It is wonderful to give birth to this production at this time. The necessity to buck the trends of hiding issues under the rug, has led to some trying times; but with a belief that challenges such as an individual’s human rights and equality under the law must be aired and discussed, we envisage that Simone’s Place will bring about new ways of thinking.
Barbados is not immune to the health effects of HIV and its resultant discrimination. Key populations often find themselves battered by the hands of alienation, ostracism, and stigmatization, especially minority groups such as the lesbian, gay, and transgendered community, as the public tend to focus on the persons sexuality rather than their humanity.
As an HIV coordinator I seek to bring pertinent information which can lend to modifying the public’s view of men who have sex with men (MSM) thus recognizing the necessity of treating MSM in the society in a sensitive and non-discriminatory manner; recognizing MSM roles in all aspects of society; providing empowerment in this community; and assist in building a body of research that speaks specifically to MSM.
I chose theatre to portray MSM as it is genuine, and depicts actual people in real-life situations while showing raw human emotions in a sensitive manner and educating the general public.
The playwright Glenville Lovell has done justice to this vision by not only portraying the population’s challenges, needs and eccentricities, but focusing on the human being’s need for love, emotional closeness and intimacy which can only be satisfied/achieved by forming relationships. He also seeks to remove the climate of fear by holding up a mirror to the society causing us to pause, think and hopefully take positive action. The conversation begins on Friday, May 9, and will continue on Saturday, May 10, and conclude on Sunday, May 11, at Frank Collymore Hall. Come to Simone’s Place where you will be in for a special treat!
Marlene Hewitt, executive producer, Simone’s Place.