Few people will deny the fact that theater has innumerable benefits, especially people who are actively involved with the arts. It is a great stress reliever and an excellent way to meet new people who are not just a couple cubicles over in the office.
But did you know that children also benefit greatly from being in theater? In fact, many of the benefits that adults receive from acting are also applicable to children. Here are just a few reasons why you should get your youngsters up on stage.
Vital to Education
As you have no doubt witnessed, field trips, especially to watch stage productions, have become much rarer than when you were a kid. Today’s learning environment is driven by standardized tests. This means that time and resources that would have been used for field trips are now devoted to training for the next exam and drilling fundamentals.
Yet, a major study has shown that the arts are a vital part to a well-rounded education. Those who are involved with theater, music or other kinds of art perform better academically — even on standardized tests. What’s more, this study didn’t just apply to middle class children. Students from every socio-economical background performed better if they were involved with the arts.
Practically, being involved with theater enhances your child’s reading ability. After all, they need to be able to read and remember a script in order to perform well. Children become more avid readers when they are able to visualize the storyline. What better way to visualize what they read in the theater than to see it performed live?
Boosts Bravery, Creativity and Social Skills
When children are put in an environment where their ideas are not only heard, but allowed to (safely) be lived out, they become braver and more confident in their own decisions. This translates well into school and home life. Your child generally becomes more willing to try new things.
In addition, being on stage boosts creativity. As we mentioned before, being in a production allows children to see a script come to life. This aspect also increases focus. In a time when television and video games drain the attention span of adults and children alike, focusing on a performance for hours at a time does wonders for children who are unable to concentrate on anything for too long.
Being part of a local theater production also teaches children kindness and respect. Unlike semi-professional or professional companies, local theaters are not focused on perfection. Rather, their attention is on building a community and having an enjoyable time, all while allowing actors to flourish. Children pick up on this and become more open to making and correcting mistakes rather than being pushed into perfectionism.
If you are interested in getting your child involved with local theater, now is the perfect time to do so. We have a wide array of camps available this summer, from acting to clowning to improvisation. Our Production Playhouse is also great for kids who want to do more than just act. Additionally, we have options for parents to get involved this summer, including productions and private lessons. Visit our website to find out more about getting the whole family on the stage.