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Seeking Sleeping Beauty Helps Explore Talent in Children
   2015-03-23 08:44:03    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Xu

Young students with Dreammaker Theatre act in Seeking Sleeping Beauty, which is staged on Sunday, March 15, 2015 in central Beijing. [Photo: Dreammaker Theatre]

Anchor: A group of Chinese school children performers aged between eight and 12 have recently staged a live comedy play in English titled Seeking Sleeping Beauty.

They all came from Dream-maker theatre, a theater workshop for children based in Beijing.

Xue Yuan, founder of this theatre, has introduced the story to the students. He elaborates on the benefits of drama training in English for young Chinese school children in an exclusive interview with CRI.

Xu Fei has more.

 

Reporter: They are not born actors, but they could give a full display of their talent on the stage. This is Xue Yuan's impression about his young students when being asked to evaluate their latest performances on the stage.

Xue Yuan also thinks through drama lessons, children learn a myriad of skills.

"Well, they are still learning and not a professional actor yet. But what acting in a drama gives them is the chance that they could work together to explore and find the solutions for all the problems and troubles. For what I see is they developed so much during all the performances because first, their English improved a lot and also drama changes their life: they became brighter, and they started to know how to work together and how to understand each other better."

Their latest show on the weekend is Seeking Sleeping Beauty. The story is about Prince Florimund, who lost on a hunting expedition and encounters Lilac, a fairy with hay fever. The fairy can't help him but tells of an enchanted castle somewhere in the forest wherein lies a sleeping princess.

With his reluctant companion, Nomdeplume, the prince embarks upon a quest to find the sleeping princess. On their way the two encounter some familiar characters that have somehow strayed into the famous story.

Xue Yuan is also the director of the children's drama. He explains how he thinks this drama would interest audience members.

"I've found this script and I see this is going to be amazing for the audience, because when you come here for the show Seeking Sleeping Beauty. And then you've found out it's not a story about Sleeping Beauty only. And you have all little red riding hood, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Dracula, all those fairy tale characters, when their fate mixed together, what will happen? It will be a wonderful surprise for the audience."

A mother who took her child with her to see Seeking Sleeping Beauty commends this performance.

"I think these children's performances are super. In addition to their standard English pronunciation, I can also discover their good feel with drama and so natural and relaxed in giving this funny play."

A 9 year old boy, who names himself Sam, acts in the drama.

"I'm very fond of acting in these shows, for I feel so excited. Doing shows fulfils me with self confidence and makes me feel of being more active."

Some research found that drama works to promote child's imagination.

Drama, by its very nature requires that the child be put into circumstances ­physically, mentally and emotionally ­that are outside their understanding of how things should be. This helps them to grow as a person.

According to Xue Yuan, drama programs are included in the curriculum of schools in western countries.

"In western countries, drama is always a compulsory course in their school studies. How drama can develop the students: (because) they can work together, they can have better language and they can also express themselves better. And there are so many benefits you can learn from it."

The show Seeking Sleeping Beauty has been performed in the theatre at least a dozen times. Widely recognized as one of the theatre's best shows, Seeking Sleeping Beauty will continue to help young talents be active and shine on the stage.

For Studio Plus, I'm Xu Fei.

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