The University of the Virgin Islands’ College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences and UVI Theatre will present the St. Thomas section of the second annual Playwrights in Paradise Festival of Original Drama at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 26, in the UVI Little Theatre, located in the CA Building on the St. Thomas campus. The festival will feature readings of four short (under 20 minutes) plays performed by students, faculty and community members. The performance is free and open to the public.
Works featured in the festival were generated by students and community members who participated in thirteen-week playwright workshops offered on UVI’s campuses on St. Thomas and St. Croix. The workshops were led by UVI Playwright in Residence Dr. Doug Larche, who wrote “Truth on Trial: The Ballad of Sojourner Truth,” and UVI Professor David Edgecombe, playwright of the recent UVI Theatre production of “Kill the Rabbits.”
Plays to be presented Thursday which emerged from Dr. Larche’s workshop will include “Reality Check,” written by Jai Kenyatta Anderson, “La Sustituta” (The Surrogate), by Monai Greene, and “The Wong Way,” by Chinet Bernier. Also featured, from Professor Edgecombe’s workshop, will be “Up Beso Road” by Elion George.
Scenes written in the workshop from a new musical entitled “Harmony,” by the late Jason Larche and Dr. Doug Larche will be read as well, time permitting.
The Playwrights in Paradise Festival is modeled on a workshop led by Prof. Edgecombe at the Reichhold Center as well as workshops Dr. Larche has participated in, including the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, Yale Playwrights Workshop, Oxford Writers Workshop, and those he created and directed, including the Prairie Playwright Festival, the Bards on the Bay Festival, and the Fulbright International Creative Writing Workshop in Ukraine. This week’s readings will bring to 18 the number of new student works written during the first two years of the UVI Playwrights in Paradise Festival.
“The goal of the workshop,” Larche said, “is to grow into a festival of fully produced plays written in an expanding international program here in ‘Paradise.’”