Garifuna Short Theatrical Play To Be Performed in Play Competition on THURSDAY, August 28th 2014 in New York City’s Times Square Area

 

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New York, New York — A Garifuna Play by Belizean Garifuna Woman Eleanor Bullock was one of 20 plays selected to be performed at the New York New Works Off-Broadway Theatre Festival.

This Festival, a Short Play competition, will have audience members and judges vote to help determine the best play of the festival.  The playwright of the winning play of this short play competition will receive $500 and the opportunity to have their piece aired on a local media outlet (contingent upon abiding rules of the festival).

Garifuna Short Play, WABUGU--The Exile to be performed on THURSDAY, August 28th 2014 in the Times Square Area of Manhattan.

Garifuna Short Play, WABUGU–The Exile to be performed on THURSDAY, August 28th 2014 in the Times Square Area of Manhattan.

The Short Garifuna Play is entitled “Wabugu — The Exile” and is by Belizean Garifuna Woman Eleanor Castillo Bullock.  Wabugu — The Exile tells the story of the day the Garifuna people (then known as The Black Caribs) were exiled from their Native land of St. Vincent Island.

Belizean Garifuna Woman Eleanor Bullock.  Photo from youtube.com

Belizean Garifuna Woman Eleanor Bullock. Photo from youtube.com

Wabugu–The Exile will be showcased as part of The NYNW Theatre Festival and will be held on THURSDAY, August 28th 2014 at 7pm at The Times Square Arts Center, 300 W 43rd Street, New York, NY 10036.  According to the Brown Paper Tickets website, the performance is SOLD-OUT.

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The cast of Wabugu–The Exile includes, Joseph Sexton, Jack McKeane, Wesley Renard, Randolph Enriquez, Isha Sumner, Milton Guity, Shanae Harris, Samantha Zenon, Dominique Bullock, D’Arcel Bullock, Brandon Bullock, Niomi Calis, Dorina Castillo, Brianni Atkinson, Arton Martinez, Dylan Goday and Tanesha Lambey.

Belizean Garifuna Woman Eleanor Bullock with the YugaCure Initiative in St. Vincent Island in 2011.  Photo courtesy of Caribbean Life News.

Belizean Garifuna Woman Eleanor Bullock with the YugaCure Initiative in St. Vincent Island in 2011. Photo courtesy of Caribbean Life News.

The format of the Festival is somewhat like a ‘Reality Show”.  Five plays will be performed each night on each of the festival days and the audience will vote for the play they feel should make the next round which is the semi-finals. The plays that make it into the semi-finals will again be performed to another set of audience, and the audience will again vote for the winning play.

The First round of the NYNW Festival shows will be presented August 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th and Sept. 2nd The Semi- Final rounds will be September 3rd and 4th and the Finals will be held Sept 9th.

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ABOUT Eleanor Castillo Bullock

Eleanor Castillo Bullock, a Garifuna Dancer and Choreographer, is the director of GAMAE Arts and Culture.  Born in Dangriga (a.k.a. Stann Creek) a small coastal village in Belize, Bullock has become a leading figure in the growing renaissance of young Garifuna intellectuals, artists, and scholars who are writing poetry and plays in the Garifuna language.

A graduate of Syracuse University’s Visual and Performing Arts Program, Bullock has designed and created performing arts programs based on the Garifuna culture and language. In 2005, Eleanor co-created the Habinaha Garinagu Language & Performing Arts Program, which enables youths to explore and celebrate the language, cultural traditions, and arts of the Garifuna community. In addition to preserving the Garifuna language, Bullock has started several programs to empower Garifuna women and young girls, including the GAMAE Education Divison, and the GAMAE Empowering Women to Lead Change Program.

In 2013, she helped organize the 2013 New Jersey Folk Festival, which had Garifuna Culture as part of it’s theme.  Eleanor Bullock was interviewed on the Old Ways In New Jersey Television show about Garifuna culture in 2013.  1

Wabugu The Exile

Wabugu The Exile

 

ABOUT The Garifuna People

The Garifuna people are people of African descent (in other words, Black people) whose ancestry can be traced to Africans mixing with Carib Indians and Arawak Indians on the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Vincent.  From this fusion of race and ethnicities in St. Vincent Island, a distinct culture and language arose.  They are noted for being one of the few (only?) peoples of African descent (again, in other words, Black people) in the Americas to have maintained aspects of their ancestral culture and full use of their ancestral language for everyday use over the course of hundreds of years.

After being defeated in war with the British on St. Vincent in 1796; 1004 men,  1779 women and 1,555 children for a total of 4,338 people (mostly Black Caribs, as the Garifuna people were then known) were captured and taken to Baliceaux, a small island, a rock, basically, off the coast of St. Vincent.  This took place from July 1796 through February/March 1797.  About 2,000 Garifunas died of a mysterious and very infectious fever while living on Baliceaux awaiting their fate.   2

In early March 1797, the remaining Garifunas were loaded onto the HMS Experiment and other ships.  Once they were rounded up, the convoy were taken to a Bequia, which is another island off the coast of St. Vincent. They proceeded to go to Grenada to get water, then Jamaica for refueling, then finally Roatan, Honduras, arriving on April 12th 1797.

Finding much of Roatan unliveable, the Garifuna people petitioned officials representing Spain and it’s government (which controlled much of Central America at the time) to be allowed to move to the Honduran mainland.  Upon being allowed to move to the Honduran mainland, the Garifunas settled many towns and villages along the Caribean coast of Honduras.  They also migrated to the neighboring countries of Guatemala, Belize (then known as British Honduras) and Nicaragua over the years.

If you find the BEING GARIFUNA Website helpful and useful, please DONATE.  Every dollar donated helps keep this website in operation.

 

 

Notes:

  1. http://www.beinggarifuna.com/blog/2013/03/01/video-garifuna-american-woman-eleanor-bullock-interviewed-about-garifuna-culture-on-television-program-old-ways-in-new-jersey/
  2. Nancie L. Gonzalez, “Sojourners of the Caribbean: Ethnogenesis and Ethnohistory of the Garifuna” pg. 21

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