For more than 15 years I have worked in the field of theatre for and with youth as a professional director, educator, and administrator. From my time earning my MFA in theatre for young audiences, to my work in theatre education in Orlando, Kansas City, and now in Denver at the Mizel Arts and Culture Center, I have had the pleasure to see first-hand the transformative nature of theatre. Whether participating in a creative drama, playmaking, or skill building class or taking the stage in a performance workshop or mainstage production, youth who participate in theatre create friendships, find pride in their artistic accomplishment, and develop as caring and compassionate citizens. Whether your child dreams of singing and dancing on Broadway or conducting experiments in a lab, here are 5 ways all youth benefit from summer theatre camp.
1. Creative Problem Solving
Theatre challenges artists to do the impossible. How do we turn a frog turning into a prince? Convince our audience that an ordinary box is a rocket ship? Or, share the story of a character much older than ourselves? Professional actors mentor youth and facilitate learning by identifying the key elements of a story and devising creative solutions to create original short plays, and engaging interpretive performances.
2. Listening and Reacting
Truly developing skills in communication has become a lost art as days become increasingly busy and filled with digital consumption. The core of acting lies in listening to your partner, providing eye contact, and reacting. Our classes utilize warm ups and activities that hone in on the challenge, focus and fun of active listening. Developing this skill, provides students with a head start both on stage, and in their future careers.
Theatre can only be accomplished through working together as a team! Youth who participate in theatre classes have an increased ability to adapt to change, and to discover how to say “Yes AND” when working to achieve a goal.
4. Stage Presence through Self Esteem
Through encouragement, technique building, and repetition during rehearsal our students gain confidence in themselves and their ability to tell stories. This increased self-esteem will carry with them as they go back to school and present class projects, read in front of a class, and perform speeches.
5. Character Development
We teach students to harness the actor’s tools of body, voice, face, and imagination in order to create characters that will make you laugh and cry. But, we don’t just mean character development for the stage. Youth who participate in drama and theatre develop skills in empathy and true grit, allowing them to move forward in the face of adversity with passion and a commitment to supporting their fellow players.
So, be sure to have your child spend their summer with the MACC Wolf Theatre Academy!