Theatre is an all encompassing art form. It involves not just acting and orating, but dance, music, crafts everything.
A theatre workshop as a summer vacation hobby class is a very good option for children. It is not just fun, children benefit from theatre in many ways, because theatre is not just about acting. The benefits of theatre experience are for life, even if it is just a hobby.
Theatre involves team work. The characters in the play have to co-operate and co-ordinate with each other. It is not about a single person but the whole team together makes the play. So every child feels the responsibility towards the play and his/her co- actors to make the play a success.
Many children are afraid to go on the stage. Even if they do muster up the courage to go on the stage, they panic at the sight of the audience, of so many eyes looking at them. In theatre the children are not alone. They are on the stage with other children, who have become friends during the days of the rehearsal. Being together on stage, with the same friends, eliminates the stage fear to a great extent. The fear gradually goes away totally after two-three stage shows. The child gradually develops the confidence to take to the stage alone.
Involves all art forms
Theatre is engaging because children get to indulge in all art forms. Oration and acting is of course there. Apart from these, music, dance, craft are also there. To make the play enjoyable for children, a couple of dances related to the play can be easily interwoven in the main theme. When dance is there, music will certainly be there.
Props are an essential part of theatre, involving art and craft. When the children are made to make these props themselves, under the guidance of the teacher, their involvement with the project increases. So every child has something of their liking.
The rehearsals before the final stage show are simply fun. Till the time the dialogues/lines and positions are not memorized and practiced fully, the goof ups lead to many hilarious situations during the rehearsals. Someone skips lines; someone simply forgets and says something else, laughing when they are supposed to cry, and many such things. It’s pure fun with friends.
Language & pronunciation
Theatre helps in improving the language skills- diction,accent, pronunciation, vacabulary etc.
Learning as well as giving a message
When enacting plays based on some social issues, the children not only learn about these issues, they also pass on the message through their show to the society. Theatre is a fun way to teach children about good social causes.
The indirect benefits-
Theatre experience helps in the practical life in many ways, even if it is not opted as a career.
First and foremost, children learn to face people, as they face the audience. This experience is very-very helpful when in future they face interviews or presentations. In both these cases, eye contact is important. It shows your confidence. Theatre is a good medium to develop this confidence to maintain eye contact with the people you are speaking to.
Oration- Voice modulation, according to the situation/emotion in the play, is taught in theatre. This skill helps in all orations related activities like debates, public speaking, presenting research papers, demonstrations etc. The impression we make on our listeners by our speech largely depends on how well we use our voice, to convey our thought.
Body language- In enacting a play, the person who covers the whole stage by his movements when acting and saying the dialogues, makes her/his presence felt more, than the one who remains stuck at one place. Covering the entire dais, hand gestures and expressions shows one’s confidence and makes official presentations impressive.
In short, theatre shapes the personality of the child. It is a fun way of developing confidence for life.