While a physical theatre for the theatre arts would be ideal, the National Cultural Foundation is particularly interested in developing the works that can be used by dramatists and others.
As he briefed the media on the annual Crop-Over Folk Concert, today, Producer of the event, Winston Farrell said while in most countries people think of a national theatre as a physical structure, he had a different idea.
“In my view, I believe in small island states like Barbados that national theatres is not necessarily about a physical structure, but it’s about how we work with the cultural forms that exist within the industry and indeed within the region, so that the work identifies who we are and celebrates who we are.” Framing it within the context of the Crop-Over Folk Concert which this year pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Barbados Landship under the theme The House of Landship, Farrell said in writing the folk play for the event he thought more in terms of how that work could represent Barbados and the island’s culture.
“That’s the platform from which I am coming in terms of developing national theatre. How can we utilise the folk forms in our space and bring that work to life using the resources and talent that we have, and we are a rich nation of people with diverse culture and number of stories and iconic, including the Landship Movement,” he stated.
Farrell said there was a lot of history involved in the Landship and the production, to be held at Frank Collymore Hall on July 26, would try to be consistent with what has happened over the years, utilising dance, song and drama.
Senior Business Development Officer with the NCF, Alison Sealy-Smith said she believed events like the Read-In to be held this weekend, and the Folk Concert augured well for local heritage.
“This event is the central component of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth’s thrust to honour our Day of National Significance as the Crop Over Folk Concert is set for July 26th, the day we commemorate the pivotal events of 1937 that have shaped so much of the social conditions we enjoy, and quite frankly take for granted today,” she said.
Stating that she did not know if it was that Barbados was following a foreign trend in the thirst for heritage events, or if it was being fostered here and therefore the demand had increase, but she said, “either way I think it is a very good thing for Barbados, for our cultural art forms, for our artists, for the NCF and for Crop-Over that there is this renewed interest in who we are and how we express ourselves”.
In addition to the Ministry of Culture, the event is also being held in association with the City of Bridgetown Credit Union and Barbados Tourism Investment Inc.
Member Relations Manager for COB, Winston Alleyne said they got involved because they were impressed with the idea of helping to commemorate the anniversary of the Landship, which was the precursor to the credit union, in meeting a financial need for the poor in days gone by. (LB)