Taking the fear out of performance
On 23rd November, Hyatt Regency, Tashkent, was the glamorous setting for a learning event for 15 young people living with HIV. The adolescents, who all volunteer at UNICEF supported Day Care Centres in Uzbekistan, were given the chance to hone their acting skills under the tutelage of renowned Ilkhom actress Natalya Li and People’s Artist of the Republic of Uzbekistan, leading actress of the National Academic Drama Theater, Gavkhar Zakirova.
The Master class focused on voice, theatre skills and movement; the professionals coached the adolescents through a range of individual and group activities, building their confidence to perform sketches to Day Care Centre members and their families on World AIDs Day on December 1.
The children have written and rehearsed a short play with an important message for its audience; it’s about a boy who has been diagnosed with HIV who doesn’t want to take his anti-retroviral medicine. It has a happy ending though, with the support of peers and his parents, he manages to change his behavior and stay healthy and positive.
Relaxing with a juice after the involving and entertaining event, Manzura, 16, commented: “Today was a really wonderful day! I learned how to behave on stage… you need to enter the role.” Her colleague Maruf, 14, added: “The acting classes were very, very good. I really appreciate Natalya Li and Gavhar Zakirova. They prepared us well for our performance and polished any rough edges that we had. I did not think, honestly, that it would be so interesting.” Odiljon, 17, said, “I learned how to overcome my fear of the audience and get pleasure from acting on stage.”
Since it’s opening in the center of Tashkent over 3 years ago, The Hyatt Regency has hosted fund-raising events for children, proving that private enterprises can be powerful advocates for community well-being. By sharing its legendary hospitality and respectful service, the Hyatt made a welcome commitment to celebrating children’s rights.
The young people returned to the Day Care Centers invigorated with new ideas, with skills to express themselves more powerfully and make their voices heard.
This initiative was possible thanks to the kind support of UNAIDS.