This week: Queen’s Hall debut of Theresa Awai’s “Coming Home”

The cast and director of COMING HOME
Director Raymond Choo Kong makes some adjustments to the cast photo, with Nikki Crosby, Clifford Learmond, Caroline Taylor and Cecilia Salazar standing around playwright Theresa Awai

Every role is challenging for me in its own way, but dramatic roles (in comedy-loving, or comedy-acclimated, Trini audiences) prove the most terrifying before a play’s debut.

Still, it is not often that an award-winning team of local actors are assembled on one stage, led by an award-winning director in a gripping local play by an award-winning local playwright.

Written by Cacique Award-winning actor and playwright Theresa Awai, “Coming Home” is a provocative, poignant, funny and ultimately heart-warming new work that tells the story of how one family’s decades’ old secrets, jealousies, and rivalries are uncovered when four strong-willed siblings battle over their deceased mother’s will. As the action unfolds, we find that blood is indeed thicker than water… until everyone reads the will.

Cacique Award-winning director Raymond Choo Kong has pushed himself and the whole cast to dig deep for this challenging work, giving audiences a rare opportunity to see some of Trinidad’s most well-known actors – often best-known for their comedic skills – showing their dramatic chops. That I can most certainly testify to!

The talented cast features Cecilia Salazar, holder of a record nine Cacique Awards and fresh off her triumphant portrayal of Gene Miles, as eldest sister Kathleen. The ever-popular and multiple Cacique Award winning Nikki Crosby and Clifford Learmond play Kathleen’s two younger siblings Elizabeth and Julius, while newcomer Caroline Taylor (errr, me) – winner of Commonwealth and Hutchinson awards for Theatre – plays estranged baby sister Jennifer. Rounding out the cast are veteran actor and radio personality Maurice Brash, alongside Rachel Bascombe-Koranteng and Chris Smith.

The hard-hitting family drama unfolds at the Queen’s Hall from Thursday 29 March through Sunday 1 April, with an opening night special where all tickets are just $100 each. Tickets Friday through Sunday are $150 general and $200 reserved seating, and go on sale at the Queen’s Hall Box Office on Monday 26 March, 12pm–6pm daily, tel: (868) 624-1284. Showtimes are 8:30pm Thursday through Saturday, and 6:30pm on Sunday. Tickets are also be available from Green Street Sports Bar & Grill (667-2495); Zippers (Ellerslie Plaza, 628-7978, & West Mall, 633-8308); Stetchers Trincity Mall (640-9274); Michael & Jody’s Gulf City Complex (653-0404); and the Card Gallery Price Plaza Chaguanas (672-9842). For more information email raymondchookong@yahoo.com; or call (868) 384-8663 or (868) 320-8215.

Huge thanks to yesterday’s opening night audience (& for letting us know dis “hard-hitting family drama is in fact a Trini dram-edy! LOL). Big big love to my sistas Cecilia & Nikki – it has been an honour (& a terror) to share the stage with you – & to the whole cast & crew: Clifford, Chris, Rachel, Maurice, Celia, Gregory, & Raymond. Now to try put something in de gas tank for de next three nights!

Hopefully this won’t be the only run… but we shall see…! Thanks & blessings. And happy Liberation Day!!! 😉

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