The season for theatre
Arts on Sunday
This season is known for theatre in the Caribbean. Curiously, this theatre exists and has sprung from two different traditions: one that takes place on the formal (western) stage, and another belonging to the traditional theatre of the folk. Each has evolved from different sources, but they have also been mixed, contributing in the end to a colourful exhibition of ‘seasonal’ theatre. What is more, while there is a tradition of theatre at this time, most of it is not directly linked to the celebration of the season in content, theme or form. The sources are historical.
This ‘Season’ is an integration of Christmas and the New Year. It formally comes to an end on January 6, although this observation is hardly recognised in Guyana where Christmas is closed and forgotten long before that date. But the Yuletide tradition came to the Caribbean from Europe and established itself here. Last Sunday night, for example, is Twelfth Night, the official end of “the twelve days of Christmas” when decorations are taken down and the season officially ends.
These theatre traditions have their origins in observance of this Season from the colonial period, and all the different sources may be traced back to this. It is so for the traditional performances as it is for those on the formal Western stage, even though much of what is happening now may not appear to have any discernible links. In deeper examination, they all do.