The Malta Independent 26 September 2021, Sunday

Everyone can benefit from the performing arts because everyone can play!

Friday, 15 November 2019, 09:34 Last update: about 3 years ago

The world of performing arts offers children a wonderful avenue to develop as fully rounded human beings in a most creative way.

Edward Mercieca runs Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools
Edward Mercieca runs Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools

We, in the industry, keep saying this because we know it works and we see it happening before our very own eyes, before the eyes of parents, friends and relatives. I believe involvement in the performing arts at a young age is even more relevant today than it was when we started Stagecoach in Malta 21 years ago. It is more relevant precisely because of the growth of the digital world and AI. Competition is harsher today and young adults must have the tools to fight it and win. They must develop a unique selling point that will make employers, universities and other institutions choose them above others. Being involved in the performing arts from a young age will definitely help you to gain that USP, that flair, that confidence to sell yourself to the highest bidder in the jobs market, in the top universities.

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Interest in performing will never cease to exist because the human being likes to play - play is what makes our minds tick, play is what makes us explore new boundaries, play is what enables us to take risks. Why? Because play is play, it is in itself risk free and so we are not afraid of playing. We might be a bit shy at first if we are playing with others we don't know but that shyness soon breaks down and we play willfully and energetically and we learn so much.

You will notice that I haven't once mentioned the theatre. The reason is that theatre is a by-product of participating in the performing arts. If someone has a natural talent to "act" then there are opportunities that can present themselves to that person that will enable her or him to perhaps pursue a career in acting or take up vocational training. These are very few. Although few can "act", everyone can PLAY and herein lies the rub. Everyone can benefit from the performing arts because everyone can play! I cannot foresee a day when children won't play. Can you?

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