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Emotional climax to theatre festival

Monday, June 18, 2018

On Sunday, June 10, the curtain closed on the Act It Out Theatre Festival 3 hosted by Steven Edwards Productions (SEP). It was an emotional conclusion to a festival whose patrons included dignitaries, celebrities, preteens and parents.

The festival started on June 8 and was the theatrical debut for many local entertainers and celebrities. These included social media sensation Jamel “Certified” Sampson, soca artiste Rodney “Benjai” LeBlanc, and radio personalities Natalie Morales and Daya Ottley. Steven Edwards, Director, Producer and writer, worked with the assistant director, stunt and dance choreographer Akil Samuel to round out the all-star cast.

On June 8, the Government Plaza Auditorium opened its doors to several schools across the country for two SEP original plays written by Edwards. Trinbago –We are Wakanda, and Carnivale: The return of the King Sailor. These plays were headlined by Sampson and Benjai, respectively.

Later that evening, SEP featured another original play, For Better or Worse, at a gala event by invitation only. Audience members included Fitz Gerald Hinds, Minister in the Ministry of the Attorney General and

Legal Affairs; independent senators Melissa Ramkisoon and Taurel Shrikissoon, along with media and entertainment personalities David Muhammad, Jessie May Ventour, Esuyemi Ogunbanke and Paul Keens Douglas. All of whom admitted to having been extremely entertained and secretly confessing to shed a tear during very moving parts of the play. For Better or Worse lived up to its tagline — audiences laughed, cried, and left with their hearts ready to love again.

June 9 was all about the children. Children of the Theatre for Tots to Teens programme came and performed in their concert Reach for the Stars. They performed in dance, poetry, vocals, theatre and lip sync as they did tributes to the classic calypsos and 80’s Sesame Street skits.

Currently, the children’s programme is in Ivy League schools such as Montessori Academy of T&T, Maple Leaf International, Brynmar Private School and Arbor. The goal is to have a children’s programme available in public schools also.

At 4:30 pm on June 10, the packed auditorium hosted children of several homes, youth institutions, and vulnerable communities across the country. Members of the business community, such as KFC, Pizza Hut, Angostura, Holiday Snacks, Kiss and Solo beverages, all ensured that the children were treated to the time of their lives.

Two and a half hours later, For Better or For Worse was performed for the general public. Laughter erupted all throughout the performance with tears pouring down the cheeks of many at the end. A fitting end for what was an unforgettable weekend of theatre. 

Minister Hinds was quoted as saying, “I never knew this type of theatre existed in Trinidad. I am extremely glad that I came.”

Melissa Ramkissoon stated, “The level of professionalism was like no other and thank you for keeping such high standards. I had a wonderful time.”

The one question every patron left with was, “When is the next show?”


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