AUDITIONS are open for the 2021 cohort of the Girl Be Heard TT (GBHTT) girls empowerment programme. The audition will take place virtually this year, with the deadline for submissions being March 5.
Girl Be Heard TT is an offshoot of the Girl Be Heard (GBH) programme which began in New York City and has toured eight countries. The programme empowers teenage girls through theatre-making, spoken word, and song.
In October 2016, Girl Be Heard received a grant from the US State Department through the TT Embassy and the Oak Foundation to establish a GBH programme outside the United States. The programme was born in partnership with the 2 Cents Movement.
A group of 15 girls auditioned and were chosen to be the first cohort to go through the programme at Bishop’s Centenary College, which launched in January 2017. The programme ran for three years at the college, with some participants taking part in all three cohorts, before being opened to young women outside the school in 2020. GBHTT programme manager and Bishop’s Centenary College vice principal Akai Webster said the programme had a positive effect on the girls who were chosen.
Webster said GBHTT 2020 cohort’s theme was focused on power – individual power, community power and how it all comes together to affect change in society.
“The girls really latched on to the idea of all persons working together to create a better world. Of course, they are all inspired by last year’s events, with the Black Lives Matter protests all over the world, which motivated them to want to use their art as a conduit through which some small change can take place. It is, therefore, safe to say that the pieces created/performed by the GBHTT cohort 2020 came from a very real part of the girls. They tackled a range of issues from Black Lives Matter, to love, and even the future of the world.”
She said the girls had struggled to keep afloat through all the restrictions surrounding the covid19 pandemic.
“The virtual sessions kept us connected, and we adapted to our new normal despite the challenges. Through it all, all participants worked resiliently to ensure that the show must go on. Their support of each other is a very present testament to the fact that we can all indeed do better when the power of many is enacted to create meaningful change.
“Although 2020 has been a challenging year for GBHTT, we powered through. The teaching artists and I thoroughly enjoyed working with the girls of 2020 cohort, and we know that this programme will continue to be beneficial to the participants yet to come.”
The programme is open to girls aged 13-18. Webster will continue in the role of programme manager, and the teaching artists will be writer Veronique Francois and poet Arielle John. The 2021 programme is sponsored by Girl Be Heard US, the OAK Foundation and local parent company BE Entertainment.
To audition, send a two-minute video of yourself performing an original piece to Akai Webster to 678-0907/689-2642.
For more info: www.facebook.com/girlbeheardTT, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and call/WhatsApp 978-0907.