If you have a child with a flair for the dramatic, who loves to sing and dance, or wants to be part of a team without playing sports, theater may be the answer you are looking for. Participating in theater can expose kids to music, arts, culture, teamwork and more. Most of the benefits of participating in theater help them in school now, as well as in the future when they enter college and later the workforce. Here are the top five reasons that kids should give theater a try.
Teamwork There are so many different functions that go into a theater production – actors, musicians, sound technicians, set building, backstage hands, costume design and more. The entire group must work as a team to bring the production together, which is no small task. Kids will learn about teamwork in a whole new way by participating in theater. Another great benefit is that they will most likely build some friendships along the way.
Communication Kids will learn confidence in public speaking, voice projection, memorization of lines and how to confidently carry themselves in front of a crowd. Kids gain confidence by meeting the challenge of performing in front of others, and achieving the goal of a successful production with the support of their fellow cast members and production directors.
Empathy As kids examine how the characters they play in the production respond and react emotionally to situations, they naturally learn empathy for others. This is a great skill to have in life because it helps kids relate to others, care for friends and understand why people react the way they do in a variety of situations.
Responsibility Kids participating in theater will have to memorize their lines, speak them with confidence and perform them in order to contribute to the production as a whole. They will also have to maintain any other responsibilities at home, school and additional extracurricular activities. Kids will learn to prioritize, organize and be held accountable for their role in the production. These are skills that will serve them well in the future.
Cultural appreciation Theater exposes kids to literature, history, music, culture and the arts, making them more well-rounded. They will become deeply immersed in stories and times in history that they may not be exposed to any other way. These tales will truly come alive as they play roles, dress in costume and act out stories from a different time and place. Theater gives kids an opportunity to express themselves in a unique way that helps them build confidence and responsibility. They will benefit from the skills they build now and in years to come. If performing on stage is not a great fit for your child, but they still respect and enjoy the arts, suggest they contribute to the production by designing sets, running the sound booth or lights or working behind the scenes. Theater truly offers a little something for everyone.
Theater and Performing Arts Opportunities Acting for Young People afyp.org
Adventure Theatre TMTCThetrePlus.org
Alexandria Children’s Theatre ACTheatre.com
BlackRock Center for the Arts blackrockcenter.org
CenterStage Academy For The Arts Centerstageacademyforthearts.com
Saturday Morning Live! At The National Theatre (keep the A in At and T in The initial caps because that’s the way they write it) thenationaldc.com/#community-programs
Traveling Players travelingplayers.org