Local CARIFESTA team gears up to impress in Trinidad


The highly anticipated CARIFESTA 2019 celebrations are set to take place on the Island of Trinidad and Tobago later this month. As such, a local team of Guyanese artists are hard at work as they prepare to showcase Guyana’s culture.

The atmosphere on stage at the National Cultural Centre was brought to life on Monday night with colourful lights and rich depictions of Guyanese culture as the performing contingent of 100 persons came together to sharpen the delivery of a cultural presentation that will be showcased during Guyana night on August 18 in Trinidad and Tobago.

Speaking to the media on behalf of the performing cast was local poet Keon Heywood who is the centrepiece of the play titled ‘Guyana Stabroek a year in a day’.

“We’ve worked really hard preparing for the Guyana night production and we expect to really give a fantastic performance,” Heywood said, adding, “it was really great to gel all the different genres together – dance, poetry, music – it was a fantastic experience because you don’t really find…night performances [at CARIFESTA] and I’m happy and pleased that Guyana would have chosen this type of performance to deliver.”

Local poet Keon Heywood

The team of performers, during a rehearsal session, staged an early version of a dance drama that captures Guyana’s national holidays, celebrations and people in a Stabroek Market setting.

Present in the audience to observe and provide constructive feedback to the performers was Director of Culture, Tamika Boatswain who gave the media some insight as to her expectations.

“I think it will blow people away especially Guyanese who live in Trinidad.

Creative Director Esther Hamer

“It is a good way of bringing Guyana back to them and invoking some memories. We expect a lot of positive feedback from the staging of this production.”

The team’s Creative Director Esther Hamer said, “I always think CARIFESTA is about being part of a team and I think that the performing arts in Guyana we’re a bit disjointed.

“The musicians are one side, the actors are one side and the dancers on another side so when the idea of building around Keon’s poem was suggested I thought that it was a great opportunity to let everybody blend to make it not just a cohesive performance but to make people respect each other as performers and entertainers.”

CARIFESTA 2019 will run from August 16-25 under the theme ‘Connect, Share, Invest.’

The local team will depart for Trinidad on August 15 and are slated to return on August 26.

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