The Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival is the First and Only Performing Arts exchange programme for Secondary Schools in the Caribbean region.
It was on the campus of the University of the West Indies St. Augustine at an Arts Conference in 1991 that the idea of an arts exchange programme was first conceptualized.
Icil Phillips of Barbados, who was studying Directing at the time at the Festival Centre for Creative Arts, UWI, St.Augustine, and the then President of the Trinidad and Tobago’s Secondary Schools Drama Association (TTSSDA); Victor Edwards, began discussions for such an initiative and in November of 1992, as an experiment, Comberbere High School of Barbados performed a play version of “Country of the One-eved God” at the T&T Secondary Schools Drama Festival.
The success of this venture encouraged the TTSSDA administration to invite Girls High School from St. Vincent to perform the play “Return to Paradise”; directed by David Williams its 1993 Festival and used the opportunity to gauge the viability of hosting a Caribbean drama festival from among the schools in the region. Since both experiments with single schools were conducted by the SSDA administration of T&T, it was only fitting that the first official Caribbean Secondary Schools Drama Festival be held in Trinidad and Tobago; the year was 1994.
Secondary Schools from Montserrat, Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Cayman Islands, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago participated in this festival that was held at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando. Since then the festival has been hosted almost biennially ,by various Caribbean countries.
1996 - Trinidad and Tobago
1998 - Guyana
2000 - Jamaica
2002 - Antigua
2004 - Trinidad and Tobago
2007 - St. Lucia
2013 - Barbados
2015 - Trinidad and Tobago
In the main library of the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, there is a thesis entitled "A History of the Secondary Schools Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago" where interested students, administrators and researchers can find a detailed account of the Festival.
Call: +1(868) 757-4074, 1 (868) 346-9548