This year’s edition of the Sir Derek Walcott Schools’ Theatre Festival focused on the classic Caribbean play, ‘Ti Jean and His Brothers’. It was my first time attending the event that forms a part of the annual Nobel Laureate celebrations and, quite frankly, I was blown away!
I was struck immediately by the excitement and enthusiasm of students that intensified once they’d changed into costume. It was clear from the moment they got on stage just how much hard work and effort had gone into rehearsing their roles and perfecting their lines.
Performing schools in the group category included Micoud Secondary with ‘The Story of Ti Jean and His Brothers’, Dennery Primary with ‘The Bollom’s Story’, Castries Comprehensive Secondary with a double presentation of ‘The Mother’s Story’ plus ‘Canne Brule’, and St. Mary’s College Secondary with ‘The Jeans’. In the monologue category performers included Zayna Joseph and Christal Moncherry from Leon Hess Comprehensive Secondary School, Shay-Lia Sylvester from Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, and Leah Emanuel and Jamika Junes from Ciceron Secondary School.
After a series of dramatic performances and portrayals, egged on by an amped up audience, it was time for the competition results. In the monologue category, Jamika Junes from the Ciceron school walked away with third place. Zayna Joseph from Leon Hess Comprehensive took second place while Christal Moncherry from the same school claimed first place!
Sadly awards weren’t given for group performances but, if they had been, I strongly suspect that Canne Brule, as performed by the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School, would have earned the top spot.
On another note, I thought it was impressive that St. Mary’s College students were performing their theatre arts examination in front of an enthralled audience that included the Governor General!