There is a lot of emphasis on our children’s academic development yet, an appreciation for the arts can play a big part in our children’s social and mental development too. While the arts consist of many different disciplines, one of the most accessible is children’s theatre.
With imaginative storylines and intriguing characters, today’s children’s theatre is a specialized art form that caters to audiences as young as two years old. Entering into the theatre, kids get to suspend reality and get transported away to a make-believe world where anything is possible within the darkened theatre.
Pleasel consider having your child audition in a Northern Starz show or bring your child to one of our upcoming shows. We've been in our new space since 2016 so we are excited to share the wonders of theatre for years to come. Here are ten reasons why we believe you should consider theatre for your kids.
1. They’ll walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.
When a child reads a character, they’re forced to think, why would he have made that choice? What’s he trying to get from the person he’s talking to? How could he have done it differently? Empathy is one of the top personality skills necessary for strong corporate leadership later on, and theatre training is even used to ready doctors’ bedside manner. Theater invites us to empathize and this practice lays the foundation for strength and compassion.
2. Builds Up Attention Span and Confidence
Children have limited attention spans and sometimes need a boost of confidence. At the theatre, kids are placed into an environment where they learn to focus on the action unfolding on the stage in front of them. Every child who auditions gets a part in the show which allows us to tailor our rehearsal and performances for all ages and attention spans. As a result, children get to practice patience by following along with the plot in anticipation of the next scene and to listen attentively.
Said Gretchen Johnson, parent and Coon Rapids Middle School Assistant Principal,
"WE CANNOT EXPRESS ENOUGH HOW FANTASTIC OF AN EXPERIENCE THIS FIRST PRODUCTION
WITH NORTHERN STARZ HAS BEEN. THANK YOU TO THE DIRECTORS, CAST AND CREW FOR TAKING
CARE OF HIM. I AM BEYOND IMPRESSED AT HOW KIND THESE KIDS ARE TO EACH OTHER."
3. Theatre doesn’t tell you what to feel.
Art is based in personal experience. Playing a role, directing a show, designing a set, seeing a
production, I might not see the same images or feel the same impulses as you. And that’s how
it’s meant to work. It opens up pathways for all participants to explore their own emotions
and views. Involving your kids in art makes them free to think, free to feel, and free
to explore who they want to become.
4. Great Exposure to Literary Skills and The World of Art
Reading, writing and speaking are fundamental skills that all children need to develop. A theatre performance and it's wonder has the ability to motivate children who may not be motivated to pick up a book. Theatre engages multiple sense and nothing brings a story to life or is more accessible to kids like seeing or acting on stage where characters are no longer confined to the words on a page but given life by actors. Northern Starz providers an amazing way for kids to gain exposure to the arts from a young age.
5. Theatre is Therapeutic and Provides Help with Social Growth
Attending the theatre both as a performer or via participation is a social affair. Many, many articles have been written about the importance theatre and the arts have on our children's development. Kids need the freedom to not be perfect, they need to be encouraged to daydream and release artistic expression, they need to sing, be encouraged by a team and most importantly they need to be silly, loud and enjoy themselves in a safe, fun environment.
6. Cultivates Critical Thinking Skills
There are plenty of ways that parents can use the theatre experience to
get their children to express their thoughts. During rehearsals or at the performances,
ask them open-ended questions such as “What did you learn from the show or
from your character?”, “Why do you think the characters behaved the
way they did?” and “What did you enjoy most about the acting/music/set?”.
7. Develops Idea Producers
The roots of creativity take hold from a young age. We are so proud of all the
great shows we've produced through our history. We also are excited about the future
and no better forum is going to be our Summer
Northern Starz Theatre Festival where we have our own students work with
mentors on directing, playwriting, acting and participating in the tech crew. The fantastical, and sometimes whimsical, world of children’s theatre with its colorful sets and singing animals provides a safe environment for children to free their imagination and believe in endless possibilities. One of the geniuses of the twentieth century, Albert Einstein said, “If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”
Unsurprisingly, fairy tales are a long-time staple of children’s theatre. A wellspring of imaginative ideas, in the theatre, it is possible for porridge pot to overflow and drown a village or for a beanstalk to reach up to the clouds. This reinforces the mindset of “why not?” – the very basis that spurs on every inventor, entrepreneur and artist who has dared to dream beyond the status quo.
8. Helps You to Navigate “Life Issues” with Your Children
Great children’s theatre goes beyond simple storytelling and involves multiple layers that go beyond face value. While often light-hearted, children’s theatre can deal with subjects as serious as death and loss, and tackle questions such as values and relationships.
As such, theatre performances can serve as a springboard to open up a discussion about important issues. Using the experience of a character in the show or a situation that occurred in the story, parents can guide their children along by sharing their own viewpoints and values with their kids.
9. Creates Bonding Experiences
Going to rehearsals and performances gives your child a chance to create lasting memories. Kids participate around the entire Anoka/Hennepin community and have developed friendships that go beyond theatre. Little things go a long way to making it a memorable experience.
10. It’s Fun and Entertaining
A theatre experience is just plain fun. Seeing your child on stage for the first time is an amazing experience and to see them grow as a person via future performances is even better. Plus, the spectacle of talented actors, lively music, and engaging storylines, make it entertaining time for the entire family.
If you are interested in learning more about Northern Starz call or email our executive director Rachel Bohnsack at email@example.com or 612.326.6158. You can also subscribe to our newsletter for updates and news about upcoming shows, performances or classes.