Group Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Title: Lucian Says: CARIFESTA and the playwrights
Full Citation
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 Material Information
Title: Lucian Says: CARIFESTA and the playwrights
Series Title: CARIFESTA Newspaper Clippings
Physical Description: Book
Publisher: Guyana Graphic
Publication Date: 1/14/1972
Subject: Carifesta (1st : 1972 : Guyana), Festivals - Caribbean Area
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: South America -- Guyana -- Georgetown
Funding: Support for the development of the technical infrastructure and partner training provided by the United States Department of Education TICFIA program.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: CA00199617
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Holding Location: Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: CARIFESTA I 1972

Full Text

Carifesta and the playwrights

playwrights which I have re-
peatedly made in this column
is that they have never at-
tempted to write plays based
on historical events or the
Guyanese and West Indian
novel. Though historical
plays would better reflect the
creativity of the playwright
if they were the products of
the artists' own research and
creative imagination, plays
based on the historical novel
would still be creative work.
Since the playwrights
themselves are evidently not
inspired by the West Indian
novel as subject-matter, the
Theatre Guild, instead of be-
ing satisfied with the trivial
and the inane in the guise of
plays, should long ago have
offered prizes for plays
which dramatise the West
Indian novel. Had this been

done, we might have been
able to celebrate Carifesta
with a Guyanese play-
wright's version of one of the
novels of the Guyanese
genius, Mittelholzer.
This lack of inspiration by
the playwrights themselves,

and the failure of the Thea.
tre Guild to identify to the
uninspired the proper sub.
ject-matter, has resulted in
there being no major play
based on the West Indian
novel for presentation during
However, I have to qualify
this criticism by referring to

the offer made by Dereck
Walcott. He has offered to
present his "Climate of Eden"
a dramatic version of Mitfel-
holzer's "Shadows move
among them", at the Cari-
festa celebrations.
I do not know, but it is
said that the offer has not
found favour with certain
Guyanese because they feel
that a Guyanese playwright
ought to have dramatised a
novel written by a Guyanese.
While I feel it would have
been more consistent to
have a Guyanese playwright
write the script and drama.
tise a Guyanese novel, the
hame is ours that no Guy.
!nese artist has been moved
Ito do it. Parliament, as far as
I know, has not passed any
law forbidding our artists
from doing what was so chat.
lengingly their job.
Since the failure reflects
our deficiency, to reject Wal-
cott's offer is to add pettiness
to artistic impoverishment.
Moreover, the shattering
answer to the dissidents is
that Carifesfa is the Carib-
bean Festival of Creative Arts.
Walcott is an outstanding
Caribbean playwright and
literary artist. Is it not con-
sistent with the regional -
and even hemispheric -
scale of the Carifesta idea to
have a regional artist drama-
tise a novel by a regional
The stature of Mittelholzer,
of course, is international
and not regional, but his
spiritual .affinity -..Edgar
would have scoffed at being
identified with the spiritual
is here in the region.
in my view, it is eminently
appropriate for Walcott and
other regional writers to be
involved in the dramatisation
of "Shadows" for Carifesta.
When I chided the Guy-
anese playwrights f6r their
failure to get out from "the
hair under their chests" and
write historical plays, particu-
larly plays based on the Re-
volution of 1763, they took
the criticism with grace as
appropriately bad as their
plays. Carifesta has illmin-
ed their limitations. I hope
they will not show their pet-
tiness of artistic talent by be-
ing petty enough to join
those who oppose Walcott'si

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