The Tempest and The Power of the Arts
In Western society generally there seems to be a tendency to place the academic subjects above the Arts. It would seem that most parents would rather their children take Business Studies and ICT above Drama, Music or Art. I can see their point of view but if a child isn’t academically inclined in the first place, why send them in a direction they’re not going to enjoy and therefore probably not succeed at?
Janeks in The Tempest.
On this week at the Belgrade-if you can get a ticket it’s well worth going along to and supporting.
When the 4 eldest girls were choosing their GCSE options they all chose artistic pursuits rather than academic ones as far as they were allowed to. Lorie actually chose all 4 and did Music, Drama, Dance and Art at GCSE. I was on the receiving end of a lot of ‘stick’ for this from other parents as they felt I was being irresponsible not encouraging them to opt for something that would ‘stand them in good stead’ in the future.
Hmmmm….I beg to disagree. My girls are very much like me, intelligent but not academically inclined so to force them into subjects they had no interest in, I believe, would have been setting them up for 2 years of misery for no good reason. It was so obvious that they were all born performers that I felt it better to encourage them to pursue their dreams, however fickle, and live a life, maybe not earning a fortune, but at least feeling fulfilled.
And why are the Arts considered so low on everyone’s list of priorities in terms of an educational path when our lives would be so much the poorer without music, TV, Theatre etc…?
We all need the Arts
As beings, we need our emotions and creative sides to be challenged and fulfilled, wanting to follow a path that would lead to taking an active part in this important part of human existence is no less valid than becoming a doctor. The Arts can be a very important part of any healing process we need at any time and what would a world without music be like?
Nikita’s boyfriend is currently in a Youth Theatre performance of The Tempest at the Belgrade in Coventry. It’s a brilliantly produced and performed piece of Shakespeare and all of the actors are young people, mostly in their teens. They are amongst the fortunate ones who have access to free drama clubs, making it accessible to everyone and anyone. I applaud the forward thinking people involved for not underestimating the power of drama in a young persons life as a tool for enabling them to reach their full potential in other areas.
The only thing that concerns me slightly is that anything free can so easily be taken for granted. My generation had no such facilities available and the only drama we could access was the very limited amount at school. I loved it and wanted to make a career of it, I had the opportunity as well but my father was adamant that it was not a secure path and so my passion was not perceived as important.
So…a message to everyone who is fortunate to have access to groups such as the one Janeks is involved with. Please understand how lucky you are, don’t take it for granted, be punctual and behave as a professional would and always remember how many people behind the scenes are working tirelessly for your benefit. Remember also, that a lot of these people do it for the love and belief it’s the right thing to do and receive no financial remuneration for their time and effort.
Long may projects such as this continue but I do know that funding is currently so low that more performances such as The Tempest cannot currently be planned. So sad, let’s hope someone in the powers that be realise soon how important this is to people everywhere.