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Why Drama?

Improv – Part 11 Of Why Drama Is So Important In School

Part 11 of the 12-part series: Why Drama is so important in School. – IMPROVISATION

Improvisation is a skill set with immense life-skill potential. For many, improv brings up the thought of comedic skits on stage, but in reality, that stage is the playground—or dare I say, the classroom — to hone skills preparing students to be ready in a rapidly transforming world.

The unknown is all around us, and for many, the unknown is a scary place. Take me out of my routine, and I get lost. But, for those students lucky enough to study improv—or better yet: the skill of embracing the unknown and reacting to it — the world quickly becomes their oyster. Sure, it’s fun. Finding solutions to problems is very enjoyable. Doing improv is simply working and flexing that creative muscle.

The art of improv is as simple as that. I use the word “art” when really should say “skill”. And this skill cannot be boiled down to zeros and ones, there needs to be flexibility to solutions or answers, to solving problems.

Boiled down, improv is consistently placing the student in an unknown or uncomfortable situation and reacting successfully to it. Now, do they fail? Absolutely! And, only by failing do we learn what works to succeed, or another way to look at it: if it doesn’t work one way, try another! In this classroom, there are no wrong answers. So, the ability to freely learn this skill, strengthen this muscle, feeling free to do so, is at the core of learning this life skill.

The creative mindset goes far beyond the arts. From a professional perspective, people and businesses are constantly challenged with unknown problems. It’s the creatives that ideate new ideas and bring organizations to the next level. There are so few creatives finding solutions in the world that they always rise to the surface, no matter where they live or work.

Few have been successful simply because they were excellent at academics, but many have been successful because they could think on their feet and find solutions in short order. Many times, your B students are much more prepared for the world than your A students. We spend so much time testing in school when in reality, we should be flexing the creative muscle as much as possible.

Improv is an extremely powerful tool and lifelong skill, that only the theatre arts can give. The Power of drama in education is on full display when we work on improv with our children.

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By brendan kelso

Brendan is the main creative source and author behind Playing With Plays and the infamous Shakespeare for Kids series. You can typically find him inventing by day, playing with his family by night, and writing by very late night.

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