Here is an enjoyable way for your children to develop 3 valuable skills from the world of acting! Your child does not have to dream of acting success on stage, screen or film to use theatrical methods and resources for a creative and unusual way to develop his/her communicating skills. The tools that actors use to hone their craft are also useful in everyday life. The mental processes of reading, understanding, memorizing and delivering monologues and ultimately, even scenes with other children, can spark a wide variety of creative activities, enrich the child’s life and can contribute to creative writing projects and skill development. Younger children can use the existing monologues resources to build a foundation of communication, while older children can nurture understanding of things like bullying, alienation and antisocial behaviors by writing their own scenes or short plays about characters with these situations. It is somewhat akin to “standing in another’s shoes” to gain insight.
Even practicing different accents will aid your child in improving regular, daily speaking and possibly understanding people from other countries and cultures. The necessary work of getting inside a character goes well beyond the actual role; it broadens the entire person and helps to make him/her more comfortable and confident in social situations. By practicing age-appropriate monologues, your child will have to read new material, memorize it, understand it, and if you want, can deliver it as a public speaking project to your family, friends, homeschool support group, etc. With so many child-based T.V. programs and the increasing number of live theatre curriculums all over the country, age-appropriate material is easy to find. Being able to communicate well, especially in speech, is one of the most important skills a person can possess. It is well-known that most people say they fear public speaking more than dying! By using the many excellent materials available in the theatrical realm that provide these 3 skills, you can help your child develop his/her public speaking, reading and memorization abilities — and the confidence that goes with them — as a foundation for their entire lives! MjL