Develop your child’s skills dramatically
DRAMA QUEENS and shrinking violets alike can find a role in the performing arts. For some, a holiday course will build a foundation for a stage career; for others it will unlock hidden talents, overcome shyness or increase confidence and social skills.
Jigsaw Performing Arts has more than 20 weekend schools in London and the Home Counties.
Sessions are designed for three-to-18year-olds, subdivided into age groups and many of them are taught by professional performers.
In the school holidays, there are two theatre-based schemes, both registered with Ofsted. For those aged 16 to 20, with a genuine desire to work professionally in the performing arts, there is also a Youth Theatre Company, staging full-scale productions in professional venues. Complementing this is Jigsaw’s theatrical agency, which represents selected students.
Holiday schemes and theatre workshops are held in Hendon (ages five to 14 years), Whetstone (theatre workshop, ages eight to 16) and Enfield (theatre workshop). Classes run from Monday to Friday, 9am to 3.30pm.
On the holiday schemes, each day begins with drama games, as an icebreaker. Children are then divided into age bands for drama, dance, singing and art. These sessions may include choreography, drawing, face-painting, improvisation, mask-making, mime, movement, music, painting, propmaking and script-work.
At the theatre workshops, designed to stretch the skills of talented performers, each day begins with a physical and vocal warm-up. Students are then divided into smaller groups to work on dance routines and songs relating to the week’s theme.
Scripts and devised drama will also be rehearsed in preparation for the end-of-week show. Costumes, props and the set are created during the week by the students.
The performance, viewed by proud relatives and friends, is held on Friday afternoon and various prizes are awarded.
Stagecoach operates more than 500 branches in Britain, Germany and America and runs numerous summer schemes across the country.
Students don’t have to attend a Stagecoach school to take part in a holiday workshop. Stagecoach aims to ensure that everyone has a full role, and distributes parts so that each youngster uses his or her skills to their best advantage.
The workshops comprise classes in dance, drama, voice and singing, as well as rehearsals leading to a performance on the last day.
Stagecoach caters for eight-to-16year-olds and some centres run shorter sessions for four-to-seven-year-olds. Activities include casting, script reading and technical and dress rehearsals, all leading to the final performance.
Centres running holiday workshops include Borehamwood, Herts (August 18 to 22); Harrow, Middx (July 28 to August 1) and St Albans, Herts (July 21 to 25 and July 28 to August 1).