Academy holds workshop on using theatre arts to keep culture alive

CUL DE SAC–In preparation for the annual St. Maarten Day celebration, St. Maarten Academy drama students were treated last Tuesday to an energetic workshop on the importance and relevance of using theatre arts to keep the country’s history and culture alive.
The workshop was organised by the school’s drama teacher Joanna Trim, who invited Lasana Sekou in light of students’ study of his monologues “Goin’ School” and “Great Grandmother T.” As a result of unforeseen circumstances, Sekou could not attend, but he was represented by educator and former Minister of Education Rhoda Arrindell and International Performing Arts guru and Director of the National Institute of the Arts Clara Reyes.
Academy Principal Tallulah Baly-Vanterpool welcomed the guests and acquainted students with their lives and contributions to St. Maarten’s cultural development.
Arrindell introduced students to Sekou’s life and works and emphasised the theme that permeates his literary works: “Love, Labour and Liberation.” She spoke about his passion for writing and documenting the history of the St. Maarten people and their culture, but most of all his desire for St. Maarteners to see themselves as a people united.
Following Arrindell’s introduction, Reyes treated students to a recitation of Sekou’s monologue “Goin School.” She elaborated on St. Maarten’s history, its rich folklore and most of all its relevance and influence in shaping the youth for today and tomorrow. Reyes’ interactive, informative and entertaining delivery earned the students’ rapt attention, the school said in a press release: “Many students were so enamoured by the presenters that they were inspired and motivated to give their personal best as Ms. Reyes briefly engaged them in steps for the ‘Ponum’ dance and the singing of ‘O Po Slave.’”
Arrindell also provided students with background information that enhanced their understanding of Danny Hassell’s poem “In Salute to Our Flag.”
“With this intervention, the learning experience of the Academy’s students was significantly enriched, as they left with a more meaningful understanding of the rich cultural tapestry of the St. Maarten people and the importance of the literary pieces each group will present at the school’s celebration on Friday, November 10, 2017, under the theme: “Rising Stronger, Rebuilding Better, Resilient Ever,” the release said.

Source: The Daily Herald