Learning through Drama and Performing Arts

How Drama classes lead to happier and more socially engaged students, and The American School’s long tradition in quality art performances

Drama and Performing Arts have always been a breath of fresh air to many of The American School’s students. If you google “the benefits of drama and performing arts,” you will see what the dramatic arts can help students achieve in the long run. Staying faithful to our motto: Developing Academic Excellence and Strength of Character,The American School strives to develop our students’ character through comprehensive Performing Arts education where students are able to build teamwork and communication skills, develop creativity, and express themselves.

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Benefits of a TAS Performing Arts Education
With Drama classes, our students first and foremost learn how to express themselves both verbally and through body language by transforming themselves into different characters in numerous situations. Their creativity and imagination are boosted as they are exposed to plays, musicals, and devised work, helping them learn to trust their ideas, think outside of the box, solve problems and be more confident going into unchartered territories.

With an ever-changing world and an increasingly competitive working environment, cooperation, concentration and communication skills are essential in building our foundation for success. Drama classes deliver all of those important ingredients to our students, within the familial comfort of a place that they can call home. A successful drama production is not just one person’s work, but it’s the fruit of long days of engagement, discussions, feedback and rehearsing among a group of performers. Each individual must learn how to focus the mind, the body and the voice to  deliver the best quality of performance on their part, while communicating their creative ideas to the rest of the group and working with other performers to create a cohesive outcome.

But the most important lesson that our students can get from signing up for a role in any of the Drama classes’ productions is always empathy. In this turbulent and often scary time, kindness and empathy have never been so precious to be embraced and demonstrated. By putting themselves in the characters’ shoes, our students get the chance to relate to different situations, backgrounds and cultures; learning how to show compassion, tolerance and inclusivity for others that are different than themselves.

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What Makes TAS Performing Arts Education Stand Out
Part of what helps our students learn so much from Drama and Performing Arts, as well as what makes The American School’s Performing Arts education stand out from the rest, is the variety of study options for students and the professionalism that our Drama department always tries to project, even though the productions are just within the school. There are 5 high school drama electives available to students, which is different from most international schools here in Ho Chi Minh City. These electives include introduction to theater, theater history, musical theater and directing and, with the development of our new campus—lighting and sound design. And the projection of professionalism can be witnessed by the choice of judge for last December’s TAS Talent Show: Nguyen Khac Hung, The Voice Kids Vietnam Judge.

Our attempt to create the best environment that nurtures future art performers, along with the wonderful productions of famous plays and musicals by our talented students and Drama teachers throughout the years naturally shape the identity of The American School’s academic curriculum as a whole: a place with a notable tradition in quality art performances among many other international schools in Vietnam; a place where drama lovers get a chance to embrace their appreciation for Arts and Culture, and where the shy kids learn to discover their hidden voices inside their heart and soul.

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Upcoming Productions And Shows
The American School’s students will carry on this long tradition with another brand new musical production this year: High School Musical. The Disney classic that marked the teenage years of many viewers will be brought to life here at The American School on three consecutive dates: Tuesday, 12th March 2019 at  6:30pm; Wednesday, 13th March 2019 at 4:30pm; and Thursday 14th March 2019 at 6:30pm. For tickets, please visit the school website at www.tas.edu.vn

But what’s more exciting during this first month of spring, is the trip of our young company of performers—Urban Lights—to Perth Fringe World Festival in Perth, Australia. A fringe festival is a festival of drama, dance and performance, and the Perth festival is the third largest fringe festival in the world. Urban Lights’ performance at this worldwide stage is called Me. Asian?, a play that explores how a generation of Asian teenagers navigate the clash between technology, the West and tradition and what it means to truly belong in the 21st century. The story is told from the perspective of our students, educated in a Western system and permanently attached to the internet. Verbatim interviews taken from different generations of family members and the stories of the performers themselves have been interwoven with physical theatre, cultural music and dance forms to create a storytelling experience unlike any other. 

And don’t forget The American School’s Arts festival in May—a weeklong festival of the arts including a second musical, a middle school play, performances written and directed by students, musical performances and concerts, a school-wide art exhibition, busking and introductory classes to some lesser known art forms. All are the exciting activities that once again secure The American School’s status as a leading international school in Drama and Performing Arts education.

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TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR ACADEMIC PRGRAM

If you are interested in knowing more about The American School’s Drama and Performing Arts tradition, as well as our academic program in general, then our upcoming Open Day is the perfect opportunity for you. Visit our school on March 16 and April 20, 2019, 9am–12pm and discover an international school that offers students more than just knowledge written on paper.

Text and images provided by The American School

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