Theater is a great opportunity for people to express themselves. It can be especially helpful to children and teens looking for such an outlet. Often times, theater can help children gain self confidence. This can help them in other aspects of their lives as well. Theater should provide children with a way of having fun and learning at the same time. It can be a great chance for kids to interact with others from all walks of life.
Gather children in a circle. Find out what they know and think about theater. Go around the circle, round robin style, and have each child take a moment to express what theater means to him. This will help show you what the children need to specifically learn.
Write the names of common children's character's. Put them in a hat for the kid's to draw from. Give the children some time to practice. Let them perform in front of the group. This gives each child the chance to be a character. It gives all the children experience with an audience.
Have each child memorize a very short monologue. This should be no longer than 30 seconds. It's a great tool to help with memorization. The voice one needs to use for theater should also be addressed with this exercise.
Choose a small play for the children to perform for the parents. Assign characters to everyone. Help in costume preparation and choices. Keep it simple. All parents may not be able to spend money on the project.
Spend one whole class working on scenery with the children. Teaching theater to children involves things other than acting. Getting everybody involved in the whole process provides a well-rounded theater education.
Don't make your play too long and complicated. Young children will have a difficult time following a complicated plot.
- Jennifer Metz