The period leading to the passing and implementation of the Prohibited and Unlawful Societies and Associations Act, popularly known as the Dread Act, in 1974 has been described by some as one of the worst chapters in the history of Dominica.
But now a new play, penned by Alex Bruno and called ‘The Dread Act’, is attempting to explore and put into perspective some of the issues of that time period.
“This play serves as a vehicle that navigates through the social turbulence of the precious 70’s and the ensuing misconceptions, conflicts and even tragedy which were created along the way,” Bruno said in explaining the purpose of the play.
Bruno described implementation of the Dread Act as a ‘reality check.’ “According to the popular saying, ‘the youths are the future’, however, the youth must know the truth and must be guided by it. That same truth should be passed on to the next generation, so they too could be influenced by the same,” he explained. “The Dread Act is therefore a reality check. We were brought to an elevated state of mind when the region experienced a social upheaval, following flourishing consciousness amidst the social resistance of the 1970’s.”
According to Bruno the play, which he describes as an ‘action drama’, is as real as it can get. “The action is real, the issues are huge, the message is strong and the implications are endless. In fact, nothing is taken off and nothing is added to the Dread Act era. We look at the Act in its entirety and dramatize the contents with honest fervor,” he said.
He pointed out the play will take audiences back in time in order to understand present realities, which said is the best way to present that era of Dominica’s history. “It revisits the Afro, Bebop and Bell Bottom era, because we believe that those expressions are more than just what one sees. In fact, they are manifestation of rebellion, interwoven with sophisticated style,” Bruno pointed out. “We also believe that the Afro, Bebop & Bell Bottom days (being a metaphor for rebellion or revolution) will be revisited; the trends are very evident.”
The play is presented by Teyat Pawol.
‘The Dread Act’ will opens in Dominica at Azile’s Country Club at Bourne on December 7 & 8, from 8:00pm and runs at the Arawak on December 9 at 8:00pm and December 10 from 3:00pm.