Working with a professional theatre company is very different from attending weekly dance, music or drama classes.
But what can the experience teach young performers, and why is that valuable?
Being a part of a theatre company has a huge range of benefits for children. It builds their confidence, gives them an energetic outlet to express themselves and lets them practise vital social skills in a safe space.
But the experience of theatre training can teach even more important lessons…
The first thing we see in a theatre company is how all aspects of the arts work together to create a performance.
At Theatretrain, our performances are a rich celebration of dancing, acting and singing, each bringing a unique dynamic to the piece.
And within that, our performers train and work together to create their performances. This collaboration is crucial for young people to test their boundaries, try out personalities and grow their self-confidence.
Group collaboration can take several different forms within a theatre company.
In weekly rehearsals, your child will work with more than just their stage mates. Everyone has a role to play, including the performers, show directors and coaches. Everyone knows what the aim is – a polished and entertaining performance.
With this common goal, they work independently but also as a team. If one person struggles with a step, their theatre-mates can offer help. It creates a warm, supportive environment where peer-to-peer learning is as important as that from the professionals. We’ve seen how this instils respect and cohesion in our young performers.
In this dynamic, it’s also easier to take and give feedback. Receiving feedback from trained and professional instructors is a given, but our company also get insight from those around them. Your child can learn from their fellow performers through constructive criticism.
Dedication & Persistence
No performer walks onto a stage and simply just performs. Behind every scene, song or dance is hours and hours of toil and practice.
Working within a professional theatre environment, you learn that everything takes effort. Even when you think it’s perfected, there are still ways in which your performance can evolve.
A young performer might love to sing but find a song in the upcoming show rather challenging. Should they give up? Should they focus on their acting and leave singing to others? This attitude might be encouraged by some, seeing it as a way to protect feelings, lessen anxiety and focus attention on subjects that come a little easier. But here, at Theatretrain, we like to encourage perseverance.
Persistence is facing those challenges with a can-do attitude.
In this instance, a young performer would be given more support from their singing instructor. Because in theatre, everyone knows it just takes time, the right help and practise to find your way.
It would be easy to sing one piece awkwardly and decide you don’t have what it takes or you don’t have a natural ability, but a theatre company gives everyone the support they need to improve and grow their confidence in every skill.
Dedication is committing, even when it gets tough. All performers, from the young ones just starting out through to the stalwarts of the screen and stage, need to be persistent in their dedication!
And dedication and perseverance show up in every rehearsal in a number of ways, not just the most obvious learning moments. By attending regularly, performers exercise persistence. By memorising lines, songs and dances, they learn the power of repetition. By taking the time out of their other interests to be present, performers demonstrate a commitment to their craft.
A Sense Of Self
Professional theatre is a fast-paced environment filled with big personalities. Just by being part of it, you get a greater understanding of who you are.
The roles you play help you connect to your feelings and emotions in a more objective and analytical way. If your child participates in theatre training, they’ll be asked to put on another hypothetical face. This could be the heartbroken subject of a song’s lyrics, the ferocity of a dance routine, or a character’s innocence.
In each of these portrayals, a performer will take on these characteristics for a short time, feeling what their character would feel and making sure the audience feels it too. This can be challenging but hugely rewarding, heightening a performer’s ability to connect with their emotions.
In addition, performers are side by side with the rest of their company. Working so closely with others shines a light on how a child or young person engages and connects, giving insight into their communication style. By exploring various scenarios, performers can quickly determine how people may communicate differently and how others may respond.
Professional theatre gives everybody equal footing so your child can express themselves as a peer. Their thoughts and opinions are always heard, giving them confidence in who they are. Performers can develop a sense of empowerment from being part of a collaborative group like this.
They learn to appreciate others’ perspectives and respect different experiences, developing an overall sense of community invaluable to every performer – and person.
The Rich Experience Within A Theatre Company…
Professional theatre teaches young performers so much; it’s an enriching experience that stays with them for life. They learn to work collaboratively, taking and giving feedback. They understand what they can achieve if they practise persistently and build on their already developing personalities in a meaningful and constructive environment.
If your child could benefit from joining a theatre company like Theatretrain, find a class near you using our online tool.