Roland Colastica

Roland Colastica is born in Curaçao on the 28th of October 1960. He is the youngest of nine sons. He is 5 years older than his only sister, a daughter his parents always hoped and prayed for. His mother sung soprano in the Catholic Church Choir; his father was a passionate philosophic storyteller.

So Roland was brought up with music, singing and storytelling. His father always had philosophic stories to tell his sons and daughter in order to tell and teach them about the good and the bad things in life; at a very young age Roland discovered his passion for everything regarding creative expression.
He was twelve years old when he joined the folkloristic dance group by the name of Trinitaria (bouganville) and shortly after that he joined the School of Classical Ballet of the great dance master Lucia Schnog.

At the age of fourteen Roland started singing in the Catholic Church Choir, a choir mainly consisting of youngsters belonging to the then very popular Charismatic Movement.
It was then that he made his first moves into the theatrical world and he was almost immediately taken by the power of acting.
The group started doing plays in churchs and on many different locations on the Island like the ruins of the historical 17th century fort Boca Sami.

Roland was eighteen years old when he left his small island and went to The Netherlands to study Human Recourses. During his 8 years stay in The Netherlands he played, sung and danced in several groups. He also attended various workshops and Masterclasses at the same time working as a trainer and coach to youngsters and adults in theaters.

On his return to Curaçao in 1986, he immediately noticed that the Curacao community needed another kind of incentive to move forward.
From home, he knew at very young age, that storytelling is one of the most powerful instruments to pass on information. During his stay in Holland he perceived that the power of theatre is an strong instrument to help build-up a community as well as being very helpful in one’s personal development.

Roland went to the USA for in depth studying of Theatre as he knew that storytelling combined with theatre is the way to reach and touch hearts and souls, opening and changing (the) mindset(s). It was then that he started to publish his own poems as well as short stories. He started doing storytelling while he himself received much training to tell stories. And he was also aware of the fact that to change a community one should very strongly involve the youth. Therefore in almost all the plays he wrote, directed and produced, he mostly worked with youngsters.
He was and still is using theatre and storytelling to make people aware of the fact that it has to deal with its past and present in order to define and determine it’s own future.

This is the most important reason why Roland has been asked five times to write, to direct and to produce cultural and arts show and manifestations for the Royal family of The Netherlands:

  • In 1999: celebration of the “Quincentenary of Written History of Curacao” for his Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander together with Jacques Visser and Dana Kibbelaar.
  • In 2002: celebration of the Royal wedding of His Royal Highness Prince Willem Alexander and Princess Máxima in Curaçao.
  • In 2005 celebration of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix 25th anniversary as Queen of The Netherlands.
  • In 2013: cultural event for an official visit of Queen Beatrix to Curacao, which later on turned out to be her last visit to Curaçao as the Queen of the Dutch Kingdom.
  • In 2014 he was made responsible for producing a huge cultural manifestation as a welcome gift from the Curacao community to King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands and his wife Queen Máxima, on their first visit as king and Queen to Curaçao. King Willem Alexander is the First King of the Dutch Kingdom since the passing away of King Willem the 3th in 1890. For this manifestation Roland was chosen not only to write, to direct and to produce, but also to be the master of ceremony, in which position he could address the King and Queen personally. His assistant in this was former Lieutenant Governor Ms. Lizanne Dindial.

It was in 2004 that Roland was invited by the IDEA organization to attend to their International Conference then held in Ottowa Canada. In 2007 this same organization invited him to their Conference held in Hong Kong.

For his theatre achievements Roland was honored, in 2006, with the most prestigious “Cola Debrot Award”, a Cultural Award given for ‘theatre’ only once in 6 years.
In 2010 he received the decorations of the “Knight of the Dutch Kingdom”.

Roland wrote and published several books for children and adults as well as plays in his native language Papiamentu.

In 2012 Roland wrote his first children novel in Dutch entitled “Vuurwerk in mijn hoofd” , (Fireworks in my head) which was a huge success.

Roland gained popularity in the former Netherlands Antilles as well as in The Netherlands with his successful monologue “Ninga Bon” (denial), directed by the Venezuelan director Carlos Acosta.

South Africa, and especially Ms Myriam Makeba, has played a very important role in Roland’s development, growing up and maturing both as a youngster and as an artist. He feels very proud and honoured and still considers it a privilege having met ms Makeba 2 times in his life.

So when in 2014 Roland was invited to participate at the TWIST writers project in Grahams town, he was more than honored to oblige. In this project he worked with Roel Twijnstra, Emma Durden, Kobus Moolman, Neil Coppen, Ntsieng Mokgoro, Samson AmJay Mlambo, amongst others.
In Curaçao he had the honor of working with 2 South African writers in a European literary event called Writers Unlimited: Rayda Jacob and Diana Ferrus.

Roland Colastica plays, writes and performs in 4 languages: his native language Papiamentu, his colonial language Dutch, and English and Spanish, languages he speaks fluently. He writes, plays and tells stories both for children and adults.