Strong real life topics, and touching and thought-provoking messages are just some of what was showcased at the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts (NIFCA) Theatre finals last Saturday night at the Major Noot Hall, Combermere School.
Members of Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) Drama group again stole the spotlight. The Social Engineers presented their first piece titled The Boss Big- Big Cheifa.
This 45-minute play took a real life look at what happens on ‘blocks’ in Barbados and the associated dangers.
Though lengthy, the piece captivated the audience and the actors had them hanging on to their every word. This piece should definitely be up for a gold medal award.
The second presentation from the Social Engineers was Confessions. It too had the audience hanging on to every word and roaring with laughter during the ‘sweet, sweet, sweet’ moments. It delivered a very strong message.
The play had a cast of 13 inmates and one prison officer and spoke to the discrimination experienced by persons with HIV/AIDS and why it should be stopped. The crowd really loved this one.
The other piece from the HMP drama group came from 26-year-old Jamaican inmate, Ann Lisa Thomas, who recounted a real life experience. In ‘Mi Should Leff Di Phone’, she walked the audience through the events that led to incarceration. She cautioned all in ear shot that everything that comes easy is not always good and that the choices they made could have long lasting effects.
The piece, which was considerably shorter than in her semifinal performance, was still well received by the audience. Though humorous, the serious message was not missed.
The Phoenix Performers should also be commended for a job well done. The group presented a modern day depiction of the fairy tale Cinderella. The cast of differently able persons, who have not allowed their disabilities to set them back, completely thrilled the audience with this piece. It encouraged both males and females to get a proper education and find a job rather than waiting around to find a prince or princess charming.
Cyndi Marshall delivered a truly thought-provoking piece entitled To Those Who Complain About Brain Drain. She highlighted the millennial take on the brain drain in Barbados and emphasized that the sink could only drain if someone pulled the plug.
Irijah Alkins left the audience with a lot to think about with her piece The Culprit.
She urged persons who sowed seeds of self-hatred within themselves to check themselves.
Other commendable performances came from Damani Re, Alister Alexander, and Akeem Chandler-Prescod.