Happy last Friday before spring, everyone!
Back at CMT, I read through and edited education brochures, which are sent out to schools. These packets contain information about what CMT is and what it aims to achieve in the community — to foster a love for musical theatre in young children — and also explains to teachers and parents the importance of educational drama programs. Some of these benefits align with two of the advantages of theatre that I am looking into: building self-confidence and empathy skills. The brochures discuss the importance of role playing, or placing oneself in the mindset of another, within a safe space, which will thusly encourage the development of these benefits.
Rehearsals at school continue, and our musical is being pieced together and refined slowly but surely. I am very excited for us to present all our hard work when the time comes. School was out this Friday, and so I was unable to observe any drama elective classes.
This week I was once again reading a ton. I looked into how adolescence is the time during which the prefrontal cortex matures, a phenomenon which is linked to the honing of executive function. This is a developmental stage that includes the improvement of such things as memorisation skills, critical thinking, and self control. A connection may be drawn to drama and how it encourages these qualities. Through practicing script memorisation and interpretation, performers learn how to expand their capacity to remember and comprehend complex and multifaceted concepts as well as to channel their knowledge into an appropriate physical manifestation.
Ms. Sweet suggested I look through the website of the Marin Shakespeare Company, an organisation which works to provide Shakespeare-themed drama programs for inmates. In some of the prisons, the students have transcended canon Shakespearean script in favour of writing their own, more personalised material. These positive experiences with theatre have allowed inmates to become more open about their stories, and in some cases former inmates pursue acting professionally because of the skills they developed while in class. I’ll further explore the Marin Shakespeare Company’s website for more information over the next week.
As for qualities employers look for while considering possible recruits, I found many characteristics with the potential to be improved and nurtured by drama: teamwork capability, ambition, critical thinking skills, etc.
I’ve started synthesising what I’ve learned about adolescent psychology with the research I’ve done this week. As of right now, my goal for next week is to continue this.
Thanks a bunch for reading!