A HISTORY OF THEATRE IN GUYANA, 1800-2000Product no.: HP111
This impressive study of 200 years of theatre in Guyana is a fascinating work which includes a compilation of related articles extracted from local journals dating back to the early 19th century. It establishes itself as a pioneering and indispensable segment in the history of Guyana and makes a case for the importance of the theatre in the diverse culture of the Guyanese people, in helping them to understand and appreciate the lives and concerns of each other.
This valuable study encompasses the performing arts which the different ethnic groups brought with them. Added to this was the beginnings of the European theatre in 19th century Georgetown which gave rise to the emergence of theatre organised by the East Indian and African Guyanese middle classes in the early 20th century, to the vibrancy of a diverse and socially committed theatre in the 1950s, leading up to Independence.
Thomasson’s extensive definition of theatre embraces not only the emergence of serious repertory theatre, but also all forms of entertainment and state-run public extravaganzas. He explores the national and regional examples of encouragement of theatre, from the Booker Company’s sponsorship and support of theatre groups and competitions on the sugar estates, to the inclusion of drama in the extra-curricular activities of the leading schools, the birth of the National Cultural Centre and Carifesta. The longest section of his history is dedicated to a detailed study of the Theatre Guild of Guyana, the longest existing and most ‘professional’ of the repertory groups in the country.