When I first had to prepare a presentation for a Theatre class, I was searching for something different. Something other than famous playwrights, effective plays, and popular stage management. I was searching for something related to the youth in a way that will be able to make a change, because that is my goal in life.

While surfing on the internet, I found a quote that caught my attention: ‘There is no world without theatre’. What is this world for? Who builds it? Who is its future? And what makes this world a better place? I found the answer – the youth. Yes, the youth. Each one of us. Therefore, there is no youth without theatre. This is why I decided back then that my presentation would be about the importance of theatre in education. This is because I believe that education is the strongest weapon we can use to change the world.

In order to create a better world, memorising physics formulas, maths equations, poems, and the organs of a human body is not enough. It is crucial to understand what our world is all about, and it is also essential to be self-confident and creative, have empathy and communication skills, collaborate with others, learn to concentrate, know how to solve problems, trust each other, be disciplined, have fun sometimes and relax at others, have a strong memory, be aware of social issues, and appreciate the arts. In order to do all this, one must follow a drama education that has a physical, emotional, and social impact on us.

Drama Education is divided into steps that lead to success.

Self-Confidence

Taking risks in class and performing for an audience teaches students to trust their ideas and abilities. The confidence gained in drama applies to school, university, careers, and life in general.

Imagination

Making creative choices, thinking of new ideas, and interpreting familiar material in new ways are essential to drama. Einstein said: ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge’.

Empathy

Acting roles from different situations, time periods, and cultures promotes compassion and tolerance for others’ feelings and viewpoints.

Cooperation & Collaboration

Theatre combines the creative ideas and abilities of its participants. This cooperative process includes discussing, negotiating, rehearsing, and performing.

Concentration Skills

Drama enhances verbal and nonverbal expression of ideas. It improves voice projection, articulation of words, fluency with language, and persuasive speech. Listening and observation skills develop by playing drama games, being an audience, rehearsing, and performing.

Concentration

Playing, practicing, and performing develop a sustained focus of mind, body, and voice, which also helps in other subjects and courses, and, again, life in general.

Problem solving

Students learn how to communicate the who, what, where, and why to the audience. Improvisation fosters quick-thinking solutions, which leads to greater adaptability in life.

Fun

Drama brings play, humour, and laughter to learning; this improves motivation and reduces stress.

Emotional Outlet

Pretend play and drama games allow students to express a range of emotions. Aggression and tension are released in a safe, controlled environment, reducing antisocial behaviours.

Relaxation

Many drama activities reduce stress by releasing mental, physical, and emotional tension.

Self-discipline

The process of moving from ideas to actions to performances teaches the value of practice and perseverance. Drama games and creative movement improve self-control.

Trust

The social interaction and risk taking in drama develop trust in self, others, and the process.

Physical Fitness

Movement in drama improves flexibility, coordination, balance, and control.

Memory

Rehearsing and performing words, movements, and cues strengthens this skill like a muscle.

Social Awareness

Legends, myths, poems, stories, and plays used in drama teach students about social issues and conflicts from cultures – past and present – all over the world.

Aesthetic Appreciation

Participating in and viewing theatre raises the appreciation for the art form. It is important to raise a generation that understands, values, and supports a theatre’s place in society.

Drama improves academic performances 

Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between drama involvement and academic achievement. In addition to having higher standardised test scores, students who participate in drama often improve reading comprehension, maintain better attendance records, and stay generally more engaged in class.

The College Entrance Examination Board reported student scores from 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005 using data from the Student Description Questionnaire indicating student involvement in the arts. Here are the results:

  • Students involved in drama performance scored an average of 65.5 points higher on the verbal component and 35.5 points higher in the maths component of the SAT
  • Students who took courses in drama study or appreciation scored, on average, 55 points higher in the verbal  element and 26 points higher in maths than their non-arts classmates.
  • In 2005, students involved in drama performance outscored the national average SAT score by 35 points on the verbal portion and 24 points on the maths section.

Research also indicated that involvement in the arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance. Here are the results:

  • Students considered to be at high risk for dropping out of high school cite drama as their motivation for staying in school.
  • Students who participate in the arts are three times more likely to win an award for school attendance than those who do not.

Drama Education doesn’t just boost the students’ confidence, it develops their communication skills, and makes them stronger people, but it also improves their academic performances. Drama Education is therefore essential for more successful scores and higher grades.