It was raining cats and dogs as my son and I huddled under one umbrella, managing to put one foot in front of the other as the strong wind and heavy rain lashed at us making us half-fly half-walk as we struggled to get to our Wednesday evening class at Faust, Sheung Wan.
We reached there …finally! Only to be told that class was cancelled as there was a typhoon T8 signal put up and as per government rules all classes, schools, offices have to shut down immediately. Oh no, I thought, all this struggle for nothing! And just when I was looking forward to that nice, frothy cup of cappuccino waiting for me in Pacific Coffee next door! My thoughts were interrupted by a loud and cheery “C’mon in everyone,” coming from the drama teacher as she started ushering the kids into the studio. She met my bewildered look saying “Don’t worry the class is cancelled but we will keep the kids busy. You could collect them at the usual time!” My face broke out into a big grin and thanking the teacher, I hastily reached for the lift button, almost being able to smell my coffee now! To say that I was quite impressed with the staff’s attitude and zeal even in the midst of a storm would be an understatement!
My 8-year old has been doing Faust for almost a year now. We started with a holiday theatre workshop during our summer break last year. I think a holiday class is a wonderful opportunity for a child to try-out something new, something that he or she is unsure about, as one only needs to commit to a week and not a whole term. In our case it was a win-win as my son had lots of creative fun plus I got two and a half hours everyday to finish my errands that week which is so important as a mum without a helper! What’s more they even managed to give us a short performance at the end of the week which was quite commendable considering that the teacher had these 7 year olds for just five days! The performance was basic but extremely enjoyable for both parents and the children. There was a positive vibe in the room and my child looked so comfortable and happy delivering his lines that I just had to sign him up for their termly drama workshop.
Now as a stay-at-home-mum I make it my business to take every small thing concerning my kids very seriously — activities included. Besides taking feedback from other mums about this class, I had approached Faust directly asking them a zillion questions, and every single time I received a very polite, detailed and enthusiastic response! It seemed like everyone was genuinely happy working there! After signing up I received a lovely welcome email giving details on the schedule with a week-t0-week class outline, information about Group Leaders, locations specifics and other admin details that made me feel very comfortable about sending my child there. As a mum of two boys, I manage about 10-12 after-school activities between the two of them every term, and while some of the classes provide none to very little information on what’s going on after you sign up, Faust sends regular updates, mid-term reports and even individual written feedback (on request). I think this is quite important for me specially because I receive very limited information from my child. “So how was drama today?” “Good.” “What did you do?” “Hmm nothing.” But I do know that he does something that he likes because I don’t have to coax and cajole him to get to Faust week after week as I have to for some of his other activities. Every Wednesday after-school he happily wears his very smart Faust T-shirt, packs his little bag and gets ready to go!
When my son was a part of Faust Festival last year, I felt very proud of my confident little boy who was performing on stage in front of a live audience! Faust usually has a stage performance for parents at the end of Term 3 where all the hard work that they’ve put in behind the scenes comes to life. One could join straight into Term 3, but I would recommend doing Term 1 and 2 first as this is where they are grounded into the more technical aspects of drama. Freeze frames, storyboards, creating characters and scenarios – all this while thinking creatively ‘out of the box’ and working in smaller groups. When I was invited to watch a class in session last week, I knew it would be fun and games, but what I was pleasantly surprised with was the amount of thinking, learning and understanding that each game needed, pushing each child to be more creative than the other in such a fun, relaxed way. Now we all know that the biggest advantage of drama is confidence building, but there are lots of other skills that are focussed upon like creative thinking, c
oncentration, developing language and communication skills, physical development, time management, listening and being heard, sharing feedback, empathy and many more that come with working as part of a team.
Last but not the least is the big factor of cost associated to all this learning. Somehow creative workshops like drama, music, art are at a higher price point than other activities. While you may want the best for your child, at the end of the day it all depends on what your child is interested in. One way to get started is to register for a FREE trial workshop at Faust and if your child does show some interest try the week-long Holiday workshop which would give you a better idea without going in for a long-term commitment. The most important thing is to give it a GO, if you don’t try – you won’t know!
Disclaimer: Please note that while this is a review written at the request of Faust International Limited, the views given above are based solely on my own experience and reflect my personal thoughts and opinions. All photographs used are sourced from Faust International Ltd. and are subject to copyright.