Great Big Theatre Company The Benefits of Drama
The Drama Education Network provides an excellent summary of the benefits of drama education, and its positive impact on physical, emotional, social, and cognitive development. It lists these benefits as follows:
Self-Confidence: Taking risks in class and performing for an audience teach students to trust their ideas and abilities. The confidence gained in drama applies to school, career, and life.
Imagination: Making creative choices, thinking of new ideas, and interpreting familiar material in new ways are essential to drama. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Empathy: Acting roles from different situations, time periods, and cultures promotes compassion and tolerance for others’ feelings and viewpoints.
Cooperation / Collaboration: Theatre combines the creative ideas and abilities of its participants. This cooperative process includes discussing, negotiating, rehearsing, and performing.
Concentration: Playing, practicing, and performing develop a sustained focus of mind, body, and voice, which also helps in other school subjects and life.
Communication Skills: Drama enhances verbal and nonverbal expression of ideas. It improves voice projection, articulation of words, fluency with language, and persuasive speech. Listening and observation skills develop by playing drama games, being an audience, rehearsing, and performing.
Problem Solving: Students learn how to communicate the who, what, where, and why to the audience. Improvisation fosters quick-thinking solutions, which leads to greater adaptability in life.
Fun: Drama brings play, humor, and laughter to learning; this improves motivation and reduces stress.
Emotional Outlet: Pretend play and drama games allow students to express a range of emotions. Aggression and tension are released in a safe, controlled environment, reducing antisocial behaviors.
Relaxation: Many drama activities reduce stress by releasing mental, physical, and emotional tension.
Self-Discipline: The process of moving from ideas to actions to performances teaches the value of practice and perseverance. Drama games and creative movement improve self-control.
Trust: The social interaction and risk taking in drama develop trust in self, others, and the process.
Physical Fitness: Movement in drama improves flexibility, coordination, balance, and control.
Memory: Rehearsing and performing words, movements, and cues strengthen this skill like a muscle.
Social Awareness: Legends, myths, poems, stories, and plays used in drama teach students about social issues and conflicts from cultures, past and present, all over the world.
Aesthetic Appreciation: Participating in and viewing theater raise appreciation for the art form. It is important to raise a generation that understands, values, and supports theater’s place in society.