O’Marde, Dorbrene Eversfield


Dorbrene Eversfield O’Marde was born in Antigua/Barbuda, graduated from the Antigua Grammar School then continued his studies at UWI Cave Hill, the University of Toronto and Tulane University where he obtained a Masters of Public Health. He is best known as a playwright, director and producer of theatre and music, newspaper/magazine columnist, public speaker, and calypso writer, judge and analyst. He has created lyrics and melodies for many leading calypsonians in Antigua/Barbuda, judged national and regional calypso competitions, conducted calypso judging workshops and written and spoken extensively on calypso and other aspects of Caribbean culture and creativity.

In his first novel Send Out You Hand (2012) he examines the intersecting lives of men and women pursuing regional goals.  Dorbrene’s second work is a biography entitled King Short Shirt: Nobody Go Run Me (2013) which celebrates the master calypsonian’s seventieth birthday and his fifty years of calypso performance.

In 2010, Dorbrene received the ‘Friends of the Arts’ Sunshine Award and recently he was named Calypso Composer 2013 by the Wadadli Calypso Association.

Dorbrene started his theatre career with the Antigua Students Association in 1965 (You the Jury, Devil’s Advocate, Androcles and the Lion – English classics).  During the period 1968-71, he acted with the Cave Hill Drama Group (UWI, Barbados) when Alwin Bully, Cecil Blazer Williams, Robert Lee, Clement Bouncing Williams, Ingrid Williams, Melvin Edwards were all students.  He was a member of the Theatre Information Exchange (TIE) and the Eastern Caribbean Popular Theatre Organization (ECPTO) and was involved in cultural research with both these organizations.  In 1972, Dorbrene formed the Harambee Open Air Theatre and was director and producer until its dormancy in the late-eighties. The group took productions to Montserrat, St. Kitts, Dominica, Barbados, St. Thomas and Saba.

He has written and produced five full length plays and directed at least a dozen Caribbean, Black American and African plays with the Harambee Open Air Theatre in Antigua and Barbuda.  Some of these plays include the following:

  • Square Peg – Errol Hill
  • Streak – Alwin Bully
  • Trials of Brother Jero – Wole Soyinka
  • Ruler in Hiroona – Alwin Bully
  • The New Hardware Store – Earl Lovelace (co-direct with Buntin Airall)
  • Old Story Time – Trevor Rhone
  • Vagina Monologues – Eve Ensler (co-direct with Zahra Airall

The full length plays he has written include the following:

  • For Real
  • Fly on the Wall
  • The Minister’s Daughter (adapted from novel by Obi Egbuna)
  • We Nativity (music by Shelly Tobitt)
  • Tangled Web
  • This World Spin One Way (3 productions – three directors – Jean Small, Director UWI Creative Arts Centre, David Edgecombe, Director Reichhold Centre and Dorbrene O’Marde)

The play This World Spin One Way which will be staged for the 2014 Alliouagana Festival of the Word was written in 1996.  According to the late Tim Hector, this is Dorbrene’s best written play, and probably the best play written by an Antiguan.  The play is said to be a wonderful source of entertainment even while raising important issues from the Caribbean perspective.  It explores the complex relationships between men and women and is said to be a delightful, funny and provocative play.

The 1998 production which was directed by David Edgecombe featured Yvonne Weekes from Montserrat in the role of Pam. Jean Small, former Head of the Phillip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts, who directed the production of this play in the USVI said “ The Play is about very intimate human relationships, disappointments, finding oneself.  It is about the choices people make in life… It will make people reflect on their life.”




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