What do you call a group of friends with a passion for theatre and everything in the arts? The Re-Actors.
This comedic, theatrical group recently celebrated one year on stage; its aim always to bring high quality entertainment in skits, stand-up comedy and such like.
The Re-Actors are not confined to any specific expression and often one skit can involve myriad talents.
The six Re-Actors: Randolph Critchlow, Sean Thompson, Mark Luke Edwards, Leon Cummings, Mark Kazim, Tashandra Inniss are all well-known and have been featured in The Scene individually because of their incredible commitment and accomplishments in the performing arts.
Randolph is an actor, writer, spoken word poet, teacher, dramatist, playwright and coach. He is the recipient of the National Drama Festival’s (NDF) 2012 Best Supporting Actor Award for his role in Makantali. He also received the NDF Best Director Award for Between the Covers and accepted the Best Guyanese Stage Play Award for Let it Shine in 2012. He has been involved in the Merundoi Directors Workshop and Mentorship Programme with the National Drama Festival. He was the third runner-up in the 2013 Upscale Poetry Slam.
Sean is an actor, writer, poet and comedian. Sean won the 2012 Theatre Guild One Act Festival’s Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Between the Covers. He took home the 2013 NDF Best Supporting Actor award for Watch De Ride. He also received several nominations.
Mark Luke Edwards is an actor, writer, poet and comedian. He won the 2012 Best Actor Award for the Theatre Guild One Act Festival. He is also the recipient of the NDF Best Supporting Actor award for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream and director of Best Production Till Death. Mark wrote Planned to Perfection which took the second runner-up place last year as Best New Guyanese Play at the NDF. He was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor award for his role in A Darker Side and received the Prime Minister’s Award for graduating second best in his class at the National School of Theatre Arts and Drama. Apart from being a part of the Merundoi Directors Workshop he was involved in the Mentorship Programme with the National Drama Festival in 2012.
Leon is an actor, poet and writer. He was nominated in 2012 for the Best Actor Award for his outstanding performance in the Guyanese revision of To Sir With Love. A year earlier, he was a nominee for the Best Supporting Actor Award for his roles in Shoes Blues and Makantali.
Mark Kazim is an actor, writer, director, comedian and marketing specialist. He won the 2012 Theatre Guild One Act Festival’s Best Supporting Actor award for his role in Virtues. He also took home the Best Actor award from the National Drama Festival in the same year.
Tashandra is an actress, playwright and co-producer of the Drama Queens Production. She was nominated several times for Best Actress in the Theatre Guild One Act Festival and The National Drama Festival. She is the recipient of the award for Best Original Guyanese Play Till Death which she had written for the 2012 National Drama Festival. Tashandra is currently a student of the National School of Theatre Arts and Drama.
Michael Ignatius and Nirmala Narine are two associate members of the Re-Actors.
The name Re-Actors was used to identify the group after Mark Kazim recalled Malcolm Defreitas mentioning during a workshop at the Theatre Guild that “An actor doesn’t act, he reacts.” He thought that it was a true statement and it fitted the friends who were just going about doing small skits as comedy routines.
The initial start-up of the group happened when local comedian Kirk Jardine, popularly referred to as “Chow Pow” requested specific actors to do a few skits for his annual comedy show “Chow Pow Comedy Jam”. After a successful run, the group of friends unified their talents. They saw that first performance as a start-up that paved the way for them to unleash the talents they had. They saw it as going in the right direction so they stuck with it. So far it has been an enjoyable experience and they look to a future of elevating themselves.
Their first official gig as a group was at the Upscale Comedy Night on May 30, 2013, from then on and up until now, audiences are still falling in love with the fresh new spin the Re-Actors brought to comedy.
While the writing is mainly done by Randolph with a few by Sean and Mark Kazim, collectively the group comes up with ideas for these scripts. Even though the Re-Actors are known for comedy they are not just all about comedy, they see themselves doing everything valuable in their careers and adding their own spice to our local entertainment atmosphere.
For the Re-Actors, their goal is to accomplish success in everything the arts hands them and to be bigger and better as the years go by. This includes, but is not limited to, winning Drama Festival awards, having their own comedy show and taking their talents around the country and even the region.
The group acknowledges that there is a wide range of talented thespians in the local entertainment arena but the Re-Actors is an exclusive group that offers unique versatile and well-rounded talents.
But what keeps six people each with individual dreams and ambitions, talents and unique abilities together? Maybe it’s their diversity and the fact that they were all nurtured at the Theatre Guild in Kingston.