A national scenario worthy of Basil Dawkins

Basil Dawkins

A playwright for over 40 years, writing dialogue is second nature to Basil Dawkins. Yet he was speechless when called upon to receive the Order of Distinction (OD), Jamaica’s sixth highest honour.

“Honestly, I’m not sure he’s got it yet. When my mind comes back to the call, it’s fuzzy and still seems unreal,” he said. “It excites me, humbles me; I try to justify myself with some difficulty that I am well worthy and worthy of this great honor.”

His theater colleagues would disagree. Since 1980 when he mounted roommatehis first play at the Barn Theatre, Dawkins reeled off a number of hit productions including Champagne & Sky Juice, same song, different melody, what’s happening to us dear? and What is the output?

hide your husbandhis latest play, is due to reopen August 10 at the Little Little Theater in Kingston.

Despite the numerous Actor Boy Awards he’s won over the years, Dawkins says the most satisfying aspect of being a playwright transcends producing.

“Simple things like being able to write ‘THE END’ on the last page of a new screenplay. Watching delighted audiences walk out of the theater here at home and abroad. Discovering new theater talent and helping them to progress in the industry is as fulfilling as bringing someone nearing retirement or retirement and getting them to get on stage and perform and enjoy it,” he said. to Jamaica Observer. “Perhaps the most rewarding after all these accomplishments is having my daughter TK Dawkins involved in my work to add her flavor and young minds to the creative process.

TK Dawkins is director of hide your husband which opened in April, but closed soon after due to a resurgence in fear of COVID-19.

Basil Dawkins was born in Portland. He became involved in theater in the late 1970s while attending the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies; at the time, conventional writers like Trevor Rhone and Louis Marriott were on top, but the roots game was emerging through brash writers/directors like Ginger Knight and Raplh Holness.

Although he notes the progress of Jamaican theater in terms of writing, acting and production, Dawkins believes there is room for improvement.

“In some areas, ‘we’ve come a long way, baby.’ In others, we’ve fallen behind, but we have a pretty reliable theater audience in Kingston that we need to nurture and grow. We can have theater six nights a week at various We have to thank pioneers Trevor Rhone and Barn Theatre, Ed Wallace Productions, pantomime, Bim and Bam, Ralph Holness and a number of individuals and entities who have made theater a viable part of the commercial landscape entertainment instead of being the pastime of the privileged few,” he said. “We cannot but pay tribute to government institutions like the Jamaica Festival Organization who have done their part to raise awareness and highlight talents that would not have been known. Edna Manley College and others.”

Dawkins will receive his OD at the National Honors and Awards Ceremony at King’s House in October.

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