Theatre in Vanuatu

I popped over to the Pacific nation of Vanuatu last week for a spot of sun (my God it is freezing here in winter in Melbourne at about 13 C during the day). Happy to report the temperature was twice what I was experiencing back home (though you’ll see from one of the photos below, that with my skin pigment, I will only ever get a darker shade of pale!).

But while I was there, I tried to discover if the performing arts of any kind are taught in schools on any of the many islands that make up this beautiful country?

Well, the answer is most likely no, but you’ll see below an image of a theatre building for youth. This was effectively a youth centre of sorts, with privately funded training programs for disadvantaged and/or unemployed youth. The workers were proud to show me around the centre and I discovered one of several programs included teenagers rehearsing and performing plays on a simple stage.

I also passed another building (unfortunately closed at the time) for the Vanuatu Amateur Theatrical Society.

So even though acting is not formally taught in the schools of Vanuatu, my travels indicated at least a presence of theatre performances of some kind in the capital Port Vila.

Lucky I saw the sign first!
Blue skies and barbed wire (private beach)
Snorkelling (helicopter view)

2 Responses

  1. Justin Cash says:

    Mike, wow, can’t believe you were active with v.a.t.s! That must have been a fabulous experience. I was in Vanuatu in July 2009, so that links up with your final year there. Just holidaying at the time, but I always like to check out any theatre no matter where I am. Small world. Great to hear your story. – Justin

  2. mike says:

    when did you go over??
    we lived in Vanuatu 1990-1999 and were active members of v.a.t.s and directed and produced
    many productions..rocky horror,little shop,Pantomimes,night of the iguana, one act festivals etc..sadly
    the changing demography in the last 10 years has seen the demise of the theatre .
    Mike van Hessing

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