The middle and high school years are a transformative period, marked by physical changes and profound emotional and psychological growth. During this time, teenagers are trying to discover their identities and aspirations. While there are various avenues to navigate this journey of self-discovery, participating in theater offers surprising and enduring benefits that extend well beyond the stage and into your public speaking situations.
Here are five ways theatre skills benefit your public speaking, communicating, and life in the legal profession.
#1 Theatre Training Builds Confidence
Theater provides a nurturing environment for students to explore and develop their self-confidence. Francis Parker, a successful professional in health care administration, credits theater for shaping her into the confident public speaker she is today. Through acting, she learned that portraying a role also meant internalizing the qualities of that character. This realization empowered her to act confidently and authentically in her public speaking situations, contributing to her personal and professional achievements.
#2 Learning Skills that Translate to Diverse Careers
While only a select few theater students make it to Broadway or Hollywood, the skills they cultivate are applicable to their public speaking and diverse career paths. Margo Gelb, now a skilled prosecutor, attributes her courtroom success to her theater background and public speaking skills. The art of persuasive oratory, quick thinking, and the ability to adapt to unexpected situations, all honed on the stage, prove invaluable in a courtroom setting.
#3 Community Benefits of Theater Education
Participating in theater goes beyond building confidence and public speaking skills. It fosters compassion, empathy, and tolerance by exposing students to various roles, situations, time periods, and cultures. Collaborating with peers to produce a play promotes teamwork, cooperation, and creative problem-solving. Rehearsing and performing in front of an audience foster trust, friendship, and a sense of community among the participants.
#4 Tangible and Intangible Benefits
The practical benefits of theater education are numerous, from improved public speaking skills, concentration, and communication skills to enhanced creativity and critical thinking. However, most students find the real value lies in the sense of community theater provides. Mary Sawyer emphasizes the strong friendships she formed through theater, forging connections with students from various backgrounds and interests.
#5 Theater Training as a Safe Haven
For many students, high school can be an overwhelming and unwelcoming environment. However, for those involved in theater, it becomes a safe haven where they can truly be themselves. Katherine Victor cherishes her theater department as a space where she was accepted and embraced for her true self, free from judgment.
Theater education during the formative years of middle and high school yields profound and lasting benefits. Beyond the practical skills developed, such as public speaking skills and teamwork, theater offers a sense of belonging and community that enriches the lives of its participants.
The transformative power of theater prepares students to face life’s challenges with confidence, empathy, and an open mind. As we celebrate the growth achieved through the theatrical journey, it becomes clear that the impact of theater extends far beyond the spotlight, leaving a lasting impression on the hearts and minds of those who embrace it.