Plays for Today

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Errol Hill
Longman, 1985 - Caribbean drama (English). - 233 pages
The Longman Caribbean Writers Series comprises of many classic novels, short stories and plays by the best known Caribbean authors, together with works of the highest quality from new writers.

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About the author (1985)


Derek Walcott published his first collection of 25 poems when he was nineteen years old and his first full-length play, Henri Christophe, a drama on the Haitian revolutionary leader, a year later. Walcott now has to his credit over a dozen books of poetry and his verse is published regularly in the leading literary journals on both sides of the Atlantic. He has also written some three dozen plays, fifteen of which have appeared in print.

Walcott was born on the West Indian island of St. Lucia and attended the West Indies University of Jamaica where he gained a Degree in English and a Diploma in Education. Before entering the university, he had already produced several of his short plays in St Lucia and he continued to write and stage his plays while at college. Upon graduation he taught school for some years until 1957 when he was commissioned to write an epic drama to mark the inauguration of the West Indies Federation in Trinidad and the following year, in order to produce his plays, he formed the Trinidad Theatre Workshop company which he directed for two decades. He began touring with this company in 1967 and visited several Caribbean lands, the United States and Canada. His plays have also been produced professionally in North America and in Britain.

Walcott has received numerous honours for his writing, among them being the Guinness Award for Poetry, the Heinemann Award for Verse, the Royal Society of Literature Award, the Cholmondeley Award, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters Degree from the University of the West Indies. He was the recipient of an Obie Award for his play, Dream on Monkey Mountain, which was presented by the Negro Ensemble Company in New York in 1971. In 1981 the prestigious ‘genius-award’ was bestowed on him by the MacArthur Foundation which amounted to a grant of $250,000 with no stipulations attached. He presently holds the position of Visiting Professor of Poetry and Theatre at Boston University in Massachusetts, USA.


Dennis Scott of Jamaica is a Visiting Associate Professor in Play-writing and Directing at the Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut. He received his Bachelor of Arts in English with First Class Honours at the University of the West Indies and later took a Diploma in Drama in Education at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England. He taught at Jamaica College for several years before becoming Director of the Jamaica School of Drama in 1977, a post he relinquished after six years.

Professor Scott is a published poet, a playwright and play director. He has conducted theatre workshops in the West Indies and with the National Theatre of the deaf in the United States. He is regularly on the roster of directors at the Playwrights Conference conducted by the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Centre in Waterford, Connecticut. His plays have been produced in the Caribbean, at the Kennedy Centre in Washington, D.C., and at the Festival of Black Arts, Lagos, in 1977.

Among his many honours are the Shubert Playwright Fellowship (1970), the International Poetry Forum Award (1973), the Commonwealth Poetry Award (1974), the Prime Minister’s Medal for Service to the Arts in Jamaica (1983), and other gold and silver medals for playwright and directing at Jamaica festivals.


Trinidad-born Errol Hill is the John D. Willard Professor of Drama and Oratory at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, where he has taught drama and theatre for many years. Before going to Dartmouth, Professor Hill held academic appointments at the City University of New York, the University of Ibadan in Nigeria, and the University of the West Indies.

Professor Hill is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England, and of Yale College and the Yale School of drama. He has published eight plays and is a play director and actor as well as a teacher and scholar. His books include The Trinidad Carnival, The Theatre of Black Americans, and Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black Shakespearean Actors. He was a founder-member of the Whitehall Players in Trinidad and of the Federal Theatre Company in Jamaica.

Among his awards are a British Council Scholarship, Fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Theatre Guild of America, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, a Regional Citation from the New England Theatre Conference, and a Gold Medal in Drama from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago. He is married to the former Grace Hope of Barbados, a physical education and movement specialist, and they have four children.

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