Thursday, September 29, 2016

September 29. Day 273. You Little Beauty

Take a child to the theatre and see the wonderment in their eyes
Sarah Hampson who plays Sleeping Beauty
Drama Teen visits his friends in the cast of Sleeping Beauty
  Fun fact. In 2011, for the first time the number of visitors to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre passed one million for the first time. Last year that figure rose to 1.4 million bums on those rather comfy QPAC seats. The performing arts are not just a way for an elite few to fill in a few hours. The performing arts are big business. But it's not just that. Getting young bums on those seats has real benefits and not just $$$ in the pockets of performing arts companies. It's an unfortunate fact that in an increasingly crowded curriculum things such as trips to the theatre are considered a luxury and often a luxury reserved for the wealthier schools. But let's look at the research. A study of 25,000 students undertaken by UCLA's Graduate School of Education no less found that consistent participation in the performing arts not only improved test scores but it also created students more involved in community service and less likely to drop out of school. Theatre brings stories to life. Theatre is a living breathing example of the power of the possibility and of the imagination. It builds confidence. It makes the soul sing. Well that's how it works for me and I'm not the only one. Seattle Children’s Theater artistic director Linda Hartzell told education.com "theater makes for smarter, braver, human beings. Theater helps connect the head to the heart.” Having taken my son to literally hundreds of live theatrical productions in the past 15 years I can say I speak from some experience when I tell you that if you take a child to the theatre you will see their eyes light up. I saw it today when I watched the little people file out of the audience of Fame Theatre Company's performance of Sleeping Beauty. I can almost guarantee had I been around to listen to the conversation in the bus, train, car or ferry on the way home it would have been equally enlightening. Parents will have found not just found a way to stop the whinging for a bit in the school holidays. They will have opened a window to another world. That's what theatre is. Here endeth the lesson. Excuse me while I go and book a seat in a few Broadway shows.

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