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Theater in Education 2018-01-13T21:01:57+00:00

We’re Not Just About Movies

There are two areas of focus for our organization.

  1. Offer opportunities for residents to experience the wonders of film that cannot be found from major motion studios.
  2. Raise funds and awareness for the Shenandoah County Public School System where the money would be used for theater/drama-related programming.

This page is to provide additional background as to why theater/drama-related programming is important for the academic and personal development of our next generation.

With the help of the Shenandoah County Public School District administration, we reached out to two teachers who focus on this area. These are their responses to our questions.

NOTE: Thanks to a friend from the Hedgerow Theatre Company for helping me develop these questions.

What kind of an impact can theatre have on a child’s ability to connect with others?

Drama also helps students develop TOLERANCE and EMPATHY. In order to play a role competently, an actor must be able to fully inhabit another’s soul. An actor must be able to really understand how the world looks through another person’s eyes. This does not mean he must agree with every character. An actor can play Hitler without becoming a Nazi. But he cannot play Hitler without understanding his point of view, without empathy. In today’s increasingly polarized and intolerant culture, the ability to understand others’ motives and choices is critical. Drama can help build responsible global citizens.

Theatre gives students the unique experience of connecting with others in a positive, safe, and creative environment. Students gain effective communication skills while working collaboratively. They learn what it means to respect and support each other. Students also gain a sense of self-reflection and empathy, and as such, have more meaningful connections in their everyday life. They not only connect with each other in their class, but also play a role in their community.

How does performance affect confidence; can it bring someone out of their shell?

Students who have participated in Dramatic activities are less likely to have difficulty SPEAKING IN PUBLIC, will be more PERSUASIVE in their communications, both written and oral, will be better able to put themselves into others’ shoes and relate to them, and will have a more POSITIVE, CONFIDENT SELF IMAGE.

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Performance definitely can bring someone out of their shell. Receiving a role, onstage or backstage, can empower an individual. They learn how to be responsible and to work hard because it is not only working for yourself, but for the ensemble as a whole. By creating a safe environment for students and introducing acting skills effectively, every student has the potential to thrive. If they find themselves more inclined to work behind the scenes, backstage roles such as stage manager or prop manager, can foster leadership and organizational skills.

[/fusion_text]Here is a quote from a student who was asked this question in class: “It can give you more experience in speaking in front of people, and letting you know you can be noticed.”

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What value do theater skills have in the “real” world?

There are many skills that a student learns in theatre that translates to the “real” world. Theatre encourages confidence and effective communication by working with others in a creative environment. Students also learn about time management. Memorizing lines or building props are just two examples that students manage before performing a production, and it is up to the students to complete these tasks. Students can learn certain practical skills such as working with tools to build a set. Students can also learn about marketing and managerial aspects involved in production.

Performance definitely can bring someone out of their shell. Receiving a role, onstage or backstage, can empower an individual. They learn how to be responsible and to work hard because it is not only working for yourself, but for the ensemble as a whole. By creating a safe environment for students and introducing acting skills effectively, every student has the potential to thrive. If they find themselves more inclined to work behind the scenes, backstage roles such as stage manager or prop manager, can foster leadership and organizational skills.
Here is a quote from a student who was asked this question in class: “It can give you more experience in speaking in front of people, and letting you know you can be noticed.”

Here is a quote from a student who was asked this question:

“If you do theater and you’re in front of people, so if you have to make a speech for your job you won’t really be scared to talk in front of people anymore.”

Would you say that theatre engenders teamwork? If so, could you explain further?

Students in Drama will learn to WORK TOGETHER, to cooperate, to find the best way for each member of a group to contribute, and to listen to and accept the viewpoints and contributions of others. NO ART FORM IS MORE TRULY COLLABORATIVE. Drama is an important tool for preparing students to live and work in a world that is increasingly TEAM-ORIENTED rather than hierarchical.

Absolutely! Teamwork is the recipe for success. In theatre, the students work together to create a production. It is important to know how to be a team player, especially within the context of staging a play. Everyone has to do their specific job well – from lighting board operator, to ensemble actor, to stage manager. It’s the job of the director to bring the team together and keep everyone on task. Even if you have students who dislike one another, if they’re on the same page for the intended outcome, they can be effective team players.

Moment(s) where you, as a teacher is succeeding with a student

One question encouraged an educator to submit student-responses. Student’s names are not identified in these responses, and frankly, these comments best exemplify the importance of theater.

Thank You

Thank you for showing me how to think bigger, how to be a better actress than I thought possible. Thank you for the criticism and the encouragement. The things you have taught me, I will carry throughout my lifetime.

Singing/Performance

I remember that day when you were helping me for almost an hour with many theatre songs… when singing I saw how much you actually believed in me. … you have taught me many things that I wouldn’t have known … I would have never sang on stage in front of my peers …. you pushed me and I did it….I never truly pictured myself being successful because I’ve always been told that I can’t do something because of how I look or how I am. You change how I view theatre and even myself.

Beautiful Sound

Ever since I watched The Sound Of Music with my grandmother, I wanted to be on Broadway. … Years later, with the news of auditions for a musical coming up, I had to grab the opportunity. …
I remember calling my mom immediately after the cast list was posted, probably screaming her ear off. I remember running around the house, stubbing my toe on the furniture, yet still feeling nothing but glee. … I never knew that stage presence could have that impact on someone.

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