Luke Ignace is the inaugural recipient of the Erskine Smith Memorial Award for the Performing Arts at Holland College.
Despite clearly possessing a talent for theatre, Luke had never considered a career in the performing arts before age fifteen. He was a member of a dance troupe in his native Bahamas, but his plan for post-secondary education was to study marine engineering at The Bahamas Technical and Vocational Institute. Those plans were forever changed when he was spotted dancing by Gloria McGlone, the woman who would become his mentor and benefactor. Ms. McGlone encouraged him to audition for a production of Fame at the Regency Theatre in Freeport. He did and was cast in the role of Tyrone.
Over the next three years, Luke performed parts in several Bahamian plays, as well as the playing Scar in The Lion King.
Eager to develop his talents, Luke applied to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City for a five-week intensive summer course. Shortly thereafter, he applied and was accepted to Holland College’s School of Performing Arts.
International living and student expenses can be daunting and Luke is very grateful to all those who made gifts in support of the Erskine Smith Memorial Award which has helped to make it possible for him to pursue his career in theatre.
Luke’s future plans may include further study of the dramatic arts at the National Theatre School in Montreal. He recently auditioned for a place there. But wherever he ends up next year, he ultimately wants to build on his education and experience before returning to the Bahamas with a view to making a significant contribution to the performing arts in his native country.