10 Ways Theatre Can Benefit Your Everyday Life

  1. Imagination: The theatre provides a way for our technology-driven world to explore the creative mind. We are often taught to use our imaginations as children, yet we seem to forget this as adults. The theatre allows us to discover new ideas, new ways to express ourselves, and ways to bring words and melodies from a page to the stage.
  1. Improvisation: Anything can happen during live theatre, and it will. Nothing is more frightening than being faced with missed cues, forgotten lines, broken set pieces, etc. All these things require improvisation and the ability to stay calm in a seemingly chaotic situation. It is certain this skill can, and will be, beneficial in other aspects of our personal and professional lives.
  1. Teamwork and Collaboration: As we learn in theatre, every part, no matter how big or small, is equally important. Working in a group can be challenging, there’s no denying it. There will always be discrepancies on casting, creative ideas, and other responsibilities. But as we collaborate, we are all applying different skills to create a work of art. Not only that, we are learning new skills along the way. In the end, the challenges we face are just stepping stones towards the bigger picture. And the pride and satisfaction we feel when everything comes together is what makes the process so worthwhile.
  1. Respect and Tolerance: Most performers will undoubtedly face some big personalities and quirky characters throughout their career. If theatre teaches us anything, it is how to deal with, work with, and appreciate these fellow artists. As mentioned before, everyone offers a skill set and way of thinking different from the person next to them. This is how theatre evolves, and realistically, there is no right or wrong. Either way, egos will soar, tempers will flare and we must learn to empathize and tolerate personalities different from our own. Listen. Find a common ground. After all, that’s what acting is all about.
  1. Social Benefits: Participating in theatre is a way for some actors to develop a sense of belonging. Working in a group, taking risks, creating a sense of achievement, using the theatre as a means of escape, and sticking to a commitment are just a few of the ways we can benefit from performing.
  1. Handling Rejection: If one thing is certain, the theatre teaches us to brush ourselves off and try again. No matter how hard we prepare or how “right” we may feel for a part, life (and directors) often has other plans. Does that mean we give up? No way. Performers often use those “no’s” as motivation to try for another role or show. Never let rejection define you and never let other people’s opinions or visions determine your self-worth. Figure out what can be gained from each rejection and turn it into opportunity.
  1. Emotional Outlet: Acting requires the ability to channel many different emotions, often during the same performance. Not only that, but actors are required to access certain emotions that may not be dealt with in their own personal lives. The theatre allows for a controlled environment to release these emotions through the characters we portray on stage. It can be a therapeutic endeavor for many of us.
  1. Concentration: The best actors are the ones who listen, and listening is just one of the many aspects of theatre that requires ample amounts of focus. In order to develop our mind, body, and voice, we must memorize, practice and work together. The concentration used for bettering these skills will only enhance other aspects of our everyday lives.
  1. Public Speaking: Oddly enough, a number of actors find public speaking of any kind to be a bit intimidating. But this is where acting techniques can come in handy. Some examples: moving with a purpose, speaking eloquently and expressively, using breath to support the voice, connecting with the audience, and diction (enunciation).
  1. Self-Confidence: Ironically, many of us performing in theatre have some self-confidence issues. We all have fears, and the theatre isn’t always the friendliest place to face them. We fear being in front of a big crowd, dropping a line, being judged, not being good enough, etc. But numbers 1 through 9 above are what help us alleviate several of those fears. Every step we take towards creating and completing a production boosts our self-esteem. As mentioned earlier, there is a sense of well-deserved pride when we work together to achieve a goal. And nothing feels better than knowing we actively helped create a work of art that, hopefully, inspired those who are watching.

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