10,000, A One-Woman New Play Development
by Victoria "Tori" Smith
Produced by The Lawrence Arts Center
This workshop production brought to life the first play written by actress and trans rights activist Victoria "Tori" Smith, a fellow Lawrencian and powerhouse I've known since middle school. Tori's script tells her real-life story of the journey that brought her to acknowledgement of her own identity as a Black Trans Woman - weaving together humor, drama, Shakespeare and the words of Maya Angelou and Langston Hughes. Developed, rehearsed and filmed during the Covid-19 pandemic, this show was brought virtually to living rooms around the world. Combining my experience as a theatre director and film practitioner, we strove to bring a feeling of immediacy and presence to our virtual audiences.
Buss de Mark
by Alexander Johnson, Zeleca Julien, and the cast
Director and Script Consultant
Produced by I Am One TnT
Myself, the writers and a cast of queer and trans activists, performers and friends, developed this soca, calypso, dancehall, chutney, reggae musical comedy about a group of queer and trans people living, loving, surviving and doing their best to live their best lives in Trinidad and Tobago. Through a series of retreats, workshops and rehearsals, we created a show that told the stories that were personal to us. The work was widely loved and lauded by members of the LGBTQI+ community, but made many non-LGBTQI+ identifying people uncomfortable. For us, the most important thing was that we loved it, we got to play ourselves, for once, and we brought a new face to the drama featuring LGBTQI+ persons: both humorous and heartfelt.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
by William Shakespeare
Produced by the Trinidad Theatre Workshop
Shakespeare was writing in the same time period that English was brought to the Caribbean by colonialism. This provides amazing opportunities to bring understanding and clarity to Shakespeare's words when spoken in a range of Caribbean accents. Using the concepts of the script, and bringing in the Trinidadian Carnival archetypical character types and narratives to bring the story to the audience in a relatable way that brought out the comedy, tragedy and beauty in the story. We performed for three weeks of packed houses at the Trinidad Theatre Workshop's blackbox theatre, and then took the play on tour, performing it (with a few modifications) for secondary school students.
An Echo In The Bone
by Dennis Scott
Produced by Trinidad Theatre Workshop
This was my first professional production as director. I fell in love with the script because it told the complex story of the mixed heritage that make up so many Caribbean and Caribbean descent people. It was the first play I'd encountered that dealt explicitly with the realities of those of us who have ancestors who were enslaved as well as those profiting off of slavery. Themes of ancestral possession and memory form the backbone of the story. For this production I used one simple set, and one set of costumes, where each actor transformed into the range of characters they played without ever leaving stage, channeling the energy. I was lucky enough to recruit Winston Duke, who was a second year acting student at the Yale School of Drama, as the lead actor, and hire an all-start cast from prominent actors and actresses in Trinidad and Tobago.