Artistes in Direct Support presents the 26th edition of ‘The Flame and the Ribbon’, a packed program inclusive of a play, song and dance at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) this evening in commemoration of World AIDS Day.
The one-act play made its debut in 1992 and has since become an annual event bringing about awareness of HIV and AIDS. This year, in keeping with the World AIDS Day theme, ‘Know Your Status,’ the production is titled ‘Knowing is Caring’. The production is supported by UNAIDS and the Ministry of Public Health’s National AIDS Programme.
The play is about a young girl who contracted HIV but didn’t want to know her status. However, she had the support of her mother, who was already tasked with being a single parent and the support of her godmother and members of her community who tried persuading her to get tested.
Writer and director of the production Desiree Edghill explained that most of the people who contract HIV are young, among them are many teenage girls would have been involved with older men. The lead actors are Clemencio Goddette who plays Margaret (the mother) while Sonia Yarde plays the godmother and Romel Edmondson the counsellor. The other members of the cast are Alex Fraser, Anthony Peters, Marcelle Tulloch, Bricelle Peters, Sarafina Edghill, Sidney Benjamin, Amalita Abrams, Priscilla McCammon and Nevaeh Edmondson.
Also a part of the programme is choreographer Vivienne Daniel of the National Dance Company. Oral Welshman is another choreographer and dancer in this event as well as Paul Charles. Songstress Michelle ‘Big Red’ King’ will also feature on the programme. “… Dr Martin Oditt, the head of UNAIDS for Guyana and Suriname; Lisa Thompson, the Chief of Party for Advancing Partners and Community and a representative from the Ministry of Public Health will be speaking at the event. The host of the evening is Nazim Hussain,” Edghill said.
Prior to the show there will be a candlelight vigil in memory of those who would have died from an AIDS-related illness, in support of those living with the disease and in hope of finding a cure. Persons are asked to walk with their own candles.
There will be rapid testing and counselling this evening also, as persons are invited to know their status.
The event is free and persons are asked to pick up their tickets at the NCC. Persons with tickets who cannot make the show for some reason are being asked to return them to the NCC or share with a friend who would be interested in attending.
The Flame and the Ribbon show commences at 8 pm and the candlelight vigil at 7 pm.