MA’s Playhouse Profile of the Week in The West Indian Newspaper

“It is seldom that one finds a young person that is talented, well-spoken and thrive on challenges. Antonevia Ocho-Coultes is the founder and Artistic Director of MA’s Playhouse, New York.  A company that is committed to bringing the cultures of the Caribbean to a wider audience in the North America.”

“MA’s Playhouse aims to showcase the voice of the Caribbean, its playwrights, actors, and poets. The company has been doing really well so far. It’s first  performance ‘Nostalgia, Memories of a Tropical Past’ was a sold-out affair and the public demanded more. According to Antonevia the performance was, about people coming ad talking about growing up in the Caribbean and there voices in New York relating to their experience about living in the Metropolis. The performance was set to a backdrop of pan, guitar and drums.”[more…]

“Antonevia has bold plans for MA’s Playhouse. She wants to see it thriving and come to a place where it is serving the community fully.  As you can see Antonevia is a rare talent that has a far way to go. she is making a positive difference and we wish her and her family all the best in the future. Please contact masplayhouse@gmail.com or www.masplayhouse.com or via Facebook at facebook.com/masplayhouse.”

Author: Dr. Dhanpaul Narine of the West Indian Newspaper.

 

 

M.W.Bennett Interview on Sunjata Book One: The Blood War

Sunjata Book One: The Blood War by Mahess W. Bennett. Mahess was joined by NBC Augusta to discuss his sunjata novel. In the interview you get an in-dept look behind the scene to Sunjata novel Book one.[more…]

Original Artwork by Mahess Bennett. All rights Reserved

Overview by Mahess Bennett

“All Sunjata wanted was to find information leading to the mysteries of his past, while leaving the brutal life as a mercenary behind him, forever. But when a series of events lead the government to believe that he is the prime suspect to the celebrity serial killings, he is forced to return to his old ways of martial arts combat.

A gung-ho ex-marine named Lynch Blackmyn is called in to hunt him down using his high-tech military squadron; the Centra-unit. Sunjata later discovers that a mysterious secret society called the Mystici is also on his tail for reasons unknown.

After many narrow escapes and run-ins with both old and new acquaintances, Sunjata’s past resurfaces and sparks the Second Blood War. The harder Sunjata tries to lead a peaceful life, free of violence, the more difficult it becomes for him to avoid deadly conflict.

“SUNJATA: Blood Wars is an explosive action/adventure story that fuses high tempo martial arts action with ancient mysticism, spirituality, politics and new aged technology. Strap in and prepare for the coming of the Blood Wars.”

Sunjata Book One: The Blood Wars is available now via Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and Author House.

“Have fun and live life. As Sunjata would say, “Be Blessed and Manifest…”Feel free to contact me at www.sunjatasaga.com or sunjata22@yahoo.com.

Flambeaux The Caribbean Musical

Flambeaux  is an inspiring play written by the talented playwright Nandi Keyi. She is a playwright and a published author, whose work has been presented and produced on notable stages, journals and newspapers.

The play was directed by Roderick Warner and Lawrence Floyd. Flambeaux is a flaming torch used in processions at night. Flambeaux was set in fictional Homer’s Yard during Carnival where, Sybil, Big city, Lucretia, Mary, Ramjit, Breeze, Sagarat and neighbors are all striving for a sense of relevance and Home. Through song and dance we got an inside  glance into the spirit of the  people from Homer’s Yard. The play captured their sacrifice and struggles. [more…]

Flambeaux was surrounded by the death of a beloved stick-fighter “Sello,” played by Augustus Wilson during the 1880′s Trinidad celebration which sparks a drunken brawl with lit flambeaux, rousing the wrath of colonial authorities.The use of Calypso and other styles of music, choreography and Stickfighting, Flambeaux captures the repressed emotions the Trinidadian Community during the late 1880′s. According to the Caribbean news while the characters colorfully evoke the era, “Flambeaux” is also a historically accurate glimpse into a pivotal time in the history of Trinidad coinciding with the Camboulay Riots.

Visit Facebook: Facebook.com/flambeauxthemusicalplay to learn more!

The Cast:
Althea Alexis (sybil)
Augustus Wilson (sello)
Neil Dawson(Big City)
Ann Flanigan (Lucretia)
Donnell E. Smith (Sagarat)
Sparks (mister)
Angela Polite(Mary)
Shayne Powell (breeze)
Rrommel Tolentino( Ramjit)
Victoria L. Ward (Neighbor)
Marvel Allen (Neighbor)
Kenya Jacobs (Neighbor)
Araba Brown (Neighbor)
Andrew Clarke (Neighbor/Sello’s stickfight challenger)
Jude Evans (Neighbor)

“IF WALLS COULD TALK” written & directed by David Tulloch

The Jamaican Gleaner reported IF WALLS COULD TALK is a must see for Caribbean goers. The play is a dramatic comedy that takes the audience into the lives and marriage of The Bailey’s. Melvin and Jennifer Bailey are owners of a struggling hardware store and married for eleven years. They have tried so many times to have children but to no avail. [more…]

This is primarily because Jennifer suffers from a terminal condition known as uterine incompetence. What this does is to allow Jennifer to conceive but eventually she will have a miscarriage. Driven by guilt and her profound love for her husband whom she believes is ‘perfect’ and whom she failed at providing a family for, she decided to ask their loyal helper, Cindy to carry the child for her. This way she keeps it in house and without many people knowing. The thing is she granted her husband the permission to have a child with their helper based on the fact that she thought he was the perfect husband. Lucky for him Walls do not talk, or do they? So in a highly dramatic, hilarious comedy a husband’s conscience rescues his marriage ,but is it in time?

THE CREATIVE TEAM
Playwright David Tulloch
Producer Probemaster Entertainment
Director & Lighting Designer David Tulloch
Stage Manager Dacoda Mitchell
Set Design David Tulloch
Set Construction Lopez Atlan
Set Painter Kirk Nunes
Set Dressing Karl Hart
Costume Design David Tulloch

More on Jamaican Gleaner!

National Black Theatre Festival

The National Black Theater Festival in held June 13th in Winston-Salem, North Carolina was a complete and compassionate, illumination and examination of Black life via the theatre. The festival’s official commencement is an opening-night gala and awards ceremony that rivals the pomp and circumstance of any Hollywood red-carpet event. This gala is hosted by A-list celebrities like: Maya Angelou, Lamon Rucker (Meet the Browns), Wendy Raquel Robinson (The Game), and Ted Lange (Love Boat). There is also an opening night show that follows the Gala, which showcases the work of exemplary and award-winning talent, like Glen Turman, Lillias White, Sheryl Lee Ralph, etc…[more…]

According to Caribbean life new there were daily press conferences supplying media and interested parties with information about the festival’s events. Over 40 plays were presented by theater groups and production companies from many states in the USA – even plays from as far as South Africa have been mounted. An assortment of complimentary theatre-related workshops was available to all. A prolific Readers’ Theatre coordinated by Garland Thompson senior and junior, was a definite standout in programming. As if this wasn’t enough, there were programs highlighting the talent of children and teenagers. Malcolm Jamal Warner (The Cosby Show) hosted a nightly Poetry Slam. The Festival’s vendors’ market had unique products like my Black Betty Boo tee-shirt, I had to wrestle away from my niece. This year’s festival (July 29 – August 3, 2013, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina), promises more – even a Film Festival to boot. For us artist, and those of you spiritually evolved enough to recognize the importance of the arts to human civilization, attending the festival is a must.

Sharon Tshai King of Caribbean Life news reported that the festival had two major flaws: the six days need to be extended to 10 or more, and the absence of Caribbean playwrights saddened me. This absence has no reflection on the festival organizers. Instead, it speaks to the seemingly lack of significance the Caribbean community places on the theatrical experience. Many of us, only like the type of theatre that offers an opportunity to ‘laff till wi belly bus’. Caribbean communities must embrace the Theatre as a powerful medium, from which to transmit deep and transformative messages – a platform to continue illuminating and examining our lives. Most importantly, it is a part of our ancestral legacy and inheritance. We, like our African-American clan members, were born to tell stories via the theatre, particularly our own stories. History has taught us, how damaging it is when we allow others to tell it for us. Socrates has said “the unexamined life is not worth living” – his prescription for the individual. The National Black Theatre Festival magnifies Socrates philosophy by illuminating, and examining the lives of African peoples throughout the Diaspora. This is an impressive feat, even by Socrates standards. Caribbean communities should take heed to this great example. The development of meaningful theatre projects in Caribbean Communities in the USA and abroad, will earn us a more powerful presence at the festival, and in the world at large. There is plenty in all our communities that merit illumination, and much needing serious examination. The most powerful way to accomplish this, is through theatre. I know Socrates and Larry Leon Hamlin (founder of the National Black Theatre Festival) will be the spiritual guides of all such theatrical examinations and illuminations. Hopefully, we all will pass – instead of passing for, anything less than the greatness both of their spirits (Socrates and Larry Leon Hamlin) still bestow upon us.

*As the spirit of Larry Leon Hamlin and Socrates would have it, following this article’s composition, Not About Eve: a play by an award-winning Jamaican playwright (Karl O’Brian Williams), produced by Braata Productions (Andrew Clarke), featuring three actors from the Caribbean (Ilana Warner, Stacy-Ann Brissett, and Sharon Tsahai King), has been accepted as a Main Stage production for the 2013 festival (running August 2nd and 3rd). A play from Bermuda (Misunderstood) is also being presented on the festival’s Main Stage.

 

For more details about the Festival please check out Caribbean Life News

Welcome to MA’s Playhouse Theatre Blog

Ma’s Playhouse’s goal is to provide the Caribbean-American Actor and/or Playwright with a space and a voice that helps them to extensively explore and celebrate this duality through workshopping and full scale productions of new and old works, and to furthermore encourage intercultural understanding through an amalgamation of ideas, sharing of spaces and the production of culturally and emotionally driven works.