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Parent Information - Armani Drama Workshops

Armani Drama Workshops foster self-expression in children

"If you want to know what a child is, study his play
if you want to affect what a child shall be
direct the form of his play."
Joseph Lee - Founder of the playground Movement in America

Nora ArmaniNora Armani's children's workshops aim at giving children a chance to express themselves, helping them find a constructive and positive interactive interest in their everyday surroundings through drama.

Frequently, gifted children have expression problems, such as being particularly shy, aloof, withdrawn or unpopular and often hesitant in interacting with their peers in the school playground. Other expression problems may manifest themselves in speech inadequacies such as mispronunciations, unclear and slurred speech patters, incomplete sentences and even stuttering, or, in some cases a total refusal to speak except when addresses by very close family members.

Although some of these problems may have deep psychological roots needing clinical attention, most may be the result of minor traumatic incidents, a suppressive family atmosphere with strict parents or dominant siblings, or a lack of interest in the academic world usually due to suppressed talents such as a hidden musical gift or a dramatic penchant.

Often the shy and introvert child is a mine of talent awaiting discovery. It this trapped talent that makes it retreat inward feeling misunderstood from fellow children and adults. Liberating this talent, by offering the child a forum for its inner expression, automatically resolves many of the related behavioural problems.

Nora Armani's theatre workshops give children a platform to rediscover the joy of expressing themselves in an atmosphere of encouragement and positive reward. Interaction with other children of similar age groups, and like problems, gives them a chance to see that they are not alone and helps them interact outside the strict school or classroom situations.

This atmosphere of fostering creativity and self-expression needs a clear structure, with definite parameters that guide and regulate the behaviour of workshop participants. The only difference between it and school or home situations is that the focus here is on play instead of work. The child feels free to find his/her unique form of expression in this relaxed atmosphere while respecting the 'rules of the game' and is later able to adapt this new-found expression to other situations with increased confidence.

If the environment permits it, anyone can learn anything he chooses to learn. When a person functions beyond a constricted intellectual plane, he/she is truly open for learning. This type of intuitive reaction to the environment, encouraged within the safe confines of the workshop, allows for spontaneity freeing children from handed down frames of reference and memory choked with old facts and information. This moment of personal freedom allows for new discoveries. Thus, experience and creative expression converge.

In children, this process is much purer and easier than it is in adults. Children react naturally first on the intuitive level, then on the physical level, and only afterwards on the intellectual level. A child's refusal to interact, or his/her manifestation of certain behavioural or speech problems, is often the result of a reversal of this order caused by the interference of certain outside factors.

A child can make great personal progress through theatre. Theatre encourages the child to communicate, become involved, develop relationships, create his/her own reality and learn to express his/her feelings and thoughts, while understanding and accepting his/her responsibility towards the group and by extension towards the social environment.

Information on workshops in London

The workshop sessions involve theatre games and acting exercises, with an emphasis on developing imagination and writing skills through improvisation. Personal experiences are the greatest teachers of all. We give the children the opportunity to experience different aspects of themselves and learn about their hidden capacities helping them bring these to the forefront, while developing existing capacities through special attention and focused exercises.

A typical workshop session lasts two hours and is divided into an exercise section with warm up, voice and movement exercises followed by animal and human characterisations from which a scene study section evolves based on improvisations. Fully developed scenes are then written for performance.

Ideally, sets of 5 to 10 sessions are recommended for children according to particular needs and goals.

The selection process is by interview. The child's age and specific needs are taken into consideration when assigning children to different groups. Coaching may also be offered on an individual basis at the child's home.

Workshops are divided according to the following age groups: 8-11 year olds and 12-15 year olds.
Workshops for over 16s and adults are also available by prior arrangement.

For information regarding schedules, future sessions, and workshop locations (different areas of London) please contact Nora Armani directly by e-mail: info@noraarmani.com or by phone 020 8563 0220.

Nora Armani

Nora is an award-winning actress and educator with an extensive list of international theatrical performances and a number of films to her credit. She has worked in the UK, France, Italy, USA, Canada, Australia, Egypt, Lebanon and Armenia. Her numerous awards include 'Best Actress' in Stage and on Screen on several occasions in the USA and in Armenia. She has an M.Sc. in Sociology from the University of London - LSE, and most recently wrote and performed in her one woman show On the Couch with Nora Armani at London's New End Theatre winning high critical acclaim.

Further details and photos may be found on her website. www.noraarmani.com

Reference List of workshops (non-exhaustive)

(Universities, schools and corporate clients
also numerous private and group workshops)

LSE - University of London - Summer School
Acton Secondary School- London
Armenian Saturday School - London
CAIA - Armenian Centre - London
Nickerson École de Langues - Paris
EDF - GDF, Levallois - France
L'OREAL- Paris
Tebrotsasser - Le Raincy, France
The English School - France

University of La Verne - La Verne California
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
LA Unified School District - Los Angeles
Performing Tree - Los Angeles
Valley and North Hollywood Schools, California
Long Beach Schools - Long Beach, California
Southfield School - Detroit, Michigan



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