Does your child have a personality that draws them to the center of a room? Do they love putting on performances? Do they need a little practice in public speaking? Drama classes for kids can fit all those different scenarios and more. It can help children channel that energy and make some new friends. It can also be a great chance for kids that are a little more shy to gain some confidence and learn some public speaking skills.
So where do you begin? Let’s take a look at some of the important facts to be aware of. We’ve put together a full guide to help you select the best drama class or program for your superstar.
What are the Different Types of Drama Classes Available?
There are plenty of different options available for acting and drama classes and programs. From preschool aged children that just want new ways to play and create up to young adults who really want to work on their acting skills and craft, there are options available. These are just a few of the options you’ll see as you start looking for classes.
Intro drama classes are perfect for kids who have never done any sort of acting or been on stage before. Teachers will coach the kids through different imagination exercises like riding an imaginary animal, visiting far away places and pretending to be different characters. It’s the perfect place to play and get creative with movements, voices and even some costumes.
Pantomime is the art of acting without words. We’ve all seen mimes in different movies or doing live performances. These classes focus completely on gestures, movements and facial expressions. It helps kids learn how to focus on the show and not the tell. Because there’s no need for a script, this is a great class for younger kids who aren’t strong readers yet as well as older kids.
Improvisation is a form of theater where the characters, plot and dialogue are made up by the actors while on stage. Many times there is a loose suggestion to start with and then the group works together to tell a story. Improv requires quick thinking and great collaboration. It’s a great way to get to know others and practice thinking on your toes. Plus, it’s lots of fun.
Specific Plays and Genres
Another popular way to get children involved in drama classes and programs is to have them participate in an actual production. Most plays have all kinds of roles available, from non-speaking small parts to lead roles. Each step, from preparing for the audition to taking the final bow, is a learning experience and can be incredibly fun for kids of all skills and levels.
There are also technical and behind the scenes roles that children can sign up to be a part of. Set design and costume design are two necessary roles that allow them to be part of the production without being on stage.
For any students that really want to get into acting and maybe even consider doing it professionally, having some one-on-one instruction would be beneficial. These lessons will include running through different scenes and getting specific feedback.
Benefits of Drama Classes for Kids
Drama programs and classes come with a whole array of benefits for your child and their development. Let’s take a look at some of the major ones:
- Imagination is encouraged, even required, for acting.
- Children will learn different forms of interpretations and self expression that will help them be better communicators.
- By learning scripts and plays, it will help improve concentration and memory. It also offers a more enhanced vocabulary.
- Being on stage in front of others helps develop public speaking skills and a healthy dose of self confidence.
- Every production requires a good amount of teamwork on stage and behind the scenes, so kids are able to build new group relationships and learn to be a crucial part of a team.
Obviously, these benefits roll into adulthood if this is an activity your child continues as they get older.
Other Important Things to Consider
Drama classes and programs aren’t just created for the kids who love being the center of attention, so if your child is a little more shy, there’s still opportunities for them in drama. Teachers can be a great help in developing confidence and helping them get out of their shell a bit. And for those energetic, outgoing children, drama offers a great way to channel that energy.
It’s also important to be aware of one of the toughest aspects of drama–the fierce competition. There are some productions that audition and it can be really hard to land a spot. It’s great for kids to practice auditioning, but just be prepared for them to miss out on some roles and plan for a back up activity.
What Age Should My Child Start Drama Classes?
Imagination is present right away in small children, so they are already working on their dramatic talents early. Most programs won’t start any formal drama classes until age four at the earliest however.
Acting is one of those activities that has no age that is too old to begin. It doesn’t matter if you have a six year old or a high school student, there’s an opportunity available to get involved.
Places Offering Drama Lessons for Kids
Stone Soup Theatre
Location: Wallingford Neighborhood, Seattle
Generations of Seattle families have grown up with Stone Soup Theatre drama programs for 25+ years. Come see what we have in store for children and families this season.
Check out the Stone Soup Theatre for more information.