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San Juan teens team up with Ican for Christmas play
The play Anansi and the Poinsettia Tree tells the story of how trickster Anansi provides for his family at Christmas during a recession. Written by Eintou Pearl Springer, it is being put on by the Indigenous Creative Arts Network (Ican) and the students of San Juan South Secondary.
Reheem Bain, the student who plays Anansi, said that while he’s a bit nervous, he’s enjoying the experience and the story. Lashunda Waldron, playing Anansi’s wife, said she finds being in the play really terrific and she likes that the story is “about how to go about doing things the right way instead of trying to cheat your way out of things, so it’s really encouraging and it’s a learning process.”
Kamiylah Alexander, who portrays the Poinsettia Tree, said this is her first time acting with Ican and it’s really enjoyable. “I’m looking forward to when we perform in front of everyone to let them see what we worked really hard to produce together.”
Dara Healey, co-founder of Ican, said the group wanted to do something for Christmas that “would feature the young people and Anansi and the Poinsettia Tree seemed to be the perfect play because it is such a heart-warming story about values and sharing and community. We thought it would achieve a lot in terms of teaching the children theatre but also using our local traditions to teach values as well.”
She said Ican has had a relationship with the school for the last few years, as they worked with them to produce the Camboulay for the Junior Carnival. “We realised the students are very talented and very interested in theatre as a means of expressing themselves and showing off their talents, so we thought it would be good to continue the work we’re doing with them outside of Carnival as well.”
Healey said one of the main difficulties is finding a time and place for everyone to rehearse, as the school is currently on a shift system and classroom space is also limited.
Healey is doing movement and choreography, while former Copyright Organisation (Cott) president Ryan Romany is co-ordinating the parang element. A parang CD produced by the school will be on sale, along with books and refreshments, as the event is a joint fund-raiser for Ican and the students of the school.
Healey said the play is the second fundraiser for Ican for the year and the group plans to continue such fundraising.
The play will run from December 9- 11 at the St George’s College auditorium, Barataria.
Find the Indigenous Creative Arts Network, Ican, on Facebook, email [email protected], or call San Juan South Secondary School at 638-2271 or 638-0233.
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