Start with Musicals on Film
Your child may appreciate musicals much earlier than you would expect; however, it is understandable if you don't want their first experience to be a live show. The potential for your child to get bored or be disruptive may make you nervous. A good alternative can be some of the classic musicals and shows that are on film.
Watching the movie version of your favorite shows gives you the opportunity to introduce theater in bite-size portions, thirty to forty minutes at a time. You may watch a single act in an evening and then do a bedtime intermission. You can even take some time to discuss what they liked and disliked.
Take Them to a Local Show
Once you have helped establish their appreciation for shows on film, it might be time to take your child to a live show. The thought of taking a child to a live show may make you nervous. Here are a few tips for making sure you are as comfortable as possible:
- Try to sit on the end of the aisle so you can make a quick getaway.
- Don’t be afraid to skip a scene or two in the lobby.
- Bring a coloring book or something that can keep your child busy for slower scenes.
- Remember that the cast is used to noise, so even if your child is a bit loud, it is probably more distracting to you than them.
- Introduce your child to the cast if it is an option.
You will likely find that your child far exceeds your expectations and will fall in love with the theater from the first act.
Practice Theater at Home
Once you have seen a show live, your child may be ready to take the next step in appreciation. You can grab a script in the morning and assign roles to family members, schedule an afternoon rehearsal, and prepare to put on your own theater performance by evening. After a day of being an actor, your child may be begging to do it again the next day.
Provide Opportunities to Participate in Theater
As fun and imaginative as it is to experience shows from the audience, your child's appreciation for theater will skyrocket when they are given the opportunity to participate. The Asheville Performing Arts Academy is committed to providing opportunities for students to interact with theater, drama, music, and dance. We foster a love and appreciation for the arts through student-teacher relationships, which encourage and help children excel at their dreams. We offer a number of programs that allow children to participate in theater.
How Theater Benefits Your Child
We cover the benefits of theater for children in more detail in a previous article. In brief, there are many ways in which your child will learn and grow by watching and participating in theater:
- Having an appreciation for theater will help your child better appreciate the arts.
- Many shows deal with important moments in history, helping your children connect with the past.
- Acting is the ultimate expression of imagination. Watching and especially participating in theater helps children maintain their imagination and creativity.
- Participating in theater establishes a child's courage as they perform and overcome stage fright.
- Theater can shape a child's future, providing a path forward to an exciting career.
The Asheville Performing Arts Academy is a school based on unlimited opportunities for students to explore their interests in music, dance, and drama. If you are ready to introduce your child to theater, APAA is here to help. We provide summer camps and programs during the school year that instill an appreciation for arts and creativity. Contact us for more information about how our programs help introduce children to a lifelong love for theater.