Play Clothes: Show Your Show Spirit!
I already know what my daughter, Katie, is wearing tomorrow–her Annie tee, from the local production of the musical she acted in a couple of months ago. Normally, she saves this top for play practice, but Friday is special because it’s National Wear Your Show Shirt to School Day. The nationwide event is spearheaded by the American Alliance for Theatre & Education to promote an arts and drama curriculum in schools. With budget cuts facing many districts across the country, funding for school plays, end-of-year shows, talent competitions, and drama classes are on the chopping block. If your child has a shirt from a show that she was in (or one that she’s seen), ask her to put it on tomorrow.
A report from the National Assembly of State Art Agencies found that being involved in drama in school or in the community helps improve reading comprehension as well as verbal skills. We also have a beautiful story in the April issue of Parents, highlighting how acting benefits kids with autism and other special needs. When the editor of the piece told me about it, I immediately thought of a family we met at a summer theatre camp. Their daughter and mine hit it off–they were so bubbly and chatty together. It wasn’t until two years later that I learned that my daughter’s friend from camp had Asperger’s Syndrome. Her dad told me that the summer camp and other drama classes she took “changed the whole family’s life.”
If you’d like to get your child more involved in drama, start by being in the audience. Many elementary and middle schools put on shows every spring that are open to the public, and tickets are usually under $10. Plus this is also a big time of year for family-friendly community productions. For instance, Katie’s theatre group is performing The Little Prince, with a mix of kid and adult actors. Tell us what your drama queens (and kings) have going on.
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