‘It So Happen’ for new drama company
Barbados’ newest performing arts company, Diasporic Arts Productions, dramatically announced its arrival on the local stage with an engaging production at the Frank Collymore Hall recently.
The It So Happen Suite, a play consisting of adaptations of four of the late Timothy Callender’s well known stories – The Boyfriends, Romantic Interlude, The Man Who Saw Visions and A Change Of Habit – was selected as the work for the company’s debut and to launch the Hall’s year-long 25th anniversary celebrations.
Significantly, Diasporic Arts Productions’ founder and artistic director, Barbadian actress Alison Sealy-Smith, said the particular play was chosen “because of the strength of Timothy Callender’s work and its tribute to our rich cultural history”.
As Sealy-Smith wrote in the programme, “The telling and retelling of tales passed on from generation to generation is central to our notion of ourselves as a people and to our sense of where we belong in the world.
“It is our responsibility as artists to create and tell our own stories and to ensure that these stories survive, become classics through the ongoing repetition of ageless, universal themes and iconic characters”.
Sealy-Smith explained that her company was designed to celebrate and create Barbadian and diasporic classics and to nurture and strengthen the voices and skills of Barbadian playwrights and performers.
The all-star cast in the It so Happen Suite comprised Amanda Cumberbatch, Rashida Harding, Ishiaka McNeil, Matthew Murrell, Toni-Ann Johnson, Levi King, Marcus Myers, Nala, Andrew Pilgrim, iNDRANi, Alison Sealy-Smith, Michael Taitt and Sonia Williams. The production also featured the voices of Tony Thompson and Patrick Foster.
Director was Ayesha Gibson-Gill, with Alison Sealy-Smith as consulting director.
Dr Allyson Leacock is chairman of Diasporic Arts Productions.