I was told the other day, theatre isn’t for every child and they were absolutely right. Acting on stage may not be the answer to all kids who are shy or don’t feel like they fit in. But, what theatre does do is lets kids explore their imagination and teaches them how to think creatively, and I am not talking about the kids acting up on stage. What about the kids running the lights, designing the sound, writing the scripts, painting/building the scenery, designing and sewing the costumes, applying the makeup, styling the hair, developing the playbill. All of these things take the kids who are engineers, visual artist, graphic designers, authors, gamers, fashion designers, cosmetologist and so on. Theatre is more than just the kids that can sing and dance.
Theatre helps kids think outside the box. I have a son who has no confidence when it comes to sports and would honestly sit at a computer playing video games all day long if I would let him. By taking his knowledge of computers, he is able to help design and run a lighting board for theatre productions. There is a child who I recently discovered is very introverted when it comes to socializing with other children, yet I recently caught her sketching something in a notebook. I gave her a story concept and within minutes, she had designed a perfect costume for the character I described.
Theatre is unique in that it comprises aspects of many art forms, therefore kids with many different talents can be utilized to make a production happen. I want people to know that yes, theatre can kind of be like the island of misfit toys in a sense. It is kind of like a melting pot of people from all walks of life, financial status and different backgrounds all coming together for a unified purpose. In this day and time with kids feeling so lost, I think we need to encourage theatre in young people. Everyone has an imagination and they need to be encouraged to use that gift.