What happens exactly?
The classes take place on a weekday after school, usually from 4.30 to 6.30pm. The day and precise time may vary from course to course depending on children’s individual schedules.
We usually work with 7 to 11 year olds, or Juniors in the Primary sector. However, through popular request, we have taken younger and older children than this. Each class has a maximum of 8 children in it.
We do 10 drama classes, followed by a play, written around the children we have in that particular class.
The children's skills, ideas, preferences, talents and passions are all made use of in the writing of the play.
We do games and exercises to help the children learn about their own invented 'character' and the other characters in the play. This helps them to learn their lines, and to give their best performance. It also teaches them more about themselves and their relationships to other people.
As part of most lessons, we use yoga exercises to help with relaxation, breathing, and therefore vocal expression.
We do not concentrate on the learning of lines, although this tends to come naturally towards the end.
We advise parents to make sure their child has had a quick meal after school; though we do provide water and a small healthy snack.
Parents and friends are invited to attend the performance: upstairs at the William IV, Harrow road, top of Ladbroke grove, NW10. This is also the venue of the classes.
Parents of children who are considering doing the course are also invited to come along to our next production. Details of this can be found on our home page.
We do children’s parties, working with groups of 5 to 9 children, developing their own play, including use of costume, which they can show to their parents at the end. This takes 3 hours.
We use a similar format during the school holidays, writing and producing a play in more detail, to be shown at the end of 5 days. Here we can take groups to include younger children.
If interested please contact us.
Why Dreamas is good for your child
Every group brings a different focus, and every child brings something different to the group. By writing the play around the group of children we have that term, the children involved are able explore their own imaginations within the protection of make-believe. It's amazing what comes out for each child by the time the play is performed.
Children make their own contributions to the writing of the play, and learn how a play can be created. They are encouraged to develop and use the abilities they have already, which gives them huge confidence. We then concentrate on gaining confidence with all the skills that make a good actor, such as using their full voice, listening to the other actors, finding their character, relating what they want to say with truth and depth of feeling, and so on. This helps children to become clearer in their own self-expression. They also get a chance to explore feelings; why their characters might have a particular feeling, and how each character affects another. The actual performance inspires the children to learn quickly. And, of course, it gives them huge pride to see the characters they have created come to life.
Why Dreamas is good for you
Children spend the time letting off steam, and having their ideas taken notice of. They learn how to listen to their imaginations, and then write and put on a play themselves. This brings hours of self-produced entertainment. Very useful for TV free family holidays!
The process of writing and putting on a play covers many areas of the school curriculum. These include: Literacy (creative writing, grammar); History (this depends on the child's specific interests, but mythology is almost always touched upon); Design Technology. You will be amazed at the way your child's schoolwork in general will flourish.
Your children also learn about relating, and relationships. They learn how to express themselves and to listen to others doing so.
So your child learns to be self-confident, as well as sensitive to others' differences. You will see new sides of your child, and your child will discover new sides of themselves.
EMMA LYNDON-STANFORD received a BSc in Psychology at Bristol University, concentrating on cognitive and developmental Psychology. She then travelled extensively, learning more about the beautiful diversity, and similarity, between people.
Following this, she completed a Post-Graduate Certificate of Education in the Primary sector. She has subsequently been both class teacher and one to one tutor in state and private primary schools across North and West London; as well as working privately in literacy, numeracy and drama, with small groups and individuals.
Her Acting and Drama training was mainly Method-based; and she has been a professional actress and singer, for two decades. Now she is dedicated to extending children's talents and abilities in a child-centered, open-ended and positive way. As well as singing opera as often as possible.
She is fascinated by the way we use the super-consciousness to inspire, learn and delight; and wants to give children, using acting and characterisation skills, the ability to create for themselves, thereby learning more about themselves and finding their place in the world and to discover that learning is great fun. She has written various myth-based plays, novels and scripts, and has two wonderful and vibrant teenage children.
JAMES SIMMINS is an excellent guitarist/musician who accompanies any child who wishes to sing/play songs during the performance. James' Facebook page
DONALD MACDONALD, a talented artist, designs and paints our sets, and makes props or masks when necessary.
OISIN O’FLANAGAN helps with putting together the set and lighting.
Thanks also to the many parents who have helped over the years with lights, costumes, music, filming, and encouragement.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited.
It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.