Drama work­shops boost con­fi­dence

The Australian Education Reporter - - PERFORMING ARTS -

KNOWN for his roles in Drift and Mcleod’s Daugh­ters, Myles Pol­lard has chan­nelled his 20 years’ of act­ing ex­pe­ri­ence into work­shops for kids.

As part of this year’s Per­form Act Dance WA Kim­ber­ley Fes­ti­val of Arts (PADWAK), Mr Pol­lard will be run­ning Act­ing with Cam­era work­shops for kids in the re­gion.

“Un­for­tu­nately kids are be­com­ing a lot more de­tached so­cially and more ob­sessed with de­vices like ipads and game con­soles and as a re­sult are less com­mu­nica­tive, less able to ex­press and more re­luc­tant to deal with peo­ple di­rectly,” Mr Pol­lard said.

“The cre­ative arts helps kids be­come more ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tors, more self-aware and much more per­son­ally and so­cially con­fi­dent,” he said.

Work­shops in re­gional ar­eas can also have fan­tas­tic ben­e­fits for indige­nous stu­dents in im­prov­ing tru­ancy is­sues, be­hav­iour and en­gage­ment.

“I was blown away by the cre­ative talent I saw whilst teach­ing in the North West. Per­form­ing re­ally in­spired kids to at­tend school be­cause they found some­thing that they loved to do that gave them a sense of be­long­ing, pride and plenty of laughs. The arts has a big role to play in com­mu­ni­ties in help­ing kids en­joy school,” Mr Pol­lard said.

All stu­dent are en­cour­aged to take a class, even if they are ner­vous and have no prior ex­pe­ri­ence, as the classes could be the con­fi­dence booster kids in re­mote ar­eas need.

“I hope this fes­ti­val opens doors to kids per­son­ally, so­cially, creatively and imag­i­na­tively,” Mr Pol­lard said.

“I think there’s a real need for these op­por­tu­ni­ties and for me per­son­ally, it’s ex­cit­ing, be­ing a bit of a home­com­ing since I grew up in the North West my­self,” he said.

PADWA di­rec­tor Beej Fran­cis said the fes­ti­val work­shops en­cour­aged per­sonal growth, self-es­teem and con­fi­dence through per­form­ing arts.

“Our aim is to reach more stu­dents in re­gional ar­eas and give them the same op­por­tu­ni­ties that usu­ally only big cities present,” Ms Fran­cis said.

“The ba­sis for do­ing so is the fact that the Kim­ber­ley re­gion has one of the high­est in­ci­dences of sui­cide with young peo­ple in Aus­tralia (and in fact the world), alarm­ing rates of ad­dic­tion, and do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

PADWA also runs a range of mas­ter­classes around the coun­try with in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als in the ar­eas of act­ing, danc­ing, singing and mu­sic, with artists in­clud­ing pop­u­lar Aus­tralian per­son­al­i­ties from the Aus­tralian Bal­let; prom­i­nent TV se­ries’ in­clud­ing Mcleod’s Daugh­ters, Home & Away, and All Saints; films such as Wolver­ine; and mu­si­cal theatre per­son­al­i­ties from big box of­fice hits Cats, Les Mis, and Beauty and the Beast.

Ms Fran­cis said many schools were opt­ing to in­clude pro­grams like Rachael Beck’s Your School Mu­si­cal into their per­form­ing arts cur­ricu­lum to achieve a broad range of out­comes.

En­ter­tainer, vo­cal artist and ac­tress Rachael Beck has con­ducted mul­ti­ple work­shops with school across the coun­try, shar­ing her ex­ten­sive per­form­ing arts ex­pe­ri­ence with stu­dents.

Work­ing closely with teach­ers, staff and stu­dents, Your School Mu­si­cal brings to­gether a team of pro­fes­sion­als in­clud­ing a mu­si­cal di­rec­tor, stage and cre­ative di­rec­tor, light and sound ex­pert and per­form­ers.

“No one can pre­dict how tech­nol­ogy will change job op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fu­ture but the skills of innovation, prob­lem solv­ing and team­work de­vel­oped through en­gage­ment in the cre­ative arts will un­doubt­edly be es­sen­tial skills for suc­cess,” Ms Beck said.

“Beej Fran­cis is a con­sum­mate pro­fes­sional who will in­spire your kids to be the best per­former they can be. I have no hes­i­ta­tion in rec­om­mend­ing PADWA for their fan­tas­tic work­shops and talent agency.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about PADWA work­shops and events visit: www.padwa.com.au.

Aus­tralian ac­tor Myles Pol­lard.

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