Without conflict would we find any story interesting? Can you imagine EastEnders or Coronation Street with everyone being endlessly happy and pleased? It would be weird not to mention boring.We humans know that conflict is part of our lives and soaps need to reflect that.
In performing arts training the conflict comes into our work as well. If you are telling the story of Goldilocks or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Lord of Rings then conflict is essential to make the characters come to life. As they say there are two sides to every story and a big part of a creative teacher’s job is to sharpen those two sides so that it is powerfully felt.
You can have great fun turning songs or dances or scenes into arguments between the participants. If you invite young people to explore conflict situations you get all sorts of real stuff that they experience in their lives. For instance, girls often love acting out that thing that some girls do with their eyes. You know the thing where they look at their friend, roll their eyes and look down on another girl who isn’t part of their little gang? Who wouldn’t enjoy playing a character that lords it over everyone?
This kind of acting goes deeper because who hasn’t been excluded, rejected or put down? And what fun it is to mock it, explore it and see it for what it is – bullying. Performing arts training can shine a light on so many issues that face young people and give them nightmares. The performing space becomes a parallel universe of sorts where you can act out all kinds of responses. You can use it to help you make sense of your life and get back some control.
It can be a revelation to discover that there are many ways of dealing with conflict in your life. You can try things out in an imaginary situation and it can build your courage.Then beyond that you discover that every drama ever written contains a conflict scenario. How dare that blonde haired little girl steal our porridge? Who do you want to be, Verruca Salt or Charlie Bucket? Watch out Bilbo!
The cross over between art and life is always interesting. For young people it can change their life forever when they discover that people only have the power over them that they let them have and they discover there are always other solutions. That can be very reassuring to a young person and in performance it means they can represent a character more sincerely and truthfully on stage
Are you interested in our unrivalled classes in the performing arts. Since 1992 Theatretrain has been providing young people between the ages of 4–18 years with top quality and professional classes in acting, singing, and dancing. To find out more about the only part time performing arts school for young people in the UK who regularly offer all our pupils a yearly opportunity to appear in London’s West End visit www.theatretrain.co.uk or follow us at https://www.facebook.com/Theatretrain.