PQA Enfield enjoys jam-packed live sessions!
The third lockdown has been challenging for children everywhere. At PQA Enfield, we know how important it is to continue providing our young people with the consistency, network and performing arts training that they all love and rely on every Saturday morning. We therefore moved to live zoom lessons in January with the aim of creating a curriculum that focused on the wellbeing of our students as well as continuing to develop and nurture their performing arts training.
We started with a ‘Future Me’ project in Comedy & Drama. It has never been more important than now for our children to share stories. To have hope for the future and to focus on their ambitions. With home-schooling thrust upon them and external exams being cancelled we asked our students to create 1-minute futuristic monologues where they shared stories about their ‘future selves’. The results were both heart-warming and inspirational. From a professor of psychology to an actress, our students know that when this is all over, their future will be full of promise and hope. We posted a ‘Future Me’ story on our social media pages every day for three weeks as a reminder that there is light at the end of what currently feels like endless darkness. Our Blue & Red Group also took part in a retelling of the story of ‘The Child Who Didn’t Know Fear’ for National Storytelling Week, working on developing their creation of mood & atmosphere & vocal expression.
In Film & TV, our young people have been writing their very own scripts and creating characters, who find themselves in challenging situations; from being lost in space, to comedy characters who have a secret confession to share. Our Green Group reflected on their ‘Best Day Out Ever’ and told stories of their happiest moments, before lockdown. They also created their very own online chat show series ‘I’m a Teddy Get me out of the Toybox’. They spent two weeks online developing their TV presenting skills and learning how to write their own scripts. The results were fantastic. They are now halfway through their animation and voice over project and our Blue and Red Groups are writing and recording their very own podcasts.
We wanted to theme our podcasts centrally around ‘Challenges’. We have all faced them over the year and our young people will tell heart-warming anecdotal stories about the times they faced a challenge and how they overcame those challenges. From trying to get to grips with Zoom, your very first residential trip away from home, to your first day at secondary school, we wanted to use this opportunity to connect by sharing stories that everyone can relate to, and most importantly create a platform of hope and strength that will inspire our young listeners during what is undoubtedly a challenging time for them all. The fact that Film & TV has always been a consistent module at PQA has meant that our students and teachers have been able to utilise & develop their skills and experience in this area; to provide a platform on which they can share their talents with an even broader audience. At a time when ‘connection’ from friends & extended family has been restricted for our young people, we wanted to create as many opportunities as possible for them to share their incredible work and connect creatively not just with each other but with a wider audience too.
In Musical Theatre, our students are working on our American Musical Theatre medley, learning choreography to popular musicals like Grease, Bugsy Malone & The Greatest Showman. Developing their dance technique in a fun, warm & supportive environment. We understand the benefits of physical activity and our students are being pushed through their paces with our online Musical Theatre classes. We look forward to bringing all the choreography together once we can resume in venue classes again. So, why not sit back, guzzle some tea & cake, and tune into our YouTube channel to enjoy the incredible work created by our young people online.
Finally, this month, all groups are taking part in our virtual monologue, poetry and prose slam project. We are using this opportunity to really develop our student’s individual performance skills. They will all perform a scripted monologue, poem, or a piece of prose virtually in our live Slam! Even though it is not possible currently to enjoy the thrill and excitement of performing in front of a live audience, PQA Enfield’s strength has always been adapting to specific situations and circumstances and the current lockdown situation is no exception.
Will & Xenia McGinley
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