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Jamaicans Score Big at Caribbean Schools' Drama Festival 2013

Jamaican contingent display their awards at 2013 Caribbean Schools' Dramas Fest

Young thespians from nine (9) Caribbean countries converged on Barbados in early December for the 2013 Caribbean Schools Drama Festival. They came from Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. At the end of the Festival, the Jamaican contingent, who arrived bearing the production Wi Love Wi Self, directed by Akeem Mignott returned home laden with 11 major awards including Best Overall Performance.

Mignott copped the award for outstanding director Mandie Salmon snagged the award for Outstanding Actress. The group also received awards for Best Ensemble Acting, Most Creative Presentation and Best Set Design.

The cast comprised students from four (4) high schools across Jamaica, selected based on their award winning performances in the Jamaica Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival. Along with Salmon, who attends Munro College, the cast featured Jomo Dixon, Darian Reid, Johnique Francis, Chantae Martin, Jonathan Dwyer and Jadon-John Barton-Williams of Ardenne High; Oleta Livermore and Raheem Wallace of Waterford High; Teona Wesley of Mona High and Jevone Andy of Black River High.

The festival also allowed the students to participate in cultural workshops as well as a Caribbean Youth Forum on the Caribbean Single Market Initiative and Theatre Arts in the region.

The Caribbean Schools’ Drama Festival is organized by the Barbados Association of Drama Educators. The 2013 staging of the festival was held in Christ Church at the Steel Shed, December 8 - 15.

The Jamaican contingent was led by playwright Aston Cooke, Facilitator of the Jamaica Youth Theatre, the performing arm of the Jamaica Secondary Schools Drama Festival. The group’s participation in the festival had been funded by CHASE.