwards (another WOA founding partner), Melissa Elliott, Marcella Andre, and Carel Hodge. It has become an annual production with new writers and new themes each time. The group debuted with Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues in 2008 and this locally conceived, similarly themed production, which debuted in 2010, is the successor to that. Airall is also founder and director of Zee’s Youth Theatre which produced, among other things, the well-received School Bag.

 

SCREENWRITERS

Zahra Airall – When No One Is Looking (2012, short film, an ABS TV Production in collaboration with the Caribbean Broadcast Media Partnership on HIV/AIDS) – also co-director. My review/report, here.

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Howard Allen (also producer/director) – (w/Jermilla Kirwan) Diablesse (2005, HAMAfilms); and The Skin (2011, HAMAfilms) – reviewed here.

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Alexis AndrewsVanishing Sail. Not sure if this documentary about the Carriacou sloops and the culture surrounding them is completed and released as yet but here’s the trailer.

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Oteh Thomas Anyandjuh (African born, resident in Antigua) – Love that Bites (2010,  OTA Entertainment and Third Eye Studios) – also director.

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Shashi Balooja (also an actor, director, casting director, and producer on stage and screen) – w/Cecile George and Michael Sandoval, film short Ariana  (2004, ABC Film & Video/Andrisk Inc/Media at Large, USA); w/Roger Sewhcomar, documentary The Altruist (2009, Media at Large/ABC Film & Video, USA); w/Caytha Jentis Exposed (2012, Media at Large, USA) – winner feature film award and genre award at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival; w/Stephen Kelleher, film short Promises of Home (2012, Media at Large/Reverse Momentum Films, USA). UPDATE! Balooja plans to extend Ariana into a feature film.

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Cinque Productions (Chris Hodge and Melissa Gomez, also producer, director) - Deaf Not Dumb (2000, short fiction film), 2 Dolla Picture

Melissa assessing a shot as her camera man looks on.

(2001, animated short), Share and Share Alike (2008, documentary – 2010 winner of Best Documentary Production at the Berlin Black International Cinema Festival), Changing Course (2009, film short), and Silent Music (2012, documentary) silent-music-poster[1] co-writer/producer/editor Jay Prychidny.

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Alvin Glen EdwardsOnce in an Island

on the set of ‘Once in an Island’  Jermilla Kirwan in a scene from Once in an Island

(2009, Wadadli Pictures) – also producer. The film has since been adapted into a book (released 2012).

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Noel Howell – He was the co-writer (with Courtney Boyd), director and producer of Redemption of Paradise (2009, Color Bars Production) – best actress and best Caribbean film at the 2010 Jamaica Reggae Film Festival; as well as a video producer and independent publisher on projects like Once in an Island (co-producer/co-director).

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Roland ‘Mayfield’ Hosier – He didn’t work from a written script but he’s the pioneer behind Antigua and Barbuda’s earliest forays into (largely improvised) film production producing The Fugitive, 1972, and Midtown Robbers, 1978.

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D. Gisele IsaacThe Sweetest Mango (2001, HAMAfilms); and No Seed (2002, HAMAfilms).
Isaac also writes regularly for the stage in the form of the skit included in the annual Programme put on by the Professional Organization of Women in Antigua and Barbuda; usually a political satire.

POWA’s Programme

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Tameka Jarvis-George - Dinner

On the set of Dinner, Tameka with her co-star and husband.

(2010, Cinque Productions w/Chris Hodge directing and Jarvis-George also acting and serving as co-executive producer) – film short versed on her poem of the same name from the collection Thoughts from the Pharcyde. UPDATE Here’s her report on the screening of the film at the Jamaica Film Festival and of her involvement (as a writing contributor) to Shabier Kirchner’s film short, Ugly. ANOTHER UPDATE! The film! courtesy BGR Mag TV:

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Jamaica Kincaid - Life and Debt (a film by Stephanie Mack; written by Jamaica Kincaid). 2001. New Yorker Films. USA.

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Jermilla Kirwan – (w/Howard Allen) Diablesse (2005, Hamafilms) – also actress in this and The Sweetest Mango.

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Dr. James KnightThe Making of the Monarch – independently produced documentary on the Monarch King Short Shirt. 2013.

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Nigel Trellis (born Guyana, resident in Antigua) - Hooked (2009, Tropical Films) Working Girl (2011, Tropical Films)

As with all content on wadadlipen.wordpress.com, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. You can also subscribe to the site to keep up with future updates. Thanks.

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Flashback – Word Up! 2006

Word Up! was a literary showcase held for the first time in 2006 – with a revival in 2010 – in collaboration with the Museum which hosted the event. It was a joint fundraiser and an opportunity to shine the spotlight on Antigua’s literary stars such as

S. E James, author of the children’s adventure series that includes Tragedy on Emerald Island, A Narrow Escape, and Kidnapped at the Beach

S. E. James

Joy Lawrence, author of Island Spice, Colours and Rhythms, The Way We Talk, and The History of Bethesda and Christian Hill

Joy Lawrence

Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, who can be heard on the Spoken Word CD Absouluuutely Dotsie
 
Tamo Zakela

Tamo Zakela, also known as Antigua's High Priest of Poetry

 Jermilla Kirwan, star of The Sweetest Mango and Diablesse (with which she also served as co-writer)

Jermilla Kirwan, writer and former Carnival Queen

 Kush David, poet and activist

Kush

Tameka Jarvis author of the poetry collections, I Am That I Am and I Am, and book of fiction (released 2010) Unexpected
 
Zeina Hechme who won the first of the Independence Literary Arts competitions in 2005
Sandrena Martin, 2005 Wadadli Pen Winner
and others. It was a really fun night, emceed by Natalie Clarke White, and well attended. Proceeds helped with the 2006 Wadadli Pen competition and part proceeds went to the museum. When Word Up! was held for the second time in 2010 it was directed by Zahra Airall with performances by her Zee’s Youth Theatre – interpreting the work of various Antiguan authors – and others . Proceeds from that were donated to the Red Cross for Haitian relief in the wake of the quake.
Photos by Laura Hall and/or Gemma Hazelwood

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Filed under Literary Gallery