The eleventh edition of the Caribbean Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival got off to a colourful start last Sunday with a parade of participating students from Guyana, Antigua & Barbuda, Trinidad & Tobago and host country Saint Lucia.
Saint Lucia is hosting the festival for the second time, its first hosting being in 2007.
Accompanied by the Lapo Kabwit masquerade band, the students marched from the CSA Centre in Sans Soucis to the National Cultural Centre. There, the students were treated to a captivating cultural performance by the Silver Shadow Performing Arts Academy.
Earlier this week, close to ninety individuals participated in workshops and theatrical productions aimed at sharpening their theatre skills, thereby ensuring that the art form in the region remains sustainable.
In welcoming the students, Dr. Keith Nurse, Principal of Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC), whose core areas of research, writing and teaching has been on the creative industries, said theatre is the bedrock of the region’s creative industry.
“There’s a notion that the performing arts, including theatre, are far less relevant today, but I would argue otherwise because it’s become even more important,” he explained.“Honing your skills at the secondary school level is an important investment that our countries need to continue to make. It’s this training that prepares you for making contributions in many of the other sectors.”
On Monday afternoon, Trinidad & Tobago presented their cultural presentation while Saint Lucia presented their theatre production in the evening. The theatre production by the St. Joseph’s Convent students from Saint Lucia, was entitled “Culture Shock” and is a play based on the masquerade characters, Papa Jab, Ti Jab, Mary Anset, Pie Banan and Acrobat.
On Tuesday afternoon, Antigua & Barbuda presented their cultural presentation while Guyana presented their theatre production in the evening.On Wednesday afternoon, Saint Lucia again presented their cultural presentation while Antigua & Barbuda presented their theatre production in the evening.On Thursday afternoon, Guyana presented their cultural presentation followed by Trinidad & Tobago who presented their theatre production in the evening.
The festival which commenced on November 3, at the National Cultural Centre included auditioning and playwriting workshops, theatrical performances and school visits. The festival closes today with an awards ceremony.
The festival started from a collaborative initiative by Victor Edwards from Trinidad & Tobago andIcil Phillips of Barbados in 1994.Anderson La Barrie, President of the Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Association, said Edwards and Phillips’ work played a crucial role in developing young theatrical minds in the region.