7 Reasons to Take Kids to Theatre Performances
Many people enjoy the theatre for simple entertainment value, and it is true that excellent theatre has a transportive quality that can help you forget your troubles for a few hours. What you might not realize, though, is what a unique and immersive learning experience theatre can be for all ages, and especially for children. Here are 7 reasons that taking kids to theatre performances can genuinely enrich their lives.
Better Performance in School
Studies show that kids who are involved in the arts as participants or spectators actually do better in school. They are also more involved in community service activities, and they are less likely to drop out. Neuroscience tells us that to achieve maximum potential, both hemispheres of the brain must be consistently stimulated. Just like scientific activities exercise the left brain, the arts exercise the right brain. With arts classes rapidly disappearing from schools, it is up to families to ensure that kids get the right brain stimulation they need.
The modern corporate world is fiercely competitive and, increasingly, candidates with “soft skills” are highly sought after in every industry. Whatever field your child is interested in, creative thinking is critical to his or her success. Watching theatrical performances teaches kids to think creatively and analyze topics in a whole new way.
Our lives are becoming more global and more interconnected with each passing day, but many people struggle with how to relate to others who are not like them. Theatre immerses audiences in stories about people (and creatures!) from every conceivable walk of life. Through live theatre, kids get a true behind the scenes glimpse of cultures from all time periods and all corners of the globe. Stepping into someone else’s shoes and seeing their point of view gives kids a whole new sense of empathy and appreciation for those who are dissimilar from themselves.
Modern films and television shows rely on quick cuts and constantly changing images to keep those with short attention spans hooked. Good live theatre is highly engaging, but it uses relatively static sets and long scenes to bring its stories to life. Attending theatre performances teaches kids to slow down, sit still, and pay attention for an hour or more at a time.
Building a Moral Compass
As adults, we are all expected to follow our own values and moral compass. Yet kids are just learning what all the different possibilities are, and trying out novel ways of handling difficult situations. Theatre performances take on tough problems and demonstrate a seemingly endless number of ways to navigate them. Seeing what works and what doesn’t on the stage gives kids a safe space to experiment with their own values, ultimately building the moral foundation that will serve them throughout their lives.
New Communication Skills
Communication is another “soft skill” that is highly prized in the modern business world. Whether your child becomes a retail clerk or a CEO, he or she will need to be able to communicate clearly with others. Theatre performances teach clear communication, and demonstrate the problems that can arise from miscommunication. Theatre also expands kids’ vocabularies and introduces them to new ways of communicating such as song and dance.
Imagination is absolutely essential to a child’s work: thinking, playing, learning, and developing. Theatre is arguably one of the best possible places to fire up a child’s imagination. Watching comedies, dramas, and musicals unfold sparks children to imagine themselves in the roles of the characters, to imagine possible sequels, and to imagine what their own lives could become someday. Remember: every single thing that was ever invented first existed in someone’s imagination.
Ready to Have Some Fun?
If you and your family are ready to enjoy the oldest continuously operating professional summer theatre in New York State, contact the Forestburgh Playhouse today at 845-794-1194 for more information or to buy tickets.