Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale

Marjuan Canady, writer of “Calallo: A Jazz Folktale.”
Photo by Matt Ramirez
Photo by Matt Ramirez

After two years of touring her one-woman show, “Girls! Girls? Girls,” Trinidadian-American playwright, Marjuan Canady, premieres her second original play, “Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale” at IATI’s Theater on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28 at 7:00 p.m.

A part of the 2013 Performing Arts Marathon Festival, this innovative performance will fuse multiple creative storytelling elements creating a unique live experience where audience members encounter over a 100 years of Trinidadian and Tobagonian history. “Callaloo: A Jazz Folktale” was recently selected as a workshop play at the 2013 Director’s Lab at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

This is the story of a young boy who travels to the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies where his grandmother teaches him a lesson about balance in life. On these mystical Caribbean islands, dreams, magic and reality fuse together as the little boy becomes entrapped by mythical characters: Soucouyant, Dwen, La Diablesse, Papa Bois, Lagahoo and Mama D’lo. He must fight his way out of this haunting paradise to make it home alive. Etienne Charles’ critically acclaimed album, “Folklore,” serves as a musical backdrop, re-establishing Caribbean oral storytelling through jazz music.

This show features an all star creative team: written and starring Trinidadian-American playwright, actress and recipient of the Young Artist Grant Award with the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Marjuan Canady, co-starring Jamaican-American actress, Vanessa Evans, directed by New York City director, Natalie Carter, original music by Trinidadian jazz trumpeter and composer, Etienne Charles, choreography by Honduran-American dancer and New York City choreographer, Maresa D’Amore-Morrison, cinematography by Jamaican-American filmmaker, Shadae Lamar Smith, sound design by Los Angeles based, producer, Darien Dorsey, costuming by Trinidadian Mas costumer and Winston Black.

“Caribbean oral traditions are losing its significance in today’s society. I hope to begin building bridges from past legacies within today’s generation. The Caribbean is more than sandy beaches and vacation getaways. We have a complex history with unique cultural experiences that unites generations through oral traditions,” says Canady. “From the minute audiences step through the theatre doors, they will experience the dynamic music, visual imagery and language of Trinidad and Tobago,” she added.

Under Canady and Carter’s vision, the IATI stage will transform into just that. As the doors open at 6:30 p.m. audiences will encounter the sounds and stories of the Caribbean. Tickets are currently on sale online at

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