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Helen O’Grady Drama Academy nurtures young imaginations
The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy was established over 35 years ago in Western Australia. Classes were started in village halls and community centres to offer children of all ages a unique programme of drama designed to encourage their confidence, communication skills and self esteem.
The programme is now celebrating 20 years in the UK where it has branches throughout the country, and weekly classes in Fife, Perth and Kinross began in 1997.
The Principal, Barbara, says: “The original philosophy of drama being a wonderful vehicle to enhance children’s understanding of themselves and others still stands firm: our classes are fun, energetic and structured – we provide a non-competitive environment where children can develop at their own pace while discovering their own personality. Drama helps towards their social and emotional development and assists their language acquisition.”
The Academy offers a unique and exciting drama programme for children throughout East Central Scotland.
Our young actors build confidence, self esteem and social skills whilst having a great time in a fun, safe environment!
Classes run for one hour, after school and in term time. We work with the children on speech, verbal dynamics, creative movement, mimes to music, language development, structured improvisation, dialogue development and shows, as well as having lots of fun!
We are based around East Central Scotland in Cupar, Perth, Dunfermline, Kinross, Kirkcaldy, Newport on Tay, Glenrothes and St Andrews.
The aim of the Academy is to help young people, 5-17 years, develop:
- Fluent speech
- Excellent communication skills
- A creative imagination
All while having a really great time!
I was recently back among the pupils and teachers I was at school with in the late 1970s and early 80s. Part of our reunion was to see an exhibition of photographs from those days. I hadn’t seen them since the time, but there I was, photographed with my fellow pupils, in costume for our variety of school drama productions. Looking back, I can wince at my appearance, and cringe when I think of how terrible I must have been. But I’m thrilled that the opportunities I got through drama helped me communicate better, have more self-confidence, and learn a host of other new skills. It must have been one of the first times I spoke in public…something I now do for a living. Best of all, it was huge fun.
Eddie (Eddie Mair, BBC Radio 4 commentator: News and Current Affairs)
I am very proud of Peter and Caitlin. Their confidence when speaking in public is so much improved and has been very evident at both Drama Academy and school events. I am so glad that they get so much out of your classes with you and want to thank you for all you do to encourage and enthuse the children
I would like to say that the drama has made such a big difference to Paul as I have seen the day he would not do anything like this and was very apprehensive about new things. I think he has come on a lot since he has started the class both expressing himself and socially.”