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Amba Chevannes - Riding the waves of theatre
published: Wednesday | December 12, 2007

Krista Henry, Staff Reporter

Chevannes - Contributed

Fulfilling her call in theatre, Amba Chevannes is making waves as a young new playwright.

Daughter of Professor Barry Chevannes, and a born storyteller, Amba has been interested in the arts from a tender age. "My family had that kinda cultural aspect. I was telling someone the other day that my sister and myself, we never really had birthday parties but we used to always perform for the family instead," she said. Yet despite her artsy background, Amba took a while discovering what she really wanted to do until she pursued a writing course at the New York University. With her mind set on a new course Amba pursued a Literatures in English degree at the University of the West Indies and began writing.

Since then, Amba has written numerous plays and screenplays. "I tend to write more dramas but they are kinda funny. Some have a bit of twisted humour. I like when the characters come alive when they are fully fleshed out," she told The Gleaner.


Amba's two new plays The Last Bloom and Dinner With Eleanor explore broad concepts as Chevannes fleshes out her characters. The Last Bloom was originally written as a full length play, but is now a one act play. Dinner With Eleanor is also a one act play. Both plays have received critical acclaim and accolades from their first outing at the Sunday morning staged readings at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts (UWI, Mona).

Amba describes the plays. The Last Bloom is really about not coming to terms with your past, it touches on memory and how memories are not 100 per cent acquired. Its two older persons looking back at their lives. While Dinner With Eleanor is about unconditional acceptance, about persons accepting each other for who they are."

The two plays are now being staged as a double-bill evening called 'Cracking Up' which will be staged one weekend only - December 14-16, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 6 p.m. at the Philip Sherlock Centre on the UWI Mona campus.

Looking forward to a successful tenure in theatre, Amba is hoping to work on more screenplays as well as writing short stories for children she recognises that life in theatre is never easy, Amba knows she has the support of her family at all times. "They are very supportive, my parents believing in recognising your full potential. They have always encouraged me and my sister at all times," she said.

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