Theatre makes you a better person...


Drama enables students to extend their understanding of the world, develop their imaginations and see things from a range of different viewpoints.

No matter who your child is or what their interests are, there are 5 key reasons why being involved with theatre makes your child a better person.

1. She is Discovering Real Talents

Theatre is a multidisciplinary art form. Successful theatre productions at every level from Broadway to after school drama club to your backyard are dependent on a group of diverse people with diverse talents coming together towards one common goal. Theatre needs performers and directors and writers and designers and musicians. Theatre needs people who are strong leaders and marketers and managers and financial decision makers. There is a place for everyone in the theatre and being involved can help your kid discover just where she fits into the big picture.

2. He is learning Collaborative Problem Solving

When you have all of these diverse kids coming together towards one common goal, there will inevitably be hundreds, even thousands of "good ideas." And all of these ideas have to somehow create one play that the audience will understand and enjoy. According to the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning, there are 5 core areas of competency in social/emotional learning; self-awareness; self management; social awareness; relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. Theatre offers the ideal playground for children and youth to practice and strengthen these competencies. Being involved in a theatrical production means:

  •  Constantly negotiating how and when to contribute or not contribute your ideas to the group
  •  Bouncing back when you don't get the part you want or your idea does not make it into the play
  •  Handling your emotions when you have received some tough feedback or you are tired and frustrated during a long rehearsal or you are nervous about opening night or one of your parents can't make it to the play
  •  Handling disagreements when someone thinks the play should go in one direction and you think it should go in another direction
  •  Overcoming the inevitable mistakes that are made -- lines are forgotten, cues are missed, sets fall down, costume pieces don't hold up -- deciding they are not the end of the world and figuring out how to learn from these mistakes

3. She is learning to Respect Differences

Theatre can bring you all around the world and back again. In my years of theatre, I have personally visited every continent, gone back and forth in time, and landed on planets yet to be discovered by NASA. Stories can take us anywhere we want to go without ever leaving the stage. On a theatrical expedition, we are required to enact and embody characters, ideas, and situations that are outside of our own experiences, our own comfort zones. When your kid takes on the stories and ideas of others, she is in the process of understanding life outside of themselves, their families, their towns. In learning how to appreciate and respect people who are different from them, kids are preparing to better navigate all areas of their life, work and play.

4. He is learning to Succeed Academically

A wide range of research has shown that involvement in theatre strengthens students reading and writing skills. Through dramatic play, very young children are learning the building blocks of language development necessary to make them stronger oral and written communicators. School age children engaged in theatre are learning to comprehend, recall, and restate what they are reading; how to ask critical questions for clarification and deeper comprehension; memorization and problem solving skills; elements of story for creative and non-fiction writing; and speaking in front of others. One study even shows that, as high school students read and analyse difficult dramatic texts such as Shakespeare, they are improving their ability to analyse all types of difficult materials including math and science texts. Through their involvement in theatre, not only are your kids learning interesting facts, they are really learning how to learn.

5. She is Making Great Friends

The friends your child will make in the theatre are some of the best friends they will ever have. We all know that the folks who are closest to us are the ones who have seen us at our best and our worst and have stuck by us after it's all said and done. Being involved with theatre will give your kids a chance to "go through it" with a group of people; tackling a difficult project and coming out the other side so proud of what they have achieved together. It is similar to winning the championship game or travelling in a foreign land. The work is challenging but so rewarding. It teaches you more about yourself and the other people who are on the journey with you. It teaches you how to support each other on and off the stage.

Don't worry if you think she might not "make it" as an actor. Give her the chance to be part of the show. I promise you, you will see your kid becoming more confident in his abilities, stronger in his social, emotional, and academic skills, and just an overall better friend.

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