School of Drama’s “The Listeners” to close 2017 Rex Nettleford Arts Conference

EMC Drama production

The Edna Manley College of the Visual & Performing Arts – School of Drama – opens its first major production for the 2017-2018 academic year – “The Listeners”, on Friday, October 13, 2017, at 7 p.m. at the Dennis Scott Studio Theatre to close the highly anticipated Rex Nettleford Arts Conference.


Director Elizabeth Montaya-Stemann describes the play as “a vocal/oral performance that emerges from group work inspired by some of the literary works of Derek Walcott. This type of performance is a first for the School of Drama, never before a production was a product of a collaborative effort using devising methods and based on vocal work. The entire script was created using actors’ research contributions, individual/group vocal/oral improvisations and discussions. The work was supported by collaborations with experts in different fields. The play is a vocal performance that includes “voices” from different generations of Jamaicans in the aural and metaphorical sense.”


“The Listeners” runs from October 13th to 15th and continues October 27th – 29th, 2017. The play’s cast features students of the School of Drama. Dean of the school and the play’s producer Pierre Lemaire shared “Production is a course in our programme as a vehicle for integrating and honing the various elements of their (the students) production skills being learnt through a strict educational process which is led by a lecturer/director over a period of rehearsals and a sustained run”. 


The Rex Nettleford Arts Conference brings together arts educators and artists/es from all over the world to share their knowledge and experiences as well as research in the creative and cultural industries. The theme for this year’s conference is – “Arts and Culture for the 21st Century – Millenial Dis-engagement – Re-Engagement”. Established in 2011, the biennial conference honours the life and work of dancer, writer and scholar, Professor the Hon. Raltson Milton “Rex” Nettleford, founder of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC) and a major influence on the development of the School of Dance.


The conference will be held on October 11-13, 2017. The official opening ceremony includes performances as well as the keynote address from renowned Caribbean artist Christopher Cozier originally from Trinidad and Tobago currently residing in the USA.

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