Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 23rd 2014 Contents ERLINE ANDREWS
DC Shell Theatre Co is prolific,
producing comedic plays every year,
all of which involve dancing, singing
or both. The company would occa-
sionally hold auditions to fill spots
in its shows and encounter a recur-
ring problem among the hopeful
who turned up.
"They didn t have any training,"
said DC Shell spokesman and actor
DC Shell, run by comedian Shel-
don Narine---better known as Crazy
Catholic---and his family, decided
something had to be done.
Last year the company held a two-
day performance training workshop
dubbed Fame. Roughly 100 partic-
ipants were taken through the paces
of acting, singing, dancing, script
writing, stage management and
more. At the end of it, 15 were chosen
to be part of upcoming DC Shell pro-
DC Shell is now promoting Fame
2. The company plans to make it an
annual event. It s the family s way
of helping aspiring stage performers
in T&T, who have relatively few
training opportunities; but it s also
a way of helping themselves, as they
unearth talent they can use.
"Recently Bunji [Garlin] made
some strides in the international
market; we want many people mak-
ing strides all over and putting [T&T]
on the map," said Michael of the
motivation behind Fame.
Michael is Sheldon Narine s 19-
year-old son. He uses the name Dar-
rion Michael professionally.
The ten-year-old DC Shell was
named by combining the first initial
and syllable of the names of the Nar-
ine family: dad Sheldon, mom Cindy
and their children, Darrion and 16-
year-old Shelly-Ann, who perform
in their plays. Sheldon Narine is cel-
ebrating three decades in entertain-
The company is famous for mak-
ing Trini adaptations of fairytales
and Bollywood movies. Their Cin-
derella opens on April 4 at Napa,
"We are doing cultural reclamation
of our own Trini heritage," said
Michael. "So we ll put in some soca
inside of there, some calypso, some-
times some chutney. Music that is
produced locally would find itself in
the plays. We try to put that Trini
element so that it s relevant to
The Narine family pride them-
selves on the absence of obscenity,
vulgarity and sexually explicit
humour in their presentations, an
absence partly motivated by their
desire to provide entertainment that
is accessible to the entire family and
party motivated by their religious
convictions as Roman Catholics. But
their presentations aren t distinctly
Christian. Their shows attract a wider
"We have Muslims, Seventh Day
Adventists, Jehovah s Witnesses, Hin-
dus, all of those religions, coming to
our plays," said Michael. The com-
pany aims, he added, "to show you
don t have to do smut to make people
And the Narines priority in their
productions, he said, "is to bring
happiness to people."
Michael recently launched his own
company, Cindon Productions. Cin-
don, a combination of his parents
first names, is also the second of his
two middle names.
Cindon will deal with non-the-
atrical events like Fame and the
troupe s appearances at weddings,
parties, sports days and company
The workshop is not conducted
by the Narines themselves but by
other performance professionals.
Derek Walcott of the Catholic Car-
nival band fame, Curtis Bachan, the
technical co-ordinator at Queen s
Hall, and comedian Learie Joseph
were among the coaches at the first
It s fully interactive; participants
will be split into groups and members
assigned roles such as writers, direc-
tors, actors and singers. Each group
is expected to put on a short pres-
entation at the end of the workshop.
"I got to meet new friends and
new talent. Even up to this day I still
keep in contact with them," said
Arielle Ramkissoon, 20, a French and
theatre student at UWI with an inter-
est in acting, dancing and singing.
Ramkissoon successfully audi-
tioned at the end of the workshop
last year and went on to work in
three DC Shell plays in different
capacities. She was a sound engineer
in Rapunzel and a dancer in Phan-
tom of the Napa and played a few
minor roles in Rumpelstiltskin.
She enjoyed the experience and
other participants seemed to share
"Everybody loved it; it was a lot
of fun," she said.
The Fame 2 workshop will be held
from April 8-10 at Naparima Bowl.
DC Shell Theatre production of Aladdin, at the National Academy for the
Performing Arts, Port-of-Spain.
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt March 23, 2014
Visit the D C Shell or Crazy
Catholic Facebook pages or call
466-1791, 732-5796 or 683-
Seeking Fame? Look no further
Comedian Sheldon Narine---better known as Crazy Catholic.
"We have Muslims,
Seventh Day Adventists,
Jehovah's Witnesses, Hindus, all of
those religions, coming to our plays.
The company aims to show you don't
have to do smut to make people laugh.
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