For Better or Worse’ actor Randy McLaren is a man on a mission! The young actor, dub poet and student at the University of the West Indies (UWI) has once again turned to one of his passions, the theatre, to help in completing his tuition expenses for the current academic year (2009/2010).

Given the challenging economic times, the Jamaica Youth Theatre President staged a benefit performance of Jamaica 2 Rahtid Pupalick in August as the first attempt in defraying his tuition cost.  On the evening of April 8, he will be hosting another benefit performance, on this occasion it is “For Better or Worse”.  The show will take place at the Little Little Theatre at 8:00pm and is expected to attract a fee of $1,200.

McLaren is currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Sociology with a minor in Political Science and Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management told Dexter Communications that he saw where he could get the tickets sold. He explained, “This one is geared at complete my tuition payment.”

Speaking with us McLaren noted that since enrolling on the Mona Campus of the UWI he has immersed himself in the culture of the campus. His freshman year saw him walking away with five awards at the tertiary arts festival, Tallawah; including high commendation for monologues and Best Actor in a Supporting role.  He was also the 2008/2009 recipient of the Premiere Award for Culture at the popular UWI Prizing Giving Ceremony.

Randy, who is no stranger to the stage having performed in a number of productions including 1888, Maskerade, Man Better Man, Mansong, Positive, Break the Waters of the deep…Set the Echoes free, directed by Eugene Williams and Coloured boys who have considered homicide when the streets were too much. Currently, he serves in the role of Student Coordinator at the Philip Sherlock Centre for the Creative Arts.

The actor who has distinguished himself on several levels, receiving and is the recipient of several superlatives told Dexter Communications, “I believe that theatre is life projected from a stage.”

Responding to a question how life in acting has impacted the path he has taken he mentioned that was the reason for him studying Sociology as well as Entertainment and Cultural Enterprise Management.  “The aim is to be able to effect positive changes in all aspect of society as well as impacting the lives of individuals.  With a greater understanding of social issues I will be better able to write real life stories to put on the stage.  In essence therefore, theatre and creative expressions can be used as a tool for social transformation while also providing entertainment,” he opined.

Randy McLaren a graduate of Excelsior High School and Wolmer’s Boys’, where he served as Head Boy and Deputy Head Boy respectively, has held a number of leadership positions.  In addition to his role as President of Jamaica Youth Theatre, he also sits on a special technical committee set up by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica to draft standards on improving public behavior, serving as Vice Chairman of the student Sub-Committee. Last year he was also nominate in the field of Arts and Culture for the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award for Excellence in 2009.

Dexter Communications charges the public to support this worthwhile endeavour and help an outstanding young Jamaican son of the soil realize his goals.  Tickets for the benefit performance of FOR BETTER OR WORSE on April 8 can be purchased in advance by calling 353-3237 or email: randydongordon@hotmail.com.  Tickets cost $1,200 each.

Go laugh an’ have fun!

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