EXCEPT for a disabled stage that was designed to move in various directions, there are few infrastructure issues surrounding the National Academy for the Performing Arts (South campus), unlike its sister academy in Port of Spain.
And there are no major health and safety problems at the treble clef-shaped building located at the corner of Rienzi Kirton Highway and Todd Street, San Fernando.
This according to a member of its managing committee, who told the Express yesterday that there were only minor issues that needed to be dealt with.
The San Fernando City Corporation also said it was unaware of any major problems.
Parts of the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) in Port of Spain have been shut down as they were deemed unsafe by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) earlier this week.
Minister of the Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas has said it would cost the State hundreds of millions of dollars for all repairs.
An official with the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), which occupies part of NAPA (South campus), said there have not been any complaints relating to health and safety issues.
The UTT’s Performing Arts campus (south) has been based at NAPA for more than a year.
The official said although the facility was not yet fully occupied by the university, modifications had to be made to meet certain requirements.
“We had to make some minor modifications like additional electrical plugs but what I understand, unlike the problems at NAPA, we have not seen any of that here at this time. We don’t manage the theatre,” the official said.
However, Victor Edwards, head of Iere Theatre Productions who frequently hosts plays at the venue, said the stage had been unable to move for almost a year. When it was opened, the stage was able to slide and elevate.
Edwards said because of the manner in which his plays were designed, the lack of a moving stage never affected his productions held at the Sundar Popo Auditorium.
However he said, “The sound system and the lighting system are atrocious. They need to get stronger lights and they also need to reposition a lot of their lights.”
Edwards also lamented the lack of dedicated theatre venues, saying that on many occasions, facilities designed to host theatre productions were booked for other events such as lectures and concerts.