There is little chance that an evening spent at a production staged by the Pinelands Creative Workshop (PCW) would not be satisfying.
So, it was hardly surprising that PCW’s just-concluded Season of Arts titled Out of Nazareth climaxed on such a grand note last Sunday, leaving patrons mesmerized by the top-class act.
This year’s multimedia production was really the story of this transformative cultural group, which has stomped its way to excellence for the past 40 years, and a celebration of its contribution to the development of this island’s cultural industries.
The flawless acting, riveting dialogue, intense drama, expert dancing, thought-provoking poetry, and powerful songs delivered in fine style by the 115-member cast which included children from age four to adults 50-plus took patrons on a worthwhile nostalgic journey.
The production, scripted and directed by Rodney Grant, was presented in Dance, Drum and Deities; Dan in the Man in the Van, I am that I Am and Mirror Image.
“We had a fabulous response from our colleagues in the performing arts industry and also the general public who support us on a continual basis and even newcomers. Everybody had a fantastic evening. It was a well-put-together show, the artwork, the music, the whole combination was well received, a proud Sophia Greaves-Broome, the Chief Executive Officer of PCW told Bajan Vibes.
“It was all a culmination of hard work and special training for the production, which began in earnest since the start of the year,” she said.
“Everybody had to be engaged in intense training, drummers, dancers, the actors. Everybody,” Greaves Broome added.
It was all set against the backdrop of the changing image and reputation of the Pinelands community known as “PPP – Perry, Pine, Prison”. Perry was a reference to a notorious magistrate before whom generations of offenders were brought.
“The Pine in the early days… because of the lack of social structures in the housing estates created an environment that was negative. The court system at that time was led by Magistrate Perry and if you had to appear before him and your address was the Pine, automatically his sentence was very severe, you went to prison.”
The frustrated community bonded together to fight back against its misfortune and the resulting stigma, forming the Pineland Development Council that later became the Pineland Creative Workshop.
“Over the last 40 years, PCW has been a stabilizing force in the community that allows for education and culture and other development activity, Greaves-Broomes said.
This transformation is in fact the genesis of the title Out of Nazareth.
“It was said by Magistrate Perry that nothing good could come out Nazareth, so hence the production reflected on the last 40 years so people could understand what good can come out of Nazareth — so people could get the imagery of the early Pineland community what it has transcended it to.
“We were able to tell our story through the dance and the music and the theatre pieces which was set in a court scene where the Pinelands community was placed on trial before Magistrate Perry and proven to be innocent.”
Looking ahead the PCW CEO says the organization has set its sight on growth.
“We want to move towards owning our own facility, to be able to increase our productions which focus on the Afro-Caribbean art form. This would allow us to offer more to the public.”
There’s no doubt that PCW is on the right path and bigger things are ahead.
As for the question can anything good come out of the Pine: Yes, yes, most definitely yes – a tradition of excellence continues.