Tag Archives: Women of Antigua

Antiguans and Barbudans Awarded

Here, Wadadli Pen will be celebrating award wins (including sometimes award nominations and long and shortlisting, and  accolades received) by Antiguan and Barbudan writers. It came about because I’d bump in to laudatory accomplishments (beyond publishing) but couldn’t figure out where to put them. The Antiguan and Barbuda Writings pages are bibliographies, and neither the Reviews page nor the journal publications page were right. So, here we go. Please note, this page is a work-in-progress. As with the other named sections, it will be updated somewhere between when I find updates and when I find the time to post them. I’m not ranking the awards at this point (some are local, some regional, some international, some prestigious, some not so much…I’m just adding them as I can). No omissions or errors (and there are plenty, no doubt) are intentional. As always if you have information that will help me flesh out the content, let me know. Conversely, if you wish to be removed, no problem, just let me know that too.

Wadadli Youth Pen Prize Challenge wins are not listed here but if you want to see the winners of that in-house prize through the years, go here.

2021 – 

Ripped Bodice Awards for Excellence in Romantic Fiction (2020) – Rilzy Adams, Go Deep. Adams has also been nominated for other books and other industry awards – Swoonies, Black Girls Who Write (Go Deep nominated for Best Black Erotica), and Rebel Women Lit readers choice among them (making it on to short lists in some cases).

Wadadli Pen 2020 winner Andre J. P. Warner’s winning story Bright Future for Tomorrow was awarded best short fiction in the first Rebel Women Lit Caribbean Readers Awards. Andre wins RWLWadadli Pen founder and coordinator Joanne C. Hillhouse was a RWL CRA honoree Joanne honoured RWL. There were several other nominees from the Wadadli Pen family and from Antigua and Barbuda; full list of nominees can be found here.

2020 –

Musical Youth named a Kirkus Reviews top 100 indie book of the year; also a top teen/young adult and top romance novel.

Joanne C. Hillhouse’s short story ‘Vincent’ was one of 21 stories long listed for the Brooklyn Caribbean Literary Festival Elizabeth Nunez Award for Writers in the Caribbean

Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots was longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize for the story ‘Shedding’

Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots won the 2020 Bocas Prize for his poetry collection Epiphaneia

The Directorate of Gender Affairs held its first ever Women of Wadadli Awards – a number of artists were recipients – Heather Doram (visual artist) for Culture, Noreen Phillips for Fashion, Wadadli Pen founder and coordinator and author Joanne C. Hillhouse for Literature, Colleen Simpson (author of A Likkle Bit a Dis & a Likkle Bit a Dat) for Culinary Arts, dramatist, photographer, writer, and educator Zahra Airall for Fine Arts, Wadadli Pen partner and patron and a writer and dramatist in her own right Barbara Arrindell as a Change Maker, Marion Byron for Music, Mickel Brann for Media/Journalism, and Mako Williams, who is also a visual artist, for Science and Technology. Details in this WoW article in Observer

New Daughters of Africa edited by Margaret Busby nominated for an NAACP Image award in the literature category for fiction – it includes the short story ‘Evening Ritual’ by Joanne C. Hillhouse

2019 –

Richard Georges wins a fellowship to the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study – Georges is Trinidad born and lives in the BVI but he also has Antiguan roots


Winners of Flow Mobile Film Competition (Antigua and Barbuda) –

The top three winners in category 12-16 years
1st Sontee’ Beazer – “Independence”
2nd Jontae Cornelius -“What Independence Day Means to Me”
3rd Kaleb Kidane Hatton – “What does Independence mean to me”.

The top three winners from the category 17- 30 years old
1st Moses Wiltshire – “My Independence”
2nd Bernella Vidal – “What Independence Means To Me”
3rd Dalisha Spencer – “Independence”

The top three winners in the 31+ category
1st Romeo “Kulcha D” Reid – “Kulcha D Independence”
2nd Laune Isaac – “Reflections On Independence
3rd Colin John-Jenkins -“What Independence means to me”

CSSDF.jpgThe Antigua and Barbuda contingent at the Caribbean Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival won several awards: Best Production, Best Original Screenplay, The Aston Cooke Award for directing (Zahra Airall), Most Innovative Set Design, Best Sound Effects, Best Lighting Design, Best Actress (Khadelia Williams), and Best Overall Contingent (for their cooperation, interaction, conduct, and willingness to participate in activities throughout the festival).

Producer Mitzi Allen, and actresses Heather Doram and Julie Hewlett are three of four women in film award recipients at the Motion Picture Association of Antigua-Barbuda’s International Film Festival

Wadadli Pen 2018 winner Kyle Christian becomes a National Youth Awards winner in the literary arts category.

The PEN America Literary Awards Longlist The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey by Rowan Ricardo Phillips longlisted for the PEN/ESPN AWARD FOR LITERARY SPORTS WRITING ($5,000) To honor a nonfiction book on the subject of sports published in 2018

Rowan Ricard Philips receives the Nicolás Guillén Outstanding Book Award for 2015’s Heaven

Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots was longlisted for the OCM Bocas Prize for his poetry collection Giant.

2018 – 

Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots was highly commended for the Forward Prize for his poetry collection Giant

2017 –

Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots was short listed for the Forward Prize for best first collection for his poetry collection Make Us All Islands

Ashley Bryan – Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Honor for writing and illustration, Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan

Althea Romeo Mark awarded the Arts and Science Poetry Prize for poems published in POEZY 21:Antologia Festivaluluiinternational Noptile De Poezie De Curtea De Arges, Curtea De Arges, Romania

Alexis Andrews wins the Donald Gosling Award for best television or film contribution at the Maritime Media Awards for Vanishing SailAlexis

Joanne C. Hillhouse nominated for the Astrid Lindgren prize

Joanne C. Hillhouse’s children’s picture book With Grace selected for the USVI Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge

Jamaica Kincaid is announced as winner of the Dan David Prize for being “one of the most important and influential writers today”. This prize is administered by Tel Aviv University

ink-awardSpilling Ink receives the Antigua and Barbuda National Youth Awards literary arts award

2016 –

Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots won the Marvin E Williams prize from The Caribbean Writer for ‘X’ and was shortlisted for the Small Axe Poetry prize for ‘Darkening/Freeport’

Ashley Bryan – short-listed for the Kirkus Prize and received a Newberry Honor

Anisfield-Wolf book award + Griffin Poetry Prize for Heaven by Rowan Ricardo Philips

Joy Lawrence awarded Antigua and Barbuda’s OH – Officer of the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage – during the Independence Day Ceremonial Parade

Tammi Browne-Bannister wins the Marguerite Cobb-McKay Prize from The Caribbean Writer

Chrys-ann Ambrose receives an Indie Author Legacy Award (non-fiction) for her book Operation Game-Plan. Held for the first time in 2016, the award was designed to specifically celebrate non-fiction literacy geared towards the promotion of social awareness, education and personal transformation

Zahra Airall wins Antigua and Barbuda’s National Youth Award in the literary arts category

2015 –

Richard Georges who was born in Trinidad and resides in the BVI but has Antiguan roots was shortlisted for the Wasifiri New Writing Prize – Poetry for ‘Bush Tea’

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a Guggenheim Fellow

Angelica O’Donoghue wins National Youth Award Young Journalist Award and Asha Graham wins the NYA Literary Arts Award

Zahra Airall and the team from Antigua Girls High School win awards for costuming, lighting, acting, originality, writing, directing, and overall execution at the Antigua and Barbuda Secondary Schools Drama Festival

Antigua and Barbuda win at the Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival – Best Supporting Actress (Onalie Lares), Most Promising Actress (Queenela Williams), Most Outstanding Performer (Jianna Minott)

Lady of Parham, a David Edgecombe play set in Antigua and Barbuda, is short listed for the Guyana Prize for Literature Caribbean Awards for Best Drama

Alexis Andrews wins the People’s Choice Award for Best Documentary at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival

Alexis Andrews’ film Vanishing Sails wins the Caribbean Spirit Award for Best Overall Feature at Canada’s Caribbean Tales awards

Joanne C. Hillhouse receives the Caribbean Writer Flash Fiction Prize for the story ‘When we Danced’.

Dorbrene O’Marde long-listed for the Bocas Prize for the Short Shirt biography Nobody Go Run Me

2014 –

Joanne C. Hillhouse’s Commonwealth Short Story submission ‘Amelia at Devil’s Bridge’ was selected for publication in Pepperpot: Best New Stories from the Caribbean – consisting entirely of brand-new stories by authors living in the region, gathered from among the very best entries to the Commonwealth Short Story Prize from islands throughout the Caribbean

Jamaica Kincaid receives the Before Columbus Foundation Book Award for See Now Then 

Melissa Gomez and Cinque Productions’ film Silent Music wins Best Documentary feature at the Maine Deaf Film Festival

Althea Prince is named by the Harbourfront Centre as a Canadian Literary Pioneer

with_grace-3d-standingJoanne C. Hillhouse’s fairytale ‘With Grace’ earns honourable mention in the Desi Writers Lounge fiction contest The story goes on to be published as a children’s picture book released in December 2016.

Tim Hector Award

Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Award to Joanne C. Hillhouse for contribution to journalism, literary arts, and youth development in Antigua and Barbuda

Accepting Burt Award trophyJoanne C. Hillhouse’s manuscript Musical Youth is first runner-up/second placed for the Burt Award for teen/young adult Caribbean fiction at the Bocas Lit Fest in Trinidad Musical Youth the book is released later in the year under the regional Caribbean Reads imprint

2013 –

Rowan Ricardo Philips is a Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award winner for poetry + NAACP Image Award finalist for Outstanding Literary Work, Poetry + PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry winner + Whiting Award winner, for The Ground

silent-music-poster.pngMelissa Gomez’s film Silent Music wins the Audience Choice Award at the Toronto Deaf Film and Arts Festival

Tanya Evanson is Poet of Honour at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word & the Sheri-D Wilson Golden Beret Award

Glen Toussaint and Linisa George are National Youth Award winners for literary arts 

Brenda Lee Browne named as a finalist for the Hollick Arvon Caribbean Writers Prize administered by the Bocas Literary Festival

PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award & Whiting Writers’ Award to Rowan Ricardo Philips for The Ground

‘Amelia at Devil’s Bridge’ by Joanne C. Hillhouse is short listed for the Small Axe fiction prize.

Dorbrene receives Calypso Composer prize from the Wadadli Calypso Association

2012 –

Linisa George is selected as Antigua and Barbuda’s representative to the Poetry Parnassus festival in London, an Olympics adjacent event which included a representative from each participating country; her selection (Brown Girl in the Ring) was subsequently published in a collection called The World Record

Althea Prince is shortlisted as one of Canadian Immigrants Top 25 Immigrants

Ashley Bryan is awarded the Coretta Scott-King Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Ethnic & Multicultural Information Exchange Roundtable

Caribbean Canadian Literary Award for Outstanding Contribution to Caribbean Canadian Literature – from A Different Booklist, Toronto, to Althea Prince

Linisa George

Linisa George – National Youth Award for literary arts; the group she co-founded with Zahra Airall, Thomasine Greenaway, and Greschen Edwards (Women of Antigua) also claims a prize for Activism

silent-music-1Melissa Gomez’s Silent Music wins Best Documentary at the Caribbean Tales film festival

Joanne C. Hillhouse’s short story ‘Genevieve’ short listed for the Small Axe fiction prize

Mary Geo Quinn receives a Queen Elizabeth ll Diamond Jubilee Award for Education and Development of the Literary Arts

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist for poetry, for The Ground

2011 –

Tameka Jarvis-George wins the National Youth Awards lit arts award

Reggae Film Festival Awards – Tameka Jarvis-George receives a JFA Honour Award as director of short film Dinner at the Jamaica International Reggae Film Festival.

Iyaba Ibo Mandingo wins Yale University’s Martin Luther King Birthday Invitational Slam (his seventh such win; he is also a repeat winner of the Connecticut Grand Slam championship)

Kimolisa Mings wins Independence Literary Awards – poetry and overall (Antigua and Barbuda)

Shakeema Edwards (a Wadadli Pen alum) third placed (adult story category) Independence Literary Awards (Antigua and Barbuda)

Ryerson University Faculty Award-the Kay Livingstone Award-to Althea Prince

Brenda Lee Browne is awarded National Youth Award (Antigua and Barbuda) Lifetime Achievement Award

Caribbean Writer Award (2)Joanne C. Hillhouse receives the David Hough Literary Prize from the Caribbean Writer.

Joanne C. Hillhouse receives a certificate of recognition from JCI West Indies as one of Ten Outstanding Young Persons in the region.

2010 –

Ashley Bryan – Golden Kite Award for nonfiction, Ashley Bryan: Words to My Life’s Song

Redemption of Paradise by Dr. Noel Howell wins three prizes at the Jamaica Reggae Film Festival – including Best Caribbean Film and Best Actress (Macka Diamond of Jamaica)

Hazra Medica is named a Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest finalist for Ode to a Night in Ale

Education, Leadership, and Community Service Award – the Antigua Girls’ High School Alumni Association of North America, New York, USA – to Althea Prince

Dorbrene O’Marde receives the Friend of the Arts Sunshine Award

Zahra Airall and Linisa George win National Youth Awards (Antigua and Barbuda) for their promotion of the literary and theatrical arts

Rev. Denise Smith-Lewis wins poetry and story prize; and Shakeema Edwards wins the story prize in the 12 and 17 age category (also a runner-up, poetry and spoken word) in the Antigua and Barbuda Independence Literary Arts Competition

2009 –

Elizabeth Abbott’s Sugar: A Bittersweet History is short listed for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction

Althea Romeo-Mark is awarded the Marguerite Cobb McKay prize by The Caribbean Writer for the short story ‘Bitterleaf’ which had been published in 2008, Volume 22

Ashley Bryan receives the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award  for contribution to American children’s literature and the Wilder medal

Rev. Denise Smith-Lewis wins poetry prize in the Antigua and Barbuda Independence Literary Arts Competition

Mary Geo Quinn wins Independence Literary Arts Competition Award for adult fiction

2008 –

Ashley Bryan receives the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his book Let it Shine

Hazra Medica’s short story ‘The Banana Stains’ is Highly Commended in the Commonwealth Short Story competition

Ashley Bryan is named a Literary Lion by the New York Public Library alongside Salman Rushdie, Nora Ephron, and Edward Albee

Floree Williams (now Whyte) receives the (Antigua and Barbuda) National Youth Award for achievement in the literary arts; Zahra Airall also receives an NYA in this year

Howard and Mitzi Allen receives National Youth Awards as Pioneers in Filmmaking

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAV-Monologues literary prize to Shakeema Edwards from Women of Antigua; who that year also wins the Dancing Nude in the Moonlight Next Chapter contest sponsored by the Best of Books

Joanne C. Hillhouse received the Michael and Marilee Fairbanks International Fellowship to participate in the Breadloaf Writers Conference.

2007 –

National Awards – Officer of the Most Precious Order of Princely Heritage, OH – Dr. Bille Dyer & Knight Commander of the Most Distinguished Order of the Nation, KCN – Keithlyn Smith 

Althea Prince

Althea Prince receives the Antigua and Barbuda International Literary Festival Award for Excellence in the Literary Arts

2006 –

Ashley Bryan – U.S. nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award (the highest recognition for creators of children’s books)

Carolyn Providence is nominated for the Best Spoken Word album at the National Underground Spoken Word and Poetry Awards.

Vivian Michael and teen novelist Akilah Jardine receive (Antigua and Barbuda) National Youth Awards for achievement in the literary arts; Joanne C. Hillhouse is named honourable mention.

Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda’s Jubilee Award for Outstanding Contributions and Achievements in the Field of Arts and Culture to Althea Prince

The Marguerite Cobb McKay Literary Prize from The Caribbean Writer  to Edgar O. Lake

2005 –

Ashley Bryan – the Atlanta Literary Festival was named for him and he also received the University of Southern Mississippi Medallion from the Fay B. Kaigler Children’s Book Festival

The Marguerite Cobb McKay Literary Prize from The Caribbean Writer & The Leonard Tim Hector Annual Lecture Memorial Award from the Leonard Tim Hector Memorial Committee to Edgar O. Lake

2004 –

Ashley Bryan receives the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for his book Beautiful Blackbird

Joanne C. Hillhouse, Joy Lawrence, Sylvanus Barnes, and others received a UNESCO Honour Award for contribution to literacy and the literary arts in Antigua and Barbuda

2002 –

Motion won the 2002 Canadian Broadcasting Corporation National Poetry Face-Off competition.

Mary Geo Quinn Highly Commended for her short story ‘Joe’, an entry for the Commonwealth short story prize

2001 –

East Midland Arts New Writers Award to Brenda Lee Browne

2000 –

Jamaica Kincaid receives the Prix Femina étranger for My Brother

Arnold Prince receives a Lifetime Achievement Award from the University of Rhode Island

Mary Geo Quinn receives the King of Redonda literary award for her memoir Recollections

1999 –

Lannan Literary Award for fiction to Jamaica Kincaid

1998 –

Ashley Bryan receives an Illustrator honour from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for Ashley Bryan’s ABC of American Poetry

1997 –

Jamaica Kincaid’s The Autobiography of My Mother is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction (USA), the PEN Faulkner Award , and Boston Book Review Fisk Fiction Prize; also a National Book Award nominee for My Brother

PEN American Writers Fund Award to Edgar O. Lake

Jamaica Kincaid receives the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for The Autobiography of My Mother

1995 –

Althea Romeo Mark’s story ‘Easter Sunday’ wins the Stauffacher English Short Story Competition/Switzerland

1992 –

Joanne C. Hillhouse second placed in the Rick James Ensemble One Act Play Competition with the play ‘Barman’s Blues’; Zahra Airall wins a prize in that same competition as the Youngest person to enter

Ashley Bryan receives an Illustrator honour award from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for All Night, All Day: a Child’s First Book of African American Spirituals

Jamaica Kincaid claims the Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Award

1991 –

The Canadian Children’s Book Centre “CHOICE AWARD” for children’s book: How The East-Pond Got Its Flowers – Althea Prince

1988 –

Ashley Bryan receives an Illustrator honour award from the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for What a Morning! The Christmas Story in Black Spirituals

1987 –

Ashley Bryan receives an Author honor from the Coretta Scott King Awards for his book Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales

1986 –

Mary Geo Quinn receives an Eastern Caribbean Authors of Excellence Award

Ashley Bryan – Coretta Scott King Honor for writing and illustration, Lion and the Ostrich Chicks and Other African Folk Tales

1985 –

Jamaica Kincaid receives the Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship for Fiction

1984 –

Jamaica Kincaid receives the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award for fiction

Shortlisted for the PEN Faulkner Award for At the Bottom of the River – Jamaica Kincaid

1983 –

Ashley Bryan wins an Illustrator honor from the Coretta Scott King Awards for I’m Going to Sing: Black American Spirituals

Jamaica Kincaid’s At the Bottom of the River wins the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and is nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award

1981 –

Ashley Bryan – Coretta Scott King Award for illustration, Beat the Story Drum, Pum-Pum

1979 –

Alexander Sideris Fine Arts Award to Mali Olatunji for his image ‘Solitude in Fall’ which can be seen in The Art of Mali Olatunji by Mali Olatunji and Paget Henry

1974 –

Althea Romeo Mark’s poem ‘Old No-Teeth Mama’ wins the poetry award at Cuyahoga Community Writers Conference

1969 –

Quill & Scroll Award, Fort Benjamin Harrison Journalism Award, Indiana to Edgar O. Lake

1934 –

Roy H. S. Dublin’s Tomorrow’s Blossoms, first published in 1934 to commemorate the tercentenary year of the colonization of Antigua and the centenary year of emancipation, is awarded the King’s Medal

Date unknown, unsure, unconfirmed –

Althea Romeo Mark wins a scholarship to the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference

PEN Award for his journalistic work to Leonard Tim Hector

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As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Antiguan and Barbudan writer Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Oh Gad!, Musical Youth, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight 10th Anniversary Edition and Other Writings, With Grace, and Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure; also a freelance writer, editor, writing coach and workshop facilitator). All Rights Reserved. If you like the content here follow or recommend the blog, also, check out my page on Amazon, WordPress, and/or Facebook, and help spread the word about Wadadli Pen and my books. Thank you.

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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, and specifically to productions which have had a public viewing. It is a work in progress, so please inform me of any errors/omissions/oversights. T’anks.

Antiguan & Barbudan Theatre – a brief background (source: The Cambridge Guide to Theatre edited by Martin Banham) – “A party of amateurs opened Antigua’s first theatre in 1788…visiting companies came for a week’s run, their performances reinforced by local actors. The West India Sketchbook (1835) mentions a theatre in Antigua with amateurs performing Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer along with a PANTOMIME called Harlequin Planter, or The Land of Promise. This latter – containing ‘aboriginal savages’, their evil spirit Maboya, white settlers, black slaves [edit: enslaved Black people], Astraea, the goddess of justice, members of the Anti-Slavery Society, HARLEQUIN and Columbine – might count as one of the earliest pieces of native Caribbean theatre, dealing as it does with the local scene…Antiguans recall, from the 1930s, the OPERETTAS and MUSICALS presented by one Nellie Robinson of the TOR Memorial High School. In 1952 the Community Players were formed, causing a stir in local circles when, led by the drama tutor of the University of the West Indies, they created the village play Priscilla’s Wedding using local dialect…in 1967 the Antigua University Centre was established, with a 400-seat open-air theatre. Several short lived theatre groups sprung up at this time.” (p. 319) – bold and italics mine.

This list has several sources (cited as much as possible), including: Windies_drama_bibliography_master_Aug_2013

PLAYWRIGHTS

(Playwright?)           – Rising from the Ashes (toured to Dominica, 1988). Performed by Popular Theatre Movement (“…started in village communities, where role-playing, discussion and creative play-making help to identify issues and suggest solutions” – The Cambridge Guide to African and Caribbean Theatre).

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Eleston Nambalumbu Nambalala Adams b. 1954. Founder, in 1979, of the Rio Revealers, which according to the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, Volume 2, the Americas Volume 2, his plays, referred to as “slapstick drama, have been taken to the islands of Montserrat, St. Martin, and St. Thomas.” The bibliography of drama in English by Caribbean writers, to 2010
compiled by George Parfitt and Jessica Parfitt indicates that he is believed to have authored 14 plays but could not confirm. Adams has been a teacher, reporter (Daily Observer newspaper), and minister of government, including a stint as culture minister. (listing lacks itemization of individual plays and year of first production – help fill the gaps if you can)

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Zahra Airall – Airall has founded, written, and directed several theatre companies. Her  Zee’s Youth Theatre produced the well-received School Bag (2009). In 2015, her adult company, Sugar Apple Theatre, teamed up with Dorbrene O’Marde for a revival of Harambee’s Tangled Web (read my reaction post). Sugar Apple Theatre returned with Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues (previously staged in Antigua by Women of Antigua of which she was a founding member and co-director) in 2019 (my review here). It’s worth noting that Airall, a teacher, also took the winning local team (Antigua Girls High School) to the 2015 Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival where she served as writer and director for their performance of her play The Forgotten. Read review/coverage of that outing here. She followed up this production with Whispers in Wallings which netted her and her Antigua Girls High School students best production, best direction, and a number of other prizes (8 overall) at the 2015 National Secondary Schools Drama Festival. She’s also taken youth theatre to other Caribbean countries e.g. in 2018, AGHS’ Honey Bee Theatre went on a UN sponsored tour to Turks and Caicos with her play Light in the Dark which was also performed domestically.34866707_10216231041392992_5275010203664777216_n51570598_2280465188855414_7601810432784859136_n In 2019, Honey Bee Theatre presented The Long Walk (reviewed here) in Antigua and again, that summer, at the Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival, winning a plethora of prizes including best production, direction, and screenplay. Also in 2019, Honey Bee Theatre took on Derek Walcott, while Sugar Apple Theatre, after a triumphant 2019 outing with the revival of the Vagina Monologues, announced plans for an original production and its take on Shakespeare in 2020. Zahra Airall, a multi-National Youth Award winner, and Woman of Wadadli awardee for fine arts, was born in the theatre, figuratively speaking, as her parents were performers with Dorbrene O’Marde’s Harambee; and she won her first prize in 1992 at age 9 as the youngest person to submit to the Rick James Ensemble One Act Play Competition.

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Antigua Community Players – This group was inaugurated in 1952. Musical dramas written and performed by the players include Priscilla’s Wedding (groundbreaking for its time as a benchmark in local theatre), Night Must Fall, Guest in The House, Outward Bound, See How They Run, Charley’s Aunt, A Christmas Carol, and Celebration in the Market Place – all collaborative pieces written by the Players. The group eventually morphed into a choral group well known for its folk music presentations and musical productions. Dame Yvonne Maginley (deceased as of 2019) was instrumental in this aspect, taking on the role of musical director in 1957. The Antigua Community Players’ first operetta was Betty Lou; annual concerts followed, and, in 1972, the Players produced Ballad Antigua, written by well known composer of Caribbean songs Irvine Burgie,  and presented it in  Antigua, Montserrat and in Guyana.  Following the success of Ballad the Community Players produced Gilbert & Sullivan’s Mikado (in 1973), HMS Pinafore (in 1975 to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the commissioning of Nelson’s Dockyard and in 1995 to mark the Players’ 43rd Anniversary), and Pirates of Penzance (in 1986). The Antigua Community Players performed at the 1982 World’s Fair in Tennessee, and, in 1984, during the 150th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the city in Rochester, New York and also in the Annual Lilac Festival. The Players have performed in New York; Miami; Washington; Toronto; London Ontario, Canada; Birmingham and Leicester; the News Day Parade in London, England; Syracuse; St Croix; and St Thomas. As musical director, Dame Yvonne Maginley composed many songs over the years that have added to the Antiguan and Barbudan catalogue of folk music.

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Antigua Dance Academy – Antigua and Barbuda’s premier Afro-Caribbean folk dance group since 1991, ADA has put on several productions that have included drama scripted by members of the troupe. This includes, as part of ADA’s Out of the Drum folk rhythm festival, a 2008 street theatre presentation on national hero King Court/Prince Klaas/Tackey’s rebellion with guest performances by Nevis’s Rhythmz Dance Theatre and Trinidad’s Shashamane recreating, respectively, plantation fieldwork and African stick fighting. Francine Carbey, as the ADA’s resident drama tutor and artistic director, is, with founder Veronica Yearwood, the force behind these dramatic turns. Other members have contributed plays to ADA productions – e.g. Samantha Zachariah who wrote her first play for the group in 2010. Read more on ADA.

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Barbara Arrindell – Call Me Klass (1998) – based on and inspired by the life of National Hero and leader of an aborted 1736 uprising of enslaved Africans in Antigua and Barbuda Prince Klaas/King Court/Tackey. Initially staged as a Black History Month fundraiser.

Dreams…Faces…Reality (2001). The play tells the story of a healthy young man whose life is turned upside down following a routine physical which showed that he was HIV positive. Arrindell was author and director. Stagings included an initial 2001 World AIDS Day performance by the Optimist Club of St. John’s Youth Drama Group, a 2002 Black History Month performance, several 2003 stagings, including one in Anguilla, by the Optimist Club at the Pares Secondary School. Between 2005-2006, it was staged over 15 times by the Friends Hotline for Youth to stir conversation among secondary school students in Antigua and Barbuda. Another drama group performed select scenes in 2007 at churches across the island to reduce the stigmatization of HIV/AIDS. It has been adapted for radio broadcast, running for several years on Observer Radio in the build-up to World AIDS Day.

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 – Anu Bantu: Treasure Island and Haunted Park (published). Dramatist, instructor in French at the Antigua State College; his contributions to theatre have been both onstage and off, as an actor including serving as a cast member in the 1979 production of Dorbrene O’Marde’s Tangled Web and as founder of the Scaramouche Theatre and overseeing several productions at the College, such as Conjugal Bliss. Plays written by Buntin include Con Man Sun Sun, Mr. Valentine, and Wedlock. He has also acted in local films such as Once in an Island. (Dates unknown – help fill the blanks if you can)

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David Edgecombe – Edgecombe, a theatre and public speaking lecturer at the University of the Virgin Islands, is not Antiguan and Barbudan but his play Lady of Parham (shortlisted as of 2015 for the Guyana Prize for Literature), published by Caribbean Reads (2014), is set in Antigua and based on the mystery surrounding the ghost of Parham. Per the Caribbean Reads description, it “introduces the audience to five revellers who have come together to form a Carnival troupe but settle for dramatizing the tale of the Parham ghost. In the telling of the ghost legend, Justin, Tulip, Sauna, Kyle, and Mabel must confront the demons that threaten to derail their lives.” Lady of Parham premiered in St. Thomas and has since played in other Caribbean countries like Dominica and Montserrat, where Edgecombe was a founder of the Montserrat Theatre Group. His other works (unrelated to Antiguan and Barbudan theatre – to the best of my knowledge) include For Better For Worse, Making It, Coming Home to Roost, and Heaven.

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Gus Edwards – b. 1939 in Antigua and raised in St. Thomas, he moved to New York in 1959 – his plays have been showcased by the Negro Ensemble of NY among other companies across the US. Initially, a protégé of Stella Adler, he worked as an actor in films and on stage. But limited by his accent, he began writing his own material. These included The Offering (1977), Black Body Blues (1978), Old Phantoms (1979), These Fallen Angels (1980), Weep Not for Me (1981), Tenement (1983), Manhattan Made Me (1983), Ramona (1986), Louie and Ophelia (1986), Moody’s Mood Cafe (1989), Lifetimes on the Streets (1990), Restaurant People (1990), Tropicana (1992), Frederick Douglass (1992), Testimony (1993), Confessional (1994), Dear Martin, Dear Coretta (1995), Slices one-acts (1996), Drought Country (1997), Night Cries (1998), and Black Woman’s Blues (1999). Most of his plays are reportedly set in “the slums and ghettoes of New York…his characters often exist outside of the boundaries of what is thought to be appropriate behavior in society.” (Notable Caribbeans and Caribbean Americans: a Biographical Dictionary, p. 157). His works for television include Aftermath (1979) and a TV adaptation of James Baldwin’s novel Go Tell It on the Mountain. He also wrote narration on the Negro Ensemble Company for PBS. Though self-taught, the critically acclaimed playwright has taught theatrical writing at several US colleges and became associate professor of theatre at Arizona State University, directing  where the multi-ethnic theatre and teaching in the film studies programme. In 2000, he was appointed artistic director to the Scottsdale Ensemble Theatre in Scottsdale, Arizona. “He has published Classic Plays of the Negro Ensemble (1995), Monologues on Black Life (1997), and More Monologues on Black Life (2000). Several of his plays have also been published… Gus Edwards is one of the first Caribbean writers  to contribute to American theatre.” (Notable Caribbean and Caribbean Americans: a Biographical Dictionary, p. 158)

***

Lonne ElderCeremonies in Dark Old Men (1971) – performed by the Open Air Theatre.

***

Oliver Flax – A Better Way (1976) – directed by Edgar Davis – and The Legend of Prince Klaas (1972) – the latter of which was sent to be performed at Carifesta in Guyana in 1972. Performed by Bobby Margetson’s Little Theatre.

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Linisa George – one of the writer/directors and producers (as part of Women of Antigua) behind the production When a Woman Moans (below). Brown Girl in the Ring, a poem from that production has become a significant part of her brand (as a publication aesthetic) and has been performed at different fora including the CARA Festival in Antigua in 2009 , the 2012 Poetry Parnassus in London, and, after publication in a special Antigua and Barbuda edition of online journal Tongues of the  Ocean, Shakespeare in Paradise, 2015, in the Bahamas.

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Tom Green – Tom Green is British, not Antiguan, though he did lead a masterclass on playwriting here in Antigua and is listed here because of a play of his that is based in Antigua. The play is entitled Antigua and it is the story of bestselling writer Katherine Sampson, whose second book is overdue by two years when her agent sends her to the Caribbean with instructions not to return without a finished manuscript. In Antigua, she meets an enigmatic American be-devilled by his own problems. This play was first produced at the Tabard Theatre in London in 2006. Green’s other plays (unrelated to Antigua and Barbuda – to the best of my knowledge) include The Death of Margaret Thatcher, A Place in the Sun, and Talking in Bed.

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Joanne C. Hillhouse – known, primarily, as a fiction writer/published author, but some of her first public writings were plays: e.g. Barman’s Blues, not staged but joint second placed winner  (her first creative writing prize) in the Rick James Theatre Ensemble One Act Play Competition in 1992; Changes (Sisters and Daughters), Hillhouse’s first full length play, staged in 1990, by the State College Drama Society one of two done while she was a student at the Antigua State College; and Trials of Life, showcased as a Taylor Hall entry in dramatic competition at the University of the West Indies while she was a student there (sometime between 1992 and 1995). The actress in that play received honourable mention. Several of her poems were incorporated into scripts for stagings of Women of Antigua’s When a Woman Moans in the early aughts. Hillhouse who has scripted documentaries, ads, and public service announcements for clients or as part of public education programmes, on the creative tip had her (short) screenplay, Is Like a Like It, excerpted in The Caribbean Writer Volume 27 in 2013.

***

Cleopatra Isaac, Paula Henry, and Darleen Beazer -co-scripted Journey to Heaven which was performed by participants in The Young Leaders programme at Sir McChesney George Secondary School and members of the Barbudan community. April 10 2006 Daily Observer(article published April 10th 2006 in the Daily Observer)

The play, performed in 2006 in Barbuda and Antigua, focused on a young man’s gradual understanding of repentance and forgiveness ‘after death’, and explored the concept that no more than 6 degrees of separation exists between people, meaning an individual’s actions always affects the lives of others. The actors were Devon Warner, Tenesha Beazer, Salim Cephas, Adonia Henry, and Leona Desouza. “Shaping the Future” was the theme of the 2006 Young Leaders’ project, and it encompassed cherishing life, embracing family values, and respecting one another. In the play, the value of respect is addressed in drama, dance, and song, using all aspects of the arts to embrace a vision.

***

Owen Jackson – As writer/director with the National Youth Theatre, Jackson produced several plays including After 9/11 (2007) and My Birthright (2007). (entry incomplete – help fill in dates and other productions if you can)

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

***

George ‘Rick’ Jamesdeceased September 2018. Various plays including the one man play Oulaudah Equiano (1990) about “the engrossing story in living detail of an Igbo prince, his enslavement, and freedom” (book summary), Gallows Humour in 2005, and 2007’s Our Country, timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the abolition British Empire Atlantic Slave Trade, and unique for telling, on a stage constructed in the open air of the King George V grounds, drawing a vast cast from a mixed pool of local professionals who were amateur thespians, and tracking the life of Antigua and Barbuda from pre-Columbian times to present.

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

slaves at market

His Rick James Ensemble encouraged young and future Antiguan and Barbudan writers like Zahra Airall and Joanne C. Hillhouse through its One Act Play Writing Competition. James was also an actor in US and especially British theatre and television

James performing in Sit Quietly on the Baulk

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

***

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. Read my review of Power Struggle here.

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Jamaica Kincaid – Her 1998 book A Small Place was staged at the Gate Theatre in London in 2018 in what was described as so faithful an adaptation that the text is performed entirely in its original form.

***

Edgar O. LakeSome Quiet Mornin’; Matters of Antiguan Conspiracy: 1736; The Stone Circle; The Killing of Arthur Sixteen; more… (incomplete + unsure of publication production status + dates unknown – help fill in dates and other productions if you can)

***

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.

***

Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) – Canadian of Antiguan descent, Motion’s stage productions (as writer, director, performer, or any mix of the three) include  Aneemah’s Spot/The Base, 4our Woman, ORALTORIO: A Theatrical Mixtape, 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.

***

Andrew O’MardeO Lord, Why Lord? and Tell It Like It Is with Harambee Open Air Theatre.

***

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 (a 1972 merger of the Grammarians and the University Centre’s Open Air Theatre) is “considered the most important group of recent times” (from The Cambridge Guide to Theatre by Martin Banham). O’Marde is a graduate of the Antigua Grammar School, UWI Cave Hill, University of Toronto, and Tulane University where he obtained a Masters of Public Health. He has been credited as a playwright, director and producer of theatre and music, newspaper/magazine columnist, public speaker, and calypso writer, judge and analyst. His involvement in calypso has included crafting hits for artistes like Scorpion, Stumpy, Singing Althea, and others; though his biggest contribution to the art form is arguably the seminal Calypso Talk magazine, an annual chronicle of the art and the issues surrounding the art. He also wrote Nobody Go Run Me, the biography of  Antigua and Barbuda’s Monarch King Short Short, which was longlisted for the 2015 Bocas prize, in addition to the novel Send Out You Hand.

O’Marde’s career in theatre began with the Antigua Students Association in 1965 (You the Jury, Devil’s Advocate, Androcles and the Lion – English classics). Jezebel (1955) and Star Bomber (1962) are credited as two of his earliest works. His involvement in theatre continued, between 1968 and 1971, with the Cave Hill Drama Group (UWI, Barbados) when other theatre notables like Dominica’s Alwin Bully, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Clement Bouncing Williams, and St. Lucia’s Robert Lee were all students.

O’Marde was a member of the Theatre Information Exchange (TIE) and the Eastern Caribbean Popular Theatre Organization (ECPTO) and was involved in cultural research with both these organizations. He formed Harambee in 1972.

In addition to directing plays by other notables from the Caribbean theatre scene and beyond, O’Marde wrote and directed Homecoming, For Real: A Caribbean Play in Three Acts (1976), Fly on the Wall (1977), Fire Go BunFor Real, We Nativity, The Minister’s Daughter – which was adapted from the novel of the same name by Nigerian writer Obi Egbuna, We Nativity – which included songs by Antiguan and Barbudan lyricist Shelly Tobitt, Tangled Web (1979), Badplay (1991 for the Family Planning Unit), and This World Spin One Way (1998); and directed several others. Read more about his work in calypso and on the stage, plus his other cultural work in BIOGRAPHY deo 2010 . Tangled Web, according to the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, Volume 2, the Americas, Volume 2, prompted the government to legislate against civil servants participating in  plays critical of the government.

       

Before going dormant in the late-eighties, Harambee took productions to Montserrat, St. Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, St. Thomas, and Saba.

O’Marde has returned with a couple of productions since then, notably 1998’s This World Spin One Way – which has also had stagings by directors Jean Small, Director UWI Creative Arts Centre, and David Edgecombe, Director Reichhold Centre, and a revival of Tangled Web with Zahra Airall’s Sugar Apple Theatre in 2015. He also lent technical support to Women of Antigua’s first staging of the Vagina Monologues in 2008.
Read my review of This World Spin One Way.
Read my ‘review’ of Tangled Web. (some dates still missing + full listing – help fill in dates and other productions if you can)

***

Sislyn Peters – One of her plays, Trust, was adapted by the City College of New York’s English Department, Division of Humanities & Arts, and performed at the Aaron Davis Hall, in 2001. Peters was born in Antigua and graduated Princess Margaret High School. As a child, she wrote verses, and short stories. As a teenager, she sang with local bands, including Pat Edwards’ Playboys, and Vere Anthony’s Teen Stars. See poetry for her other accomplishments.

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Eustace Simon – several plays including Crossroads, The Awakening, Betty’s Hope, and Illusive Dreams. 1990s. Modern Theatre. 2000s. National Theatre Group. Announced launch of a National Theatre channel on CTV in 2012. (dates missing + full listing – help fill in dates and other productions if you can)

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Lester SimonObeah Slave (taken in 1969 by the Grammarians to Montserrat and Barbados).

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Monique S. Simon – The Antigua-born, US-based writer adapted Adynah from a novel-in-progress, which has been illustrated, excerpted and published in Carib Beat, and which won a NY Council on the Arts Award for (First Chapter of a Novel in Progress) and a Cropper Foundation grant.  The play was based on one of the book’s character’s Adynah Williams, described as the kind of local cook whose delicacies are sold from her house on weekends and who is first to be called for catering a local event. The story was produced as a three vignette play for Know Theatre in New York in the Fall of 2003. Simon scripted and directed voices of Caribbean people living and working in the area, pre-recorded and editing those voices so that they could provide off stage interaction during the one-woman show. Simon not only wrote, directed, and starred in the play, she designed the set  – all while working as a full time professor at Broome Community College in Binghampton, NY.

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Elaine Spires – Elaine is from Essex in the UK and in the 2000s, after years of bringing tours to Antigua, also established a seasonal home here. She’s run workshops in Antigua and participated (as writer and actress) in Women of Antigua’s When a Woman Moans. She’s also created content for the stage and screen, some inspired by and set in Antigua. Her Adventures of Maisie and Em (later adapted to film with Spires playing Em and Heather Doram playing Maisie, characters debuted on stage in When a Woman Moans). Her Antigua plays include Singles Holiday, about a group of vacationing Brits, which was adapted in to a novel and then had a third life as a play on the English stage (2014), and Sweet Lady, about a mother and daughter and an island tryst, which was staged in Antigua before also becoming a novel. (missing dates – fill in if you can)

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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

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Leon Chaku SymisterVoices of Protest (1976); and Time Bomb (1977); Tilting Scales (1980). Third World Theatre. According to the World Encyclopedia of Contemporary Theatre, Volume 2, the Americas, Volume 2, it was thought to be too libelous for public airing but played to crowded houses at the University Centre.

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Various writers – 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  was staged in 2010 and 2012, and mostly scripted by Airall and George with inputs from Dotsie Isaac Gellizeau, Joanne C. Hillhouse, Floree Williams, Greschen Edwards (another WOA founding partner), Melissa Elliott, Marcella Andre, Carel Hodge, Mickel Brann, Brenda Lee Browne, Craig Edward, Nekisha Lewis, Kimolisa Mings, Elaine Spires, and Jihan Lewis. Women of Antigua debuted with Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues in 2008 and this locally conceived, similarly themed production, was its successor. Both productions over two nights brought the curtain down on WOA’s theatrical activities in 2012.

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Vaughn Walterdeceased as of 2019. Culture Director and head of Antigua and Barbuda’s CARIFESTA planning committee. Active in theatre and film, and in staged productions for pageants and festivals through the years. (entry incomplete – if you can help fill it out email wadadlipen@gmail.com)

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Amber Williams-King – In 2010, Amber Williams-King participated in the AMY (or Artists Mentoring Youth) project, helping to create Step Right Up which received 3/4 stars from Toronto’s NOW magazine. In 2011, she wrote a play: Love and its Dialects which ran in the Paprika Festival at Tarragon Theatre in Canada where she resides. In 2010, she received first-honourable mention in the Scarborough Arts Council’s inaugural Writer’s Month literary competition. Her poetry has been published in the anthology Holla! A Collection of Womenz Wordz and in So the Nailhead Bend, So the Story End.

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.

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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 – here’s the trailer. Winner of the Caribbean Spirit Award for Best Overall Feature at the Caribbean Tales awards and People’s Choice for Best Documentary at the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival.

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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; from Antigua but resident in the US) – 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). Balooja had plans to extend Ariana into a feature film.

***

Francoise Bowen conceived and wrote Back to Africa (directed by Anderson Edghill) which she described as a “short documentary (depicting) a little piece of Antigua and Barbuda’s history (specifically that enslaved people thought Africa was nearby). Bowen went on to found the Francoise Acting Studio which, among other things, has run workshops and produced The Story of Four (a video series promoting safe sex).

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Centelia BrowneIdle Hands – (A Wadadli Plus production, a short film).  Credits say ‘A Film By’ which is usually the director credit and there is no separate screenwriter credit. 2019.

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Courtney BoydThe Grove – (A Wadadli Plus production with C-BEN Pictures, a Nut Grove Production – web series pilot written and directed by Boyd who also directed other Wadadli Plus productions such as The Diagnosis) – 2019.

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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. Silent Music, a portrait of Gomez’s deaf family won Best Documentary at the 2014 Maine Deaf Film Festival and the 2012 Caribbean Tales Film Festival, as well as the Audience Choice Awards at the 2013 Toronto Deaf Film & Arts Festival. Gomez, resident in the US, also has a project known as the Baby Mini Doc Project which creates day in the life documentaries which capture “every day moments and milestones with your littlest ones”. Melissa has worked on a number of other projects in the US, including co-producing Makers (PBS) and Nine for IX (ESPN), producing behind the scenes content for Hell on Wheels and Low Winter Sun (AMC), and serving as supervising producer on Me on My TV (FLOW). She has worked as a freelance production manager on advertising campaigns for H & M and Malibu Rum. Melissa has a Masters of Arts degree in Screen Documentary from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a Bachelor of Arts in New Media from Ryerson University in Toronto.

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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 feature film has since been adapted into a book (released 2012).

***

Bridgette HannifordMy Time Now (A Wadadli Plus production, a film short directed by Melissa McLeish, 2020)

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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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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). In 2017, he also directed (per IMDB) a film adaptation of The Little Rude Boys/Girls, a child-written book he published in 2010.

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D. Gisele Isaac

  MANGO-Poster-800x400 The Sweetest Mango (2001, HAMAfilms); and No Seed (2002, HAMAfilms). Antigua and Barbuda’s first and second feature-length films. Isaac also wrote regularly for the stage in the form of the skits included in the annual (in the 2000s) ‘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 –

Ugly – short film (2011, Wadadli Film Studios) for which she provided character monologue – 2011

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 documentary film by Stephanie Mack; written by Jamaica Kincaid). 2001. New Yorker Films. USA.

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Shabier Kirchner – a cinematographer cum filmmaker with his short, Dadli (2018).

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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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Motion (Wendy Brathwaite) –

Rebirth

Rebirth of the Afronauts: a Black Space Odyssey (episode 7 of season 2 of Obsidian Theatre’s 21 Black Futures series) – New Year’s Eve 2059, the night before the long-awaited Reparations Day. Chariott receives a mysterious call that leads her on a curious ride through the world outside her bubble – where cities are sky high, curfew is in the streets, and it’s harder to tell hue-mans from the holograms. On this surreal road trip, she tunes into BlackSpaceX, along with a cadre of cryptic guides, finding herself on the astronomical journey of her life. Directed by Jerome Kruin, Performed by Chelsea Russell, with Music by NON. 2021.

Screen Shot 2020-09-15 at 2.08.17 PM Akilla’s Escape – the Antiguan-Canadian poet/writer co-wrote this feature with writer-director Charles Officer stars Saul Williams and explores what happens when a simple, routine drug handoff goes sideway, landing 40-year-old drug trader Akilla Brown in the middle of a violent robbery. Akilla must set things right and retrieve the stolen goods over the course of one arduous night. Akilla’s Escape debuted at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Nadya RaymondThe Diagnosis – (A Wadadli Plus production in association with Wadadli Creatives and C-BEN Pictures, a short film directed by Courtney Boyd). 2019.

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Elaine Spires – Elaine is from Essex in the UK and in the 2000s, after years of bringing tours to Antigua, also established a seasonal home here. Her writing credits (Spires is also an actress) include the TV series Paradise View, the Lawson Lewis edited promotional film shorts The Adventures of Maisie and Em – episodes Fix a Flat and Best Friend (Spires playing Em and Heather Doram playing Maisie, characters debuted on stage in When a Woman Moans) –

the vid clips were posted to youtube in 2013. Her novel Singles Holiday was reportedly also made in to a TV pilot.

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Chavel Thomas (credited as director; no writer credit is given) – Silence, Screams – short film (2016, Dotkidchavy x Jamzpari)

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

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Unknown/UncreditedThe Guest (2020, short film by Wadadli Plus)

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Keron ‘K-Wiz’ Wilson (credited as director; no writer credit is given) – The Date – short film (2013, Black Roots Records); Mechanic – short film (2013, Black Roots Records); Stationary – short film (2013, Black Roots Records)

As with all content on Wadadli Pen, except otherwise noted, this is written by Joanne C. Hillhouse (author of The Boy from Willow Bend, Dancing Nude in the Moonlight, Musical Youth, With Grace, Lost! A Caribbean Sea Adventure/Perdida! Una Aventura en el Mar Caribe, and Oh Gad!). All Rights Reserved. If you enjoyed it, check out my page on 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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That Woman Don’t Cry

Thursday wasn’t just Valentine’s Day; it was the day of One Billion Rising, a global movement to spotlight and spur action with respect to violence and human trafficking.

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Women of Antigua hosted a street rally which included dancing, stirring speeches, song, drumming, and poetry. As this is a literary site, you knew we were going to share the poetry with you didn’t you? With thanks to the poetess, Veronica Yearwood:

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That Woman Don’t Cry

Step into her inner space and you will find

that area is too large for you

It makes you feel insignificant with the size

That woman don’t cry

That woman don’t cry

Even through all the endless lonely nights

The taking of her pride and joy

The removal of what she holds sacred

The lost loved ones ……

That woman don’t cry

Look at her alabaster skin

Gaze on its smoothness, the glow that emanates from it

Now look deeper and see the colour of your ego

The easily recognised mixture of colours

Black and blue

The black and blue that is etched in her soul

In those colours see where you caressed her

And recognise them as your declarations of your undying love

The colours of your love

The colours that when she sees them….

So as to save her soul and the child she bore you

And know..

That Woman don’t cry…

…..Won’t cry

…..Dare not cry.

Look closely at her.

Shhh! And listen….

Her cries are in the vigorous raising of her offspring

The sharp tongue of correction

The stride in her walk

The shake of her hips and head

The need to succeed.

Shhhh! Listen to her cries

For they are cries of success.

Reach deep into the abyss of her mind

And you will find

That woman don’t cry

Walk past her inner being

For you can only walk past and dare not enter

You will find the pillars of strength

Towering high, standing strong and immobile

Unweathered by her many storms

And know…

That woman,

My Black Caribbean Woman

Don’t cry!

*Please respect the poet’s copyright.

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How will you be spending Valentine’s Day?

1 Billion Rising

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February 6, 2013 · 6:41 pm

National Youth Awards (Antigua and Barbuda) 2012

These are the National Youth Award Winners (Antigua and Barbuda) for 2012. You may notice some familiar names on the list:
Education Award Winners Joni Spencer, Joel Beazer and Adia Archibald
Diane Archibald, Outstanding Scholarship Awardee
Young Sports Man and Sports Woman, Quinton Griffith and Tamiko Butler
Young Journalist, Rory Butler
Young Media Practitioner, Cleveroy Thomas
Youth Friendly Media House, Observer Media Group

Tiffany Smith is a Wadadli Pen 2012 finalist and much more. (A Eustace Samuel photo from the Observer Media Group facebook page)

Tiffany Smith is a Wadadli Pen 2012 finalist and much more. (A Eustace Samuel photo from the Observer Media Group facebook page)

Tiffany Smith and Renee Smith, recipients of the Cultural and Performing Arts Award
Young Farmer of the Year, the Princess Margaret School Agricultural Science Programme

Linisa George was the Literary Arts Winner. We've written several times about Linisa here at Wadadi Pen for her soldiering on behalf of the literary arts and gender advocacy. Well deserved. (This is a Eustace Samuel Photo from the Observer newspaper facebook page)

Linisa George was the Literary Arts Winner. We’ve written several times about Linisa here at Wadadi Pen for her soldiering on behalf of the literary arts and gender advocacy. Well deserved. (This is a Eustace Samuel Photo from the Observer newspaper facebook page)

Literary Arts Award Winner, Linisa George
Visual Arts Award Winner, Emile Hill
Tourism Service Award Winner, Coleen Samuel
Tourism Management Award Winner, Andre Roberts
Young Entrepreneur Award Winner, Mario Payne
Young Artisan Award Winner, Natasha Punter
Community Service Award Winner – Individual, Silvyn Farrell
Community Service Award Winner – Group, Rotaract
Young Professional, Ladesa Loren James
Barbuda’s Best, Renee Desuza
Young Activist Awardees, Women of Antigua

Linisa with Women of Antigua cast member Fayola Jardine. (A Eustace Samuel photo from the Observer Media Group facebook page)

Linisa with Women of Antigua cast member Fayola Jardine. (A Eustace Samuel photo from the Observer Media Group facebook page)

Phoenix Award Winner, Paralympian Jamol Pilgrim
Corporate Award Recipients as Youth Development Partners – Sandals and Bank of Nova Scotia
Corporate Award Recipients for Philanthropy – Cool & Smooth, The Source and Ayoushe
Lifetime Service Award recipients – Charlene Warner-Samuel, Lucaso Brumant, Dr. Margart O’Garro, Edris George, Genevieve Smith, and Eustace ‘Gaytooks’ Harris
A Special Presentation was made as well to author Joanne C. Hillhouse and Regional Youth Development Specialist Glenyss James.

Me. Not for my work in the literary arts but for my youth advocacy...though of course via Wadadli Pen the two intersect. (A Eustace Samuel photo from the Observer Media Group facebook page)

Me. Not for my work in the literary arts but for my youth advocacy…though of course via Wadadli Pen the two intersect. (A Eustace Samuel photo from the Observer Media Group facebook page)

The National Youth Awards, wrote Cleon Athill in her formal address, “is a bold statement about the importance of youth and their strategic significance in national development…National Youth Awards continues to make the point that youth development is everybody’s business; it’s a conscious effort to massage that sense of collective responsibility for growing citizens who understand that they have a role to play in nation building.”

CONGRATS TO ALL THE WINNERS!

These are links to the awards presentation: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3

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Random Photo

Who says theatre gets no love?

Theatre in Antigua and Barbuda had long been dormant …but the 2008 staging of Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues by Women of Antigua proved that if you make it, they will come.

 

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Theatre for a Cause (or three or four…)

I’ve been meaning to share some moments from this year’s Vagina Monologues and When a Woman Moans staging in Antigua, but I left the island soon after and this is the first chance I’ve had to revisit the scene. It was as always (five years in and the final year to boot) a thrilling experience for a worthy cause and I hope that beyond laughter, beyond even the years and murmurs of approval, we become active in our communities in defence of victims of abuse , we realize our worth as women and our right to expect that our partners do the same, we embrace our full leadership potential in all spheres of our community, we realize that men and women are partners on this journey together – and that we need more men to become active, embrace, realize and yes recognize!

Vagina Tales:

Zahra Airall of Women of Antigua was happy to declare this year one of their best with respect to their staging of Eve Ensley’s Vagina Monologues and homegrown When a Woman Moans. While they were still counting the cost, Airall said she was happy with the turnout, if less than happy with the sponsorship or lack thereof.  But her measure of success was … Read More to find out what that measure was in 2012 and then some

Also from 2012 – What Makes a Woman Moan? I wrote a series of articles on this; the one on Birthing and Feeling Fulfilled were found on the publication website; will add the others if I find them.

Here’s the Women of Antigua You Tube channel for fun behind the scenes stuff; and a video flash back.

Speaking of flash back, here I am in year one (my how time has flown):

 

Press clipping, Antigua Sun.

Also, just a little something I wrote just before the production and posted to She Writes – Our Va-jay-jays know how to dance.

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 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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Highlights of the latest August Rush Newsletter

There’s so much goodness in the April 23rd edition of the dynamic duo (August Rush)’s newsletter, I just had to share some of it.

…Expressions: Poetry In The Pub continues Tuesday 24th April at our Heavenly Java 2 Go home at the boardwalk at the Redcliffe Quay. The night get’s going at 8pm. To sign-up in advance to perform, email us at augustrush.antigua@gmail.com or call 783-4120 or 779-6634.

…It’s that time of the year again, when Women of Antigua (WOA) has everyone moaning. This year the organisation celebrates their 5th year of existence with a bang as they will be staging two different productions; The Vagina Monologues on Saturday 26th May and When A Woman Moans on Saturday 27th May. Both productions will begin at 8:05 pm. Tickets are $40 per night, and $70 for both nights ($10 discount). Stay tuned for the early bird special when you can pay $60 for both nights…After this year’s performance, WOA will be taking a hiatus from the shows in order to focus and produce other activities in an effort to empower people and end violence in Antigua and Barbuda, one of which will be the One Billion Rising campaign…on 14th February, 2013… ‘Like’ The WOA page ‘When A Woman Moans 2011’, and stay tuned into all the organisation’s activities including Campaign Moan, which is designed to raise awareness and also promote the show. WOA is asking the public to answer a simple question: “Why do women moan?”.  Answers are to be written on a manila or sheet of paper, held up in front of the individual and a photograph taken and emailed to campaignmoan.anu@gmail.com. Photos will be posted on the When A Woman Moans Facebook page, where the public can vote for their favourite answer. The winner will receive tickets to this year’s productions…Another promotion this year, is the production of WOA TV, which grants the public a behind-the-scenes pass to rehearsals and cast members. Videos can be seen on the Facebook group page as well. For further information or to get involved you can visit the Facebook page ; email woa.vday@gmail.com or call 779-6634, 723-6934, 772-7913 or 780-7754.

…The Just Write Retreat is the first of its kind in Antigua and Barbuda – a weekend for established and new writers looking for space to write, get ideas and insights into their craft. An island as small as ours means that fund raising is limited to the same corporations that fund cultural, sporting and educational events – this money will assist 12 writers and three tutors as allow for two of the tutors to share the experience with inmates in the island’s, small, yet over crowded prison. As much as most of the sessions will be voluntary – it is not sustainable as writing time costs money. A donation of U$25 will buy writing equipment such as journals; US$50 will pay for a day of the three day writers retreat. A donation of US$100 will cover two days at the retreat. Your money will help make writing accessible, it will help to build a sustainable writing project that is annual. Donate today by clicking here.

 

They also included a little big up re my launch but I clipped it. You can see launch coverage here, and purchase the book here. And you know you have my sincerest thanks; right?

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A day Late … but … hey, here’s toward making every day Women’s Day

I received this message from Women of Antigua in my inbox and wanted to share it (couldn’t do so yesterday as I was scudding to attend the Gender Affairs women’s conference in celebration and reflection of International Women’s Day). A day late but let’s keep the message alive:

Five years ago in January 2008, we formed Women Of Antigua (WOA) as a response to the serial rapist(s) that was terrorizing Antiguan communities, specifically the safety of women. We began our association because we wanted to lend our support and assistance, however we could, as we advocated to END VIOLENCE against women and children. Today we celebrate International Women’s Day 2012 with the rest of the world, and we want to encourage each of you to do whatever you can to end women’s stories of violence.
Activism should be embraced by everyone. We can all find ways to assist those that need it most, because there so much to do. This year’s IWD theme is ‘Connecting girls, inspiring futures’, it is important for us as the adults to take ownership of our role in ensuring a safe environment for our girls.
Celebrate today with the women in your lives.
Embrace the young girls that you come in contact with, let them know you are there for them as they travel through the difficult stages of maturity.
The lives of our girls are our own. We MUST protect them.
To sustain life, we must sustain women.
Check out the events and campaigns happening around the world today at
Spread the word, “We can all do something to help.”

This is a message from:
Women Of Antigua (WOA)
PO Box 1145
St. John’s
Antigua
tel: 268-779-6634, 268-723-6934, 268-772-7913 or 268-780-7754
Executive members:
Greschen Edwards, Zahra Airall
Linisa George, Thomasine Greenaway-Whyte
“FOR A WORTHY CAUSE”

 

Me, performing in Women of Antigua's Vagina Monologues in 2008.

 

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Spotlight – Shakeema Edwards

This is Shakeema Edwards collecting the V-Monologues literary prize from Women of Antigua representative Greschen Edwards. The one time literary award coincided with the group’s first staging of the Vagina Monologues. Edwards, a former student of the Antigua Girls High School, has also won other youth writing prizes in Antigua such as the Dancing Nude in the Moonlight next chapter competition (a promotional activity organized by the Best of Books for my second book), Independence literary awards, and a Wadadli Pen prize.

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