Jamaica Theatre And Arts
Jamaica has a rich history in the theatre; it was believed that the earliest one was established in the year 1682. In the 1700’s and 1800’s much more were opened on the island and they attracted performances from amateurs to touring professional companies.
During this time in Jamaica there were other venues that other performances would be held in. The Jamaican people love their art and almost anyplace that could house an audience they would have their performances, they utilize places such as stores, houses, outdoor spaces and court houses. Throughout this time they use to enjoy Shakespeare plays as they were the ones that were frequently produced.
But this changed as the Jamaicans, after slavery was abolished, stepped up their theatre performances. Persons started to fuse the humor, the music and the dance which resulting in the public getting some of their own performances theatrically. However this did not gain much recognition at first, in fact it took several years to develop the true styles of the Jamaican and then eventually grow to be more widespread on the island than the works from Europe.
Pantomime is classified as a musical, comedy and theatrical production that can be found usually in Jamaica, Great Britain, South African and numerous other countries. At Christmas and New Year celebrations you will normally find performances of pantomime. The pantomime traditions can be enjoyed by the entire family.
The pantomime started in the 40’s, which later went on to be the largest part of Jamaica’s theatrical. It was not purely Jamaican though, it was Jamaican folklore fused with the English pantomime. But it did not take long to develop another style that was more Jamaican and in 1960’s and 1970’s, “roots” theatre was born. This was a big favorite then and still is today, the people gravitated to this one like magnet, it provide lewd and uncontrolled tales full of jokes and sexual references usually held in outdoor theatres.
Many talented Jamaicans are involved in roots play, one that was involved in earlier times was a writer called Winsome (code name). She brought the plays out Kingston to other rural areas in Jamaica because of her controversial materials. Her topics explore money, sex and power and how it related to people’s everyday life. She wrote and produced her own root plays and in 1997, she had one called “ruff rider”.
However, there are other prominent figures involved with roots play include Ginger Knight, Ralph Holness, Balfour Anderson, Ian Reid, Michael Denton, Paul Beil, Buddy Pouyat, Everton Dawkins and Hyacinth Brown.
The film industry in Jamaica has grown steadily and numerous movies are known far and wide. There are films such as “Shottas”, “The harder they come”, “One love”, “Dancehall Queen” and “Third world Cop”. Some famous movie even use the places in Jamaica to film their movies which are popular in America, movies such as “Cocktail”, “The Blue Lagoon” and the very popular one by James Bond “Live and Let Die.
The writing of literature is also apart of Jamaica’s culture Louis Simpson and Claude McKay are two of significant writers of literature. Persons who wrote plays in the Jamaican patois or English is Andrew Salkey, Louise Bennett-Coverly and Mikey Smith, they play an important role in the writing of the patois.
The authors in Jamaica had some problems in writing the materials that could be read by everyone across the world. The works that included the Jamaican patios had much difficulty in reaching the wider audience, sometimes even in films or documentary; they had to do sub-title to be shown on the overseas market. The popular film, “The Harder they come” had this disadvantage on the world market. It is believed, that the widely use of the Jamaican patois has really limited the Jamaican writers potential of making a greater impact in audiences worldwide.
Jamaican art is also influenced by the ancestral heritage, the African, European and American art forms, but the Jamaicans managed to establish a style for themselves. Some of the most famous artist includes painter and sculptor, Edna Manley; the artist Kapo, who was taught himself the craft and the painter, Albert Huie.