In the world of literature and art, drama holds prime significance. It is a medium through which we are able to express our feelings, opinions, desires, ambitions and emotions. Drama brings our dreams to life; it gives wings to our imagination. Drama, in its literal meaning, tells a fictional or non-fictional tale, usually of human conflict through dialogues and actions performed by artists. The word “drama” comes from a Greek word meaning ‘action’, which is derived from ‘I do’ (drao). According to G. B. Tennyson, ‘Drama is a story that people act out on a stage before spectators.’ If we dive deep into the definition of drama, we might get lost among its vast-limitless world of fascination and intrigue.
While studying evolution of drama in India, we find that India has been a treasure house of performing arts, be it theatre, dance, music or cinema. The absolute vastness and diversity of its cultural and traditional expression in drama and theatre stands class apart, creating a legacy of its own. The two greatest and oldest epics of India – ‘Mahabharta’ and ‘The Ramayana’ are the best specimen to capture the grandeur and richness of drama in India.
Advaith International Academy believes in exposing the young impressionable mind of its learners to the linguistic, cultural and religious diversity of India portrayed through drama. Advaith has chosen to emphasis on ‘drama’ to nurture and develop both individual and group skills of students and enhance their abilities to communicate and express their ideas, images and emotions through dramatic actions. For language class, drama is a magical box of tools involving all the dimensions of learning – cognitive, affective, sociological and physiological. Advaith aims at bringing the adventures of drama to their students to help them understand and relate with different languages, and not to make learning them a tedious and lackluster exercise. Drama is not only limited to language, it can be used to comprehend science, numbers and complicated layers of our society. We, at Advaith, recognize the importance of our student’s social-emotional development. Advaith believes in inter-weaving learning with drama presentations to allow students to explore their own thoughts and feelings.
The intention to teach drama at Advaith School in Hosur is to create a holistic environment where multiple intelligences are used to incorporate authentic learning. Drama helps in verbal linguistic learning by introducing the learners to new words, accurate pronunciation and intonation. When students are able to relate to emotions and feelings represented in the drama, they are learning intrapersonal skills and when they work in a group to enact a drama, they enhance their interpersonal skills too. Interpretation of body language activate their kinesthetic learning and when they re-create images, pictures, visual details portrayed in a drama, their spatial learning skills are developed. They become more logical when they are guided to co-related between cause and effect relationships. A long-time advocate of drama as a valuable teaching strategy, Dorothy Heathcote (in Wagner, 1976) stated:
Drama teaches us to self-reflect and build knowledge for future use. It helps us to understand the cultural similarities and accommodate the differences. It helps to create free-thinkers who are not bogged down by the mediocre opinions and understand the significance of free speech. As students step into the shoes of another character’s role, they gain a greater understanding and empathy with that character. Using interactive approaches requires emotional intelligence, positive communication and the capacity to take others’ perspectives and experiences into account. All of these experiences are an important part of the reflective power of drama to engage all learning styles.
“If you cannot increase reflective power in people, you might as well NOT teach, because reflection is the only thing in the long run that teaches anybody. Reflection is what makes the knowing something that can be touched on and assimilated for further use.”
Working together in a team is so relevant in today’s materialistic, individualized and mechanical world. Advaith aspires to provide a strong foundation to build socially and emotionally equipped individual that are capable to adapt themselves according to the situation. No other school has yet understood the need to raise our young learners as nation builders who can work in harmony and unity with their fellow citizen to help our country excel and lead in every sphere of life. Drama teaches students to coordinate and work in teams, they realise that they are all uniquely different but need to work together as a team to receive applause from the audience. Through drama students are able to overcome their fears and inhibitions, thus bringing out an individual with great potential and leadership qualities. Advaith is one of the best Schools in Hosur to offer professional drama classes for students.
An actor gives life to various characters when performing, they learn to empathise with others and improvise under pressure, a great skill possessed by few. All the qualities that a leader must have can be taught through drama. Empathy, courage, delegating work, showing gratitude, integrity and tolerance – all these are integral part of drama. To conclude it all, Advaith envisage the magnitude effects arts can have on the intellectual, emotional and social development of our young learners. Our motto is not to raise job seekers, we want to create job-originators and drama is one form that has the potential to achieve our dream to build world thinkers and inventors.
Another affiliated drama fest is called McQueen Fest.