On Friday 13th May 2016, Fourth Form theatre arts, literature and history students from the St. Augustine Secondary School, got the opportunity to experience the live production of “Berlin on a Donkey” staged by the National Theatre Arts Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NTAC).
This unforgettable journey written by Ralph Campbell depicts how the Berlin Conference of 1885 affected African autonomy and self-governance. The actors through excerpts from famous speeches, prose and poetry were able to convey the importance and relevance of how the decisions from the infamous meeting organised by then German Chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck impacted on the African diaspora.
The cast comprised of Marvin Dowridge as Dr. Eric Eustace Williams, Adam Pascall as King Selassie, Fabrice Barker as Julius Malema, Shivonne Churche-Isaacs as Shirley Graham Dubois, Syntyche Bishop as a mad black West Indian woman and Lalonde Ochoa as Mark Anthony in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar.
(L-R) Shivonne Churche-Isaacs, Adam Pascall, Marvin Dowridge and cast in NTAC’s production of Berlin on a Donkey.
After the performance, there was an interactive session which provided pertinent information and tips about careers in the creative industry and the skills required to become successful in performing arts.
According to theatre arts student, Ray Wilson “the acting was spot on and it was an actual portrayal of the historical event that took place”. This viewpoint was reiterated by Shyann Joseph who stated that “the production was very exciting and interesting. The characters were very entertaining, they taught us important lessons and showed us how things were back in the 18th and 19th century”.
Facilitated by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts via the National Theatre Arts Company of Trinidad and Tobago, the performance aimed at educating students about global history, increasing tolerance for other cultures and promoting active learning.
Ray Wilson, a budding voice actor from St. Augustine Secondary School portrays the lead character in the cartoon Kiteretsu