To celebrate International Youth Day and the 2020 theme of Youth Engagement for Global Action, our Theatre Program Coordinator, Ian Zammit took the time to interview the students of two of our Studio Q drama classes, Stepping Up for youth aged 9 – 12 and Ignite for youth aged 13 – 15 years.
This term, both classes have been taking the COVID-19 pandemic topic and bringing their own responses to it through the form of performance. See what they had to say below.
YOUNG ARTISTS AGED 9 – 12
Why do you love coming to this class?
- “Because it’s fun and you get to spend time with some friends.”
- “You get to be yourself.”
- “Because it’s cool and you get to like…yea-ah!”
- “Drama is the best!”
- “Because nobody judges you on stage and you get to be your happiest self…when people just accept you for who you are.”
- “I like the teachers and people who make the drama class…because they are really fun and they just fill you with joy.”
- “Everyone’s very supportive…so kind and bubbly.”
- “People always call me really weird at school because I’m like always the one running around and hang out with the ones called the weird kids. I’m not trying to be weird as school, so when I’m here I can really be ‘weird’.”
Many of you have said you feel brave because of doing drama. What things have you done in this class that makes you feel brave?
- “Normally I don’t feel brave enough to do the crazy stuff that I do here, like act silly.”
- “Because everybody else is in the same boat and wants to do the same things, so I think, yeah, nobody’s going to judge me…because we all have the same interests.”
What are you looking forward to doing in drama in future?
- “Acting on stage.”
- “Performing in front of loads of people.”
- “You can make movies!”
- “Learning new activities that you can do in the future.”
Finally, what are your favourite drama activities?
- “The Alien game.”
- “The Mafia game.”
- “The Obstacle game.”
YOUNG ARTISTS AGED 13 – 15
What is it you love most about coming to a class like this?
- Ethan – “I don’t like school much because the students there really mock me when I am myself. Then I come to this place each Saturday & it’s full of loving and accepting people, where I can be myself.”
- Reuben – “I really like coming here because we can be ourselves and do lots of fun activities, to focus on drama which is what I really enjoy.”
- Clare – “I like being with people who have similar interests. When I’m here, people don’t judge me for being myself.”
- Jasmine – “This place has really helped me to open up a lot more. Because I’m kind of a closed up type of person, and all these people here I consider my friends and they really help me.”
- Tiana – “I believe that I love going here because everyone here has habits or something sad or significant in their life at least … that we can all relate, especially with mental health in this group, with our teenage years coming I feel that we can all relate to each other, our emotions and how were feeling and we get to express our creativeness in a very great way.”
- Marley – “I love going to drama because drama is an art, a form of expression, and here I get to express myself and the things that I love, and do them for everybody else to enjoy – and for myself! I love seeing other people happy because that makes me happy, and doing what I love and seeing that is really gratifying.”
What is it about stories you feel you want to talk about that you can do through theatre?
- Ethan – “I definitely find it a lot harder to talk about difficult experiences in my life , so what I do is I tell my story through creating a story, and stepping into the shoes of someone else, so it’s easier for me to talk about it.”
- Tiana – “Last year I played a role that was very calm, I was Mother Earth for our (showcase) performance… and I believe when I stepped into that role, throughout that whole period – even if I wasn’t at The Joan – I was a very calm person. Whenever I came here I was very calm…Once I got that role and worked through it, I was already in that state of mind, which was very refreshing.”
Did the activities of this class help you, like slowing your breathing down?
- Tiana – “Yes, because I talk really fast I had to slow everything down and try and be as calm as I could possibly be, which is not like me at all. It helps me with a lot of situations outside of here too.”
- Reuben – “Something I really like we did for the first time this lesson, we had to make ups stories all about each other in twenty seconds and dialogue based on each other…it was funny to see what they came up with.”
- Tiana – “An activity called ‘Balancing the Space’, which I’ve learned a lot about this year and last year. When you balance the space, you don’t think about anything else other than how the body is. I’ve been told by really close friends that I’ve become more confident in the way I walk after I’ve told them I’ve been doing the classes, and so when I’m in the real world I find that I walk very confidently.”
A question for the students who are new to drama. Have you applied anything from the class to outside?
- Reuben – “Sometimes if I get like annoyed or angry I try to do, I’ve used one of the activities in the class, I try to let it go of my feelings, take a deep breath and start again.”
- Clare – “Being able to do some of the activities of the class I’ve found that I’ve been both more calm and more confident at the same time. I’ve been able to let go of somethings I used to find more difficult using the skills in class.”
When you are out in the world, what are the things you think about and want to see changes in today?
- Ethan – “I want to see everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love, treated equally, no matter where they are in the world.”
- Tiana – “I want to see society as a whole stop being so judgmental, whether it’s the colour of your skin or who you love or your background race, or if you’re a boy or a girl or don’t want to identify as either one, everyone has that right, and because we are not them.”
- Marley – “I’d like to see people embracing differences, and not conforming to a societal norm. Everyone is unique and has their own unique things about them that they love about themselves, and whether people care about them or not is irrelevant because they accept themselves and I think everyone needs to embrace that acceptance.”
- Clare – “It would be really nice if everyone learned how to accept themselves and respect each other.”
What simple things do you think you can do to start making these changes in the world?
- Jasmine – “I could speak out a lot more, on social media too because that’s where people are out there in the world. I feel like some things out there going on in the world need attention brought to them where we can support them.“
- Reuben – “Respect everyone and be as kind as I can be.”
- Clare – “I need to be less passive and stop letting disrespect slide when they are talking about other people and judging.”
- Tiana – “Stand up not only for myself but those around me by speaking out.”
- Marley – “Inform people on when they are doing wrong, and how they can do and be better people.”
- Ethan – “Be myself no matter what other people say.”
Suitable for young artists of all skill levels and abilities aged 5 – 26+, our Studio Q onsite drama course run across the NSW school terms and provide building blocks to give youth the ability to start out, step up, ignite, accelerate and access your creative voice and perform.
- Starting Out: For ages 5 to 8 – More Info
- Stepping Up: For ages 9 to 12 – More Info
- Ignite: For ages 13 to 15 – More Info
- Accelerate: For ages 16 to 18 – More Info
- Access Ensemble (Young Adults): For ages 18 – 26 living with disability – More Info
- Access Ensemble (Adults): For ages 26+ living with disability – More Info