Watching stage shows can be enlightening, but performing yourself is an entirely different learning experience. 'When you speak to people, you can tell the difference between someone who has performed and someone who hasn't,' says Brian Chiu See-yee, a former drama student. 'Learning drama helped me develop as a person.' This is why Hong Kong is slowly beginning to introduce drama into the primary and secondary school curriculum. Hong Kong has long had a soft spot for drama. Cantonese opera is an eternal favourite. When High School Musical 3 debuted, it went straight to No 1 at the local box office. All student tickets have sold out for the upcoming production of Cats. And around 1,520 students enrol every year at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. William Yip Shun-him, artistic director of educational theatre company Theatre Noir, says drama gives students confidence at a young age. It also encourages communication and working with people they don't know. 'In the real world, you don't choose who you work with or who you work for,' he says. 'The same applies in drama class.' Drama can also help students improve their English. 'It can help [people] enunciate and articulate,' says Mr Yip. This is especially useful for Hong Kong youngsters who might happily read and write English, but are nervous about speaking it. Those who enjoy learning drama will start to enjoy learning the language. 'Drama students will be motivated to question words they do not understand,' says Mr Yip. 'Language learning will be authentic. It will be natural.' Mr Chiu says skills learned from drama help in all areas of life, especially work. 'In terms of presentation, you get used to speaking in public,' he says. 'You just get more accustomed to taking the stage.' Theatre Noir is pairing up with the faculty of business administration at Chinese University to host a summer camp called I Can Make A Change. It will use drama to develop leadership skills. It is rare to find an educational activity so enjoyable. Students learn almost without realising. 'Parents have said to me their kids don't like going to school,' says Mr Yip, 'but they like drama class.'