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Fast Facts About Theatre Programs

Courtesy of Cappies NCA

Why Schools Should have a full-time dedicated Theatre Arts teacher in every K-12 school

Spring Productions are underway! 

Let me detail why a Theatre arts program is one of the most important elements in a school's repertoire of offerings.

In the Theatre all are welcome and students learn to be accepting of the wide array of humanity and their beauty.  It has always been and will remain a safe place for all our unique, commonplace, variedly able, and divergent students to learn that they have a place to be their authentic selves.

Theatre arts is an executive functioning class

A student learns to clean up after themselves. It is a cardinal rule of the theatre to leave your tools, and work spaces in clean and good working order for the next person.

They learn to memorize and recall what they have learned, and to improvise when that memory fails.

Theatre students learn to ask themselves, “Why did I do that, that way, and how should I do it next time?” 

Theatre Arts is a CTE and project management class

Students learn the importance of deadlines and the sequencing of projects from design phase, through trial and adjustment, to performance, and replication of product. 

In theatre, a student learns how to safely use a variety of tools. There you will find carpentry tools, such as levels, measuring tapes, and hammers, and power tools such as drills and saws, and sewing machines. Students paint varied surfaces and items, and learn the proper use of a variety of cosmetic and make-up materials, including prosthetics and wigs.

They have the opportunity to learn a variety of  sound boards and system components, and lighting boards, instruments, and wiring.

Every school theatre space is a makerspace. That has much wider application than one employer, or one sector of the economy. The performing arts are an over $216 billion dollar business and supply 5.1 million jobs a year.

Theatre is a high culture and humanities class

Theatre encompasses the vast array of world literature and multicultural stories: From ancient Greek tragedies to African and Native nations folk stories, Japanese Kabuki, and Chinese Opera. Theatre incorporates both the events and the details of various cultures.

Theatre classes improve academic performance

Studies show that students who participate in drama are more likely to attend other classes and less likely to drop out.

Theatre classes can close our most persistent achievement gaps, and contribute to student resilience and social-emotional well-being. 

Students who participate in drama performance score substantially higher on the verbal component and the math component of the SAT.  

High school electives and staffing decisions are a finite space. Policy makers need to keep this in mind as they consider the sales pitches of those who want districts to adopt programs and policies that take up a crowded space in students' learning days. It is important to remember to protect and promote the solutions we know work.


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