Nobody knows the impact of theater on youth better than actor, musical director and casting director Michael Wiles. From a young age, Michael Wiles participated in theater productions. He spent 10 years teaching high school students musical theater, instilling them a love of acting, singing and dancing.
There are many great benefits to youth who participate in theater. Some are educational, and some affect much more than just grades. Learning their lines may increase their literacy and their memorization skills. Being directed can help improve their listening skills, a skill which will go beyond their school years.
Children who suffer from painful shyness my learn bravery and self-confidence through doing theater. Theater is an activity that throws children with different backgrounds and interests together, giving children the opportunity to learn how to navigate social situations with kids they don’t typically interact with.
Theater is also a “team sport,” so children can learn the effects that not doing their part can have on a team. If a child gets a role that is highly desired, they have the opportunity to learn how to accept the compliment with grace and humility, instead of bragging. Should something go wrong on stage, children have the opportunity to learn how to stay calm and deal with the unexpected.
Theater is a tremendous creative outlet, which is something that all children need. Michael Wiles learned during his teaching years that creative expression is vital to children and teenagers as they make their way through their formative years. Theater can teach many positive, lifelong skills to the youth of today.