Wednesday, February 21, 2018

‘Miles’ on Women’s Day


EQUALITY: Cecilia Salazar in character as Gene Miles from the play, Miss Miles — The Woman Of The World.

Mark Fraser

Across the globe, millions celebrate International Women’s Day today. Acknowledging the triumphs and suffering women have endured and continue to endure in order to gain respect and equality, nine-time Cacique Award-winning actress; Cecilia Salazar highlights a real life heroine, Gene Miles in a play titled, Miss Miles — The Woman Of The World.

A public servant and popular model in the 1960s, Miles took on the powerful state administration in an anti-corruption campaign and paid the ultimate price at the age of 42. It was one of the first major cases involving allegations of corruption in the post-Independence era in Trinidad and Tobago and came to be known as the “Gas Station racket”. 

Written by Tony Hall and produced by Trevor Jadunath, Miss Miles was first released in 2011. In honour of International Women’s Day, Hall and Salazar would highlight yet again the indomitable spirit of Gene Miles.

Hall is a playwright for street, stage and screen. He has campaigned extensively in Western Canada with Catalyst Theatre and with Derek Walcott’s Trinidad Theatre Workshop. He has also worked with Banyan Limited in developing community television for the Caribbean (Gayelle The Channel). 

In 1990 Hall and Errol Fabien launched Lordstreet Theatre Company with the award winning Jouvert masquerade trilogy of bands, A Band On Drugs (1990), A Band On Violence (1991), A Band On Us (1992). 

His works also include: And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon (1992), Jean and Dinah (1994), Red House (Fire! Fire!) (1999) and Twilight Cafe (The Last Breakfast) (2002) to name a few.

Playing the lead role, Salazar will show the clash between Miles’ conscience, faith and belief in truth.

She said, “It is a performance of a lifetime. She is inspiring change. It is great to portray someone that is local and a part of our history.”

Salazar noted that International Women’s Day 2014 spotlights advocacy for women’s advancement everywhere in every way. This year the call is for women to challenge the status quo for women’s equality and vigilance inspiring positive change.

She noted while many strides have been made for women’s equality, the world is still unequal, adding that International Women’s Day celebrates the social, political and economic achievements while focusing attention on areas requiring further action.

Set in 1960s Trinidad, the play will attempt to capture the spirit of the exceedingly attractive, colourful, and vivacious person that was Miles. A patriotic public servant who had a strong but naïve conviction that good prevails over evil, is confronted with the challenges of dealing with the sophisticated bureaucracy of the state.

The story traces Miles 42 years — from growing up in pre-independence, colonial Trinidad to the early 1970s when there was social transformation and a struggle to develop a new and just society in Trinidad and Tobago. 

The play takes place at The Little Carib Theatre, today and tomorrow.

Tickets are available only at The Little Carib Theatre Box Office from noon to 6 p.m.

For more information call 622-4644.