On Universal Children’s Day, Wednesday 20 November 2019, over 200 children strutted the boards of the Central Bank Auditorium in the NGC Children’s Bocas Lit Fest’s Page to Stage event.
Stars of TT theatre: Penelope Spencer, Cecelia Salazar and comedian Louris Lee Sing have been working over the last three months to bring young thespians into top form to perform eight original short plays. They have been adapted from stories told by TT children and collected in the Children’s festival annual storybook.
“What makes Page to Stage highly unique,” says Danielle Delon Director of the NGC Bocas Children’s Lit Fest who developed the project out of the annual nationwide NGC Bocas Children’s Lit Fest Storytelling Caravan, “is the fact that after the children create the stories, we work with teachers and experts to help the children lift the words out of the books and into dramatic form. This is a complete cycle of creation and also allows children to appreciate the written word while finding their own voices.”
Now in its second year, Page to Stage is a collaboration with the Ministry of Education Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) division and aims to contribute to teachers’ training and capacity-building in schools by way of intense workshops that culminate in a major theatrical event.
Several schools are involved with this ground-breaking project but seven performed in the final 2019 event on 20 November: Moulton Hall Methodist; Four Roads Government Primary; Carenage Girls Government Primary; Carenage Boys Gov’t Primary; St Margaret’s Boys Anglican; San Fernando Girls’ Primary; and Upper Carapichaima Presbyterian Primary School.
“It’s a joy to see that the work we do every April in libraries and community centres from Scarborough to Icacos can now be picked up in schools later in the year and repurposed, connecting children across this country”, says Bocas Lit Fest founder Marina Salandy-Brown.
The Children’s Lit Fest will celebrate 10 years in 2020 and has aligned its objectives to those of the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Project sponsor is the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago. The final part of Page to Stage 2019 was hosted by legendary Pierrot Granade Felix Edinborough and 2 Cents Movement artistic director Derron Sandy.