Youth in Arts (YIA) Theatre Company is an amalgamation of KiddiCrew Theatre Company and KiddiCrew Project Masq’ Camp.
The name KiddiCrew has become synonymous in St. Lucia with a variety of programmes for children`s development. From 2002 until 2012, a television programme for children by children titled “KiddiCrew.com
” was aired on local and regional television stations. During that same time, a very popular vacation programme “KiddiCrew Summer Fun” was hosted as well as “KiddiCrew Travel Club”, where kids learned about their country St. Lucia and other countries of the region through tours and travel; “KiddiCrew Theatre” was formed to continue the Folk Research Centre initiated revival of St. Lucia`s traditional masquerade by producing a December Masquerade street parade; the mission continues with the management of “Project Masq` Camp” since 2010 – working with primary schools in workshops that culminate in a parade on December 13th annually.
Recognizing that there are at least two generations who are not aware of the works of one of St. Lucia`s cultural icons, Roderick Walcott, (twin brother of Honourable Derek Walcott, St. Lucia`s Nobel Laureate in Literature), who wrote musicals that encompassed our cultural landscape, and participated in so many cultural activities from the 1950s to the 1970`s,
What started off as KiddiCrew Theatre Company is now Youth in Arts Theatre Company (YIA) and we have embarked on a mission to bring Walcott’s work back to stage, by producing one play a year for the next five years featuring children from 13-20+ years. This has got the blessing of the Walcott family, the music writer, UWI Open Campus and the Cultural Development Foundation; the first production was staged in May 2015 “The Legend of Tom Fool” and the second in November 2016 “Papa Djab, the Devil at Christmas”. November has been selected as the Theatre`s season for the “Celebration of Roderick Walcott – the Man and his Mas` “.
November 2017 the Company staged “Shrove Tuesday” directed by Kendel Hippolyte and Pan Beating written and directed by Kendel Hippolyte.
In 2018, the Company staged “Masquerade Master” written by another St. Lucia playwright Drenia Frederick and directed by Director extraordinaire, Michelle Theobalds.
The Company also formed a Traditional Masquerade group, YIA Masqueraders, in order to keep the tradition alive and well during the Season of the Masquerade. Activities bring in some income to the members.
In 2020, it was agreed that The Theatre Company will for the next few years stage media pieces based on the Masquerade, the first, a whodunnit series “Murder in the Masquerade”.
Youth in Arts Theatre (YIA) Company comprises 2 groups: YIA Theatre Crew (13 -20+ years) and YIA Masquerade Crew (13+)