Singer, actress and producer Tiana Chandler says even though, at 23, she’s probably one of the youngest people to form a production company in T&T, she has huge aspirations.
Her first ever concert, titled Theatre Night Out, at Queen’s Hall on August 9 showcases some new and some known faces to the T&T music scene, singing classical and Broadway music, along with dance and drama pieces.
Chandler credits her start in the theatre to her time singing in the choir at St. Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando, where she got to perform her first full musical production with the Presentation College mixed choir. After leaving secondary school, she did Management Studies at UWI, St. Augustine, graduating in 2014. Chandler has performed in many concerts and musical theatre productions including Children of Eden, Crazy For You and The Phantom of the Opera. In March this year, she registered her company, Chandelier Productions, and began planning the concert.
“I thought it would be a good combination of my studies and my passion to start a company that would focus not just on established talent in Trinidad, but could also give younger people who are now coming up in the industry and who are looking for more opportunities to perform, to give them a chance to be on stage and to put them out there along with some of the more known professionals in the industry,” Chandler said.
Among the performers at the concert will be tenor Marlon de Bique, vocalist C’Rel Harper and the UWI Arts Chorale. Chandler said the Chorale has many budding performers, some of whom will be featured as soloists during the program, giving them and the group the opportunity to participate in a full-scale production in addition to what they would normally do during the school term. Other performers include “younger people that I’ve come across over the last couple of years working with different groups and performing in different shows, and I think the whole country should be able to see their talent because there’s a lot of unseen and unheard talent in T&T. I want to use my company to bring them to the forefront and give them more opportunities to be seen and to be heard.”
Chandler is also using up-and-coming talent behind the scenes as part of the technical team, including Stage Manager – Lauren Rodney, Assistant Stage Manager – Tariq Tywang and Audio Engineer – Kino Alvarez.
Proceeds from the show will be reinvested into the company for the development of future events and productions. Tickets can be purchased at the Queen’s Hall Box Office or by calling Tiana Chandler at 710-9436.
Chandler said she’s always wanted to have a performing arts development program, a sort of summer camp for the Arts, for teenagers and secondary school students to learn and train with professionals and get a chance to work alongside them in putting on a full-scale production, not just performers training but also people on the technical side doing stage management and lighting and all the different aspects of theatre. “I’m trying to work with young people, being a younger person myself I want to work with a lot of young people and help them to move forward as much as possible.”