Set the stage for your expat kids

Drama can be a wonderful outlet for expat kids (and their parents) and don’t worry – even in the midst of a lockdown, all your family needs is a corner of the living room and a little imagination.

A universal language

“The beauty of drama is that it’s a universal language. It can bring people together, perhaps during Covid-19 not quite in the same way!” says Natasha Rekhi, a drama coach, who has worked with kids in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. During the pandemic, Natasha has used her Instagram page to share ideas to help families get creative at home.

Homemade productions

“Drama can be a real stress buster for everyone, especially when you’re all going through a period of transition or dealing with a level of uncertainty as we all are now,” says Natasha, who adds that you don’t need a background in theatre to use drama as a tool at home (and you don’t need to compete with Broadway). “All you really need is one corner in your living room. It’s not the space but what’s in the space that is important. Most of all, drama is a way to have some fun.”

A family production

“The production side of theatre is very hands-on and children often enjoy the process of making masks, costumes, creating dialogue, building sets more than the end product,” says Natasha. “You can make a ‘stage’ out of cereal boxes and create costumes out of old clothes. But you can also pick up a favourite book and just read it in a funny voice. That’s still performing.”

Join the show

“Simply playing with one’s child is a great way to start off the creative process together. Don’t just tell kids what to do – get down there and play with them! Act out real life scenarios like going shopping, going out for coffee or going to a library. Often kids will take the lead and parents can play a supporting role to encourage them to keep the creative process flowing,” says Natasha, who agrees that drama is also a conveniently portable and durable tool. So whether you’re dealing with relocation, repatriation, lockdown, or just looking to entertain yourselves at home on a rainy day, why not get over your stage fright and get a little bit of home theatre going. In times of stress, even a game of charades can be cathartic.

This article was originally published for the thousands of expat partners that Global Connection supports around the globe. It is reproduced here in its original form.

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