Live theater seems as important as arithmetic and reading.
At first glance, children’s theater seems simple: a few exaggerated characters, brightly colored costumes and a simple plot from a children’s book. After an hour together as a family, the sights of the stage fade into memory.
Studies show that children’s theater positively affects their development. Theater increases intelligence, studies show. New perspectives allow young minds to imagine new worlds, possibilities and concepts. Live theater increases children’s tolerance and empathy for others. They read better. History comes alive before their eyes, changing their approach to social studies. Teachers have found that theater activities boost math performance. Theater entertains and enriches young people in many ways.
Here are some examples of the power of children’s theater:
Ed.com: “Studies show the arts are not frivolous. Dr. James Catterell of UCLA’s Graduate School of Education has found that regular participation in the arts improves academic achievement and standardized test scores. Students who major in the arts are more community oriented and less likely to drop out. Not just middle class kids. Despite the socio-economic background of the child, these facts remain.
“Theater encourages reading. A play can bring a fairy tale to life. Regular bookworms and reluctant readers will love this.” Part of it is that stage acting is comparable to what young people do. It’s live and the good plays are a bit “unfinished” if you will; they evolve with the audience. Static films,” commented Kim Peter Kovacs, president of Theater For Young Audiences/USA.
“Plays ignite the imagination and increase focus. Hartzell says young children may not be used to sitting still in the dark. That’s why it’s crucial. Children are not used to concentrating for an hour or an hour and a half, she explains, because of television. “Every 3-4 seconds children are looking at a new image. They love change. They don’t listen, “they say,”
HuffPost: “SF Playhouse’s Bill English argues that theater builds empathy. We can practice listening, understanding, and engaging with others who are not like us. We practice sitting, paying attention, and observing others. We are compassionate.
“Kids need it more than adults. It will be their world, so they have more time to empathize and make a difference. Buddhist Roshi Joan Halifax urges us to teach (and vote) empathy. Take your child to the theater.’
DailyMed: “Researchers tested whether live theater makes students more tolerant of others’ beliefs and emotions (empathy). The researchers acknowledge that students majoring in theater or advanced English may have been familiar with the plot and characters of Hamlet or A Christmas Carol.
However, reading or watching videos of Hamlet and A Christmas Carol could not explain the improvement in knowledge, the researchers said. “Even when we adjust for watching the movie or reading the course material, the estimated effect of winning the lottery to see the plays remains almost intact, producing a 58% standard deviation effect size for the treatment group on plot and vocabulary.” Maths and reading skills are just as important as live theatre.”
Sociology.com: “Creative drama, a highly effective way to integrate arts education into the core curriculum, improves students’ creative and critical thinking, language development, listening, comprehension, retention, collaboration, empathy and social awareness. Creative drama can bring curriculum to life and promote conceptual understanding.
“By incorporating theater into lessons, teachers can create an exploratory learning environment for themselves and their students. Arts integration promotes global intelligence, emotional literacy, new cognitive processes, and lifelong learning. In my own teaching, I have found that using theater exercises helps students learn concepts and engages them cognitively and emotionally. Creative theater is practical
and fascinating and brings the social themes to life.”
WaPo: “Teachers are integrating dance, drama and visual arts to teach academic subjects in a more engaging way. Supporters of the strategy say it reaches students who might not absorb typical classroom methods.
“Some kids struggle with abstract math. Telling stories can engage children emotionally. They have more imagination than adult acting students.”
“Participation in the arts can reduce achievement gaps.”
ArtReach’s Treasure Island picks kids. TI Treasure Island at the Rose Theatre
ArtReach Treasure Island, Eugene, Oregon
From the NAC: “Students with arts-rich experiences at school do better academically and are more active and engaged than their classmates, voting, volunteering and engaging.
“Children and teenagers in disadvantaged social and economic situations with a strong commitment to the arts performed better than their peers. In middle school, high school, and beyond, they do better academically and civically than at-risk teens without artistic backgrounds. These include grades, test scores, honor society membership, high school graduation, college enrollment and achievement, volunteerism, and school or local politics.
“At-risk teenagers or arts-intensive young adults score at or above the population average. In-school or extracurricular arts activities can help close the achievement gap among children, according to these data.”
Americansforthearts.org: “In 2014, students who took four years of arts and music in high school scored 96 points higher on the SAT than those who took half a year or less.
“The College Board recommends arts standards for high school curriculum, graduation, and college admissions.
Students with four years of art and music education scored an average of 523 on the writing test, 57 points better than those with half a year or less.
From NASEA: “Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles found that students with strong involvement in the arts did better on standardized tests.
Arts students perform better on standardized tests. High arts students watched less television, did more community service, and reported less fatigue at school.
Rose wins! Omaha’s Rose Theater The Rose Theater is one of the nation’s largest and most successful children’s theaters, known for its professional performances and arts education. American Theater magazine named The Rose a top 20 children’s theater in 2016. The Rose makes the arts accessible to all children, allowing thousands to see events and take classes each year.
70,000 people attend public performances each year, while 30,000 schoolchildren attend field trips. The theater introduces young people to traditional favorites and original productions. Pete the Cat: The Musical, Sherlock Holmes & the First Baker Street Irregular, Zen Ties, Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band and The Grocer’s Goblin & The Little Mermaid made their debut at The Rose. The Rose is where children of all ages experience theater for the first time, and we’re committed to helping them appreciate it forever.
Children benefit from the performing arts
Performers learn talent beyond standing ovations.
Julia Savakul from Scholastic
The performing arts can help young people in school. It is not a secret. Children who sing/dance/act/play are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement than their non-performing peers. They also have increased cognitive, motor and social development. But there is more. Your child’s life can be enriched through performance.