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.
(Playwright?) – Rising from the Ashes. Performed by Popular Theatre Movement. (formed 1988)
Airall, Zahra – Also a part of Women of Antigua (see below), Airall is founder and director of Zee’s Youth Theatre which produced, among other things, the well-received School Bag. In 2015, Airall’s Sugar Apple Theatre teamed up with Dorbrene O’Marde for a revival of Harambee’s Tangled Web. It’s worth noting that Airall 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.
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.
Eleston Nambalumbu Nambalala Adams – (play titles?). Performed by Rio Revealers (started 1979).
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
Edson Buntin – (Play titles?). Scaramouche Theatre. Also plays at the Antigua State College such as Conjugal Bliss.
David Edgecombe – As far as I know, 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), now a Caribbean Reads publication, 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 include For Better For Worse, Making It, Coming Home to Roost, and Heaven.
Oliver Flax – A Better Way (1976) and The Legend of Prince Klaas (1972). Performed by Bobby Margetson’s Little Theatre.
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
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.
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.
Edgar O. Lake – Some Quiet Mornin’; Matters of Antiguan Conspiracy: 1736; The Stone Circle; The Killing of Arthur Sixteen; more… (dates unknown)
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 – 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.
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 This World Spin One Way; and directed several others (in addition to his other cultural and artistic work)BIOGRAPHY deo 2010 .
In 2015, O’Marde teamed up with Zahra Airall’s Sugar Apple Theatre for a revival of Harambee’s Tangled Web.
Read my review of This World Spin One Way.
Read my ‘review’ of Tangled Web.
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.
Eustace Simon – several plays including Crossroads, The Awakening, Betty’s Hope, and Illusive Dreams. 1990s. Modern Theatre.
Lester Simon – Obeah Slave. Performed by the Grammarians. 1969.
Leon Chaku Symister – Voices of Protest, 1976; and Time Bomb, 1977; Tilting Scales, 1980. Third World Theatre.
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
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 (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. In 2015, Airall’s Sugar Apple Theatre teamed up with Dorbrene O’Marde for a revival of Harambee’s Tangled Web. It’s worth noting that Airall 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.
Amber Williams-King – Love and its Dialects (2011) – ran in the Paprika Festival at Tarragon Theatre.
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.
Howard Allen (also producer/director) – (w/Jermilla Kirwan) Diablesse (2005, HAMAfilms); and The Skin (2011, HAMAfilms) – reviewed here.
Alexis Andrews – Vanishing 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.
Oteh Thomas Anyandjuh (African born, resident in Antigua) – Love that Bites (2010, OTA Entertainment and Third Eye Studios) – also director.
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.
Francoise Bowen conceived and wrote Back to Africa which she describes as a “short documentary (depicting) a little piece of my island’s history. Antiguan slaves always thought Africa was nearby. Thanks to my director, photographer and editor Mr. Anderson Edghill for his time but most importantly his patience and thanks to Antiguan Historian Paddy Simon for sharing with me so much info about Antigua’s History. You are a book that need to be publish and used in all schools on the island from Pre-school up to Universities in the Caribbean, pure solid history is a must to be known to all.”
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
co-writer/producer/editor Jay Prychidny.
Alvin Glen Edwards – Once 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).
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).
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.
D. Gisele Isaac – The 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.
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:
Jamaica Kincaid – Life and Debt (a film by Stephanie Mack; written by Jamaica Kincaid). 2001. New Yorker Films. USA.
Jermilla Kirwan – (w/Howard Allen) Diablesse (2005, Hamafilms) – also actress in this and The Sweetest Mango.
Dr. James Knight – The Making of the Monarch – independently produced documentary on the Monarch King Short Shirt. 2013.
Nigel Trellis (born Guyana, resident in Antigua) – Hooked (2009, Tropical Films) Working Girl (2011, Tropical Films)
Keron ‘K-Wiz’ Wilson (credited as director; no writer credit is given) – The Date – short film (2013, Black Roots Records)
Keron ‘K-Wiz’ Wilson (credited as director, no writer credit is given) – Mechanic – short film (2013, Black Roots Records)
Keron ‘K-Wiz’ Wilson (created as director, no writer credit is given) – Stationary – short film (2013, Black Roots Records)
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