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Children are all natural actors. From a young age they actively engage in role-playing and real-life scenarios, creating games to play with friends and acting out scenes. Through introducing children to drama, you are helping to further develop their social and interpersonal skills alongside creative development. Drama is involved in class throughout Primary and Secondary school in lessons such as English and History, re-acting events and learning debating skills. Drama focuses the mind and hones skills such as memory, communication, discipline and awareness. A parent recently said to me that theatre classes were enabling their child to “better express themselves and through learning scripts their memory had significantly improved” thus helping with school and exams.
Children are sent to drama classes to help boost their confidence and self-esteem levels, and more often than not, the successes outweigh the negatives. Children continually surprise you; they love the element of surprise. Each week, a child will endeavour to show you a new skill that they have learnt or a dance they have choreographed. This all helps towards building a strong character and giving them self- belief.
Interesting facts and quotes
- ‘Drama’ comes from the Greek word ‘to do’.
- As a child, Jim Carrey (The Grinch, A Christmas Carol, Mr Popper’s Penguins) wore tap shoes to bed just in case his parents needed cheering up in the middle of the night!
- “I am a great admirer of other actors, but I never compete with other actors. I always compete with what I did last, and I'm my own most vicious critic. So I'm always trying to do it better.” – Michael Caine
- The cast is the whole group of people that make up the play.
- “The thing about film-making is I give it everything, that's why I work so hard. I always tell young actors to take charge. It's not that hard. Sign your own cheques, be responsible.” - Tom Cruise
- “It was only when I realized how actors have the power to move people that I decided to pursue acting as a career.” - Cate Blanchett
- “It's mainly about working hard and proving to people you're serious about it, and stretching yourself and learning. The mistake a lot of actors make, particularly young ones, is allowing themselves to feel that they're the finished articles, the bee's knees, and it's not true.” Daniel Radcliffe
- “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”- The importance of drama, Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize Winner.
- The director is the main person who oversees the entire play or film.
- Julia Roberts is the highest paid actress in film history.
- “I think some of the best actors ever were little kids.”- Joseph Gordon-Levitt
- William Shakespeare is the second most quoted writer in the English language – after the various writers of the Bible.
- Many actors chose to use another name as an actor- a stage name instead of their own birth name.
- Natalie Portman - Natalie Hershlag
- Queen Latifah - Dana Elaine Owens
- Tom Cruise - Thomas Mapother IV
- Reese Witherspoon - Laura Jeanne
- Katy Perry - Kathryn (Katy) Hudson
- Ben Kingsley - Krishna Pandit Bhanji.
- When filming summer scenes in winter, actors suck on ice cubes just before the camera rolls - it cools their mouths so their breath doesn't condense in the cold air.
- Actors work on stage, radio, television, video, or on film sets. Actors also work in cabarets and theme parks.
How to pick a theatre or drama class
- Recommendation from other parents- personality of the school, affordability, timetable – (does it fit in with your week?). Word of mouth is the best way to find out about schools. Ask if you can experience a free taster session before committing yourself to a full term.
- Accredited by KalliKids
- Look at class sizes- classes under 15 children ensure the children are getting the most out of the lesson.
- Does the school provide performance opportunities in the term? Do they perform at local events?
- Is it expensive? Is there a uniform to buy or can your child wear their own clothes?
- Qualifications in drama? Are their opportunities to enter your child for LAMDA or Trinity drama exams?
National associations & clubs
National Drama Festivals Association
Qualifications & exams
Internationally recognised qualifications:
LAMDA- London Academy of Dramatic Art –advised from 7 years upwards
Trinity College Exams- ages 3 upwards
Performance Arts Awards – 6 years upwards
The higher grades of LAMDA and Trinity exams provide UCAS points which can be used towards gaining college and university places.
Qualifications of tutors/coaches etc:
Degree/Diploma/HND & BTEC in drama/performing arts/ Theatre studies or musical theatre is ideal. If a teacher has extensive experience and credits from working in the acting industry they may not have qualifications but will be able to work from a physical approach with appropriate drama knowledge.
Learning from the activity
- Physical Fitness
- Fine & Motor Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Verbal communication
- Work Ethic
- Self Confidence
- Team Work
Disabilities that may benefit from the activity
- Behavioural emotional and social activities
- Speech language and communication
Drama has a positive impact on all that partake in the activity. By starting young it helps children develop the cognitive skills critical for learning and build on physical, social and emotional skills which will be called upon throughout their life.
Further benefits include building on:
- Self Esteem
- Body Language
- Public speaking
- Creative outlets
- Ability to co-operate in a group
Matt Di’Angelo went to the Sylvia Young Theatre School where he studied a BTEC in Performing Arts but he didn’t finish the course due to getting the role in Harbour Lights and the Eastenders.
Billie Piper who has recently made her debut on the West End stage, was the first the youngest British pop singer to have a No 1 hit.
Julie Walters left her nursing career to pursue acting.
Emma Watson (Hermione in Harry Potter Films) continued to study throughout filming and went to university in the USA after all the films had been completed.
Vinnie Jones stopped playing football professionally and went on to film UK films and then conquer Hollywood.
Russell Crowe started out in a band in Australia before turning to acting.
At 5'11" Daniel Craig is the shortest actor to play the role of James Bond.
Justin Bieber became recognised for his singing after gaining thousands of hits from YouTube. After gaining fame from his singing he was offered acting roles in Hollywood.