This Party to Wendell’s memory
The life and work of theatre practitioner and champion of the cause of the disabled Wendell Smith will be celebrated on the weekend of May 8 to 10 in the stage production Party Time.
Written by Smith himself shortly before his death on May 7, 2005, Party Time, which speaks to the contribution the disabled can make to society, will be presented at the Ann Johnson Auditorium, St Gabriel’s School, Collymore Rock, St Michael, at eight o’clock each night.
Directed by Winston Farrell and produced by Merle Niles, Party Time features the scintillating cast of Yolanda Holder, John Walcott, Melissa Hunte, Shayla Murrell, Varia Williams, Simon Alleyne, Shanice Wharton, Angela Lottie Weithers and
Assistant producer is Ethel Smith, sister of Wendell; and technical director and stage manager is Afi Farrell.
All proceeds from the production –– under the patronage of Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson –– will be donated to the Barbados National Of The Disabled (BARNOD).
This last play by Smith, the stage and film actor, drama tutor, calypsonian (Celebrity Tent), director, producer, stage manager, set designer and builder, and committee member, advisor and friend of BARNOD, is being staged on the tenth anniversary of the artist’s passing.
The play is also being staged “specifically to bring further awareness to the disabled” and to assist BARNOD in continuing its educational, remedial and social work.
Smith, considered a champion of the cause for people with disabilities, was passionately loved by BARNOD members, who “still definitely miss him” today after all these years. According to BARNOD president Colbert Ashby, Wendell Smith’s relationship with the organization began in 1993, as the group for the disabled itself sought to stage a play.
“It resulted in a fantastic stage production entitled To Lead A Normal Life, which was taken around Barbados,” Ashby says.
Smith continued to work with BARNOD, conducting drama classes, directing the organization’s variety concert, and writing his final play –– Party Time.
The theatre practitioner, a former principal actor in the annual Laff-It-Off productions, was a most popular character in the Carlton & A-One and Emerald City Supermarkets Proper Pork promotions. It was his passion for the arts that saw Smith performing also in Canada, the United States and Britain.
As a member of the Green Room Players for over 35 years, he served as chairman on several occasions, through which he was able to assist BARNOD, as he championed the cause of the disabled, bringing awareness –– successfully –– to the public. Party Time, though it includes comedic areas, leaves patrons with a message and much food for thought.
Tickets for the weekend shows are available at all Ticket Pal locations.