| Lamin Jahateh, Banjul|
Ebunjan Theatre Troupe is looking for talented youths between the ages of 18 – 24 to undergo a fully funded (free) professional training in performing arts in order to perform a theatre entitled ‘Chains of Inspiration’, which is a dramatic presentation on the transatlantic slave trade.
‘Chains of Inspiration’ is a component of a $20,000 project financed by the Gambia National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) and implementation is underway by Ebunjan Theatre Troupe, the executing arm of the Ebunjan Performing Arts Association, an NGO with a mission to develop and promote culture as a viable means for employment.
“In fulfillment of a major requirement of the project, Ebunjan Theatre Troupe is searching for talented youths who are interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts - drama, dance, and music,” a statement from the Theatre Troupe says.
“We are looking for youths who are interested in performing arts, and they must be people who can speak in public, they have to be punctual during the training, people who can cope with stress and be a team player, people who are fluent in English, energetic and flexible people, people who want to pursue performing arts as a career,” said Ebrima Ceesay, a member of Ebunjan Theatre Troupe and the National Coordinator of Children for Children Organization, while outlining the criteria that they are looking for in the youths who will partake in the training.
Janet Badjan –Young, the Artistic Director of Ebunjan Theatre Troupe said the training will start in April and will last for three months, “but interested persons can apply now because at the end of the day all the applications will be reviewed and applicants will be interview to make sure that they meet the criteria of selection”. She said at the end of the process twelve (12) people who satisfied the criteria will be selected to undergo the training.
“We want the number to be few so that we can manage the training effectively,” the theatre guru said, adding that the training will be organized as a full day course, practical in nature, six days in a week. “A team of international professionals in theatre and dance will provide the training,” she explained.
“The training is free of charge - they are not going to pay for it, we will give them transport and we may give them refreshment,” she continued.
The youths will be train on different areas of performing arts including; acrobat, body balance, dance, working together as a group, stage management – how you manage the stage during a play, voice production, how to speak without words, and so on.
The training will prepared the youths as actors and actresses who will do a theatre on ‘Chains of Inspiration’, which aims to inspire young and old with stories of bravery, courage, resistance, resourcefulness and determination of Africans, who survived the dehumanization era of the slave trade.
The play will highlight historical situations and events during the period of transatlantic slave trade; Africa before the slave trade, the tragedy of human trafficking and the contribution of former slaves to the development of Africa, Europe and America.
“We plan to make about 500 DVD copies of the theatre and distribute it to schools so that students can watch it and if possible it can become part of their curriculum,” said Maimuna Sidibeh of UNESCO.
As part of the project, a theatre is under construction at Kanifing Institutional Area which will not only provide space for training of the talented youths, but it will also serve as a professional venue for arts.
At end of this project, those who benefited from the training will have an option to continue training and working with Ebunjan Theatre Troupe under the direction of Janet Badjan-Young.