Be open to children dabbling in performing arts, parents told

National 2 minutes, 4 seconds

BRUNEI-MUARA

PARENTS should show openness towards their children who intend to dabble in the performing arts such as theatre and not regard it as a waste of time, as it will change their children for the better, said a coach at SEEDS, a student drama society.

Nurulhusna Hj Noordeen said she has seen students who were initially really shy and unable to speak fluently change over time after joining SEEDS, which stands for Students’ Extracurricular and Educational Dramatic Society.

“They used to normally keep to themselves. But after joining us for a year or two, we see that they’ve actually blossomed.

“We see those who don’t initially have any self-confidence who are now more comfortable on stage, speaking in front of the public,” she said on the sidelines of a ‘SEEDS 7 Theatre Sports’ programme at the Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre yesterday.

Some of the students now even work related part-time jobs outside, such as emceeing gigs, she added.

“They’re essentially training their confidence for free (by joining SEEDS),” Nurulhusna pointed out.

She acknowledged that many people, particularly in Brunei, still “do not see much” in performing arts and theatre.

“The (local) creative industry, in that sense, is still considered low. But SEEDS has been going on for about seven years now, and word is spreading about us through our Instagram and Twitter accounts as well as through parents’ word-of-mouth to other parents,” Nurulhusna said.

Nurulhusna said parents were always invited during registration days at the beginning of each year so that they could attend briefings on what the SEEDS programmes were all about - what they could expect of it as well as their children’s participation in it for the year.

Annual SEEDS programmes typically consist of four sessions a year (during school holidays), culminating in an end-of-year theatre production, she said.

“We even have sit-down sessions with parents to discuss any enquiries they might have. Most parents are often worried, for example, about things like safety or whether their children will be fed. And these things will be explained to them,” she said.

According to Nurulhusna, any students who want to join the programmes will have to obtain signed agreements from their parents.

Prospective SEEDS programme participants must be between 16 and 21 years old and also be either upper secondary school students from government schools or studying at tertiary colleges.

Nurulhusna said SEEDS end-of-year productions, with a multi-night run, typically saw attendance of some 200 people per night.

The Brunei Times