Magical Lessons of Performance

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It was March 2020, and the team at Theatre Bugs rocked back-and-forth in a huddle as we listened to the news that the world was about to close.

The tissues were passed around (we could still buy tissues back then, and share them), and premonitions of children without acting, dancing and singing classes, filled our hearts with dread.

COVID19 must be taken seriously. But the Theatre Bugs team grew up in a world where nothing stops a show. Not nerves, not money… N-O-T-H-I-N-G!

Within minutes and in true theatre tradition, we pulled ourselves together. We chicken flapped to release shoulder tension, exhaled horsey-style, and mimed the placing of our thinking caps.

Audiovisual specialists were consulted, technological equipment was sourced, and teachers briefed.

Theatre Bugs and Adelaide Theatre Academy (ATA) were about to undertake an adventure on one of the biggest learning curves ever to cross our path.

We weren’t really sure whether the 3.5mm plug should be plastic or nylon and we didn’t actually know if the new microphones would pick up echoes from another room, but we soldiered on – testing, trying, rehearsing and brainstorming until the first virtual singing class began just days later.

Today at Theatre Bugs online, dads dance with daughters, fairies share their dance floors with siblings and young actors feel the joy of performance is with them once again.

It has been tense and upsetting at times. Questions about this changing world wobble our positive momentum every day. Common catch-cries of “we’re all in this together” and “we’ll be stronger for it” do go some way towards steering us all into the future.

But, it is the art of persistence, learned over years of performance training, that sets our certainty in stone.

For Theatre Bugs & ATA, this crisis shines a bright light on the magical lessons of music, dance, and acting.

It is proof that studying and practising the arts, does build character, resilience, and creative thinking. Such important traits for survival in this modern world.

Benjamin Franklin famously quoted:

“There are three sorts of people in the world. Those who are immovable, those who are movable, and those who move.”

At Theatre Bugs & ATA we strive to be, and to teach our students to be ‘those who move’! 

Michael Eustice


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