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You know I am all about this. Youth theatre has saved many a child, including me. I have never known it not to impact someone’s life.
I am hoping this post will be helpful to parents.
Those of us who work in youth theatre can give you countless reasons why your child should be involved in theatre.
Read this post from a Litpick.com article I penned for them.
How Theater for Young People Could Save the World
By Loren Gunderson of the Huffington Post
Some of you might be thinking, “Oh lord, why do we need a day to
celebrate actors being silly, wearing bright colors and singing obnoxiously
at squirming kiddos and bored parents?”
But if you think that’s what Theatre for Young People is,
you’re missing out on truly powerful, hilarious, bold, engaging,
surprising theater that might just save the world.
Around the world artists are creating a new stripe of
Theatre for Young People that combines the elegance of dance,
the innovation of devised theater, the freshness of new plays,
the magnetism of puppetry and the inciting energy of new
Kids have access to more and more mature theatrical
visions premiering from Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center
These plays range from re-imagined fairy tales and adaptations
of favorite books to brand-new plays and electric new musicals
about everything from physics to bullying to the American Civil War.
But how could theater, especially theater for young people,
really matter in a world as fraught and disparity-scattered as ours?
Not to sound overly grand (too late), but so much of the toxicity
in this world comes from a collective draining of empathy.
We don’t understand each other, and we don’t want to.
But theater invites us — no, forces us — to empathize.
As my friend Bill English of San Francisco’s SF Playhouse says,
theater is like a gym for empathy. It’s where we can go to build up
the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding
and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves.
We practice sitting down, paying attention and learning from
other people’s actions. We practice caring.
Kids need this kind of practice even more than adults do.
This is going to be their planet and they’ve got more time to apply
that empathy and make a difference. Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax
challenges us to actively and specifically teach
children (and vote for presidents with) empathy.
Why not take your child to the theater to do just that.
In fact “Take A Child to the Theatre Today” is the campaign theme
for the next three years.
If you take a child to the theater, not only will they practice empathy,
they might also laugh uproariously, or come home singing about science,
or want to know more about history, or tell you what happened at
school today, or spend all dinner discussing music, or learn how to
handle conflict, or start becoming future patrons of the arts.
On March 20th, take a child to the theater. Take them all the time.
And don’t “sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.” Lean forward, engage
and start changing the world for the better.
Theatre for Children– a great place to live.
What youth theatre company have you attended? There are many good programs in the country. I’ve love to hear your thoughts about youth theatre.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DeborahBaldwin.net