Jamaica Gleaner / Patrick Anthony Brown is a familiar name. Not simply in how frequent it may appear in a local birth registry, but it is a name emblazoned on posters and flyers of local comedy theatre.
Today, Brown is officially honoured with the Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer for outstanding contribution to the theatre.
Though not formally trained in theatre or creative writing of any kind, Brown encourages becoming a student of your passion.
Frank the Freak, Ladies of the Night , Alligator High , Vibes , Puppy Love and Matey Chronicles are just some of the playbills penned by the honouree. Such plays have sustained Brown’s reputation as a sure-fire comedy writer.
“It feels good. I tell everybody that it feels better than I thought it would, because this is not why I do what I do. It’s a love. I feel like I’m receiving it on behalf of the theatre-community. I couldn’t do what I do without Glen Campbell. It’s been a partnership from the start. It’s a theatre-recognition thing,” Brown told, The Gleaner .
“I practised the craft I was trained to practise. I was a consultant, project manager and a contractor.”
A civil engineer by education, the accomplished playwright picked up his theatre knowledge on the fly.
“I’m basically lazy. I wanted something I can do lying in bed. Honestly, I enjoy doing it. I never did any formal course in creative writing, and the moment I got into this – theatre bug is a real thing, it can actually bite.”
After seeing a play at the Ward Theatre, writing a skit in university and mustering a bit of ‘can-do’ spirit, Brown branched off. In the pursuit of passion, the nationally honoured playwright advises patience, learning and training.
“Not necessarily formal training, but being a student of the theatre. Observe productions and decide why this one is more satisfying than that one. Be a student of storytelling and, the most important, be open to criticism.
Brown believes aspiring writers ought to be more self-critical.
“When you create something, you give birth to it, and, it becomes really hard to criticise your own child. I am viciously self-critical and a lot of people aren’t. Some give birth and they tear it apart, but if you don’t have that ability, be open to criticism.”
“So when you start, and you’ve invested so much creative energy, once it’s on the page, you say, ‘ah yes! Done!’ But the first draft is where the process begins; it doesn’t end there. The real quality comes from the rewriting.”
Other notable honourees today include:
In The Order of Merit
– The Honourable Neville O’Reilly ‘Bunny Wailer’ Livingstone, OJ, CD
– The Order of Distinction in the Rank of Officer (OD) – Mr Carl Bradshaw,
– Mr Patrick Anthony Brown
– Mrs Rosina Christina Moder
– Mr Copeland George Forbes
– Mr Ferdinand Hangerfield
– Bobby ‘Little Bra’ Gaynair
– Mr Lloyd Stanbury
– Mr Joseph Alphanso ‘Josey Wales’ Sterling