Livestreaming on this page on Sunday 13 December 2020 at 1 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 4 p.m. EST (Kingston, UTC -5).
Livestreaming a Conversation: Jamaican playwrights answer George Bernard Shaw (Part 2)
10 Weeks In Jamaica: Theater Conversations from Jamaica to The World!
Akiba Abaka Arts presented the conversation Jamaican Playwrights Answer George Bernard Shaw (Part 2) as a part of the 10 Weeks in Jamaica series livestreaming on the global, commons-based, peer produced HowlRound TV network at howlround.tv on Sunday 13 December 2020 at 1 p.m. PST (San Francisco, UTC -8) / 3 p.m. CST (Chicago, UTC -6) / 4 p.m. EST (Kingston, UTC -5).
10 Weeks In Jamaica: Theater Conversations from Jamaica to The World!
Often seen as an ideal tropical vacation destination, the island nation of Jamaica is a tourism and cultural hub of the Caribbean known globally for its ska and reggae music, world class sprinters, high grade ganja, endless sunshine and beautiful beaches. Yet, Jamaica possesses a theatrical legacy that contains catalytic approaches to decolonization, language reclamation, indigenous narrative formation, community development and nation building. As the world focuses on achieving racial equity, the rich history and contemporary narratives of the Jamaican stage provides valuable learnings for theater practitioners and audiences in search of models and memories of progressive community building through the arts.
The conversation with Jamaican playwrights continues as we explore the topics of language, community engagement, Jamaica’s diverse cultural narratives and challenges within the collective consciousness in Jamaica that impact their work.
Jamaican playwrights answer George Bernard Shaw (Part 2)
“The next thing you want is a theatre, with all the ordinary travelling companies from England and America sternly kept out of it; for unless you do your own acting and writing your own plays, your theatre will be no use: it will in fact vulgarize and degrade you”. --George Bernard Shaw (Kingston, Jamaica circa 1911)
Using Shaw’s statement as a prompt, we will look at the role of the playwright in Jamaican society. What reflections, representations and challenges do we get of Jamaica through the lens of its playwrights? How do they represent authentic narratives of the multiple cultures and peoples on the island and in its Diaspora.
Speakers: Dahlia Harris, Suzanne Beadle and Lana Finikin
Dahlia Harris is a Jamaican actress, television and radio personality, public speaker, playwright and film and theatre director. A graduate of the UWI, Mona with Majors in English as well as Media and Communication, Dahlia has been a part of the local media landscape for almost 25 years. She started her acting career in 2005 and has appeared in many television series. In 2005, she won the Actor Boy Award (Jamaican equivalent of the USA's Tony Award) for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Two years later, she moved up to become the Best Actress in a Lead Role. Her first professional play, Judgement, was nominated as Best New Jamaican Play and, for two consecutive years (2011 and 2012), her plays God's Way and God's Way 2: Carlton's Redemption, respectively were the winners in that category. In 2020 she won Best Actress for ‘Straight Jacket’. Dahlia has written, directed and produced the Television Jamaica series ‘Ring Games’ and ‘Love and Dancehall’.
Suzanne Beadle is a playwright, director, producer and actor. She recently appeared in repeat episodes of seasons one and two of the JaFilms/TVJ production Real Friends. She directed, produced, acted in and was casting director for the Red Shoes Production's film Jessie's Baby and was casting director for the multiple award-winning short film Sweet Rind. She also wrote, acted in and produced the play, 70 x 7: The Real Truth. She is the founder of SoulArt, a faith based production company focusing on family friendly, live performance with a message. SoulArt also has an outreach arm which hosted it’s first in a series of webinars titled “Open Yuh Mout an Talk” in May 2020 and has a series of live talks “Soul Talk” which tackles topics that are often difficult to navigate. In addition to SoulArt, Suzanne is the founder and creative director of Tableaux: Centre for the Performing Arts, which is known for its social justice and advocacy work and for being ‘a voice for the voiceless’. Suzanne has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Literatures in English and Cultural Studies (Hons) from the University of the West Indies (Mona) during which she studied Theatre and Social Justice at Malmo University in Malmo, Sweden. She recently completed a Master of Arts degree in Creative Arts with distinction at the UWI (Cavehill) in Barbados. Her work has been recognized by Jamaica's Actor Boy Awards. In addition to being a performing artist and entrepreneur, Suzanne serves as an adjudicator and workshop facilitator for speech and drama in the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission’s annual series of performing arts competitions. She is a senior lecturer at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.
Through a powerful combination of creative arts and advocacy, Lana Louise Finikin has led the Sistren Theatre Collective for over 20 years. Sistren has used street theater to promote discussion about community safety and grassroots organizing since 1977, highlighting programs on gender-based violence, crime prevention and HIV/AIDS through community mobilizing and organizing around community development, gender based violence analysis of issues and discussion of possible solutions through networking with organizations at all levels, consistently using the creative arts as a tool of social change. Lana has also served as a project coordinator, co-trainer and facilitator for GROOTS Jamaica, emphasizing safety in cities and communities through Local to Local Dialogues and implementing safety audits. Lana has a leading role in monitoring and reviewing progress and challenges in the implementation of global development policies and commitments such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the SDGs, and the New Urban Agenda and in mainstreaming a gender perspective and women’s empowerment in UN activities through initiatives and programs such as Safe Public Spaces for Women & for All” and “Safe Cities +20: Public Space and Gender.” In 2012, Lana was appointed to the Caribbean Civil Society Organisations and Networks Committee and received the Otto René Castillo Award for Political Theatre from the Castillo Theatre in New York.
About HowlRound TV
HowlRound TV is a global, commons-based peer produced, open access livestreaming and video archive project stewarded by the nonprofit HowlRound. HowlRound TV is a free and shared resource for live conversations and performances relevant to the world's performing arts and cultural fields. Its mission is to break geographic isolation, promote resource sharing, and to develop our knowledge commons collectively. Participate in a community of peer organizations revolutionizing the flow of information, knowledge, and access in our field by becoming a producer and co-producing with us. Learn more by going to our participate page. For any other queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Vijay Mathew at +1 917.686.3185 Signal/WhatsApp. View the video archive of past events.