Students who wish to pursue an acting career can consider the performing arts as an outlet towards that development. Theater presents many opportunities for students to overcome fears and create unbreakable bonds with other like-minded students. While many question if the performing arts should be offered in grade school, some proponents suggest that it aids in building confidence and social skills for children.
IMPORTANCE OF THEATER ARTS IN HIGH SCHOOL
Certain social trends have led to the popularity explosion of the performing arts in recent years. Most parents and school board members question whether the performing arts should be taught as requisite in the public educational system. Some question whether it would be beneficial over other academic curriculum.
Proponents of the performing arts argue that theater addresses skills not otherwise exercised in general academia. For instance, theater would improve five general areas of personal development, including kinesthetic sensory abilities, creative and artistic development, cognitive abilities, and intra- or interpersonal skills. Additionally, a UCLA-sponsored study concluded that participation in drama-related activities actually increased the academic performance of the child enrolled into the performing arts. Some reported improvement in their overall scores on standardized tests. Students have also suggested an improvement of self-confidence, articulate performance, and the ability to get along with others in a group setting. Graduates of the performing arts have pursued careers in teaching, law, politics, and media broadcasting. Conquering the fear of public speaking also increases the overall probability of a successful career after finishing school.
GET FUNDING FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS
Educational institutions often need to seek funding options for their performing arts curriculum. The performing arts depend on the balance of public and private funding due to its nonprofit structure, which is why schools have sought federal aid. A strong leader and proponent for the promotion of the performing arts is the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). The National Endowment of the Arts employs powerful fundraising instruments for educational institutions and performing arts organizations. In additional, the federal government works with state governments to fund in the performing arts departments of the public education system. These partnerships have aimed to promote the financial support of theater for students seeking a future in the performing arts. Students should also conduct community fundraising via ticket sales to performances, and not strictly rely on government funding to support theater curriculum. Other funding avenues can be accepted through donations and corporate promotion.
- Importance of Federal Funding for the Performing Arts
- Performing Arts Fund
- Funding Programs for Performing Artists
- The United Performing Arts Fund
- The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: Performing Arts
- The Doris Duke Charitable Foundaiton for the Performing Arts
- Performing Arts Alliance Urges Support for NEA Funding
An ever-evolving and competitive performing arts department has surmounted greater challenges for novice directors. Directors have many challenges imposed on them by critics within the academic world. Directors must conduct extensive research, read, plan, conceive, and develop a course of action that will develop into a creative screenplay that will strike interest within a demanding audience. The director determines the plot, characters, and design elements that set the motion of the performance into action. In essence, the director constructs the foundation for the finished production. Beginner directors should keep these pertinent tips in mind, including targeting the niche audience that will want to view the play in the first place, reading and editing the screenplay immediately after completion, adjusting and determining the appropriate voice for the screenplay, casting the right students for the characters involved in the playwright, memorizing the story inside and out, creating the design and layout on the allotted budget, and making the experience fun and lively for both cast and director alike.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAM
Students should consider the main criteria of a successful performing arts program before enrolling and devoting one’s time to it. For instance, students should consider how long the performing arts program has been around by determining the year it opened and the amount of productions were performed since its inception.
The performing arts institution’s reputation will speak volumes about the overall quality of the productions produced in prior years. Consider the faculty involved in the performing arts program. Inquire about the instructors status in business. Quality faculty instructors are the backbone of any performing arts institution. Reference the alumni of prior decades and determine if the program is worth pursuing. The key to a successful theater career will reflect in prior accomplishments. In addition the current curriculum should compete with other reputable performing arts programs. Inquire whether the performing arts program utilizes the appropriate methodology and strategies to create comprehensive productions. Examine the technical aspects behind the performing arts institution’s approach to its productions. If the institution combines ineffective means to prepare students for an acting career, then the institution should not be considered for enrollment.
Performing arts institutions should employ community advertisement incentives for small businesses and corporations. Actively promoting productions will lure in larger audiences, which will ultimately provide financial support for future endeavors. Advertisement ideas can include anything from including the sponsor’s hyperlink on the performing arts website to listing the advertiser on the community index.
Additionally, offering discounts to those interested sponsors will promote co-workers and other acquaintances to attend the production. Encourage sponsors to donate to the cause for community involvement or suggest that a portion of the advertisement revenue will go to a humanitarian cause.
Costume design incorporates the fabrication of apparel for the overall appearance of a character in a screenplay. Costume designers often employ research, design, and construction skills of actual items from its conception. Costumes are often utilized in theater or cinematic performances. Acquiring costumes on a limited budget can be challenging for any performing arts institution, especially if the screenplay has elaborate characters. Directors may send costume designers to find garments and other props through donors. Others may use their imagination to create less abstract characters with less make-up and elaborate garments.
If the production has ample time before the opening date, then directors can use their fundraising department to acquire the necessary costumes from manufacturers at cost. Each costume may consists of historical, fantastic, dance, and modern themes. Common accessories include footwear, hats, masks, make-up, wigs, underwear, and other specialty items.
BALANCING EXTRA-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES & GRADES
Students have a lot to accomplish and focus on throughout their academic pursuits. If can be tough transitioning from a classroom setting into a creative role, such as conveyed in a theatrical performance. Students may find it difficult to prioritize and divide their extracurricular activities from their academic duties. Additionally, students must not neglect their social development and continue to socially engage with other students. The performing arts allows students to expand and create interpersonal relationships, such as mirrored within the classroom setting; however, it’s important to distinguish between a student’s personal and academic life. This development will lead to important life skills that will benefit the student later in his or her life.