Beyond the Stage: The Lasting Impact of Introducing Students to Live Theatre, Music and Dance

Issue 69: 28/6/2024 Strategic Objective:

Imagine the stage as a magical realm, akin to a magician’s hat brimming with endless possibilities. Now, envision your child stepping into this realm, their confidence boundless, their potential yet untapped. What unfolds on this stage might just set them on a path to self-discovery, empowerment, and future success.

The theatre has immense power to shape and transform individuals profoundly. Engaging with a play or musical exposes us to various emotions and perspectives, expanding our understanding of the world. We see ourselves reflected through the characters on stage, exploring and empathising with different experiences.

The pandemic halted live performances, silencing orchestras, shutting theatre doors, and pausing dancers mid-pirouette. My mission post-COVID was to regularly expose our BFI Première and Terminale English literature and drama students to live theatre and dance’s transformative power and magic.

Witnessing a performance unfold in real-time, with the actors or dancers and audience sharing the same physical space, is a unique and irreplaceable magic. The energy, spontaneity, and communal experience of live theatre are unparalleled. Taking students to the ballet and the theatre offers a transformative educational experience, fostering artistic appreciation, cultural awareness, and personal growth. The live, shared encounter with the dynamism of these performing artists can leave a profound and lasting impact on students.

Our nights out at the theatre always involve a thematic dress code linked to the performance, ensuring amusement and laughter! The professional performances we attended over our two years together were varied in style and genre. We viewed Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadere, The Great Gatsby, Miss Julie, and The Tempest together.

Our final evening out at the theatre was coined Our Swan Song: feathers, fancy frocks, foulards, fedoras and fun at the exquisite Swan Lake recently performed by the Hong Kong Ballet.

Let us continue to raise confident stars, empowering them to shine bright with every encore. The stage is not just a platform; it is a transformative force shaping their futures.

Veronica Rowley
English Literature and Drama Teacher