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Tony Hall

Agent: Lordstreet Theatre Company
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago

Email: lordstreet@yahoo.com

Home page: http://www.lordstreet.net

Tony Hall functions as a playwright for street, stage and screen. Born in Port of
Spain, Hall attended Naparima College, San Fernando, Trinidad, West Indies. Tony
studied drama in Edmonton, Canada at the University of Alberta (1969-73) and
explored advanced television production at the Northern Alberta Institute of
Technology (1978-80).

Mr. Hall is a pioneer in community television in the Caribbean. With the video
production house Banyan Limited, in Trinidad, he was part of a group, of artists,
which pioneered indigenous soap operas and TV dramas in the 1970's and 80's. At
Banyan he presented with Errol Sitahal, Dennis Sprangalang Hall and Niala
Maharaj one of the most successful magazine programmes on TV in the Caribbean,
Gayelle (1985-90), citation given at INPUT - International Public Televison
Conference. This programme laid the foundation for the first community television
station (24 hours of Caribbean programming) in the region, Gayelle TV (2004). In
1992 Christopher Laird and Tony Hall directed the award winning BBC/TVE/Banyan
documentary film, And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon. Called "An
astonishingly searing look at TV" by Starweek Magazine. This film won Best Video
Documentary & Best Environmental Film, Images Caraibes (Martinique, 1992) 3rd
Caribbean Film & Video Festival and also won 1st place in the Public Affairs
Documentary Category at the 13th Annual International Film and Video
Competition, Prized Pieces (Ohio, 1993) National Black Programming Consortium.

Between 1978 and 1984, Tony Hall as an actor, director and writer, broke new
ground in Western Canada with a company of artists at Catalyst Theatre, under the
mentor-ship of Professor David Barnet, promoting the use of theatre and video as
tools for entertainment, social action and public education. He also apprenticed in
the Caribbean with Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott in his flagship company, Trinidad
Theatre Workshop, as an actor and a director (1973-1981).

In the early 1990s Errol Fabien and Tony Hall launched Lordstreet Theatre
Company with a prize winning trilogy of jouvay masquerade carnival bands on the
streets of Port of Spain: A Band On Drugs (1990), A Band On Violence (1991) and
A Band On US (1992). This company promoted original work for street, stage and
screen from its inception and since 2003 has done so mainly through a Playwrights
Workshop.

Also in 1990, after years of participatory research into manifestations of popular
culture in the Caribbean, Tony recognized and presented, at the University of
Winchester (King Alfred Campus), JOUVAY PROCESS as a distinct and helpful
New World perspective on drama practice. JOUVAY PROCESS may be an
instinctive, continuous 'awakening', in the one moment, to the mystical and
transcendental energy of the emancipation traditions traveling from century to
century. Tony has since launched the Jouvay Institute, as an on-line transparent
platform, to facilitate others to observe and meditate on JOUVAY PROCESS. Out of
this realization he has developed the JOUVAY POPULAR THEATRE PROCESS
[JPTP], a performance/production model - the consolidation of the 'NOW-NESS'
or 'IS-NESS' of the mythopoeic forces in the emancipation traditions into 'a green
thicket of oblivion' through drama. As a drama workshop, it involves free
improvisation and storytelling inspired by the traditional masquerade characters of
the Trinidad Carnival along with folk and religious characters, all as archetypes of
human behaviour. One observer describes the approach as "finding the interior". It
can be a means to discover 'reforms of the personal conscience ' and finding new
ways of action to transform them into 'collective codifications of the public good'. All
of Tony's work, whether it is with professional artists or with students and
community people as artists, is derived from using JPTP.

Tony has done JPTP derived talks and workshops in the Caribbean: Trinidad and
Tobago, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Jamaica, Curacao, Dominica; in Europe: London,
Leeds, Birmingham, Bradford, Isle of Wight, Hamburg, Fredrickstad, Prague; in
South America: Bahia; in North America: Sydney, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia;
Edmonton, Alberta; Scarborough and Toronto, Ontario, Canada and in Hartford,
Connecticut, Terre Haute, Indiana, and Brooklyn, New York, New York, USA.

Some work by Tony Hall for Street and Stage using JPTP:

In 1994 Lordstreet gained Caribbean wide recognition for the presentation of
Tony's play JEAN and DINAH . . . [Who Have Been Locked Away in a World
Famous Calypso Since 1956 Speak Their Minds Publicly] (1994) - an award
winning stage production based on The Mighty Sparrow's seminal calypso,
Yankees Gone, about the American occupation of Trinidad during World War II. This
production, produced and directed by Hall himself, toured successfully all over
Trinidad and the West Indies (Guyana, St. Lucia, Jamaica) to rave reviews. The
play, which Derek Walcott called 'one of the finest pieces of West Indian theatre I
have seen in years . . .', was first performed in the US (Hartford, CT., Hamilton,
NY., and New York, NY.) in 1998; in Toronto, Ontario in 2001 & 2002; in
Scarborough, Ontario and Edmonton, Alberta in 2005; in Birmingham, Leicester,
London, UK in 2003 and in Curacao, Netherland Antilles in 2010. A French version
of the play was performed successfully at the University of the West Indies Inter-
Campus 8th Annual Foreign Language Theatre Festival in 2007 on the St
Augustine Campus, Trinidad. Jean and Dinah . . . won five 1994-1995 Cacique
Awards for theatre in Trinidad and Tobago.

2014 - Proclamation from Senator Kevin S. Parker, New York State Senate, 21st
Senate District, at Medgar Evers College, CUNY, to honor the playwright on the
20th Anniversary of the Lordstreet Theatre production of the groundbreaking play,
'Jean and Dinah . . . Speak Their Minds Publicly'. (August 13th, 2014)

2014 - Citation from President Eric Adams, President of the Borough of Brooklyn,
City of New York, at Borough Hall, as tribute to the playwright for his contribution in
community television and theatre to the Caribbean on the 20th Anniversary of the
Lordstreet Theatre production of the play, 'Jean and Dinah . . . Speak their Minds
Publicly'. (August 17th, 2014)

2014 - Sunday August 17th, 2014 declared Celebration Day, by President Eric
Adams, President of the Borough of Brooklyn, City of New York, to commemorate
the 20th Anniversary of the Lordstreet Theatre production of the play, 'Jean and
Dinah . . . Speak their Minds Publicly'. (August 17th, 2014)

A grant was received from the Production and Script Development Fund of the
Trinidad and Tobago Film Company to facilitate the preparation of a screenplay,
YANKEES GONE, based on the original stage play, JEAN AND DINAH . . . . (1994).
The screenplay, by Tony Hall with Mary Jane Gomes, is now ready and the project
is moving into pre-production. Yankees Gone was part of the Caribbean Tales
Worldwide Distribution Incubator and Market Development Program in Toronto,
September 2010, initiated and facilitated by filmmaker Frances Anne Solomon.

In 1999 Tony Hall wrote and produced RED HOUSE [Fire! Fire!], an award winning,
original and imaginative environmental/street dramatization of the history of The
Water Riots of 1903 when the seat of parliament in Port of Spain, Trinidad, was
burnt to the ground. These riots triggered a sequence of events that led to the
eventual granting of universal adult suffrage to the people of the island in 1946. The
play won four 1999-2000 Cacique Awards for theatre in Trinidad and Tobago.

MUD! 'a ritual in mud and percussion' (2001), an innovative studio production,
first composed and performed at Seabury Studio, Trinity College, Hartford, CT. On
October 22nd 2001 Professor Milla C. Riggio commented on it as " . . . the
conviction of a lifetime of making sense of the world . . ."

This work was followed in 2002 with his most powerful drama to date, TWILIGHT
CAFE [The Last Breakfast] (2002). Toronto reviewer and novelist Ramabai Espinet
called it "a brilliant and harrowing sexual embrace. The secularism of the post-
post-modern, Orisha worship, soucouyants, hidden duennes and blue Carnival
devils merge in a dance of no-death that cuts to the heart of the vast chasm of
incomprehension between men and women." This play received its successful
North American premiere by Theatre Archipelago, Toronto, in May 2007. TWILIGHT
CAFE [The Last Breakfast] won five 2002-2003 Cacique Awards including the
award for the most outstanding original script.

FLAG WOMAN (2004), a LORDSTREET LiME written by Tony Hall and produced
with Robin Foster for radio. It is the night before the carnival starts and Blind Miss
B, an aging flag woman, is forced to confront, with reluctance, the life-long demons
trapped in her head. [First broadcast by WACK RADIO 90.1 FM, San Fernando,
Trinidad, W.I. on June 12th 2005]. Terry Joseph of the Trinidad Express (16th May,
2005) wrote, "The work is faithful to Hall's trademark style of examining periods
in our history through calypso."

MACQUERIPE [A Navel Operation] (2003), a site specific theatrical meditation
installed at Macqueripe Beach, Chaguaramas, Trinidad. A Trinity-in-
Trinidad/Lordstreet Theatre Project. This was an unprecedented and inspired
environmental street theatre installation in the manner of the mas. In this navel
gazing operation a 'military sailor' becomes a 'celebratory sailor' after
wrestling with elements of the traditional mas/mask/masquerade of the Trinidad
Carnival on the beach of the jungle warfare school that is Trinidad. This historic
performance event was the final exercise for students in the Trinity in Trinidad
Global Learning Site study program of Trinity College, Hartford, CT (Spring 2003).
The course, 'Festival Arts as Cultural Performance', stimulates the students to
examine their own place in the world through an exploration of aspects of the
Jouvay Popular Theatre Process [JPTP].

THE BRAND NEW LUCKY DIAMOND HORSESHOE CLUB (2004), is a
groundbreaking twist on musical theatre with lyrics and music by the calypso/soca
star David Rudder. This Jouvay Opera, with book by Tony Hall, was premiered in
Terre Haute, Indiana by Crossroads Repertory Theatre in 2004 and was presented
by Lordstreet Theatre Company and David Rudder in the Trinidad Carnival 2006.
This new and insightful work won the 2006-2007 Cacique Award for most
outstanding original music. Joy Rudder in a review entitled 'God and Rum' (the
name of one of the numbers in the piece) commented, "The music is fabulous, the
dancing and dialogue provocative."

DIN SHURU [day breaks] (2005) - Another Jouvay Opera with story by Ali Pretty &
Mary Anne Roberts, book & lyrics by Tony Hall with music by steel pan maestro, Jit
Samaroo. An epic work (based on theatrical formulations derived from a JPTP look
at the Ramleela festival in Trinidad) for Kinetika Art Links International, UK.

The World Premiere of TABLE 17 (2007) by American playwright and theatre
scholar, Arthur Feinsod. This new play, which was a finalist in the 2004 Dorothy
Silver Playwriting Competition, explores the relationship between African Americans
and American Jews. It was directed by Tony Hall as part of the 2007 Summer
Season of Crossroads Repertory Theatre, Terre Haute, Indiana.

MISS MILES the Woman of the World (2011), a LORDSTREET LiME for stage,
written and directed by Tony Hall and performed by award winning actress Cecilia
Salazar, hit The Little Carib Theatre in Port of Spain on October 20th, 2011 and has
received rave reviews ever since. For Trinidad Carnival 2014, MISS MILES and her
'sisters of mercy' led MAS CORRUPTION (A Band On Corruption), designed by
Peter Minshall, onto the streets of Port of Spain to take her whistleblower's
message to the people once again. Later that year, in April 2014, MISS MILES
travelled to Hartford to tell her story at Garmany Hall, Austin Arts Centre, Trinity
College, Hartford, CT.

Tony Hall's other work is published in:

- The Drama Review [TDR], Special Edition,
T159 (Fall 1998), Edited by Milla C. Riggio

- CARNIVAL: Culture in Action - The Trinidad Experience (2004),
Edited by Milla C. Riggio

- Trinidad Carnival (2005),
Photographs by Jeffrey Chock

- CARNIVAL : Theory and Practice (2011),
edited by C D Innes, Annabel Rutherford, Brigitte Bogar
Africa World Press


Some work by Tony Hall for Screen:

Lead actor: Obeah (dir. Hugh Robertson, a 1969 British Academy Award and an
Oscar Nomination for editing work on Midnight Cowboy). Feature film, Sharc
(1975)

Lead actor/co-director/co-writer: Who The Cap Fits . . . - the first drama series for
TV in Trinidad and Tobago, Banyan/TTT (1977)

Lead actor/director/writer: Epiphany - a mini series for TV, Banyan/TTT (1982)

Supporting actor: Second City Television. An Emmy Award Winning Comedy
Series for TV, NBC/ITV, USA/Canada (1981-1982)

Actor/Co-writer/Co-director: Stand Up for Your Rights - One Episode of Catalyst
TV (Internationally Acclaimed Current Events Series, hosted by David Barnet) CBC-
Canada (1982)

Co-director/co-writer: Too Young to Soca - 52 min. the first documentary on
soca super-star Machel Montano, Banyan (1986)

Co-producer/co-writer: Santimanitay (A Mas by Minshall) - full video version of the
first stadium show created by Peter Minshall, A National Stadium Performance,
Banyan (1989)

Co-producer/co-writer/co-director: Caribbean Eye - Groundbreaking Documentary
TV series, Banyan/UNESCO (1991)

Writer/Director: Walk Like A Dragon - 20 min. experimental dramatic film on the
steel pan, Banyan/Pan Trinbago/UNESCO (1992)

Co-writer/co-director: Moksha - 15 min. a Hindu Trinidad influenced drama on AIDS,
Banyan (1992)

Supporting Actor (St. Lucia, WI) - The Final Passage - (Caryl Phillips). Feature film
for TV on Phillips\' award winning novel directed by Sir Peter Hall, Channel 4, UK
(1995)

Mr. Hall has led drama courses at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, at
the University of the West Indies, St Augustine, Trinidad, at University of Winchester
(King Alfred campus), England, at the University of Trinidad and Tobago, Port of
Spain and at University of Bradford, UK. He has been Artist in Residence at Trinity
College, Hartford, Connecticut, USA, between 1998 and 2007, where he directed
plays and worked with student actors and playwrights and with young filmmakers at
both the graduate and undergraduate levels. Tony has also been on-site Academic
Director at Trinity College's Trinity-in-Trinidad Global Learning Site and at present is
Festival and Drama Lecturer in Global Studies exploring 'Festival Arts as Cultural
Performance' and 'Work and Play' at the site. He divides his time between
campaigning worldwide and living with his family on the 'remote island' of Tobago
(area - 116 sq. miles, pop. - 55,000), West Indies in the Caribbean Sea.

References:

1. http://www.wings.buffalo.edu/ARD/showme.cgi?keycode=1053

2. http://www.meppublishers.com/online/crb/past_issues/index.php?
pid=3000&id=cb5-1-28&print=1

3. http://www.amazon.com/History-African-American-
TheatreCambridge/dp/052162472X/ref=sr_1_2s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=129096376
5&sr=1-2

4. http://www.amazon.com/Sexing-Caribbean-Gender-Sexual-
Labor/dp/0415935040

5. http://www.meppublishers.com/online/crb/past_issues/index.php?
pid=3000&id=cb9-1-30

6. http://www.leeds.ac.uk/cath/ahrc/events/2005/1103/abs/riggio.html

7. http://www.kinetikaonline.co.uk/?q=node/93

8. http://www.pancaribbean.com/banyan/awards.htm#AWARDS

10. http://www.lordstreet.net

11. http://www.africaworldpressbooks.com/servlet/Detail?no=997


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JOUVAY - a community awakening

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Interests: making plays for street, stage, screen, radio, etc.

Published writer: Yes

Freelance: Yes

 

Published works:

Scripts

  • Flag Woman
  • Twilight Cafe [The Last Breakfast]
  • The Brand New Lucky Diamond Horseshoe Club
  • Jean and Dinah . . .
  • Red House [Fire! Fire!] incl. MUD! 'a ritual in mud and percussion'
  • #1 SEX-WORKER [From JAMETTE: A Series of 12 Short Plays]
  • Other

  • And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon
  • Walk Like A Dragon
  • Caribbean Eye
  • Obeah
  • Banyan Catalogue
  • Gayelle The Channel
  • Epiphany
  • Who The C.A.P. Fits . . .