From the outset, it doesn’t have to be X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent, but for a child to step out of his or her comfort zone and ‘perform’, if only for a few moments, takes real guts. Even the shyest child can experience the feeling of ‘shining’ if they’re given the opportunity to command the stage and deliver just a few lines or actions. Children are far less inhibited than adults, so the more those skills are practiced, the more confident they become. Kids love dressing up, having their faces painted, singing, making masks and putting on funny voices – they’re natural born performers. Up and down the country these little performers have parents and grandparents reaching for the tissues and welling up with pride.
2. Creative Thinking and Problem-Solving
Being able to approach a problem from a different angle, or with unique abilities is a true life skill. Thinking on your feet, asking questions, taking notes, adapting movement, adjusting inflection, and trying everything again in a fresh way makes us more creative when we’re tackling other areas in life. It makes us limber mentally and emotionally, and gives us options onstage and off.
3. A Broad Human Perspective
Much of theatre revolves around the script, choices on stage, character motivations, and human interactions. We delve into the human condition and strive to understand others through their own lenses. Human behaviour and psychology are central to crafting our characters and portraying their social interactions onstage. We also read many scripts, and experience different historical eras, dance styles, and musical styles. We learn to sympathise, empathise and understand humanity every day, and this helps us when we interact in the real world.
4. Follow Through
Deadlines, professionalism and quality control are integral parts to every production, both on and off stage. The perseverance required by the theatre makes us stronger people in our personal lives. Opening Night never goes away, and every audience is new, so our practice and performance has to remain solid for the run. The world needs and expects resilient people who step up and make it happen. In other words, ‘The show must go on!’
The very nature of theatre is people working towards a common goal, which is telling a story in a certain way. You can’t escape the team nature of theatre (and sometimes there’s drama that should have been left on the stage), but teamwork is also one of the things we love best about performance! The social fun, interaction, and energy of the cast and crew make those inevitable difficult times more than worth it, and this teaches us to push through problems and conflicts by seeing the big picture, which is the team goal.
6. The Ability to Work Under Pressure
Live audiences! Technical glitches! Lack of sleep! And yet, we learn to thrive under pressure, when needed, by performing. We learn that challenges often bring out the best in us, and we learn that nervous ‘butterflies’ are a sign of life and energy that we can harness. We start to appreciate the adrenaline, the anticipation, and the rush of the stage. We become stronger people by surviving the obstacles and moving forward every day in the theatre.
7. Sheer Enjoyment
Passion for the scripts and collaboration with a team that you care about is fun for those who choose theatre. We learn to bring texts to life. We learn to live in the moment. We learn to improvise when necessary. We inhabit our characters each night on stage. We dance and sing, and call cues, and create something. We face setbacks, but if it wasn’t sheer enjoyment to create and make and perform, we wouldn’t keep choosing this highly demanding work. We find our passion in the theatre. And at the end of every exhausting day, we push forward, for the love of our craft.
If you’d like to find out more about getting your kids involved in the performing arts, sign up to GoMunkee and we’ll let you know what’s happening close to you.