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Sassy Mama contributor Eleanor spends a summer teaching at Faust International Youth Theatre!

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If you’ve got youngsters in Hong Kong, chances are you’ve already come across Faust International Youth Theatre. And if you’ve got kids already signed up for thespian fun with Faust then I’d hedge my bets that you’ve heard a lot of roaring around and laughing coming from inside the studios. I’ve had the privilege of spending my summer 2014 teaching at Faust and getting the inside scoop on what gets the show on the road at Faust.

Faust Summer 2014 (9)It starts from the moment a Faust kid steps over the threshold into the theatre zone, even for the shyest of shrinking violets. From the second these wee barnstormers form the first welcome circle, they’re a team working towards something bigger than themselves. The nature of theatre is that teamwork is key, and that’s our biggest job – to get these kids thinking about the bigger team picture. Tried and tested team games are used to build up trust and confidence and establish balance within the group.

Next up is concentration – everybody has to be in it! For once in Hong Kong, it’s not about speed or winning, it’s about focus. Believe me, getting young actors (sometimes as tiny as 3) to move as one and speak out at the right moment is no easy feat. It takes practice, patience and a vast mental archive of tried and tested concentration games.

Faust Summer 2014 (12)And then there’s fun – huge amounts of it. It’s so much more than line learning and stage blocking – a lot of Faustian theatre is devised from improvisation. Creative games that fire up imaginations, using physical theatre to build rockets and fly to a diamond moon with broccoli trees and drinking tea with the queen make up a fraction of the wild stuff kids come up with in a Faust environment. It’s a whole new type of energy Faust has got bursting through the walls of 359 Queens Road Central – and everybody’s moving with it.

Trial Workshop (2)Faust is for everyone, for the bold and the timid, from tots to teens. There are various ways to get involved if you’ve got a budding actor in the family; you can either sign up for their week long courses over the Easter, Christmas and summer holiday periods or register for the year and your child will perform at the Faust Festival next summer. They also put on a stage show around February time for which older kids can audition – keep checking the website for audition announcements and don’t forget Season 16 starts 20 September with after-school and weekend schedules, so don’t miss it!

For all details on Faust International Youth Theatre, visit their website here.

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