LONGSTANDING member of the local entertainment industry, Simone Dowding, can hardly wait for the opportunity to, once again, be able to host a children’s drama workshop in which she gets to pass on her knowledge and skills in acting.
Under her company, Purple Arts Productions, Dowding conducts the workshop annually when schools close for the July-August vacation period. Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, she opted not to do it for the past two years. She is happy for her return since the last staging in 2019.
She couldn’t be happier that she’s once again going to be with the children, even as she chose to work with a smaller group this time. In previous years, Dowding would have a class with about 40 children.
This year, her class size will be reduced to 20. The actress is still mindful of the pandemic, albeit restrictions are less aggressive than before.
Come July 2 to August 28, the workshop will teach children, ages 9 to 16, the basics in costume and stage management, playwriting, directing, and acting. It also helps them master the arts of listening, breathing, and stage geography.
Every Saturday from 10:00 hrs to midday, the Theatre Guild Playhouse in Kingston, Georgetown, will see children heavily involved in the practical aspects of drama.
“It’s going to be mostly practical because you don’t want to burden the children with literature. You just want them to enjoy themselves,” Dowding told the BUZZ in an interview.
“The workshop helps to build their foundation and self-esteem. I am elated and I can’t wait to work with the children; they’ve been locked away for so long, so it’s a whole new breath of fresh air for them. They will go back to school rejuvenated and ready to work,” Dowding shared.
The workshop will culminate in Emerge 9, a grand stage show featuring the children.
Explaining how the workshop all got started, Dowding recalled wanting to do something in theatre after being trained for many years.
She eventually formed her company with the introduction of the children’s workshop. Children pay a small tuition fee, but even those who cannot afford the money are taken in by Dowding, who said she has a fondness for children.
Having graduated from the E.R Burrowes School of Art and other institutions, she ended up with a total of 13 certificates and won Theatre Guild’s Best Actress Award in 2012 for the play ‘Old Story Times’.
Through her company, Dowding works primarily with children and seeks to provide them with opportunities that she never enjoyed as a child.
Having worked on the popular production ‘Link Show’ over the years, Dowding has also done ‘House of Pressure’, ‘Miriamy’, ‘Eleventh Finger’, and ‘Jezebel’, just to name a few shows.