Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why We Love Christmas!

If there is ever a season, everyone looks forward to... Its Christmas! 

The word Christmas comes from the words Cristes maesse, or "Christ's Mass." For Christians, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and it is generally thought that the first Christmas took place in Rome in 336 A.D.

Christmas is both a holiday and a holy day. It is an important religious day for Christians. It is recognized as a major holiday all around the world.There's just something about the season, the time of year, and the atmosphere that makes Christmas an all-time favorite. For children, its double the fun... Schools are closed and a lot of activities are up to fit into the Christmas mood. For our kids at the Helen O' Grady Drama Academy, Lagos Island, these are their top reasons why they love Christmas...

1. The food is delicious and so special.

Besides fruitcakes, there are dozens of holiday treats that make their mouths water. Chicken Pies  Christmas cookies, Specially made rice and spicy fried chicken included... these are things they look forward to every year.

2. The decorations are  fantastic.
Lets face it: nothing can beat the loaded window displays, the ribbons and garlands around streets, the glittering lights of various colors and doilies, and nativity scenes, and the Christmas trees...! making everything so magical. 

3. ...Presents.
Need We say more? The best gifts each year is usually around Christmas.

4. Family comes together.
Christmas is one of the most popular times in the year where they get to see their extended family, the grandparents,aunts, uncles, cousins who usually lavish them with gifts and attention.

5. Nativity plays
And Lastly our kids say Christmas also afford them the opportunity to bring their drama skills to use because different nativity plays that depict the origin of Christmas, what it stands for, as well as other related plays are usually staged and need we say it... they usually take center stage! Lights... Camera... Action!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015


INSIDE OUT WITH DRAMA - Focusing on their emotions

By now, we all know that Drama classes help boost your child's social skills, boost their confidence in situations, but have we ever thought of one very crucial benefit that is so obvious but we never really see? Its the rein in of emotions
Drama helps us to keep in touch with all of the emotions that we haven't necessarily been able to feel or express.

In Drama classes , during dramatic plays,  the children are usually in one character or the other, these characters more often than not, portray different emotions. In  our drama classes, at the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy, Lagos Island,we teach children how to bring out the right emotion that goes in line with each character, the context in which to show which emotion, and more importantly, how to pull back on it when it is time to do so.

Even when they are done with their drama lessons, this ability to be able to control their emotions stays with them and its becomes a very useful attribute as they grow older.


In our drama classes, they will be taught how to:

  • Develop an ability to read other people's emotions
  • Develop an ability to identify and to express one's own feelings or emotions
  • Receive permission to have a wide range of feelings
  • Build a vocabulary of words for naming feelings

Open up the advantages of letting your child into the world of drama where they will learn how to master their emotions by registering with us at the Helen O Grady Drama Academy, Lagos Island. Classes for the year 2016 starts 2nd week of January 2016. Our Drama studio is at Ocean Parade Gym, Banana Island, Ikoyi, Lagos Nigeria: Classes are on Saturdays,4 - 8 yr olds: 9am - 10am, 9 years old & above: 10am - 11am. We'll be expecting you!

Friday, October 2, 2015

High Energy Drama

We all have them, or at least have heard of them… very expressive children popularly known as Drama Queens or Kings. These are children whose emotional reactions are disproportionate in intensity to the situation.

Now having a dramatic child is not so bad. They are usually really fun, quite likeable. They are so great when it comes to anything active in the classroom. They really go that extra mile because it’s something they get excited about. They want to interact. They are the memorable children. They respond to life’s every turn with drama, drama, drama. HOWEVER sometimes they can be overly dramatic, giving outbursts as well as high level energy at the odd time.

You love your child dearly of course but the drama is well, something else. What’s a creative, doting parent to do? Get that child into drama class of course!
At Helen O’ Grady Drama Academy, Lagos Islands, our work is to channel that energy and not squelch it.
It may be that your drama queen or king is destined to be a performer. By channeling this dramatic energy to the stage, your child will have a direction in which to channel his or her big emotions.

Drama exists in every part of our lives… some just express it more readily. If you have a dramatic child, help him or her channel those dramatic tendencies with the Helen O’ Grady approach to Drama. And then, perhaps make a room on your shelf for a world class movie award in the near future.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Drama Does This to You!

‘The world is a global village’…

We all can’t count how many times we have heard that phrase, but really, with the growing trends happening all around us, the world literally, has turned into a tiny global village where it takes just a nanosecond to talk to anyone ... anywhere. With this, the need to be able to communicate more articulately and with confidence cannot be wished away anymore and good oratory skills is one of the many benefits that learning drama gives to your child.

At the Helen O' Grady Drama Academy, Lagos Island, we teach your child to:
  • Learn a wide range of appropriate ways of communicating. They learn to project their voice and to speak words clearly.
  • Learn the importance of empathy, as it allows them to experience how someone else thinks and acts.
  • Promote their imagination. Imagination gives life excitement. It keeps things interesting. Everyone needs imagination, even our top scientists!

Yes, learning drama will give these benefits to your child and the best part of it all is that it will stay with them long into adulthood.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

When is it too early to learn?

Researchers say there's reason to believe music stimulates your infant's brain, dance helps develop motor skills, and drama teaches emotions and problem solving.

"The arts are a thinking tool, a way for children to communicate understanding and misunderstandings and confront them," says Margie Carter, an early childhood specialist who has co-authored many books, including Training Teachers: A Harvest of Theory and Practice. 

"If you turn an idea into a drawing or sculpture, you can figure out things you'd never figure out if you just try to explain. The purpose of the arts goes way beyond creativity and imagination."
Exposure to the arts is a critical school readiness component.

School is so much more than reading, writing and arithmetic, acting can help children learn about self-control, empathy or even bullying. It is a way to problem solve, to learn to deal with frustrations, conflict resolving and social situations.

Drama and storytelling are good ways to help increase a child's vocabulary, A 3-year-old can get up and act like an animal; other children can describe what they see. And a child who is performing must remember what step comes first. It enhances mental organization.

Music, as well as the visual arts, drama and dance, give us insight into the way a child's mind works, They show us what kids understand. We should build upon those as another form of literacy.

The answer to the question is, never.

Culled from

Thursday, April 2, 2015

DRAMA & YOUR KIDS by Tamo Iruene

Where else can you find chefs, nurses, police officers, office workers, super heroes, teachers, karate instructors, and bus drivers all happily working side-by-side?

The truth is, in the midst of creating a restaurant together, clomping around in grown-up shoes, or twirling around with friends in a fairytale land, children are learning to solve problems, coordinate, cooperate, and think flexibly.

Pretending is important in child development.

Through drama children get to learn about the world and ultimately, themselves. They experiment with role playing and work to make sense out of what they've observed. Just watch children playing with dolls to see examples of this. Dolls often become versions of the child herself and are a safe way for children to express new ideas and feelings.

Have you ever witnessed children pretending to visit the doctor? One child dutifully holds the mock stethoscope as the others line up for a check-up. More often than not someone gets ‘the dreaded injection’. This is a child’s way of exploring an experience that is common and sometimes confusing or scary.

This is where we come in, at Helen O'Grady, we have the ability to harness the inherent skills in your child and positively direct them to a healthy outlet for expression.

Children develop important complex social and higher order thinking skills when playing pretend.

Drama is much more than simple play activities; it requires advanced thinking strategies, communication, and social skills. Through Drama, children learn to do things like negotiate, consider others perspectives, transfer knowledge from one situation to another, delay gratification, balance their own ideas with others, develop a plan and act on it, explore symbolism, express and listen to thoughts and ideas, assign tasks and roles, and synthesize different information and ideas. In this creative play description, we could just as easily be describing the skills needed to successfully manage a work project for an adult.

If your children are not yet registered…well…what are you waiting for?

Contact a Helen O’Grady official today at the SPAN office, 13 Davis street, Marina, Lagos or call our numbers: 08091900700 or 08091900600 for more information

Someone will always be happy to attend to you.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Interview with Sarah Boulos on SPAN@10 by Tamo Iruene

When a web search is conducted of organizations that support youth, dozens of websites will lead you to resources for enterprise, entrepreneurship and even football.  But what of the youth whose experience in sports leads them to feelings of failure? Or those that can never create anything with their hands to save their lives?
Do the same web search of organizations in the performing arts and find…. very, very little. 
A vibrant Theatre Arts presence in a community brings other benefits as well.  It can bring in tourism  - and a steady cash flow to business owners.

The Society for The Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN), a performing arts institution that combines Nigerian cultural traditions with world-class training, creating a platform to nurture and release creative potential in art, dance and music has been in existence for 10 years.

10 years that have not been without their challenges, their highs and their memorable moments.

Sarah Boulos in her capacity as Founder and Chairman of The Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria has trained and or contributed to over five hundred individuals in the professional field. SPAN has showcased and partnered with over 100 NGO’s and Mission work as well as provided on a yearly basis over thirty jobs in the entertainment industry.

In a No Holds Barred interview with Mrs. Boulos, she had this to say

Why did SPAN start?
Because it was needed and I was ready to serve and today the industry is soaring with professional performing artists hired and owning private businesses. SPAN, BORN OUT of a GOD GIVEN VISION IS PURPOSE DRIVEN AND PURPOSE DRIVEN MISSION are ignited because of a need and the need is to educate and present performing artists  to provide them with job opportunities and present their art and for children to develop themselves in an area of education that is missing in Nigeria.

Was it difficult being accepted by Nigerians?
It was when we first started but not as much now because the Nigerian community can now see the benefits of the performing arts and what it brings to the community, like new job opportunities , a better and healthier lifestyle, a creative energy in the economy, a positive outlook on our city and A reduction in the poverty line.

What challenges did you face?
To build awareness and educate the audience that this project is very much needed in our society and industry.
At the beginning, banks did not take me seriously and now they are hiring and sponsoring my student programs. Fundraising was also a major challenge and now it’s a lot easier, people are considering sponsoring the arts!!

What is different now…from 10 yrs ago?
Because the industry has opened partly due to our work there is more hope to see a performing art center built and a place for young people to learn and develop themselves and pursue their career in the performing arts because of our success stories in the Industry.


Do you regret any of the decisions you made then?
No, only when I get tired and desire to quit then a young child gives me a flower or I receive an encouraging word from one of my students then I know how precious and needed my services are.

What would you do things differently if you had the chance?
Yes I would, in certain areas of communication and who I partner with but in general the journey is necessary in every dream as we must learn lessons in order to grow

What does SPAN @ 10 mean to you in a nutshell?
A place where our citizens are educated , entertained and inspired for more through the performing arts .

What do you expect the show to accomplish?
The show will reinforce our vision and the need to develop more educational programs and to build a place to accommodate students and citizens to explore the wonders of the performing arts.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Helen O'Grady, a time of learning, friendship, communion and definitely fun
Role playing, dramatizing, practice… the order of the day
 Our dedicated groomers not only ensure that your children have fun learning but that they are also kept safe when away from home
The theatre is not just about acting, a lot of work goes into making a production…like the scenes and props

Discipline can never be underrated...
  ...if the best is to emerge
Diction and elocution classes
The PROUD class of 2014

Nature walk at the Lekki Conservation Centre

  An avenue for the children to get more in tune with their environs


Swimming, a form exercise that is isn't seen as work

Your children shouldn't miss the experience

We are gearing up for an even better experience this year, don’t be left out!