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Theatre for Children - Do you think it benefits them in any way?


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I am a student currently researching for my dissertation about whether theatre for young people/children benefits them in any way and I have a few questions to ask which would really help if I got some responses too.


Firstly, do you think children learn from going to visit the theatre ?


Do you think theatre should be about fun and play or education and learning?


Can theatre teach? For example everyday life skills?


Should children learn about current affairs when they go to the theatre? Not simply to go to the theatre just to see fairy tales played out?


If anyone who reads this has any comments or ideas on any of the above, even to a word or two would be enough as a reply. As I have written this to gain some knowledge about what others think theatre for children benefits? even if maybe you think it doesn't?


Many thanks

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My childhood memories are of glamour and excitement at the old Lyceum theatre when I was taken to the pantomimes, and the fun of a good Gilbert & Sullivan production.

Whether I learned anything from it, I can't say. Maybe from paradoxes like Frederick's 29 Feb birthday in "Pirates of Penzance".

Theatre should be fun, and entertain. Some of the worst plays I have endured have been written to "educate" the audience. G.B.Shaw was able to get ideas across in an entertaining play, for instance.

Yes, I think theatre can teach "life skills"; but is the role of film and TV more powerful here?

AS for "current affairs": can you write a play, get it cast and rehearsed and into production before tha "affairs" are no longer current? I think TV has a much more useful role here.

I have observed misinformation on children's TV drama; e.g. a "weepie" about a schoolgirl's grandmother, doomed to die because she didn't have $10,000 to pay for her operation. This turned out to be almost an advertisement for a change in our health care system, and eventually was corrected by the drama taking Grandma through the proper channels for free hospital treatment. So if you are going to "teach" via drama, please be sure you get your facts right; maybe ask a few people who don't agree with you!


Well, that's a lot more than "a word or two"; hope it helps.

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