Children’s Gimistory thrills audience

The aroma of fish and fritters
frying on an open pan and the sweet smell of swanky were not the only things
that lured the crowds downtown to this year’s Young at Arts Gimistory last
Thursday.

A crowd of around 150 people turned
out to watch the lively, well-staged show, held in Elizabethan Square’s
courtyard, attracted by the event’s growing reputation as a fertile breeding
ground for up-and-coming junior talent.

The open-air event, which showcased
some of Grand Cayman’s finest performance artists aged up to 17, offered a fast-paced
programme of more than 40 skits, including monologues, songs poems, a marching
band and a choir.

The event is proving to be a great
vehicle to air home-grown writing talent and included no less than five pieces
written by Caymanian actress, painter and dramatist   Nasaria Suckoo Chollette.

On the musical front, Nayil Arana
charmed the audience with his lively medley of Belizian and Caymanian folk
tunes.

Several of the youngsters performed
their own work. In true Gimistory fashion, the audience and performers were
only an arm’s length away from each other in the pleasant outdoor setting,
which made for an intimate and informal ambience.

During the intermission, the Cayman
Islands Marching Band gave a rousing performance in its first gig.

All of the performances were of a consistently
high standard. Highlights included a hilarious performance of Computer Swallowed
Grandma acted by Daniel Conolly-Foster, Dylan Lewis’s rendition of Boa
Constrictor and two skits, which closed out the show.

The first was by Children’s
Gimistory host Jevaughnie Ebanks. The
13-year-old from Leading Edge High School, no stranger to Gimistory, almost
stole the show as he assumed the character an elderly Caymanian reminiscing
about his youth in Dan de Pan.

Jevaughnie
Ebanks has won gold medals for performing in the National Children’s Festival
of the arts, acted in Frank McField’s play Downside Up, won roles in the short
film The Islands and Four Brothers, and takes part in various church functions.

Another skit,
which brought gales of laughter at the end of Young at Arts Gimistory, was Bus
Fare.

The lively
comedy skit, staged by The Powery Family (Zachery Powery, Aliana and Angelica
Dodds and Jessica Requejo), was penned by Zachery and was an engaging and
finely-observed piece of physical comedy. Set in the confines of a bus, the
skit is about an eventful ride into George Town – all acted in the local venacular.

Off stage, around the periphery,
younger audience members took part in games of marbles in a sandbox with Wray
Banker and Deal Ebanks of Cayman Islands Traditional Arts Council and learned
how to spin mahogany and mango wood gigs made by Mr. Ebanks.

Rita Estevanovich, a CNCF
programmes manager, was largely responsible for putting the 30-strong cast
through its paces on the run up to the event.

She said that several of the
performers were first brought to her attention through the Children’s National
Festival of the Arts, staged and hosted by the Cayman National Cultural
Foundation.

“We really have to thank the
teachers who each year select and prepare youngsters for the competition,” said
Ms Estevanovich.

“As one of the contest’s adjudicators,
I then invite some of our gold and silver medal winners to participate in Young
at Arts Gimistory.

“Other participants are children
invited from a pool of youngsters that we’ve worked with over the years and
invite to take part.

“We spend a few hours a week for
six weeks making sure that the performers are word perfect for their night.”

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