The reason I believe in the power of the arts… especially the performing arts… to transform a child’s life, goes back to my own childhood. I was an average kid, not very outgoing or confident, until I became involved with the Inter-House Dramatics Competition at school in the 8th grade. I had no dialogues to say, and very little to do. But the experience of being part of a team, of creating & performing and being out there on stage in front of a crowd, changed something for me. The next 2 years, I was on the script & direction team. And I knew where I wanted to be.
Drama class for me, is a safe place where the young performers find the space to express themselves without fear of judgment. It is where they learn about teamwork, discipline, respect for each other & themselves.
The idea is not to make actors out of the students I work with, but to help them explore, discover & express their potential & talent, which many a times goes unnoticed.
In my experience as a drama teacher, I have encountered so many young people who were shy & withdrawn, that found self-confidence after being part of a play or even just theatre activities in class.
The process of playing & playacting gives the tools to young people to tap into experiences & emotions they might not ordinarily be open to express.
I have found that many of our children at TABIS are very receptive to drama in the classroom & now on Zoom! They are excited to perform, share ideas, and create. And in the process, they are more willing to take chances.
I feel privileged to be a small part of their journey.
Author: Ms. Shivani Vakil Savant
Drama Teacher, The Aditya Birla Integrated School