Cultural tribute to Guyana

Caribbean American Repertory Theatre Inc. (CART) in collaboration with the Coalition of Theaters of Color and the Theater of the Living Word, will be celebrating Guyana’s 50th anniversary of Independence with a cultural event titled “O’ Beautiful Guyana” followed by a reception.

The celebration will take place on Saturday, June 18 at 4:30 pm at the Charles Gray Theatre located at the Presbyterian Church of St. Albans, 190-04, 119 Ave. (2 blocks off Farmers Blvd.) in the borough of Queens. Admission is free but donations are accepted. The cultural celebration will feature: Monica Sanchez, Wrickford Dalghetty, Frank Mayers, Timothy Rahamatulla, Rudolph Shaw and other Guyanese artists.

Guyana became independent on May 26, 1966 and the recent change of government has infused a new spirit of unity and excitement in the Guyanese community.

CART plans to treat the guests at this event with that heightened spirit of cultural history as it presents music, songs, poems and excerpts of plays from Guyana. In addition, guests will be treated to fine Guyanese cuisine as they mingle with the artists and socialize.


During the event at 5 pm, a tribute will be paid to Irving Burgie, the Caribbean’s pioneer musical ambassador to the world.

Burgie introduced the world to Caribbean culture through his songs that were made famous by the voice of Harry Belafonte. A Queens resident, the writer / composer has produced such songs as “Island in the Sun,” “Day O’” and “Jamaica Farewell.” His musical “Calaloo,” which starred the late Theresa Merritt, played Off-Broadway at the Perry Street Theater to rave reviews.

Performances at the event will be presented by members of the Caribbean American Repertory Theatre’s workshop in Caribbean Theatre. Councilman Daneek Miller who is expected to attend has made it possible for residents of Queens to enjoy this cultural evening of some of Mr. Burgie’s works as we get a chance to personally meet and greet this icon of Caribbean culture. The New York City Council’s Cultural Immigrant Initiative has also contributed towards this event.

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