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The Girls’ High School tops region in CSEC Theatre Arts

The Girls’ High School tops region in CSEC Theatre Arts


The St Vincent Girls’ High School (GHS) created history for St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) by topping the region in the 2016 CSEC Theatre Arts Examination. Natalia Gill was the best performing student in the region, with one other GHS student, McKeilah McDonald, also finishing in the region’s top 10, in 7th place.

The GHS was the first secondary school in SVG to begin preparations for Theatre Arts as a CSEC subject in 2009, with the first batch of students writing the examination in the GHS centenary year, 2011.

A release from the school said this feat had its challenges, as this particular subject area was new to the curriculum.{{more}}

“There was the initial hesitancy by parents to register students to do a subject that was seemingly frivolous. Nevertheless, Mrs Grace Peters-Clarke pressed forward with a small contingent of 20 students, gaining 100 per cent passes,” the release said.

Since then the Girls’ High School has made notable strides in inspiring a love for the Arts and Drama, and the Stagecraft and Dance components of the exam were introduced to students in 2014. Natalia Gill, an excellent Technical Drawing student seized the opportunity to do the Stagecraft component, as she saw the inter-relationship between those subjects. In 2015, under the tutelage of Jillian Llewellyn, 40 students sat the examination, where once again the students recorded 100 per cent passes.

“The influence of Theatre Arts extends beyond the subject itself, as all other subject areas can be incorporated in varying aspects of the subject. Beyond the academics, it fosters team-building, self-confidence, self-discipline, empathy and an appreciation for one’s culture. Theatre Arts plays an integral role in the preservation of many cultural aspects of Dance and Drama. Doing Theatre Arts improves the quality of productions and has implications for the advancement of the Performing Arts in St Vincent and the Grenadines. This is evident in the annual Drama Festival where the Girls’ High School has dominated since 2013,” the release said.

The two students recognized this year by the CXC, Natalia Gill and McKeliah McDonald, can attest to the correlation between theory and practical, as well as practice, as they too were cast members in the 2014 and 2015 GHS Drama Festival productions.

In keeping with school’s performing arts tradition, the GHS is currently vying for this year’s top position in the annual Drama Festival with the spectacular musical Cinderella Syndrome. The final for the Secondary School’s Drama Festival, is December 1 at 3:30 p.m., to be held at the Peace Memorial Hall.

In the 2016 Theatre Arts sitting, 44 students wrote the examination. Currently in fifth form, there are 46 students registered to write the 2017 Theatre Arts examination and in 2018, 85 students will be sitting.

When the Theatre Arts teacher, Jillian Llewellyn, was asked to comment on the future opportunities for one who studies the subject, she stated, “one is not expected to major in Theatre Arts; it is one of nine subjects offered at the school that incorporates all other subject areas. In addition to this, it teaches one to recognize beauty, so one will be sensitive, closer to an infinite beyond this world, so one will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good; in short more life.”