COLE BAY – Great news theatre lovers – a brand new Foundation has been formed to stimulate new dimensions in theatre enjoyment and production on St. Maarten.
The new Non-Profit foundation, BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre FOUNDATION is the brainchild of a small group of theater lovers led by fine arts teacher Cor Sikkes. The Foundation lends its name to the hugely successful production of the Stephen Leacock comedy play, Behind the Beyond, staged earlier this year, by Cor’s partner, Ukrainian director and drama teacher, Albina Matuzko,
“It was a logical step to set up a foundation to continue with the hard work and commitment to theatre on the island by Albina”, explained Cor. He says another important factor was all the encouragement and positive comments received from theatre-goers and members of the public after the stating of Behind the Beyond earlier this year.
“People said they missed this form of theatre and very much wanted us to continue. Members of the group spoke about how this could happen, and after much deliberation and planning proceeded with the setting up of the new Foundation so that we can continue our theatrical work,” continued Cor, who now expects the BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre FOUNDATION to bring new dimensions to the theatre arts on St. Maarten under the direction of Ms. Matuzko.
Cor and members of the foundation believe they can provide a unique opportunity for theatre lovers on the island to fully experience a wide range of “Live Theatre” possibilities embracing and benefiting from a multicultural diversity and variable experiences that already exists on the island.
Thinking even further, Cor sees a whole range of untapped resources and possibilities of art education and participation at the island’s senior homes, hospitals, prison and other social groups and organizations presently excluded or set apart from the general community.
“We truly intend to fully explore a world which is far beyond the Island’s reality,” said Cor.
He said generous and kind comments from the theatre community on St. Maarten is the motivation behind the foundation’s serious thought about a mission and a goal to recover traditions of the community theatre as a platform to encourage people of different generations and cultural backgrounds to meet each other to Explore, to Experience, to Express and to Exchange through the dramatic arts and to serve the cultural, educational and entertainment needs of the community.
Director, Albina Matuzko, says she has worked with all age groups in theatre arts, but especially enjoys working with the youth, whom she expects will form an important and active part of the new foundation’s work in the coming weeks and months.
“It was not by accident that we decided to keep the name of our first show in forming our new foundation. We want to remind ourselves always, also our audiences and our sponsors, that there is a lot going on all around us that we should stop and pay attention to instead of always dealing with clichéd themes and topics that are continuously being explored through skits and shows, while the real underbelly of the community continues to flourish almost in an invisible world. We must make time to listen and look out beyond the daily vanities and routines to find the comedic and also tragic nuances to expose things that can be very meaningful to the soul,” said the director.
In realizing their dreams to enhance live theatre on St. Maarten, both Cor and Albina are most thankful for the support and encouragement of others working behind the scenes to get the new foundation off the ground with a running start.
“We are so happy and fortunate to have others like us who passionately believe that theatre can be a powerful force to transform and unite the island’s multicultural community, building empathy, compassion, understanding, inclusion of all of us, and appreciation and value of everyone inside the St. Maarten community,” said Albina.
And how will this be done?
The theatrical director says B the B will provide opportunities for artistic growth for youth and adults through Dramatic Arts, offering theatre performances, drama and acting workshops, master classes and acting classes which will be challenging, inspiring, stimulating and fun to develop and build artistic freedom in each individual.
She says the BEHIND the BEYOND COMMUNITY THEATRE will consist of:
BEHIND THE BEYOND THEATRE LAB: adult company, open for everyone from 16 years who would like to be involved in making diverse, exceptional, affordable, accessible theatre of any genre: Play, Drama, Comedy, Tragedy, Mask theatre, Clowning, Puppetry, Storytelling and multi-disciplinal shows and exhibitions based on the best Classic and Contemporary Literature and Art for all ages.
BEHIND the BEYOND Children Theatre COMPANY, 6 to 16 years, selected by audition or during participation in regular drama/theatre/acting classes. Children productions to CREATE AND INSPIRE youth.
BEHIND THE BEYOND DRAMA SCHOOL: regular drama and acting classes for kids, teens and adults.
Besides participation in stage production and acting/drama classes, various roles are open to members of the public who would like to work behind the scenes, get involved in the local productions without being on stage, assist with the gathering of props and theatrical clothing and most importantly, assist with fund-raising activities.
"We would love to hear from anyone who is interested in the development of theatre arts on Sint Maarten, who can assist our non-profit foundation as a volunteer in any way,” said the director, Matuzko.
The BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre FOUNDATION has been officially established at the Notary Office and will be officially launched with an Open House during the month of September to which invitations will be extended to all. At the Open House, those interested in all aspects of the theatre arts will again be invited to come to see what the Foundation and its members have to offer.
“We are very excited about our new foundation and about all that we will have to offer. For us it’s a brand-new day and a brand new experience that we want to enjoy with all lovers of the arts,” said the proud and excited fine arts teacher and theatrical director – on behalf of the rest of the group. They say everyone is looking forward to a brand-new world of live theatre production on St. Maarten through the newly formed BEHIND THE BEYOND Community Theatre Foundation (B the B).