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Arts in Action offers two vacation camps

Published: 
Saturday, July 7, 2018

Theatre group Arts in Action’s (AiA) 2018 vacation programme features two camps for participants from ages five to 18 and 18 years and over. The first, AiA’s 27th annual Discovery Camp, features a Children’s Theatre Production entitled, Jumbie Birds at the end of the July cycle, while the other is the group’s Technical Theatre Arts programme entitled, Discovery by Design 2018.

Artistic director Patrice Briggs said this is the first year that the end of cycle dramatic production has been opened to the public, rather than just family and friends. “The tradition of Arts-in-Action’s Children’s Discovery Camp has always been one where the engagement in the arts disciplines is what the children are exposed to while working towards some sort of presentation or artistic product/display of their process over the time period that we journey/discover with them.

“Reflecting on and witnessing how, over the years, this end product is growing each year in terms of theatrical design, quality and impact, we felt the work is ready to move to the next level.

This means to share the children’s creativity with the wider community, as the engagement with the wider community is the real forum that the work needs to reach.”

She said since the Discovery Camp is an arts-based camp, the children will be engaged in activities such as dance, drama, music and art. “They will also be part of a theatre production process as they work with the tutors in building the children’s theatre. Discovery Camp is also the place where children get to learn about themselves while interacting, playing and learning with other young people while engaging in the various art forms. So the skills are diverse as they are developmental, artistic and educational all at the same time.”

Briggs said the Technical Theatre Arts programme is open to theatre arts students, drama, church and Best Village groups, consisting of adults between the ages of 18 to 65 years, who want to learn the fundamentals of lighting, sound, set design and arts business essentials. “The Discovery by Design participants also work towards becoming the technical team for the Children’s Theatre Production. The tutors are comprised of some of the leading professionals in the Theatre Arts industry. Spaces are limited.”

Briggs said while the name of the final production is Jumbie Birds, how the production takes shape will be explored during the camp. “We start with an idea, theme, frame or title and then we discover through a process working with the children how we can put meaning to what we want to create. The term Jumbie Birds is associated with some sort of folklore-like creature that attempts to scare others. But, we are in the process of working how it relates to the issue of Violence against Women and Gender Based Violence, which is the theme/issue that this camp seeks to address.”

Briggs added that AiA is an Advocate against Violence against Women and Gender Based Violence with UN Women and it is for this reason that the group, “continues to look for opportunities through our work to address this issue which seems to be highly prevalent within our society today.”

She added: “We continue to witness the high level of violent crimes against women in Trinidad and how this vicious cycle is negatively impacting upon our young girls and boys. So it’s only fitting that we decided to deal with such as an issue in our Discovery Camp 2018. AiA recognises the indispensable role that the arts has to play in the development, empowerment, social, organisational and attitudinal change.

“Therefore in order to fulfill this philosophy we seek to address this social issue through this children’s theatre production. Through our local adaptation of stories, use of traditional forms such as Kalinda, traditional folklore and Caribbean folks songs we will explore how our young boys and girls can be empowered in dealing with violence against women.”

The Technical Theatre Arts programme runs from July 9 to August 4 from 5.30 to 8.30 pm and may include some Saturdays as well. The July cycle runs from July 9 to 27 and show dates for Jumbie Birds are July 28 and 29. The August cycle runs from August 6 to 18. For more information contact 289-4242 or 384-9565/9561 or [email protected].

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