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Tuesday 12 November 2019
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Annual New Play Festival returns

Arnetia Thomas -
Arnetia Thomas -

The fourth Annual New Play Festival (NPF) features three new plays which have never been staged.

This year, the featured plays are The Serpent’s Mouth, a radio play by Randy Ablack, Ring Game by Arnetia Thomas and Dey Dey Gets a House by Judith Theodore. The event takes place from November 8-10 and 15-17 at the NDATT Studios at 97 Southern Main Road, Curepe. Each play will run four times over the two weekends.

The NPF 2019 is presented by Playwrights Workshop Trinbago (PWT) and the National Drama Association of TT (NDATT).

The three plays explore serious issues which are common in TT.

Thomas took inspiration from the children’s ring game Brown Girl in the Ring to tell the story of Susanna, a brown girl in the ring of a never-ending game.

“Trapped and controlled by her sister Lisa, and Lisa’s friend Alice, she tries to find love, comfort and freedom in a place where they don’t seem to exist. Will she find what she’s looking for? Will the game ever end? Or will she always be trapped in a ring game?” Thomas is a 22-year-old playwright whose foray into playwrighting is her latest exploration of creative expression.

Ablack’s The Serpent’s Mouth is set in the sleepy village of Carenage.

Three police officers investigate the disappearance of a young boy, and the search threatens to disrupt the accepted levels of corruption to which villagers have become immune.

The play speaks directly to the disconnect between communal responsibility and social ills.

Ablack is a founding member of the PWT, a poet and short-story writer.

Randy Ablack -

He has a degree in literature and communications from COSTAATT, and is doing a masters in fine arts at UWI St Augustine.

Theodore is a veteran playwright, actress and dancer who has starred in a number of film and stage productions.

She was a participant in the Cropper Foundation Residential Writing Workshop in 2005, the Trinity-in-Trinidad Playwright Workshop taught by Tony Hall, and the UTT Craft of Fiction Creative Workshop led by Elizabeth Nunez.

Judith Theodore -

She has short stories in three anthologies and has published her own anthology, Told by the River.

In Dey Dey Gets A House, villagers come together to put up a shelter for a homeless man, but one neighbour objects to the location of the shack.

Dey Dey finds a way to get the homeless man away from the shack and so out of her environment, but her plan crashes.

The festival is the culmination of a process begun in PWT’s Monthly Readers Theatre Series, where playwrights can bring their plays to be read by actors, directors, producers and theatregoers and receive feedback.

From this body of scripts, each year three are chosen for further workshopping and inclusion in the NPF.

The playwrights go through a two-month script development process, working with an experienced playwright, functioning as a dramaturge, to develop the script.

A draft is then used to cast the play, after which the playwright works with a director and actors for another two months, when there may be further rewriting.

At the end of this two-month period, the plays are performed multiple times over two weekends.

In 2019, an additional step was added in the form of dramatic readings, which took place in August during Carifesta XIV.

For further info on scheduling and tickets visit www.iamndatt.wordpress.com/npf-2019, find @iamndatt on all social media platforms and call or message 351-6293/687-0083.

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