Yes, they are! I feel it is my mission in life to shout this from the rooftops because it is one of the most misunderstood facts about drama classes! Of course, the reason why so many people ask the question is because drama is associated with performance and, for some children, performing in front of an audience would be their worst nightmare.
But StageAbility drama classes are NOT performance focussed and this is an important distinction to make. Our focus is on creativity, making friends and working with other people. There can be some script work, but we don’t rehearse the scripts with the aim of performing them. We use them to explore characters and storylines and subtext. We discuss emotions and expressions and body movement.
We do run projects for our students to perform, but these are run outside of the weekly classes and come in the form of our annual Pantomime and our Spring Musical. There is also the Summer Drama Camp which finishes with a theatre show, as well as a Musical Theatre Masterclass performance every year. So, if the students want to do it, there is plenty on offer for them.
But our weekly drama classes are not like that all. They are focussed on building confidence, self- esteem, team work, creativity, communication…all of those things!
Our sessions always begin with some games to loosen the class up and get the right energy in the room. Each of the games has a purpose; to increase focus, encourage bonding and improve vocal projection, among other things. This leads on to the ‘core’ of our class – the main teaching objectives. This often includes small group devising. Working this way, it doesn’t take them long to be drawn into a group, and with lots of side coaching from our teachers to include everyone – new students or not – the students soon feel a part of the family!
The other thing to remember when bringing your shy child along is that our classes are mainly made up of children who were shy once, too. You will find them welcoming and considerate to new starters. To aid this process further, we buddy them up with a ‘Mentor’. Our mentors tend to be students who have been with us a while, usually one of the more chatty students and someone who will help a new person feel at ease. They will help them join in and explain some of the class structure.
All of this is done during a free trial, so there is no pressure and no obligation to join us. Why not come along and see what it’s all about; meet the class, meet your teacher and familiarise your child with the whole set up.
My best advice is to come along and try it. Drama isn’t for everyone, but it is for most!
Take a look at our list of clubs and classes and take the first step to giving your child the gift of confidence…