Theater & acting
Drama teaching background
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Core philosophy for teaching acting to children
For all ages, good acting is good communication: it requires good reacting—listening carefully to what someone is saying, engaging with the person, and responding honestly. Acting classes for children are about more than acting: sound acting interplays basic principles of being a constructive member of society with feeling personally competent and fulfilled. Role-playing—trying out different personae—and expressing their own feelings in the relatively safe setting of fictional presentation helps free children from inhibition. Theater games—improvisational exercises and scenes—are particularly valuable for developing such skills, including:
The classroom should be a safe place to take risks. In a tone of non-judgmental collaboration—that we’re in this together and want to be effective in what we do—a group leader can discuss what worked and didn’t work in a particular exercise. “Mistakes” become part of the process of getting better. And praise, when it occurs (and it should occur with each achievement) can be experienced as genuine.