For most people, drama is all about entertainment but many of us never really look at the personal benefits that come along with it.
Most of the time, we feel that pursuing a career in drama acting is a waste of time.
Little we know is that, through drama, we can make statements, social and political comments. By understanding drama, we can learn to understand other people and issues that concern our everyday lives.
The dramatic plays often capture the essence of a culture or a group within that culture. They reveal the attitudes and opinions of their daily lives.
Drama gives one the opportunity to hone their improvisation skills, i.e. the spontaneous response to new and unexpected situations.
Life is improvisation and we respond in new ways when spontaneous and unexpected things occur to us.┬á
Studying drama has a lot of personal benefits for people involved with it. It helps with building self-confidence, speaking in public, enthusiasm, energy, positive approach to life, self esteem, skill in verbal communication, effective social interaction, and performance skills and developing interpersonal skills. It also helps you to be more aware of how your physical presentation can affect the way people see you. Ethically, it provides the motivation to start to evaluate your own values and beliefs.
Drama plays a major role in our lives. We all experience ‘real life’ drama in the form of our own personal experiences as well as ‘real life’ drama in the news and current affairs. We are also exposed to fictional drama in film, on television, and in the theatre.
By studying drama’s impact on our culture we can start to look more critically at what these media offer us and we can choose whether or not to accept the messages that they give.
Furthermore, by studying drama we become intelligent spectators and participants in our own lives and experiences.
In an effort to help people learn about the personal benefits of drama, Helen O’Grady, a trained teacher, dramatist and actress, saw the need to commence school drama classes for young people of ages between 5-18 years. The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, originally founded in 1979 in Australia, is now Africa’s largest drama school with over 50, 000 students attending classes each week worldwide, developing confidence, self-esteem, communication and performance skills.
The academy principal in Botswana, Jon Wilson, noted that they saw the need to start the academy because they would “like as many students as possible to feel its benefits”.
“Our program is aimed at increasing confidence, effective social interaction, performance skills, self esteem and verbal skills of students and also helps them to achieve their personal best in this highly competitive world. Above all its fun,” he said.
He noted that they will be starting Saturday drama classes from Saturday 19th September at the Moth Hall Theatre near the bus rank in Gaborone.