Minister says theatre opens up opportunities

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The National Secondary School Theatre Arts Festival has been touted as an outlet where many opportunities can be born.
Minister of Culture EP Chet Greene urged parents to support their children who not only have a passion for theatre arts, but for singing and music as well.
“We can’t want our children to excel when there is no parental support. I also want to implore my colleagues, parliamentarians, persons to whom the responsibility to care and nurture our young talent falls on, to take a little time with them,” he said to the audience at the launch of the 2017 National Secondary Schools Theatre Festival on Sunday.
Greene said that the opportunities that arise out of such a festival, which has come a long way since its inception in 2014, could create a wider spectrum of careers in the country.
 “The Ministry of Culture speaks of the new markets, the new opportunities, the new professions and this is one of them that we are promoting in that regard. My confidence is higher tonight than it was three years ago, when first we met,” he said.
“Let us use the entire arts platform in this country to become a driver of a very positive message where Antiguans and Barbudans start to embrace not only the belief but the knowledge that we can use about anything as a people.”
Director of Culture Vaughn Walter said that since Theatre Arts was introduced as a Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) CSEC subject, the number of students sitting the exam has grown significantly and the pass rate has remained something to take pride in.
“Some 10 to 11 years ago, the Cultural Development Division had a dream and a vision and that dream was to bring theatre arts to Antigua. Owen Jackson, who is our drama co-ordinator, took the mantle on. We chose the Princess Margaret School as our pilot school. That year, we had five persons taking CXC, but we received 100 per cent passes. Eleven years later, we are almost up to 200 persons sitting CXC in Antigua & Barbuda with a 95 or 96 per cent pass rate.”
Walter also asked for public support for the nightly performances.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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