Deaf Theatre group to stage ‘Expressions’ performance after successful Carifesta XI tour

Local theatre aficionados will soon be treated to a performance of ‘Deaf Expressions’ by members of Deaf Theatre Guyana, who recently returned from performing at Carifesta XI in Suriname.

The group, which falls under the purview of the Deaf Association of Guyana, on Tuesday returned from the festival,

Deaf Theatre Guyana members in the auditorium of the Kennedy Stitching Foundation.
Deaf Theatre Guyana members in the auditorium of the Kennedy Stitching Foundation.

where its members performed at two theatres, Unique and On Stage in Paramaribo.

The 30-minute piece ‘Deaf Expressions’ included drumming, dancing and dramatisation before an audience that “loved every minute of it,” according to a press release from the Association. The group comprised youth from three special needs schools in Georgetown, Diamond and New Amsterdam who did an excellent job representing their schools, the deaf community and persons with disabilities at their overseas show, the release said.

Shonette Belgrave, the lone adult performer, it noted, moved her audience with her signed rendition of the ‘Story of Creation,’ which was first performed at Theatre Guild in 2010. Other members of the cast include Jonathan and Esther Hamer from Kreative Arts, Mark Cyrus from the Otishka Drummers. They were accompanied by their teachers.

According to the release, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the group and many new friendships were formed especially among the dancers and drummers from Jamaica and Antigua

The dancers and drummers after their performance at Unique Theatre in Paramaribo, Suriname
The dancers and drummers after their performance at Unique Theatre in Paramaribo, Suriname

. Plans are now in train for two Antiguan choreographers to come to Guyana next year to hold a workshop with the Deaf Theatre dancers. Meanwhile, ‘Deaf Expres-sions’ will feature in the upcoming Deaf Theatre Guyana show set for the National Cultural Centre, on Sunday, September 29.

Shonette Belgrave performing the ‘Story of Creation’
Shonette Belgrave performing the ‘Story of Creation’

The group was also able to view other performances at Carifesta, including those performed for ‘Guyana Night’ at the festival. Another great experience was the workshop ‘Digital Playland,’ where the deaf persons produced four one-minute films on themselves, the press release said.

The group’s participation in Carifesta would not have been possible without the generosity of the Kennedy Stichting Foundation of Suriname, which hosted them at the dormitory of the Kennedy Deaf School in Paramaribo. Financial support was also provided by the Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sport, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security, Scotiabank, Genequip, Ansa McAL and John Fernandes Limited.

 

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