Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Playwright and background information about the play

Trevor Rhone
  • Born in Kingston(March 1940) – grew up in St. Catherine – Bellas Gate
  • He was involved in acting/performances from a child – decided on his profession at the age of nine.
  • Attended Beckford and Smith’s School – Now St. Jago High School
  • Was actively involved in Pantomime – The Little Theatre Movement
  • Studied theatre at the Rose Burford College in England (1960-63)
  • Became a teacher – after lack of fulfillment went officially into acting and theatre. Writing and directing plays.
  • Known mainly for his work on ‘The Harder They Come.’
  • Other works include Old Story Time and Smile Orange

Background of text
  • Social
ü  Set in the 1970s –
ü  Colour prejudice  - education the only means of social mobility for blacks, little job opportunity
ü  The lighter the complexion of the skin the greater chance of being noted or recognized socially, esteemed professions - (any work at a bank) eg. teller, pastor, etc.
ü  Esteemed education was only found in England.
ü  Obeah and spirituality high – African background – nearer to slavery than now – hence African ancestry stronger.
ü  The church had a strong influence in the governance of the lives of the people.
  • Economical and Political
ü  Farming the main source of economic livelihood – hence the market and its significance
ü  Pre – independence – hence the crown ruled the country- laws were based on those of the monarchy

Features of Modern Drama
ü  Heavy reliance on stage conventions
ü  Elaborate stage directions
ü  Line of demarcation between types of plays not as visible
ü  Then  -  Comedy, tragedy, romance and history
ü  Now – tragicomedy, historical –romance etc.

The oral Tradition – folklore
ü  Story telling -  main source of entertainment for society
ü  Used as a unifying agent – community members remain close based on the interaction that takes place during this time also the witty comments enhance the relationship among members.
ü  Used as an avenue to make comments on social, political and economic conditions. This comes in the form of satire, ridicule and allegories etc.
ü  This is demonstrated in all aspect of society –eg.  entertainment – music, plays,  our social life – how we communicate – things are done in a dramatic sense – elaborate and exaggerated – hence a narrative.
ü  Our language (patois) – struggle for it to be accepted in print  - hence making it official

ü  It is appreciated verbally.

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