Since it’s #WDT2018 for Children & Young People, here are 6 Good Reasons Why Kids Should be exposed to Theatre
Today is World Theatre Day for Children and Young People, a date celebrated by over 100 countries which are members of the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ).
ASSITEJ unites theatres, organisations and individuals throughout the world who make theatre for children and young people. According to their website;
ASSITEJ is dedicated to the artistic, cultural and educational rights of children and young people across the globe and advocates on behalf of all children regardless of nationality, cultural identity, ability, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion.
Naturally, this brought about the question…why is Theatre for children so important? We realize that Creative expression is useful in the individual development for kids but why on earth is Theatre such a big deal? To answer this we drew together a few good reasons from around the web.
Theatre Teaches Kids Important Lessons
Whether it be a history lesson or a life lesson, a child is bound to learn something from the things they see in the shows. Theatre portrays many different types of people with many different types of lives. Observing the unique ways people experience life allows them to get a better understanding of what other people go through. Being a part of these kinds of experiences can help children view the complex world from new perspectives and frame new settings for experiencing empathy and compassion for others.
We Can See That We’re Not Alone
Shows can help teens relate to things that they are still trying to figure out; sexuality, who they are, what they want to do in the future, and more. Watching a show without being able to relate to it at all is still fun, but watching the show and thinking ‘I‘ve been there too’ is a powerful experience, no matter how old you are.
Theatre May Give Your child An Idea For Their Future
Risky? Yup. I know. Will your kid be the odd one out in the family? Maybe. Is it worth it? If your kid is happy, shouldn’t everything be worth it? So many people don’t realize that the Theatrical world is a large one, and there are way more jobs than you think there are.
It’s A Healthy Escape From The Real World
All of that schoolwork or hallway drama can stress teens out. There is nothing better than letting yourself go to perform a show or to watch one. The beautiful cushioned seats let alone should put one’s mind at ease.
It fosters Creativity, inspires fun & helps kids develop an appreciation for the Arts
As cheesy as it sounds, it’s important. Creating theatre and participating in drama classes can help young people activate the creative parts of the brain which, like a muscle, encourages that creativity to get stronger and stronger. Exposure to the performing Arts teaches young people empathy, and a willingness to embrace things in life that are new and different, rather than fearing them. You could go from plays and musicals to things which require more maturity, such as operas or the ballet. Having a strong creative side helps with problem solving and encourages children to think broadly.
It Promotes Many Life Skills, including Self-Expression
A larger sense of imagination? Check. Creativity? Check. Literacy? Check. Participating in the theatre can also give your child more co-operational skills, discipline, and even improved self-confidence as well as public speaking.he arts are a tremendous way to express yourself and theatre is no exception. Children can learn a monologue that inspires them, or sing a song from a musical that makes them happy; both activities being valid ways for children to express themselves. Additionally, playing games, day dreaming, and artistic expression are all great stress relievers. Children (or adults for that matter) can employ these under-valued skills in drama and use them as a great way to stay emotionally healthy. All of these skills are useful with any occupation, no matter if it’s the Arts or STEM!
In the words of 17 year-old Syrian winner of the 2017 International Children’s Right Prize, Mohamad Al Jounde,
Theatre is still one of the best ways to express yourself and a mirror to show people what’s good and wrong in our world. The stage is a space where you can create your own world, where you can feel your dreams coming to life.
It teaches teamwork
When we hear the word “teamwork”, we think of organized sports. However, theatre offers similar team experiences. Working together to stage a play teaches many tenets of teamwork. As a team, you must listen, work hard, and move toward a unified vision. If you don’t have your lines memorized, you will let other actors down. If you’re not paying attention, you may lose the pace of the show. Taking part in drama classes or being involved in a community production helps young people learn to work as a team to attain goals, and as we all know, being able to work well in a team is an important skill in every-day life.
Many plays are based on famous books or moments from history. Watching a performance that focusses on history or literature is a great way to bring important events or ideas to life. Often, a child’s first experience with an adaptation of literature is through a secondary medium. Theatre can be a great way to introduce them to classic fairy tales, short stories, and even poetry.
In conclusion, a few questions from Mo Willems, an Author, illustrator, playwright and you guessed it former child. We hope we’ve managed to answer them. Happy Theatre Week, e sure to take the little ones out!
Why would you, of all people, take a kid to see “children’s theatre”?
Don’t you have better things to do than watch a bunch of adults, who are usually so serious and dull, being silly or loud or sad or ridiculous just to amaze a kid you love? I mean, who wants to be transported into a world of imagination and story? Who wants to experience characters and emotions that are both otherworldly and completely relatable? Do you really need the magic, the transformative magic of a live performance, in your life? Is seeing that magic through a child’s eyes right for you? Let’s get real here: do you like creating memories that will be the springboard for future play in a young person you love?
That sounds amazing.
When you’re snuggled in your seats and the curtain rises, know that you’ll see more than just a show; you will experience a new, special connection with a child who is special to you.
Oh, and that kid will probably have fun, too.