In 1983 Francis Urias Peters staged his first public drama production at the Marryshow Folk Theatre. That was thirty years ago. His journey as a playwright and theatre practitioner has taken him to the Jamaica School of Drama; now renamed the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing arts where he successfully pursued studies in Drama-in-Education and Theatre Arts.
Last year the Edna Manley College celebrated fifty years as an Arts Institution and Francis Urias Peters was recognised as one of its fifty most outstanding alumni from the Drama School.
Since his return to Grenada in 1986, Peters has written, produced and directed a number of productions for both radio and the stage. Some of the productions include “A New Beginning/Mayhem in Paradise”, “Struggle”, “Prison Without Walls”, “Rivals in Conflict”, “Sentenced to Hang”, “Shattered Expectations”, “The Burial of Miss Faithlyn”, “The Junction Box” and “Belinda”.
His many radio drama series have won the best entry at the PAHO/WHO Caribbean awards for excellence in Health Journalism on two occasions.
As he celebrates his thirtieth anniversary, Peters will be presenting yet another full length drama to the Grenadian public. It’s an epic, full length play entitled, “Redemption Time”, set during the Gairy/PRG era (1978 to 1983) and depicts how the two political “divides” of that time psychologically affected a working class Grenadian family.
“It’s a piece of work which is different to any other play I have written”, says Peters. “It has taken me ten years to complete and I hope the play will be the spark that will set alight a forum for open and honest conversations on one of the most painful periods in Grenada’s recent history”.
“The history of our island needs to be taught because if we deliberately refuse to teach it then we are prone to repeat the mistakes of the past”, he adds.
The cast of “Redemption Time” includes Agatha Alexis as “Miss Audrey”, a Spiritual Baptist and ardent Gairy supporter. Kareem Alexis plays “Winston”, a new convert of the Evangelical Faith. Samuel Ogilvie plays “Steve”, an NJM activist and PRA soldier. “Steve “and “Winston” are the sons of “Miss Audrey”.
Dale Bhola-Wilks plays “Rachael”, the vivacious former girlfriend of “Winston”. Terrence Walters plays “Joseph”;: a high ranking member of the New Jewel Movement and PRG. Earl McLeish plays the role of “Police”; a member of Eric Gairy’s Mongoose Gang.
“Redemption Time” opens at the Spice Basket Theatre on October 18 and runs for two consecutive weekends; ending on Sunday, October 27.
Tickets for the production will go on sale from next week and can be obtained from all Gittens pharmacies, Licks and Bites in Gouyave, Baby Boy Spicy Boy Café in Sauteurs, St. David’s Pharmacy and Chez Pam Beauty Salon on Green Street, St. George’s; downstairs TAWU Building.