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Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival Breeds new Impetus for the Island's Performing Arts

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Monday, February 5, 2007 – St. Lucia's hosting of the 7th Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival ended over the weekend with officials expressing great confidence about the future of the performing arts in the region.

A total 150 participants from eight Caribbean territories namely Antigua, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and St Lucia took part in the grand event, which ran from 28th of January to the 3rd of February.

Executive Director of the Cultural Development Foundation (CDF), Gabriel “Teddy”Francis thinks the hosting of the festival ties nicely with the re-established link between the Ministries of Education and Culture. He said this will go a long way in reviving effort and interest at the school level in St. Lucia.

“We were really thrilled by the level of performances and the different styles of theatre—the re-emergence of popular theatre, as the presentation of many countries. Also the training aspect through the facilitators from the countries, ensuring the finer skills of theatre are mastered and perfected by the participating students,” he said.

The CDF Executive Director also thinks the hosting of the Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival will provide a valuable boost to the island's drama programme and give birth to new horizons in terms of the performing arts within local secondary schools.

“It will certainly work towards the revitalisation of our own local competition or festival. The establishment of the association of secondary schools drama is very important here, as it exists in some of the other countries notably Trinidad and Jamaica, and this will point the way forward for us. It also serves as a sterling example for the broader aspect of culture in schools,” said the CDF Head.

The event followed on the heels of activities in tribute to the accomplishments of St. Lucia's two Nobel Laureates—1992 Nobel Prize Winner for Literature Honourable Derek Walcott and the late Sir Arthur Lewis, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in1979.

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