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Drama for health and wellbeing

Parents and carers were beaming with pride after a recent youth drama performance at the Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine.

Hosted over the school holidays, the Drama for Wellbeing programme at the Harbour Arts Centre performed their end-of-summer showcase on Friday (August, 18).

Delivered by the Council’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing team (a core youth-focussed part of Youth Services – also responsible for delivering our popular youth summer roadshow programme) – the young people were coached by local drama teacher Greg Andrew and top vocal coach Tracy Nelson.

Supported by drama and music sessional workers, primary pupils worked on mini-plays – growing confidence while learning about mindfulness and wellbeing as senior secondary school pupils developed their stage presence and delivery, presenting their very own thought-provoking play focused on the pressures of modern teenage life.

Highlights included a group performance belting out a positive pop number before the secondary pupils focused on the themes of cyberbullying, body positivity, friendships, fallouts and the power of advocating for those who need support.

Only doing their first full run through one week before the performance took place, the inspiring group impressed the audience in a special invite-only performance. Marymass Mary Emily Muir was also a stand-out with some incredible vocals.

Mental Health and Wellbeing Project Delivery Officer, Vicki Andrew (pictured in group hug bottom right) steered the helm of the project. She shares proudly: “Watching the young people grow in confidence over the 7 weeks and be so passionate about the messages they were sharing in the showcase was great to see, the outcomes and the feedback from parents and young people alike were great.

“Our drama coach’s vision for the group came to fruition in ways that made sure our young people were nurtured to believe in themselves and be as involved as they felt comfortable with but through nurturing these young people they all wanted to be as fully involved as they could be showing how much the programme had built up these young people, this coinciding with the new friendships made in the group made for the fantastic outcomes witnessed at the showcase. Well done to everyone who gave it their all!”

Some of the young performers are already used to the stage performing in amateur drama and local dance school productions.

However, 7-year-old Eva is one young showstopper shining on the night who dipped her toe in the world of drama and theatre for the first time.

A member of the Take Time Families group already running at Kilwinning Library, as she stepped off stage,

“Wow, I can’t believe we did that. It was so much fun. I was really afraid at first joining the group because I didn’t know anyone, but I have already made five new friends and I’m really excited to try out more groups like this again.

“Thank you so much to Vicki and Greg from Take Time they were so lovely and really made everyone believe they could do it.

“Also, I got to learn about what to do if someone in my class or one of my friends are not their usual happy self, so when I go back to school I’m going to tell my class all about how they can support everyone too.”

With mum adding, “I am so proud of Eva and her friends. The whole thing was really emotional to watch, and it’s nice to know that she has gained confidence and wants to try out more clubs like this in the area.”

The primary aged members of the production have now had their performances captured on video so that the show can be used as a teaching resource across the schools and youth settings that Youth Services will be teaming up with over the academic year.

Harbour Arts Centre Irvine
Children and young people on stage to perform a drama show at the Harbour Arts Centre
Backstage warm up featuring young drama performers with their youth workers
Marymass Mary Emily stands out with incredible vocals at Drama for Wellbeing performance
Drama group leader receiving group hug from young performers
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