NEW YORK, January 14, 2008 – Depending on whom you ask, chronicling the trials and triumphs of the Africa peoples to the American experience varies substantially. Many of those variations are being examined by at least one community-based organization during Black History Month celebrations through the month of February. Through an ambitious programme of events from January 30 through February 27, 2008, the Brooklyn, NY based Caribbean Cultural Theatre (CCT) will attempt “telling we own story.”
The offerings will play out on stage and screen throughout New York State with music and poetry forming a necessary backdrop. The centerpiece of the schedule is the Classic Caribbean Stage and Screen Series, highlighting the contribution of pioneering Caribbean writers to world literature, theatre and film. The season will highlight the work of celebrated Jamaican writer for stage and screen, Trevor D. Rhone, CD.
“Our offerings for Black History Month honours cultural pioneers, showcase innovative new voices, exude pride and celebrate vision,” declares Jamaican E. Wayne McDonald, Artistic Director of the CCT and head storyteller.
With the promise of “something for every member of the family” in the extended series, the program opens in midweek with what promises to be an entertaining after work, open mic session on January 30, at the Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza (Eastern Parkway/Flatbush Avenue). The monthly Poets & Passion program affords Caribbean-American poets, at various stages of their careers, an opportunity to share their work. Start time is 7:00 pm.
The work of Jamaica’s preeminent dramatist Trevor Rhone, takes center stage during this year’s Classic Stage & Screen Series with an intimate account of his journey from the poverty of rural Jamaica. As told through Bellas Gate Boy, Rhone’s captivating narrative reveals a master storyteller at his best, notes McDonald.
Bellas Gate Boy criss-crosses the state, making stops at York College in Jamaica, NY, on Friday, February 1 at 8:00 pm; St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY on Sunday, February 3, at 6:00 pm; Rockland County Community College, Rockland, NY on Friday, February 8, at 7:30 pm, and St. John’s University, Queens, NY, on Wednesday, February 13 at 6:30 pm.
Rhone will also be a featured guest at the Flatbush Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library, 22 Linden Boulevard, on Tuesday, February 5 at 6:30 pm, where acclaimed musician Irving Burgie (Island in the Sun, Day Oh) will join the noted filmmaker and playwright to share their insights on career and cultural identity in an interactive session with members of the audience.
From the small stage to the big screen, Caribbean New Yorkers will be introduced to another outstanding work by the controversial filmmaker Stephanie Black. “Africa Unite”, a singular and masterfully executed film that is part 60th birthday concert tribute to Bob Marley, and Marley family travelogue for their trip to Ethiopia, screens at St. Francis College, downtown Brooklyn, NY on February 12 at 7:00 pm.
The programme returns to the Brooklyn Public Library – Central Branch, on February 27, with the monthly platform for “published and unpublished writers and enthusiasts to sound-off”, Poets & Passion. The session will be anchored by Jamaican novelist/poet Ainsley Burrows who will read from his most recent work, “Black Angels with Sky Blue Feathers”.
For additional program information call 718-783-8345 / 718-287-8597 / 718-421-6927, or online at caribbeantheatre.org.
Program partners for the Black History month celebration include the Caribbean Literary & Cultural Center, Jamaican Civic & Cultural Association of Rockland, and TSO Productions.
Formed six years ago by Caribbean American theatre practitioners, CCT aims to present work of the highest artistic merit that honours a balanced rendering of Caribbean culture and the American experience. In previous seasons, the company has hosted such literary luminaries as Kamau Braithwaite, E. R. Braithwaite, Linton Kwesi Johnson, and Anthony Winkler.