Artist to teach theatre, spoken word in T&T

By RON FANFAIR

Multi-talented Toronto-based artist, Anne-Marie Woods, is set to take up a three-month placement in Trinidad & Tobago.

She leaves on February 7 for the Artist in Residence appointment jointly funded by Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the University of the West Indies Creative and Festival Arts department.

Supported by the department’s head Dr. Dani Lyndersay and Arts-in-Action artistic director Marvin George, Woods will teach theatre and spoken word during the assignment.

“This is a journey of artistic rejuvenation,” said Woods who spent the first six months of her life in England before her parents moved back to T & T. They resided in the twin-island republic for four years before relocating to Nova Scotia where Woods attended school and honed her artistic skills before coming to Toronto in 2000.

“Going back to T & T to teach was something that I had always wanted to do and the opportunity arose last year when I met Marvin, who is my mentor, at Piarco airport on my way back from the Rapso festival that I have attended the last two years. He also spent time in England and told me about his vision for working with youth that coincided with some of the things I had in mind.

“I promised him that I would come back to Toronto and make it happen. I am a very determined person and when I set out to do something, it will take place. I made some contacts, did the running around and was able to secure the grants for the journey that will be divided into two parts because I have to come back here to fulfill a prior commitment.”

The founder of Imani Enterprises in 1996 to help young people explore societal issues through drama, music and movement, Woods was a playwright-in-residence at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People in 2001 and the first African-Canadian to perform at the National Black Theatre Festival in North Carolina nine years ago.

In the past five years, the Dalhousie University Theatre Arts degree holder and 1997 Philadelphia Freedom Theatre intern has produced Afro Celtic Jam, performed in the CBC Comedy Festival and produced and performed in several one-woman shows, including Waiting to Explode, I’m Just Sittin’ at the Derby and True Confessions.

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