Megan Clements, Palace Playhouse

Imagine your child flying into the school, their muscles rippling from the recent toxic spill from which they have been exposed. Their laser vision blows apart lockers, scares away bullies and even melts away acne. OK— let’s get back to reality. It’s crazy to think that your child might benefit from a spider bite or toxic spill, but we all want our kids to be superheroes to someone, to help build those around them, and theatre just might be the key to unlock your child’s potential.

  1. Confidence: It’s the confident kids that can stand up to bullies, set themselves a part in a crowd, and make lofty goals. Being in theatre puts kids in front of a crowd and allows them to take command of the stage. It allows them to make and learn from their mistakes — a skill they will take with them their entire life.
  2. Creativity:  Your child may be reciting lines, but real acting takes creativity. Actors must take lines and make them their own. They have to decide how to make them fit the persona they create. It takes guts. It takes thought. It takes creativity.
  3. Perseverance: Performing is hard. Kids have to memorize lines. They have to show up for practice. Acting is like any skill. The first time a child picks up a violin, everyone wrestles for ear plugs. After a few years everyone is fighting to listen to the music you create. To be a good actor, your child has to put in the time and effort to succeed. If your kid wants to save the world, they better know how to keep going when things get tough.
  4. Teamwork: It doesn’t matter if it’s a one-man play, theatre is collaboration. Kids learn to follow the director, work with other actors, and help make sets. Theatre teaches the ability to work with other people — adults and peers alike.
  5. Non-verbal communication: Technology surrounds us, and with the rise of social media, we have seen the fall of the mastery face to face communication. It’s too easy to text. It’s easier to cite your opinion on social media under the veil on anonymity. Verbal communication is becoming a lost skill. Enter theatre. Kids learn how the non-verbal signals they send mean something. Exceling in acting is good. The ability to understand how movement communicates different emotions is a skill that will be worth more than any super power.