The Importance of Theater in Public Schools

Theatre has been an influential factor in many people’s lives, creativity can flourish, academics can improve and means of self-expression can be developed. It is important to have mandatory theatre classes because when a student participates, they benefit significantly.

Theatre can be influential in all aspects of life. Participating in theatre classes can stimulate student’s creativity and thought process. Developing a creative mind can lead to a more tolerant attitude because, “The creative process of theater leads children to be more open-minded and acceptable because of the diverse roles they portray.”1 In the future, students who have grown up with theatre will become more tolerant of sensitive issues, which could create better living conditions globally.

Theatre can teach valuable skills that can be used in the professional world. Staging and performing in a show can promote teamwork through the actors and the crew. Learning lines for a play may seem tedious and can be tough but even the smallest of lines encourages the student to use public speaking. Speaking in front of audiences develops confidence and improved communication skills. These skills can be utilized in school reports or debates and in the long term, they can be used in interviews and presentations. The more confident a child becomes, the more their self-esteem will grow. Children and youth with high self-esteem have a tendency to perform better scholastically and have a better outlook on life. The students will then feel more inclined to contribute positively to society.

Different types of theatre offer different forms of development. “Forum Theatre is a form of interactive theatre that is used to tackle the issues we face in our lives.”2 A student could use what they learnt in Forum Theatre to resolve pressing issues without resorting to extremes such as bullying or violence. Improvisation is a form of acting that relies on the actor working in the moment, and taking his or her first idea and going with it. Improvisation can be done in a group or individually and develops quick thinking in times of pressure and also develops team work and listening skills. These are valuable skills that can be utilized every day.

Participating in theatre classes can be beneficial in other areas of life such as academics. Creative thought process can be developed through theatre and used in Math and Science for problem solving and experimentation. A developed mind can potentially use abstract thinking to “think out of the box” and offer many ideas and solutions and ways of testing them.

Children are our future, it is imperative that we develop well-rounded individuals that can contribute to society. Mandatory theatre classes can promote positive change and the skills learned can be used to resolve any problem, be it big or small. It is important to teach this to today’s youth so that it gets passed on through the years.