New Dimension Theatre (NDT)

The New Dimension Theatre had its early beginnings in the Methodist Youth Group in the early eighties. The talented Steve Hyacinth who, with compatriots Benji Shillingford, Steinberg Henry, Elsworth Carter, Duncan Stowe and others, were very active in this Youth Group.

Steve Hyacinth was elevated from Actor to Director of the Methodist Youth Group and from the pen of the Director emerged hits such as "Lovers", "Toss", and "Tree of Confusion". Persons like Ian Jackson and Henry Woodman were to play major roles in these productions.

Preceding the formation of the NDT as it is popularly known, the Director had already produced a number of plays as a teacher at the Goodwill Junior High School. His school won the Inter Schools Annual National Drama Competition a number of times and Hyacinth received recognition as best director. On an average, the group presented three productions bi-annually.

The NDT was established in 1984 and has grown in eighteen years to become a leading drama group in Dominica today, with personalities such as Val 'Young Bull' Cuffy who theatre lovers would remember in "In Laws"; the veteran Henry Woodman, an audience charmer; Ashworth "Brown" Simon - a leading actor whose presence always electrifies theatre fans; the veteran female Irmine Belle; the dependable Norma Payne; the multi-talented Ian Jackson and NDT ace member Jerry Coipel. Later day productions of "Snake Games", "Times to Remember", "In Laws" and "Sweet Heritage" suggest a bright future for the New Dimension Theatre.

The Group's Director Steve Hyacinth went on to pursue theatrical studies in Jamaica and while he was away the group was able to produce the "Dark Side of Money" written and directed by Assistant Director Darius Moses and another smasher "New Hardware Store" under the stewardship of no less a person than Alwin Bully. The group meets at the Goodwill Junior High School every Wednesday and steps up meetings at production times. For this patronage the group's members express gratitude to the Ministry of Education and the Principal and staff of the Goodwill Junior High school.

The New Dimension Theatre has been able to weather several years of ups and downs from the very first production of "Final Decision" to Derek Wallcott's "Ti-Jean and His Brothers", commissioned for staging by the National Cultural Council as part of DOMFESTA 1993 activities. The future is in the hands of budding talents such as EvalynCopiel, Patricia St. John, Lloyd Benjamin and others to keep the flame burning.

The group's achievements and successes were highlighted in 1992 when it received the Edward Leblanc trophy for its outstanding contribution to the field of theatre in Dominica and two decades later when they received as was bestowed upon their director Steve Hyacinth, Dominica’s highest cultural award, the Golden Drum. They have also been Dominica representative to CARIFESTA.

Apart from mounting stage productions, NDT is also concerned about sharpening the skills of its members and continue to conduct in-house workshops and have even venture into videos of a couple of their theatrical productions. Over the past decade a new star has emerged in DonilleBlackmoore who together with veteran actors Jerry Coipel, Lloyd Benjamin and Ashworth Simon have received special recognition awards for their contribution to theatre on the island. Two of the Emerging stars in the group are Giselle Hyacinth and Al Mathurine. NDT’s latest and arguably their most acclaimed presentation was Raglans Riviere’s ‘Rum punch and Prejudice’ which they adapted for stage and feature their most talented and experienced cast for some time in the persons of Jay Grimner, Monelle Alexis and outstanding debutant, JozepFaddoul. Now with some 30 productions to date in as many years New Dimension’s Theatre has become a Dominican Institution.

Extracted from: Dominica's Arts & Culture Magazine, Division of Culture, 1994 and updated 2012.
by Ian Jackson

Please publish modules in offcanvas position.