In the last three years, a generation of children and teenagers experienced most of their interpersonal interactions shrouded behind masks. This once universal practice is gradually fading in places like Hong Kong where Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted. Recognizing the profound impact of these years, Faust International Youth Theatre steps up to help the youth rediscover and rekindle their expressive capabilities.
Scheduled for August 26 and September 2, Faust unveils free trial drama workshops designed for young aspirants between the ages of three to 16. Tailored to harness the raw energy and enthusiasm of these young minds, these sessions offer a platform for expression and camaraderie. Moreover, a special musical theatre workshop will be available for children aged seven to 16, allowing them to explore the exhilarating world of singing, acting, and dancing in tandem.
Aarti Hemnani, Faust’s director of operations, shares her perspective on this endeavor. “The prolonged period of masked interactions has had a subtle yet undeniable effect on the cognitive and expressive development of children. As the world starts to open up, it’s crucial to reintegrate face-to-face, low-tech engagements,” she emphasizes.
The trial workshops, a tradition spanning over 15 years and hosted every autumn and spring, ensure that participants ease into the rhythm of things. They typically commence with engaging icebreakers comprising vocal and movement activities, gradually progressing into more intensive drama exercises. These sessions act as a precursor to the more comprehensive term programmes that Faust offers. Spanning from late September to June, these programmes are divided into three terms, with each term fostering distinct skill sets. The culmination of this journey is the chance for these young performers to grace the stage at the Faust Festival, an annual theatrical spectacle.
But Faust’s vision extends beyond the limelight. Hemnani elaborates on the broader objectives, stating, “While the craft of drama is at the core, our workshops prioritize nurturing creativity, boosting self-confidence, and emphasizing teamwork. These are universal attributes indispensable in every facet of life.”
She further clarifies that the goal isn’t to churn out professional performers but to equip children with transferable skills like effective communication, collaboration, and active listening. Hemnani notes, “The essence of our mission lies in fostering collaboration. Performing in synergy with peers necessitates listening, negotiation, and collective problem-solving.”
Hemnani passionately underscores the transformative power of these workshops, especially in cultivating self-worth. They offer solace from insecurities, presenting an opportunity for children to experience unbridled joy in the moment. “Using one’s body as an expressive tool instills a sense of physical confidence, which is genuinely empowering,” she adds.
In essence, Faust International Youth Theatre isn’t just a theatre workshop but a holistic development platform, ushering in a brighter, more expressive future for the post-pandemic youth.