Helen O'Grady Drama AcademyHelen O'Grady Drama AcademyHelen O'Grady Drama Academy

Cape Town West - Roleplay: An Essential Lifeskill

South Africa
13 June

Playing doctor-nurse, mommies and babies, astronauts and aliens...  For most of us, this brings back fond memories from our childhood and is seen as a fun pastime for children all over the world.  However, increasing research has shown the importance of role-play and imaginative play and how it helps in developing those building blocks essential to interpersonal relationships, a very important life skill.

As Adam Blatner, M.D elaborates in his article "DRAMA IN EDUCATION AS MENTAL HYGIENE: A CHILD PSYCHIATRIST'S PERSPECTIVE", role-playing and the use of the imagination are increasingly being found to harness children's and young adults creativity which in turn helps them become well rounded and empowered youngsters not afraid to make mistakes and have their thoughts within this increasingly egocentric world.

Right from the outset of each and every lesson, the Helen O'Grady Drama programme helps to develop and nurture this skill through creative role-playing situations.  Our introductory activities are specifically designed to get the students thinking quickly and reacting to the scenario - not only are we teaching empathy, but social skills too. 

In particular, our snippets done with Lower and Upper Primary groups are a classic example of how we use our programme to develop these vital skills.  Each and every pair will need to think up an ending for a scenario given to them and they will then need to present this to the class.  Our expertly trained staff will facilitate this process and help the students think creatively and appropriately.  The presentation is then followed by constructive critique and well-deserved praise, meaning the students then have time for self-reflection a pivotal block of developing good social skills.

What about our high school students, you say? This must be one of the most important skills this  age group can learn.  Social skills and empathy will most certainly help them to become articulate and confident young adults who do not shy away from challenging and often daunting situations. From improvisational games, quick dialogue activities, prop-themed developments together with script work and speech - our youth programme allows for each individual to grow in empathy and creativity. 

No matter how old or young, all our students are nurtured in a dynamic and positive environment where there is no wrong choice, only a different perspective helping building their future selves and the future generations to come. 

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"It’s Helen O’Grady. I can’t take credit for it. Whatever you guys are doing there, it’s working. She is totally out of her shell. She is forever dramatising something and she is full of imagination and not afraid to express it!"

- Windhoek, Namibia Parent