Brooklyn Borough President Recognizes Achievement of Trinity-in-Trinidad Professor

“Jean & Dinah” Celebration Day Acknowledges Tony Hall’s Hit Play

 Trinity students who have studied in the Trinity-in-Trinidad program undoubtedly know Tony Hall, the professor and award-winning playwright and director. In Hartford, visitors to the Austin Arts Center will recall last year’s presentation of Miss Miles, one of Hall’s recent works. On August 17, many more became familiar with Hall and his work when Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams declared the day “Jean & Dinah ‘The Salty Ladies’ Celebration Day.”

Award-winning playwright and director Tony Hall, a professor in the Trinity-in-Trinidad program. Photo by Pablo Delano.
 Hall’s play, Jean and Dinah, was first produced in Trinidad in 1994; Brooklyn is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The United States premier of Jean and Dinah was in 1998 at Trinity’s Goodwin Theater. It was most recently produced in Brooklyn this summer by Sapodilla Sisters and Lordstreet Theatre.

The proclamation, signed by Adams on August 17, 2014, says that “it is a time-honored tradition to celebrate the outstanding cultural institutions of our borough that contribute to our enjoyment of talented and creative artists and performers, and to encourage the broadest public appreciation of the arts through outreach, education, and entertainment, thereby enhancing the quality of life of all our residents.”

The titular characters, Jean and Dinah, come from a 1956 calypso by Trinidadian calypso singer and guitarist Mighty Sparrow. The song, about two prostitutes who formerly thrived when the American military had a presence in Trinidad, was the first hit for Sparrow, who went on to be known as the “Calypso King of the World.” The play gives the characters an opportunity to provide some context for the song that made them famous.

In addition to teaching in Trinity’s Trinidad program, Hall taught filmmaking and playwriting at the College’s campus in Hartford as artist-in-residence for 10 years. He has won awards for his writing and directing. In addition to being recognized by the Brooklyn Borough President, Hall received citations marking Jean and Dinah’s 20th anniversary from Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke and New York State Senator Kevin S. Parker.