Every day here at CSDC, we notice our students growing and profiting from their experience at the theater. I decided to do a little research on this topic, and I was overwhelmed with all the facts and studies that I found! There are so many benefits to being involved in the performing arts.
For example, many studies have found that being involved in theater can increase school attendance and decrease the number of dropouts. Experience in a drama program can also improve reading comprehension and communication skills. In fact, students with learning disabilities can especially benefit from involvement in the performing arts because it can improve their academic performance and other skills.
Aside from the academic benefits, drama can help students express themselves in ways that they wouldn’t have been able to before. Some children and young adults have a hard time expressing themselves verbally and find it easier to do through physical activity and movement. The theater can help a person make sense of what they are feeling. Also, I think it is no secret that being involved in theater builds one’s self esteem immensely. A person’s confidence grows, and they become aware of their potential.
Additionally, theater involvement gives a student experience that will assist them in their future career. Whether someone wants a career involving performing, marketing, computers, or just about anything, being a part of drama gives someone a huge step in that professional direction. Performers on stage are growing in their ability to communicate and speak in front of people. In addition, students on the technical crew, set designers, light crew and sound crew show future employers that they are hard workers and can work as a team. Stage managers display their responsibility, organization, and leadership skills. Theater education can provide you with multiple ways to impress a future employer!
Who would have guessed that drama can be great exercise? Plus, think about how strong your lungs become when you are singing or projecting your voice on stage!
Okay, so I’m sure some of you are reading this thinking, “Performing arts is just not for me.” That’s okay, we all have different interests! But good news! There are also benefits to just watching theater performances!
When it comes to watching comedies, laughing does wonders for your mental and emotional health. It reduces stress and can boost your immune system. It promotes positive thinking instead of negative thinking. But even if the performance is not a comedy, you can still benefit from watching it. I mentioned before how theater helps actors make sense of their emotions, but it has a similar effect on the audience. When watching a performance, audience members often use emotions that are frequently neglected. This is because an audience member can feel bonded to the characters and feel emotions along with them. They might even relate them to their own lives. Many studies have shown that people who watch live performances have a stronger ability to comprehend and empathize than people who, for instance, saw the movies instead.
I’ve always thought that the performing arts had the ability to captivate people, especially if done well. All of this just shows how beneficial the theater really is, and I see it about every time someone begins to really get involved in a theater production, especially at CSDC. They are so passionate about what they do.
Information found from:
"Benefits of Theater." WWCC. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2016. <http://www.wwcc.edu/CMS/index.php?id=1367>.
"The Effects of Theatre Education." American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE). N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2016. <http://www.aate.com/?page=effects>.
"How Can Watching Theater Benefit the Mind?" Erickson Living. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Aug. 2016. <https://www.ericksonliving.com/articles/2014/12/how-can-watching-theater-benefit-mind>.
Sivertsen, Juliette. "5 Great Ways Performing Arts Can Benefit Your Child." Washington Christian Academy. N.p., 7 Apr. 2015. Web. 14 Aug. 2016. <http://www.washingtonchristian.org/washington/5-great-ways-performing-arts-can-benefit-your-child>.