A Safe Space for Empathy

 

 

 

Being dramatic is a good thing! But only if that drama is steered in the right direction.

Dramatic behaviour is generally just an outburst of emotions. If taught how to properly process and understand those emotions, children can then efficiently empathize with others emotions. According to PBS.org, “The ability to understand emotions — both your own and those of others — can positively affect self-esteem, personal relationships, career success and overall happiness.”

What is Empathy?

 Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to another’s thoughts and feelings.

From infancy, we begin to develop affective empathy, which are the feelings we get in response to another person’s emotional state. By two years old, children begin to develop cognitive empathy, which is the ability to identify and understand other people’s emotions.

Playing Pretend Builds Empathy

When playing pretend, children put themselves in the shoes of another person and begin to act like them. This includes acting out their “character’s” emotions. When taking care of a baby doll, the child pretends they are a parent. When the baby doll cries, they tend to the needs of the crying baby and try to comfort them. When the baby doll needs a diaper change, the child might make a grossed out face. It is then highly likely that when the child encounters a parent trying to comfort a baby, the child will begin to understand the emotions of the parent.

Theatre is a Safe Space for Building Empathy

It is important to give a child a safe, controlled space to experience and explore possible negative emotions. A child can safely watch an actor “bully” another actor, and because the situation is dramatized, can engage in communication to learn how both parties experienced and responded to this situation. They know the situation isn’t real, but this does not undermine the strength of the empathetic response.

Why is Empathy Important?

 Helps to build a sense of security and stronger relationships with other children and educators, positioning them well for learning

  • Encourages tolerance and acceptance of others
  • Promotes good mental health
  • Promotes social harmony and can reduce the likelihood of bullying
  • & More

Through the Drama Kids program, children can learn empathy in a fun and safe environment. Our highly trained teachers and award-winning curriculum allow students to explore emotions through student created scenes, improvisational situations, and scripted scenes. To get more information, contact us today!

Drama is for Everyone

Drama is for Everyone

 

 

Drama is for Everyone

 

Summertime is typically when parents start thinking about what kids will be doing outside of the classroom. Will it be a learning and development opportunity? A new club? Tutor? Favorite sport or activity?

As you consider the options available to your kids, don’t forget about drama and the Arts.

Drama Participation Increases Academic Performance and Raises Test Scores

According to a frequently cited study of almost a quarter-million students by UCLA’s Graduate School of Education and Dr. James Catterall, students who participate in the Arts don’t just do better in school, they perform in areas that drive success outside the classroom. Children who are active in the Arts demonstrate higher academic performance and standardized test scores. They are more likely to participate in community service and be elected to class office. They are also more inclined to participate in a math and science fair and to be recognized for academic achievement.

Self-Expression Learned Through Drama Instills Life Skills.

In a strong drama program, students do more than memorize lines and act. They will focus on creative skill and voice development, improvisation and movement – skills that go beyond the stage and are used every day in general communication. They work on clarity and expression, critical factors when it comes to public speaking and presentation skills, both as students and throughout their adult lives.

Drama Fosters Teamwork and Confidence

Contrary to what many think, an effective drama program actually embraces both extroverted and introverted kids. Drama Kids programs draw all kids together to share creative ideas, and all children, not just the confident, are given the opportunity to share their own ideas and collaborate. Natural leaders learn cooperation and how to include others’ ideas, and those who prefer the sidelines are encouraged to lead. All creative ideas are welcomed and encouraged so that every child feels positive about their contribution.

Drama also allows children beyond their social circle to meet new friends and build compassion for others. They learn respect and empathy by working toward a common goal with teachers/directors and fellow students.

 

Drama Nourishes the Imagination.

Drama instills creativity and aids children in  “thinking outside of the box.” Drama- related activities nurture spontaneity and help students think on their feet and use their imaginations.

Students learn empathy and to understand how others feel. They identify emotions and have to express them. Drama also teaches patience and commitment. Children learn through patience and perseverance that they can produce something wonderful. They learn that hard work leads to gratification. We see this every year as Drama Kids students perform in front of family and friends each spring.

Is Drama Right For Your Child?

If you talk to our Drama Kids instructors and parents and you’ll hear inspiring stories of students making monumental strides in self-confidence, public speaking and teamwork. If you ask any Drama Kid instructor they might tell you the questions they get asked all the time is, “Is Drama Kids right for my child?” These cases range from the parent of the child who memorizes all the lines from T.V. shows and dances around the living room whenever ‘Let it Go’ plays, to the parent whose child has speech delays, is extremely shy, and has trouble making friends. To those parents and every parent in between they will always say wholeheartedly – Yes, drama education is going to be perfect for your child!

Drama Kids is the world’s most powerful, beneficial, and FUN drama program, with over 10,000 students enrolled throughout the United States and over 50,000 enrolled worldwide. So whether your child is hankering for the stage or reticent to step in the spotlight, effective drama instruction – the Drama Kids way – can deliver important benefits for every student that last beyond a single play for an entire lifetime.

New Year, More Confidence!

New Year, More Confidence!

 

 

New Year, More Confidence!

 

Welcome to 2021! Ringing in the new year should also mean finding new ways to boost your child’s self confidence. But how does a parent go about encouraging confidence in a child who might be a bit on the self-conscious side?

We at Drama Kids International are in the business of helping kids unlock their confident sides daily!  Here are 10 tips you can work on over this year with your child:

Acknowledge when they are being brave.

Has your child stepped out of their comfort zone and done something they used to be scared of? Be sure to acknowledge this act of bravery, as this is one of the first steps toward growing out of his or her self-consciousness.

Take small steps in uncomfortable social situations.

Is your child a bit on the introverted side and working toward becoming more comfortable in social situations they would normally shy away from? This is another positive step toward becoming more confident, but encouraging them to do too much too fast is not advised. Help your child continue to ease into new social situations and get ready to see them blossom.

Model self-love and positive self-talk.

Our kids are always watching us, so by modeling self-love and positive self-talk we are teaching them how to not be so hard on themselves. We all know that accidents and mistakes happen, but instead of talking poorly about ourselves, demonstrate that it’s OK!

Give genuine compliments.

Compliment your child for something that took an act of kindness or bravery. Complimenting your child on something they have been working hard to perfect is also a great place to start.

Teach resilience.

Use the seven C’s of resilience: competence, confidence, connection, character, contribution, coping and control. Embrace the seven C’s and watch your child’s resilience blossom.

Support the pursuit of a passion.

Has your child taken a keen interest in a new activity? Do your best to support him or her in this new pursuit—it’s as simple as that!

Set rules and be consistent.

Consistency in a child’s life is key to many success factors and can apply where confidence is concerned as well. Make sure your child knows the rules and that you follow them as well.

Coach relationship skills.

We’re talking about relationships with peers, teachers, advisors, etc. Your child needs to understand what healthy relationships look like on all fronts.

Help your child set realistic goals.

Never deter your child from chasing dreams.  Instead be sure to steer them toward goals that can be accomplished and crossed off the list.

Help your child prepare for public performances.

There will always be instances where your child must engage in public speaking or other performances, and by enrolling your child in one of our drama programs, you’ll be helping them put their best foot forward in these situations!

Along with your phenomenal parenting skills, Drama Kids International is able to step up and help your child build up confidence and push self-consciousness to the side with our specialized drama classes. Come find out why the “difference is dramatic” today!

How Kids Can Give Back

 

 

 

The holiday season has come and gone and a new year is here! If you are looking for a fun and engaging activity for the kids, try giving back this year.

Volunteering is a great way to not only enjoy quality time together, but you’ll also be giving the perfect gift to those in need!

How Volunteering Benefits Kids

There are plenty of benefits for children who volunteer, including:

  • Teaches appreciation
  • Enhances world perspective
  • Influences balanced habits
  • Builds social skills
  • Develops sense of purpose
  • Improves self-awareness
  • Teaching valuable life skills

And so much more!

Ideas for Holiday Volunteering

No matter the age of your children, there are always simple ways they can volunteer and help out the community. AmeriCorps offers many different ways to safely help out your community.

  • Donate to Nonprofits
  • Volunteering at food banks or pantries
  • Deliver meals and groceries to vulnerable seniors
  • Donate medical supplies and equipment
  • Stay in touch with neighbors, family, and friends

You can find local volunteer opportunities by visiting AllForGood.org.

Keeping the Volunteer Spirit Year-round

Now, more than ever, keeping the giving spirit alive throughout the holidays and beyond is needed.
You can help your child learn that it’s not about what you have, but about empathy and the value of giving to others by keeping volunteering a year round event. You can help encourage your child’s altruistic side by letting them pick a cause to support and discussing the difference between donating time and money. Both are valuable donations for the cause/charity of your family’s choosing, but it’s still important for your child to learn the difference between the two types of donating.

Looking for other ways to inspire your child to become his or her best self? Check out the programs Drama Kids International offers that are specially designed to help kids gain valuable life skills.

Acting Up at Home During Holiday Breaks

Acting Up at Home During Holiday Breaks

 

 

Acting Skills are Life Skills

 

Make a Family Music Video

We all watch various music videos on YouTube and have seen those adorable homemade music videos go viral, so why not try your hand at it? Pick out a song that the whole family loves, coordinate your outfits, choreograph some dance moves and go to town! Don’t forget to share that video with your local Drama Kids on Facebook!

 

Put on a Play

Of course some theatrical offerings would pop up…….we are Drama Kids International after all! Your house could host a family play, with everyone in your family acting out parts of your favorite movies or even a special children’s book! Gather props from around your house, create some fun costumes with clothes from your closet, use lamps as stage lights, and get acting!

 

Camp out in the Backyard

There’s no need to pack up the car and drive to a campsite when your backyard is just as accessible. Perhaps you have a non-nature lover in the family or young children who might not be ready for the big camp out yet—your backyard is a great place to introduce them to the outdoors. The indoor plumbing accessibility is just an added bonus! If the weather is not so nice, you can also camp out indoors! Build a blanket fort, string some twinkly lights, grab some snacks, and have a camp in!

 

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt through your neighborhood or perhaps a nearby park. Give your children a list of things to find, whether they are actual items or just landmarks. Then enjoy watching and helping them discover everything on the list!

 

Host a Dance Party

This is probably self-explanatory, but bust out the tunes and get down with your bad selves! There’s nothing wrong with holding a family dance party, especially if it gives you a chance to show off those awesome moves to your kids! There are tons of videos online of choreography your family can learn together. Find your favorite song from a musical, learn the choreo, then stage your own show!

 

Enjoy a Lazy Day

We’re often so busy that sometimes the most fun you can have is sleeping in then staying in your pajamas for the day. Everyone deserves a break now and then! Take the morning slow and enjoy spending some quality family time.

 

Have a Snack Party

Pick out your favorite snacks and enjoy them with your family. For a more interactive experience, perhaps try your hand at making your own! Gather all of your snacks and arrange them in a charcuterie style for a cute presentation.

 

Have a Musical Movie Marathon

Break out some of your favorite childhood musical movies and share them with your kids! There are tons of wonderful musicals now available to watch on demand. Pick something you have never seen before, grab that snack charcuterie, and get cozy!

We hope you are able to take some of these ideas into your home during the upcoming holidays! Remember, if your kids have a flair for the dramatics, our drama classes for kids are a great way for them to hone those skills and learn new ones!

 

Make a Family Music Video

We all watch various music videos on YouTube and have seen those adorable homemade music videos go viral, so why not try your hand at it? Pick out a song that the whole family loves, coordinate your outfits, choreograph some dance moves and go to town! Don’t forget to share that video with your local Drama Kids on Facebook!

 

Put on a Play

Of course, some theatrical offerings would pop up…….we are Drama Kids International after all! Your house could host a family play, with everyone in your family acting out parts of your favorite movies or even a special children’s book! Gather props from around your house, create some fun costumes with clothes from your closet, use lamps as stage lights, and get acting!

 

Camp out in the Backyard

There’s no need to pack up the car and drive to a campsite when your backyard is just as accessible. Perhaps you have a non-nature lover in the family or young children who might not be ready for the big camp out yet—your backyard is a great place to introduce them to the outdoors. The indoor plumbing accessibility is just an added bonus! If the weather is not so nice, you can also camp out indoors! Build a blanket fort, string some twinkly lights, grab some snacks, and have a camp in!

 

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Plan a scavenger hunt through your neighborhood or perhaps a nearby park. Give your children a list of things to find, whether they are actual items or just landmarks. Then enjoy watching and helping them discover everything on the list!

 

Host a Dance Party

This is probably self-explanatory, but bust out the tunes and get down with your bad selves! There’s nothing wrong with holding a family dance party, especially if it gives you a chance to show off those awesome moves to your kids! There are tons of videos online of choreography your family can learn together. Find your favorite song from a musical, learn the choreo, then stage your own show!

Enjoy a Lazy Day

We’re often so busy that sometimes the most fun you can have is sleeping in then staying in your pajamas for the day. Everyone deserves a break now and then! Take the morning slow and enjoy spending some quality family time.

Have a Snack Party

Pick out your favorite snacks and enjoy them with your family. For a more interactive experience, perhaps try your hand at making your own! Gather all of your snacks and arrange them in a charcuterie style for a cute presentation.

Have a Musical Movie Marathon

 Break out some of your favorite childhood musical movies and share them with your kids! There are tons of wonderful musicals now available to watch on demand. Pick something you have never seen before, grab that snack charcuterie, and get cozy!

We hope you are able to take some of these ideas into your home during the upcoming holidays! Remember, if your kids have a flair for the dramatics, our drama classes for kids are a great way for them to hone those skills and learn new ones!

Acting Skills are Life Skills

Acting Skills are Life Skills

Acting Skills are Life Skills

 

Learning how to act is more than just learning how to be an actor. According to Dr. Louis E. Catron at Appalachian State University, there are 25+ special advantages, or life skills, that students learn when they study theatre. We will break down a few of those skills here:

 

Communication Skills

Both oral and physical communication skills are important in everyday life. As students grow, it becomes increasingly important that their communication skills grow as well from giving presentations in school to effectively expressing their emotions.

Acting provides the skills to speak with confidence in front of groups as small as two or three to as large as 100 and beyond! Through speech activities, students sharpen their articulation, projection, and vocal dynamics to be able to speak clearly and convey emotions effectively. This allows for clear and precise verbal communication.

Movement skills help students convey emotions and stories without the use of words. It teaches them to be very specific with the way they use their facial expressions to convey emotions and how they move their bodies to communicate. Acting reminds students that moments of stillness can be powerful. And gives them room to explore, in their own way, how to be comfortable and confident in their own skin.

 

Working Cooperatively 

A lot of acting involves group work. Creating group scenes, improv with a partner, theatre games with the whole class, etc. And in an acting class, there can be people of all different ages, backgrounds, and skill sets. All of these different people end up in the same room together for one reason: to act.

Students learn to work cooperatively in these group settings to reach a common goal. Flexibility and the ability to adapt is a vital skill that is learned during acting classes because each person must support the group in any way they can while ensuring no one is left out. “There is no room for “we” versus “they” behavior; the “star” diva is a thing of the past.”

 

Creative Problem Solving 

The ability to solve a problem in a new and creative way is a skill that is highly sought after. And it is one that can be attained with practice.

During an acting class, students are given new characters or situations to then build off of. Unless there is a script involved, students must use their creativity and ingenuity to create a whole world from very little.

For example, the teacher might tell a group “You are a band of pirates looking for treasure” and that is all they get. How they look for treasure, their relationships, where they are, and more is all up to the group.

If that same prompt is given to 5 different groups, odds are there will be 5 completely different scenes. Space pirates, lazy pirates, pirates who speak their own language, and more. This is creativity at work. The “problem” to be solved here is there is a missing story and we need to find it. The “solving” comes from the students using their imagination and creative thinking to, very quickly, create a unique world from scratch.

These problem-solving skills convert easily to everyday life. Students begin to look at problems from a new perspective. A project at school or a small fight with a friend. Instead of solving the problem the lazy pirate way, they choose the space pirate way.

 

How to have Fun

 Overall, acting gives students the permission to be whoever or whatever they want. It encourages them to be silly and not to take themselves so seriously. In a world where it is so important to be academically successful and as art programs get pulled from schools, it is vital that students still have the ability to be creative and have fun.

Acting is hard work just as any other skill is. It requires practice and dedication. And it is these life skills, and many more, that make acting such a wonderful thing to learn.

 

Learn more about the acting/life skills that Drama Kids teaches today! Get in touch for details on our class offerings.

 

Drama Kids - The Power of Voice

The Power of the Voice

Drama Kids - The Power of Voice

 

Radio, podcasts, audiobooks. You might not think of these things as acting but they are!

Any voice you hear where you cannot see the person speaking is a voice-over. According to Studiobinder.com, “Voice over is a production technique where a voice is recorded for off-screen use.”

The most recognizable form of a voice-over is radio. Radio dramas were incredibly popular as a form of entertainment. Radio drama (or audio drama, audio play, radio play, radio theatre) is a dramatized, purely acoustic performance, broadcast on the radio. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music, and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story.

Then voice-over started to slowly make its way to movies with narration over the physical action of the characters. And soon, voice-over made its way into animation. Disney’s animated short, Steamboat Willie, was among the first to use voice over in animation.

Today, we use voice-over in movie trailers, podcasts, e-learning, video games, instructions in theme parks, audiobooks, and so much more.

 

So How is Voice Over a Form of Acting?

According to Sovas.org, The art of voice acting in voice over starts with a script. The voice actor’s job is to faithfully interpret the script and render a vocal performance, usually under the visionary guidance of a director. If the voice-over performance is not genuine, authentic, and organic (all skills that are used in acting), then the voice-over sounds like a sales pitch and people do not like having things sold to them. It can be very easy to sound like you are reading a script when the audience cannot physically see you.

If we use video games or audiobooks as an example, listeners want to be fully immersed in the story and relate to the characters just as if they are watching a movie. If the voice artist is not using acting skills to create emotions, relationships, and authenticity, then the immersion is broken.

While you do not need acting training to start a career or even a hobby in voice-over, the skills you can be taught, especially how to project, articulate, and emphasize, can ensure that you are taking care of your vocal health and giving a unique and genuine performance.

 

Drama Kids classes offer children and teens the opportunity to build and explore the power of voice. To get more information on classes near you, please contact us!

Speaking Out Against Cyberbullying

 

October is National Bullying Prevention Month and along with individuals around the nation, Drama Kids unite to present a powerful message that bullying should never be a part of childhood.

According to a study done by Comparitech, almost 60 percent of parents with children aged 14 to 18 reported them being bullied with nearly 83 percent of parents saying the bullying happened at school, and 32 percent saying it happened on the bus.

However, due to the pandemic, children increasingly find themselves on the internet taking classes, participating in after school activities, and engaging in social interactions. This increased online time can lead to an increase in cyberbullying.

What is Cyberbullying?

Cyber Bullying itself is a very broad term but includes any form of repeated abuse to a person directed through technology from another person.

According to “Cyberbullying: What Is Cyberbullying and How to Stop It”, an article on CallerSmart.com, The difference between traditional bullying, which takes place in person, and cyberbullying, is that the latter must involve the use of technology. Additionally, to be defined as cyberbullying, the interaction between two or more people must contain the following elements:

  • The action must be willful. The behavior has to be intentional, not accidental.
  • The incident must have occurred more than once. Bullying reflects a repeated pattern of behavior.
  • The victim must perceive that harm was inflicted.

Where can Cyberbullying Happen?

Social media sites are where cyberbullying is the most prevalent. Websites like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter, though some sites pose a higher risk than others. Comparitech shows that parents perceive Facebook to have the highest risk of  cyberbullying incidents but in reality, studies have shown that Instagram is where a higher number of cyberbullying incidents take place. This is due to the increased number of teen users on instagram while parental presence is greater on Facebook.

According to Comparitech, Children aged 6 to 10 spent an average of 50 minutes a day on social media, while those aged 19 and older spent an average of 72.7 minutes online. Over a year, kids aged 6 to 10 spend an average of over 18,000 minutes on social media.

These numbers might seem alarming and cast a bad light on social media but social media is not inherently bad. It connects children and teens to their friends and enables socialization. Simply limiting the amount of time kids spend on it each day can broaden their horizons to other activities and decrease their risk of being bullied.

 

What can Parents Do?

There are many resources available to assist parents in identifying, addressing, and stopping cyberbullying.

Make sure your child knows the signs of cyberbullying.

Teaching your children appropriate ways to respond to bullying is extremely important.

You can help them improve their social skills and learn the importance of their words. When children can stick up for themselves verbally and be assertive, it can drastically improve the situation. These commanding words and sentences include things like:

“I want a turn now.”

“I don’t like this.”

“No.”

“Stop.”

“Cut it out.”

Stay aware of any changes in your child’s behaviour. Children usually do not share with their parents when they are being bullied but their attitude and behavior might change.

Suggest enrollment in safe activities or hobbies that keep children and teens away from social media.

Encourage “offline time” away from devices connected to the internet. Use this time to spend together eating family dinner or engaging in a new hobby.

Communicate the importance of a “digital reputation”. Share with them that anything put online, stays online and to only post things you want others to see.

Other ways to help your child can be modeling positivity, instilling a healthy self-esteem, emphasizing friendship skills, and teaching them positive self-talk and how to learn from mistakes. You can also role-play various bullying scenarios so your child will be ready and prepared to handle them if it were to happen.

 

Drama Kids International is proud to offer ACT UP! to Stop Bullying, a series of anti-bullying workshops that is designed with 3rd through 5th grade students in mind. If you are interested in learning more about this drama program and how it can be brought to your school, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

What in the World is Improv?

 

You might have heard your Drama Kid say that they did some improv in their class but what exactly is improv?

Improvisation, or improv, is a form of live theatre in which the plot, characters, and dialogue of a game, scene, or story are made up in the moment. Often improvisers will take a suggestion from the audience, or draw on some other source of inspiration to get started.

Improv is incredibly unique in that if you see a performance, that’s it… there will never be another scene or show exactly like it ever done again. Improv is different every time.

There are two different forms of improv, long form and short form. The short form consists of scenes that only take a few minutes, stand on their own, or that are connected by an overarching thematic motif, but not connected to each other. Improv “games” are largely all short form and usually lead to very comical interactions. Whereas, long form improv includes the actors staying in character to create a more detailed scene that can end up being made into a short play. This form tends to take on a more serious tone but can include comedic elements.

A very popular version of long form improv is the Murder Mystery. Actors have a general idea of where the plot is headed and even who the murderer is but must come up with most of the show in the moment.

The most important aspect of both long and short improv is the concept of “Yes, and…”. An actor must never say no to a suggestion made by another actor. If there is a suggestion of aliens who live underwater, the actor must say “Yes, and” and continue to add more details to the scene.

In fact, there are many rules to improv theatre according to PanTheatre.com:

The first ten improv rules are:

  1. Say “yes, and!”
  2. Add new information.
  3. Don’t block.
  4. Avoid asking questions- unless you’re also adding information.
  5. Play in the present and use the moment.
  6. Establish the location.
  7. Be specific and provide colorful details.
  8. Change, Change, Change!
  9. For serious and emotional scenes, focus on characters and relationships.
  10. For humorous scenes, take choices to the nth degree or focus on actions/objects.

In Drama Kids, we don’t delve too far into all of those rules. We use improvisation to create silly characters and have fun but behind the scenes, it does so much more! Improvisational theatre encourages critical and creative thinking while allowing students to trust their instincts so they don’t second guess themselves.

Try some improv at home with your family. Give this game a shot then play some more from SecondCity.com:

Yes, And…

Pick an object, any object!  The first player points out something about it, and the next player has to say “yes, and…” [insert something else about the object here]. If you can’t think of an add-on, you’re out! Choose a new object and begin again!

Example: The object? A shoe.

Player One: “A shoe is supportive.”
Player Two: “Yes, and stinky if Dad is wearing it.”
Player Three: “Yes, and you’re grounded.”
(Dad would be out for not staying on topic.)

Theatre’s Impact on Mental Health: How Theatre Can Help Without You Knowing

Drama classes can help with mental health

 

 

 

Your child’s mental wellbeing is extremely important. More so in this time of constant change though with the introduction of online classes for this new year, it can be tough to get the help your child might need. Luckily, you can support your growing thinker through more than just schools and psychologist’s offices. According to WayAhead.org.au, a study was done by The Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) to see if their drama program impacted the mental health of their participants over the past few decades.

They found of the more than 1,200 people who participated in the survey, 89% reported participating in the drama program had a positive impact on their self-confidence and 94% of respondents said it had a positive impact on their overall sense of wellbeing. 52% of people – slightly more than half of all respondents – indicated that ATYP had a positive or very positive impact on their anxiety levels.

These results could be because, in a digital age, theatre provides an environment to personally engage with others and can be a practical way to address serious issues that society is facing such as bullying, friendship, family relationships, etc. According to the report, “One person noted that as a young boy, he suffered from bullying and severe anxiety. ‘ATYP helped bring me out of my shell and nurtured my passion for performing.’”

Theatre can also promote self-confidence and self-expression. Fraser Corfield, the Artistic Director of ATYP states, “We talk about the importance of self-expression and telling your own story and “finding your tribe”, which is a term that youth theatres use over and over, …” and a “tribe” is exactly what children who participate in the performing arts can find. In theatre, you are encouraged to be 100% your authentic self so the friendships and bonds you make are usually incredibly strong and long-lasting.

The most beautiful thing about this connection between mental health and theatre is, “these benefits occur without any conversation around mental health. So there’s part of me that goes ‘we need to keep that because I think the death knell of theatre, and theatre for young people, is that we keep using theatre to try and teach young people about something’,” according to Fraser. The benefits come solely from the students having fun transforming into new characters, creating scenes with friends, or just getting to be silly by moving around the room in creative ways.