1 minute read

Errol Hill Biography

(1921–2003), Man Better Man, Plays for Today, The Theatre of Black Americans

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: John Hersey Biography to Honest Man's Revenge

Trinidadian playwright, poet, actor, and theatre director, born in Trinidad, educated at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and at the Yale School of Drama. His first version of his best-known play, Man Better Man, in vernacular prose, was first performed in Jamaica in 1957. The second version, written in calypso-inspired verse and music, was first performed in 1960. The play celebrates the legendary ‘stickfighters’ who fought fierce duels at carnival time, the rules of engagement for this sport, known as ‘calinda’, being as elaborate as those of medieval jousting. It was published in Plays for Today (1985), with a play by Derek Walcott and another by Dennis Scott. He has also edited the two volumes of critical essays entitled The Theatre of Black Americans (1980), an important source book of scholarship on African-American drama. His short plays, mainly comedies, include The Ping-Pong, Wey-Wey, Square Peg, Dilemma, and Oily Portraits, all published in 1966, and Dance Bongo (1972). Other books include The Trinidad Carnival: Mandate for a National Theatre (1972), and Shakespeare in Sable: A History of Black American Actors (1984).

Additional topics