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need advice why theater is important in education

  • 1.  need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-07-2017 13:01
    Edited by Rebecca Wren 11-08-2017 09:36

    Can you give me in one sentence or two why theater is important in education? I have a friend who is battling budget cuts and needs some back up. She taught 4 blocks a day and they are now cutting her to one. Please send your best advice - Wheaton



  • 2.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-07-2017 14:47
    Theatre takes the information given in the core classes and presents it in a manner that is both entertaining and, because of the entertainment factor, more likely to help students retain the information the receive when notes are taken. The success of a musical like Hamilton is a recent example of this. Theatre also raises self esteem and helps students stay in school - as do all of the arts.

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    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-07-2017 18:17
    Checkout www.faae.org

    ---------------------------------
    Trinna Pye


    Port St. Lucie FL
    ---------------------------------





  • 4.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-08-2017 10:08

    Theatre defines society.  It is the oldest pure art form known to man.  The art of telling a story is communication.  Theatre students are leaders in the art of communication, creativity, and social awareness.  Society breaks down when there is poor communication and no art.  Just ask the Dark Ages, or Caligula, or Mussolini, or Hitler, or Kim Jong-Il.

     

     

    Kelly M. Thomas

    Department of Theatre

    Dr. Ralph H. Poteet High School

    3300 Poteet Drive

    Mesquite, Texas 75150

    972-882-5300

    Kthomas@mesquiteisd.org

     

     






  • 5.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-08-2017 13:30
    Not sure if this will help, but I wrote a blog post a few days ago on possible reasons why sports and the arts get different levels of support in schools. It's an editorial based on my own observations over the past few years. You can find it at https://setdesignandtech.wordpress.com/2017/11/06/theater-and-sports-an-editorial/

    ------------------------------
    George F. Ledo
    Set designer
    www.setdesignandtech.wordpress.com
    www.georgefledo.net
    http://astore.amazon.com/sdtbookstore-20
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-08-2017 14:19
    Theatre is the art form that combines all the visual and performing arts.  I believe it is also the art form most reflective of the culture and time period in which it is written, because those plays that survive are normally those that found an audience when they were written.

    Every year, students tell me they did well on their World History EOC because of the theatre history spine we follow in Theatre I.  Through the scene work we do for each historical period, students time travel in a very powerful way.

    Every year, students tell me they aced their senior exit project presentation because they learned to express themselves with confidence in their Theatre Arts classes.  

    Every year, students tell me they love writing after experiencing a playwriting unit.  

    Working with dramatic literature for production requires extremely close reading for every single member of the cast and production team.  Whether Shakespeare or contemporary work, every word must be understood and every nuance explored.  The design team has to determine what the audience needs to see or hear to have context, and what the actors must physically have to play the characters' actions.  And all of that work has a deadline that is inflexible.  That alone is a huge benefit.

         



    ------------------------------
    C. J. Breland
    Asheville High School
    Asheville NC
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-09-2017 06:21
    Several recent surveys of business leaders have stated that after technology, improvisation is the skill they most desire in employees. Theatre teaches collaboration, communication, end it offers experiential learning. You want student centered, design based learning. Check out a theatre classroom or rehearsal. Students learn to stand and deliver and to work through mistakes, something a lot of children don't learn in this age of everyone wins a ribbon. Yes, the art form is important,but for most children the art is a by product of learning how to be on a team to create a product- with a deadline. I know a high powered scientist at a nationally renowned lab who always asks prospective employees if they have done theatre, for he feels those people best understand collaboration and deadlines. He hires those who have said yes!

    Sent from my iPad




  • 8.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-08-2017 14:28
    Excellent article! I wish administrators all over the world would read this and really think about it! I am a high school theater director and just like many of the directors out there, have a BA in acting (along with an MEd in Education Technology), but have very little training in the technical aspects of theater. I am basically a one-person department struggling to provide scenery, lighting, costuming, etc., to my students. Meanwhile, the athletic programs, some of which serve far fewer students than my theater program, have assistant coaches, assistants to the assistants, booster club support, MUCH larger budgets, etc.! 

    Just today my Spanish 4 students, were discussing why school gets cancelled if the boys basketball team or the boys football team make it to the state tournament, other sports get pep rallies, but when the one act play gets a Superior at the State Festival, it doesn't even make it into the school twitter feed! It has been very frustrating trying to keep the fine arts students at our school motivated when they feel so little support from the administration, the staff, the rest of the students, and the town. I keep trying to encourage them, take them to see professional theater, take them to university workshops, and so on, but they know that realistically, the support for all of their hard work and accomplishments just doesn't exist in our district. 

    Any one have any ideas for boosting support for our arts programs?

    ------------------------------
    Anne Elisa Brown
    Director of the MHS Drama Department
    Madison Central School District
    Madison SD
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-09-2017 03:15
    Go watch them! Don't put them down or the money they get! Do all you can to encourage your kids to play sports, watch sports, and cheer on those school teams. If you do, they will come. Trust me! You want support, financial help, and more than anything, you need to know people care about your program. It starts with you! You do a 360 and your audiences will be packed!

    ------------------------------
    Phil Ridley
    Drama Director
    Dubai
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-09-2017 09:07
    Hi Phil, 
    I just wanted to clarify that I would never put down the sports programs in my district. Both of my sons play sports and I actively volunteer for, watch, and support all of our extra curricular programs and all of the students at my school!  I also don't have a problem getting people in the audience or getting kids to be active in theater. My complaint is about the lack of support ALL of our district fine arts programs get from our school board, our administration, and our townspeople. Our administrators almost never come to a choir concerts, a theater performances, an oral interp meets, etc. My principal has made it pretty clear that our theater department is "not on my list of priorities". Our district is very small, so many of our students have to choose between fine arts extra curriculars or athletic extra curricular activities. When I say support, I mean both financial support and the kind of visible praise that the boys' basketball and football teams get. We have pep rallies, days off of school so that the whole district can watch the big game, we have announcements, receptions, welcome home parties, awards assemblies that the whole school has to attend, etc. All of this is great!!! I am proud of our boys basketball and football players and I know that they work very hard. What I would like to see is a little more love shown to the rest of the activities. Our choir received a perfect score last spring at our biggest competition! Not only was it never mentioned in our school announcements or our town newspaper, but the 96 students came back after a long, hard weekend, to .....nothing! The individual coaches and advisers for these other activities all do our best to celebrate our achievements and often use our own money to provide meager dougnut breakfasts, or ice cream socials for the students who have worked so hard in our various activities. Why can't we as a school, show our appreciation for all of our student achievers? I don't think that this problem is unique to my school district. 

    Are there other fine arts coaches/directors out there that have experienced similar issues? If so, what is your advice?

    ------------------------------
    Anne Elisa Brown
    Director of the MHS Drama Department
    Madison Central School District
    Madison SD
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-09-2017 12:02
    Theatre exposes us to the universal truths that remind us we are all human.





  • 12.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-08-2017 21:50
    I tell my students: To Art is human. All the arts are integral to being human. They are the way our species communicates, ideas, concepts, and even behavior and societal norms (though arts is often a safe place to violate those norms to point out something else about society as well). We have been doing them since we came down from the trees. 
    This is probably not helpful, but does the baseball coach have to explain how pitching helps with math scores? I think it is horrific that we should somehow have to prove how our art can help a student with reading or something. Our art helps that student live, breathe, get up in the morning. We have all had students who wouldn't have made it without the safety and release and love and joy and acceptance they found in the theatre program. Hell, I was one of those kids. The arts are a fundamental part of human nature, and you can't say you are actually educating a child if they are not included. 
    Like I said, not helpful for your specific needs, I will get off my soapbox. I hope the first paragraph may help, I am sure you already knew the rest.

    ------------------------------
    Jeffrey Davis
    Plainsboro NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 13.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-09-2017 08:28
    I heard from folks at the Tennessee Arts Academy that MIT they are making their engineer majors take Theatre Classes to get them to think outside the box and become more creative. There's just too much IN THE BOX these days!!

    ------------------------------
    Suzanne "Mama" Craig
    MS/HS Theatre/Speech
    Lipscomb Academy
    Nashville, TN
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-09-2017 13:12
    Hi, Anne,

    In response to your observation that your events never make it to the local papers and such... have you tried taking the bull by the horn and sending out announcements yourself?

    Granted I don't know anything about you or your district, so I'm mentioning this only because I was hired to run the front-of-house operations at a local theatre a few years back and learned a lot doing it. For one thing, they were always kvetching that the local papers never mentioned them: no announcements, no reviews, nothing. So I took it upon myself to learn to write a proper press release (just looked it up online) and started sending them out. Suddenly we were being covered in local papers.

    I did the same thing with the posters, and we started printing up postcards for distribution. Over a period of about a year, we went from being a well-kept secret to being well-known in the area.

    This is one of those things I mentioned on another thread that we were never taught in school. Most of the time, you have to toot your own horn.

    ------------------------------
    George F. Ledo
    Set designer
    www.setdesignandtech.wordpress.com
    www.georgefledo.net
    http://astore.amazon.com/sdtbookstore-20
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-09-2017 13:44
    Hi George, 
    Thanks for responding. :-) 

    We do a lot of self-promotion. I have learned to contact the papers, post about our goings-on on Facebook and other social media, put up fliers, posters, etc. I guess my main complaint, although I may not have expressed this well, is the attitude my district administration/school board has about the arts.

    An example would be our buses. When I take 30 kids to a one act competition, I am assigned the big yellow school bus, even if our two large, beautifully painted, charter buses are available. The athletes get the nice, cozy buses and we get the unheated yellow school bus. We aren't assigned a driver, but have to talk someone into driving for us. When we make the State One Act Festival every year, my theater students aren't allowed to miss more than half a day of school to go watch the other plays because sitting around watching plays all day isn't educational. The entire school district is closed if there is a basketball tournament because watching basketball all day is not only apparently educational, but the entire district K-12 is encouraged to go watch! When students miss class to compete in band or choir competitions, the teachers complain, but our golf team can miss 4 straight days in a row. Our varsity athletes are allowed to letter in their sport, but our fine arts departments aren't allowed to even offer the option of lettering. We have asked but have been told that our district doesn't recognize varsity fine arts. Last year, our principal changed our scheduling and inadvertently forced our band and choir students (most of whom do both band and choir) to have to choose between band and choir. This change forced the enrollment of both programs to drop drastically because students could no longer do both. The reason for the change was to move study halls to the beginning of the day to accommodate athletes who have to miss the last half of the day when they leave for sporting events. Even after multiple students and parents complained, it was decided that the band and choir programs just weren't enough of a priority. 

    I know I may be coming across as whiny, I am just wanting to try and change attitudes about the importance of fine arts programs.

    ------------------------------
    Anne Elisa Brown
    Director of the MHS Drama Department
    Madison Central School District
    Madison SD
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-10-2017 10:26
    This is a very important discussion. WE all know why but many others don't. It's why we have the JumpStart Theatre program. It's part of why Theatre In Our Schools (TIOS) is so important to EdTA. 

    Some people asked about ways to get more recognition and support for their theatre program. If you have an ITS troupe at your school, the honor society is one of the best tools you can ask for to help with just that. We have a page of marketing and promotion materials here in this library. They're free and some can be used even if your school doesn't have a troupe yet.  https://www.schooltheatre.org/viewdocument/public-relations-res  

    Like someone else said, "Sometimes you have to toot your own horn." You and your students deserve it, so toot away!

    David

    ------------------------------
    David LaFleche
    Director of Membership
    Educational Theatre Association
    Cincinnati OH
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: need advice why theater is important in education

    Posted 11-10-2017 16:52