Wow, I get to combine theatre and writing in this blog post.
Finally, after years of plodding along, I finished my theatre book to my satisfaction. It's a how-to-teach-theatre for elementary teachers. Knowing that their time is limited, I wanted to write something that was easy to follow. So the book has sets of 15-minute activities that help develop theatre skills. But why bother? Because kids can use these skills for a lifetime! It helps with how they see and present themselves, how they communicate, and even how they read.
I used to substitute teach and I noticed that when it was time for "art," there was always only one kind--visual art. Not that that's bad but that was the only
kind of art. And of course there was the exception such as the 5th or 6th grade teacher who directed his or her kids in a Shakespeare play.
I haven't looked at them for awhile but the Oregon State Standards had their arts section and although it said that the standards could be used for the performing arts, the sample that they gave was all about visual arts. The National Education Standards were the same. (And I really haven't looked at them for awhile so I don't know if they've changed.)
Theatre can be a scary thing to teach because kids get out of their seats; they have to move and do, instead of sit and do. It can seem out of control. But the chaos that might ensue is creativity in action. (And before I go scaring a teacher: the activities are controlled; chaos doesn't reign.) What a thrill though to see a child open up, to try something out of their norm, to be creative and learn a skill for life!
I get so excited about the whole thing. You should see theatre & kids in action! Amazing! Here are some true theatre anecdotes we've experienced.