Because it's great! There are SO MANY good reasons to have drama in our lives, for children and adults alike. I have compiled a list of my top ten.
Drama is fun. We play games and we laugh! We respect each other and offer encouragement to ensure the class is a positive one. This atmosphere also helps to reduce stress.
Drama is a fantastic way to increase communication skills, both verbally and non-verbally. We will look at gestures, movement, facial expressions, voice projection, clarity and intention to choose how to effectively communicate what we mean.
It is a safe place to practice social skills and teamwork. Each class will get to know each other and work/play in small groups. Students are encouraged both to listen and to share. Learning things like appropriate eye contact is going to prepare students for their futures.
Drama provides us with the freedom to be creative and it accesses the left side of our brains. So often the answers in school are right or wrong but in drama, we explore the ideas in the middle. Without the pressure of what the future holds, drama class allows us to play.
Drama lets us to be anyone we want to be. We can imagine we are from another country, play a different age, be the teacher or the parent, all to help understand the people in the world in which we are living.
Drama allows us to recognise emotions, in ourselves and in other people. "When I was a child I chose drama classes to escape problems in my life but when I look back it was actually an opportunity to learn skills to approach those issues and emotions." This isn’t a therapy group but the skills are transferable nonetheless.
Drama increases confidence. Working in a positive environment is more likely to make you feel supported. Each week you will feel a little more confident to share an idea, or to speak alone, or to stand in front of people. At the end of each term, we will show your ideas to an audience of family and I am sure you will feel confident on stage!
Drama will expand cultural awareness as we explore texts and characters from different times and places. This also links in with discovering our own identity, morals and values. As we approach how that character feels in a certain situation we are also challenged to regard what we would personally feel if in the same situation. Additionally, we become empathetic towards others, understanding different people in different situations, which encourages us to show compassion and tolerance in the real world.
Drama improves memory. You will begin to remember how to play the new game from last week, you will learn the sequence of movements your body did to this piece of music, you will absorb lines from a scene, all through repetition and with a positive attitude. Our memories are like a muscle that needs to be worked; the more you practice, the better it will be.
Often there will be a time of reflection. This is a critical moment where we can ask ourselves how we feel and what our thoughts are, either about our own or other's work. It gives us space to notice what is going on in the body or mind when we feel or experience something and to ask questions to help our understanding and to influence how we make art.