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Jelani Christian Corbie - Theatre Director

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Jelani Corbie is a director of theatre from the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago whose work has been seen in Trinidad & Tobago, Spain, and the United States.

There is a unique duality of simplicity and complexity with which theatre is able to explore, probe, and agitate the concept of humanity. I’m interested in the cultural contribution made through the creation of theatre. The creation of art is consistently adding to this pool of stories that we reference to make sense of the world around us. We have been considered to be storytellers for as long as recorded history permits us to conceptualize. Storytelling exists in both the mundane and the imaginative; theatre acts as a conduit between the two which allows for a multitude of perspectives, experiences, and ultimately culture to be shared.

I was born and raised in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and as a nation, it is considered to be a historically cosmopolitan epicenter. This unmediated experience of a creolized lifestyle formulated my ideology of one’s individual story relative to the story of a collective group. The concept of ‘home’ is therefore my entrance into theatrical work. The definition of home is one that I consider to be malleable and subjective and can impress upon the human experience in a multitude of ways. For some, home is a physical location that we structure our lives in relation to and in accordance with our needs. For others, home is the people with which we feel the greatest sense of belonging. Theatre seems to be the concatenation of these and additional perceptions of home which creates an experience so alive that an attempt at justly articulating the sheer power of this tool of human expression seems impractical. It is for this reason that I have found an attraction to this medium that attempts to provide answers for the human experience, yet revels in its overall cluelessness because of its boundless nature.


The Drama League, New York City

Pace University, New York City

Institute of the Arts, Barcelona


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