KSAMC says Ward Theatre orchestra pit still in tact

KSAMC says Ward Theatre orchestra pit still in tact

Friday, December 06, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


KINGSTON, Jamaica — The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) has denied media reports that the orchestra pit at the Ward Theatre has been removed.

KSAMC, in a statement today, said it “...would like to have it placed on record that the orchestra pit is very much present and it has always been a part of the plans to keep it as an element of the theatre”.

It further noted that: “A story carried in the Jamaica Gleaner on December 5, 2019 has allowed several falsehoods to be spread surrounding the restoration of the theatre. Among them, is a statement purporting that the renovation team has failed to "retain the iconic building's core character". This is very misleading and inaccurate.

“Not only is the statement an exaggeration; it is an exaggeration based on misinformation. The core character of the building has remained unaltered.”

KSAMC is spearheading the restoration of the 107-year old theatre, which represents an important store of cultural value and heritage.

Mayor of Kingston, Delroy Williams, yesterday reported that work is advanced on the rehabilitation of the historic Ward Theatre to facilitate its reopening in 2020.

“We will complete the project towards the end of next year and we will have an event… inside this theatre,” the Mayor said during a tour of the venue located in downtown Kingston.

See KSAMC statement in full:

Within the last 24 hours, both the Jamaica Gleaner and the Jamaica Observer have carried opinions and stories alleging that the orchestra pit at the Ward Theatre has been removed.

The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC) refutes these statements and would like to have it placed on record that the orchestra pit is very much present and it has always been a part of the plans to keep it as an element of the theatre.

A story carried in the Jamaica Gleaner on December 5, 2019 has allowed several falsehoods to be spread surrounding the restoration of the theatre. Among them, is a statement purporting that the renovation team has failed to "retain the iconic building's core character". This is very misleading and inaccurate.

Not only is the statement an exaggeration; it is an exaggeration based on misinformation. The core character of the building has remained unaltered.

The project will also seek to improve access to key areas for persons with disabilities. The KSMAC has already completed the removal of the termite infested wood along the seating area, orchestra pits and conducted roofing repairs.

The team led by His Worship The Mayor, Senator & Councillor Delroy Williams led a tour of the Ward Theatre on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 to give an update of works done and an idea of where the project currently stands. The tour also featured performances by Dawn Martin and Mario Nelson's rendition of Owen "Blakka" Ellis' "Gate Man".

During these performances, just metres ahead of the guests on the tour, sandwiched between the performers and the audience, was the much talked about orchestra pit at the Ward Theatre. Several persons asked questions about the retention of the pit as a feature of the Ward Theatre based on the removal of the board fencing that once enclosed the orchestra pit.

The mayor explained that the fencing and much of the woodwork in the seating area were removed due to a termite infestation that the theatre has been battling with for some time. Persons on the tour not only saw that the orchestra pit was still very much present, but some also walked down into it and took pictures.

From as far back as February 2017, at the genesis of the restoration, the KSAMC has been weighing two options as it relates to the Ward Theatre orchestra pit. The first is the option of keeping the pit at its current size, and the second; based on consultation with local experts; the option of having the pit expanded. The intention has never been to remove the pit and that this falsehood has controlled the media for so long is most disheartening.

An opinion was submitted by celebrated journalist Barbara Gloudon today; based on the Jamaica Gleaner story; suggesting again that the orchestra pit was removed. Like many others, she has been misled by the initial report, including comments from Peter Ashbourne.

Again, we reiterate that the orchestra pit is in place and there are no plans to remove it. It would be irresponsible for anyone to contemplate removing it. We are contemplating expanding the orchestra pit and welcome your ideas with respect to its expansion.

The orchestra pit remains, and the hard working team executing the much anticipated restoration is retaining the iconic building's core character. The KSAMC will be hosting a series of guided tours throughout the restoration with industry stakeholders, agencies and the media.

We are delighted to know that there is popular interest in the restoration of the Ward Theatre and welcome inputs and suggestions. But let us be very clear, the KSAMC will complete the Ward Restoration and have it functional and operational.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaper-login


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT