Role of Performing Arts in Community Development
Back in 2004 when I had just finished college, I was part of a drama cast that participated in a local cultural event that was meant to promote tourism, peaceful coexisted as well as a clean environment. I won’t claim that I good in any theatrical performances, but being the few youth in my rural town who were available back then there was need for us to come together and seek something which would ensure that we also got represented in the event which was solely meant for the youth.
After the programme of the event was released, the youth of my locality together with me met at our local social hall so that we could with ideas of what to present during the competition. There were several fields that we could choose from, but most of them locked majority of us out because they called for talented people such as painter, musicians etc, there we deiced to settle for drama because we could easily practice and create characters needed for our performance.
For the next five months culminating to the big day of the event, we practiced, prepared and rehearsed on a theatrical play which was themed around the need and importance of the society in environmental and forestry protection. We had figured out that there was need for policies to be enacted to prevent the degradation of the environment that we lived in as well as protection of the forest cover as we championed to have it increased through plating more trees where some were fallen as well as discourage the encroachments of human in areas gazette to be forest regions.
Promoting Environmental Awareness through Drama
Through the involvement of local organization in my area we were able to secure the service of a choreographer and other trainers to help us through all the preparations needed. By the time the event approached, we were all well-versed with our roles and ready to showcase the best from out district.
I didn’t take a major role in the play, but still I had a crucial role and when we stepped on the stage to perform, I was so enthusiastic and displayed my best. I almost appeared on almost the 12 scenes of the act. However, I don’t know what happened on the ninth scene which was crucial in conveying the message of the play because I just froze, I couldn’t catch my breath, I felt an impending sense of doom, my mind went completely blank. It was the first time I had suffered what might be known as a panic attack, I know you must be wondering what went wrong.
I had just stepped on the stage and I was supposed to play my part which I had well memorized and rehearsed, but I suddenly forgot my lines. Instead, I completely skipped some vital part of the act which was critical thus living the other participants on stage in a dilemma because the flow of the play had been interrupted. Moreover, by realizing the mistake that I had done, the semiotics of acting completely eluded me and thus I betrayed the role I was playing by completely presenting another character far much different from the role that I was playing. This shift must have affected not only my emotions which were supposed to be displayed in the scene, but also my facial expression failed me and I could sense that the judges and the audience had figured it out.
Were it not for my neighbor and friend Justin, who acted fast to restore my confidence, by including his own words in the act which were meant to make sense of the theme at hard, I could have completely ruined everything. Justin swiftly added his own voice which was completely off the script, but were in line with the message, and I acted fast in responding with my words too, before I was able to remember part of my script and bring it into action. Anyhow, from there we continued with the play as prepared without further hitches.
We Need to Embrace our Culture in Promoting our values
After the play, I met part of the cast who consoled with me about what happened, but reassured me that all would be well because we quickly recovered from the incident and our performance went on as scheduled.
In the evening when it came to the time to announce the winner of the competition in the drama category, I was a bit scared but as the judges continued to read the result I became confident. The judges started form the least performed plays to the best and by the time they reached the best top three, our group had not been called out so I felt a tinge of hope.
We managed to become second best overall, but we went ahead to produce the best actor as well as the best theme for the event which was a happy moment for all of us. The judges were frank as they explained how our theme resounded with the declining environment and the needs to have it fixed and that we were able to capture all that succinctly and thus commended us for the same. As we sought to have the challenges addressed.