by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- La Boucan Creative Centre offering CVQ in Theatre Arts
- First centre in Grenada to offer such CVQ qualification
- Centre partnered with NTA to offer skills certificates in live musical performance
Antwon Ross once described himself as an introvert, but with a passion for acting. Years later, a new hobby in theatre arts performance at the La Boucan Creative Centre has helped to boost his confidence in public speaking.
Ross is among 15 students who have started a 6-month training course in Theatre Arts towards a Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Level 2 skills certificate.
La Boucan Creative Centre is located at the GCNA Complex on the Kirani James Blvd and boasts of being the first centre in Grenada and possibly the OECS, to offer such CVQ qualification.
Ross who participated in his first play as Johnathon Bloods in “What’s Your Verdict” a theatrical production written by Grenadian playwright Francis Urias Peters, said he is now eager to continue his training towards his certification.
“I love acting. I have always had the passion and the drive to pursue that career and working with Mr Peters has been so great because at the beginning I was so shy and I still have a long way to go obviously because I am a very reserved person. But here at the La Boucan Creative Centre has allowed me to express myself by playing different characters and it is a great experience being involved,” said Ross.
Chanda Stafford has also taken up theatre arts after what was supposed to be a brief visit to the centre. She also participated in the theatrical production “What’s Your Verdict” playing the character, Deserie Levine. She served as stage manager for the production “Rivals, Shattered Expectation” a real-life drama written by Peters, which marked his first production for the 2017/2018 theatre season.
Stafford said she fell in love with theatre arts while in primary school. “I believe I was in grade 5 or 6 when I fell in love with the performing arts and one of our teachers Ms Adams at the time told us about choral speaking. And then we got introduced to creative poetry, and that was the first time doing something individually, and so I took part in both selective and creative poetry. For the selective poetry they gave us a piece, and we had to learn it and perform it, and with creative poetry, we were given the opportunity to write our own piece and perform it in front of an audience and I think that was the first time I fell in love with performing.”
Stafford said she decided to pursue a career after being encouraged by Peters himself. “Actually 2 years ago I went to drop off something for a friend at rehearsal, and Mr Peters asked me to stay, and I said why not. They were reading a script, and from that, I kind of stuck around and I became stage manager for that play for that year. I expect to develop myself as an actor, poet and as a writer because I see this helping me with public speaking and performing. Therefore, I am assuming that everything that I learned in performing arts I will be able to apply it in writing and performing my poetry.”
Peters said theatre arts is a new avenue for individuals to understand the intricate aspect of theatre production from the ground up. “I think it is very important here for our students to understand the importance of analysis, and not just in drama but can spill over into any field where you have to do any analysis. So, we trust that by the end of the course that they will understand the dynamics of acting of the stagecraft, what it takes to put a production together and not just to take acting for granted but that they will have skills where they can improve themselves as an actor or actress.”
Peters said the La Boucan Creative Centre is more than just putting on theatre performance. “We also want to give students a baptism in what we called the Grenadian/Caribbean culture, also the traditional values so that at least they can get an understanding as to who they are as a Grenadian.”
By the end of November, students will be performing a one-act play called “Mayhem in Paradise” the first play written by Peters in 1986.
The centre has partnered with the National Training Agency (NTA) to offer Grenadian musicians skills certificates in live musical performance, after which they can travel to other countries without having to pay for a work permit.
Under that programme, Kavel Isaac became the first Grenadian musician to receive his CVQ Certificate in Musical Performance Level 2.
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