CSSDF: The journey, the experience, the exposure – a phenomenal rollercoaster!

Antiguan ‪#‎Playwright‬ and ‪#‎Director‬ -Zahra Airall, shares her experience in Trinidad and Tobago at The Caribbean Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival 2015

Wadadli Pen

by Zahra Airall

So let’s begin with the Antigua leg of this journey – the 2014 inaugural National Secondary Schools Drama Festival. Held at the Dean William Lake Cultural Centre, it attracted participation from several schools. [My school] Antigua Girls’ High School was adjudged Most Outstanding Production.

My feelings? Awed, humbled, happy.

You see, I’ve noticed that as a society, we’ve fallen into a misdirected appreciation for the slapstick/red-panty/pasapasa/shebadda theatre that travels here from Jamaica (no offfence). The reality? While this form of theatre may have its place, it is not even widely appreciated in Jamaica itself. So during preparation for the 2014 festival, my girls would relay taunts and messages from their peer schools – “high school nuh hab no proper theatre person over dey” … “ah yuh go lose” … “wha chupidness y’all doing?”

Was I remotely intimidated? No.

I trusted the system, trusted that the Ministry of Culture and its Drama Director…

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