Playwrights in Grenada have made a call for policy makers to create legislation to govern the creative arts industry in the country.
Bjorn Bubb winner of the senior category of the monologue competition
“The time has come for us to lift our voices to make a clarion call for the creative arts to have its prominence in the legal system,” declared Francis Urias Peters, who was one of three playwrights presented with a token of appreciation for contributions made to creative arts last week Thursday.
Peters was at the time addressing those gathered for the first ever monologue competition held at the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS).
“Shame on the policy makers,” he added, referencing the absence of an “arts festival,” which he said “is essential to the social and spiritual pace of the country.”
The other two playwrights that were awarded tokens of appreciation in recognition of their contribution to the arts and the young people of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique are Ricardo Keens-Douglas, who was absent and Christopher De Riggs.
In accepting his token, De Riggs also called for the policy makers to get onboard and expressed the hope that “this (the monologue competition) is something that can grow.”
“I am proud to be a part of this event (the monologue competition)…I want to encourage the policy makers to get afoot, get (the) law involved and get the thing going again,” he said.
The monologue competition held under the theme “Bringing art to life,” was the brainchild of Theater Arts Specialist, Neila Ettienne.
“These three men have inspired me to work with the young people,” she said in making the announcement, which came as a surprise to the recipients, who witnessed the competition.
The event celebrated the works of the three Grenadian playwrights and saw students demonstrating some of their pieces, including from Ricardo Keens-Douglas’ “Aye Aye Aye Ivan” and “Yesterday”, a piece from Francis Urias Peters “Redemption Time”, and ‘Sentence to hang” and Christopher De Riggs’, Ms Gooding School’ and “Cain and Abel”.
Eighteen students from six secondary schools on the island participated in the competition.
However, it was Bjorn Bubb from the Grenada Boys Secondary School (GBSS) and Pebbles Best from the St. Mark’s Secondary School who impressed the judges most in the junior and senior categories, respectively.
Bjorn Bubb is the son of local comedian Wayne Bubb.
The fourth form student won the senior category with 544 points, after an entertaining delivery of “Aye Aye Aye Ivan” and “Ms Gooding”.
“It was a good experience for me to be able to showcase my talents and gain more experience in the drama field,” he said in an interview with THE NEW TODAY at the end of the event.
The junior winner, Pebbles Best is a form three student, who is actively involved in drama activities at her church and school.
“I feel very proud and I just want to thank God for this win and for giving me the confidence to go out there and do it,” Best said.
First, second and third place winners were awarded trophies and cash vouchers to be a part of the Excel programme at the Grenada Public Service Credit Union.
Speaking with THE NEW TODAY following the event, Ettienne said, “I am extremely happy with the performance of all the students and to think all of them did an exceptional job and I just want to congratulate all of them.”
Ettienne, the Artistic Director of the ‘Creative Arts Theater,’ which was formed in 2013, after the introduction in secondary schools of Theatre, Drama and the Arts as a subject area by the CXC.
“Since there is no arts festival going on, this is a good avenue for them to be a part of something great that would help them in the future to stay out of trouble, to become more confident, with their literacy and the whole interactive communication process,” she told this newspaper.
According to Ettienne, the intention is to make the monologue competition “an annual event.”
“I am also thinking about doing one for the primary school students…and maybe do some coral speaking and maybe some 10 minute plays to have a more variety,” she said.