How long have you been involved in Theatre?
All my life. Or since 2003. Whichever came first.
What inspired you to become involved?
I believe playwrighting is the best medium to reach the Bahamian masses. I like all forms of writing, but if you want to reach people you have to become a playwright, I think that’s why I decided to become involved.
In what capacity (ies) do you participate in Theatre?
Producer, actor, writer and in marketing.
What are some of your most memorable moments in Theatre?
The Good. My first time on stage. The exhilaration of being on stage was like nothing before.
The Bad. That show in Canada proved how bad theatre can go sometimes. It was a dress rehearsal and it was bad. The script was an abomination and the actors never took it seriously, so we ended up with a disaster of an opening night.
How do you feel about Theatre in The Bahamas? What are its weak and strong points? How active is it? How can we make it better?
I think it’s fine. The problem is with Art in general or how Art Intellectuals view the public. They think the public is retarded and that they must elevate them to their level. So what we end up having is popular theatre and the ‘good’ theatre. There isn’t much effort to reach the people, instead we create art and we feel the people must understand. What we need is some serious playwrights who are trying to capture the imagination of the people.
Any advice for those who want to get involved in playwrighting?
Ya gotta sit your ass down and write. Be prepared for criticism. Be prepared to destroy it and rebuild it. It takes time.
Who were your mentors in Theatre?
Ian Strachan. I’m a member of a playwrights circle in Canada but it’s hard to call them mentors.
How do you see your future in Bahamian Theatre?
Depends on how The Cabinet pans out. If it works out I have a potentially long future in Bahamian theatre.
In your years as a writer, have you seen the government support the arts in a tangible way?
Not really. Not in any consistent way either. They do it when it’s convenient and when it helps to bring in tourists. Look at the national festival, Junkanoo – which they support – but are constantly trying to make safe for tourists and the middle class. They try to colonize Junkanoo and it resists because how can you colonize that which is meant to express resistance?
So, No. The government does not support the arts, but when they do it seems to come with unwanted and unnecessary meddling.
What role, if any, should the government play in not just theatre but the arts as a whole?
I think they should get out-of-the-way. It would be nice if they gave us money on a consistent and predictable basis, but we should not hold our breath waiting for them to get a clue. Artists should thus accept anything from the government as a gift, not a right – even though they deserve it.