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09/15/2010

One year ago: Trevor Rhone

September 15, 2010 |  6:00 am

Trevor-rhone

Trevor Rhone, a leading Caribbean playwright and screenwriter, introduced reggae music and urban Jamaican culture to international audiences with his 1972 film "The Harder They Come."

Rhone, who died one year ago, wrote plays that often used satire to comment on the social conflicts in Jamaica after its independence from Britain in 1962. "The Harder They Come" tells the story of a singer who becomes a hero to the poor after killing a police officer.

Rhone was born a farmer's son in Kingston, Jamaica, and grew up in a rural village, Bellas Gate. In 1959, he left for Britain to attend drama school at Rose Bruford College in Kent. He was frustrated, however, by the lack of parts available to black actors in classical plays, and he returned to Jamaica in the late 1960s.

"My first acting jobs in the professional theater saw me perpetuating negative and stereotyped images of blacks," he added. "My first effort at writing a play was an attempt to find something worthwhile to perform."

His other works include "Smile Orange" (1971), which he wrote into film in 1976, and "School's Out" (1974).

For more, read Rhone's obituary that appeared in The Times.

-- Michael Farr

Photo: Trevor Rhone. Credit: William Doyle

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