Whether or not children choose to be theatre artists, theatre arts education not only engages with their creative side but it also provides them with a foundation and important skills that they can use in all aspects of their lives. Children learn how to work together, become responsible, and expand on their experiences past what they would normally do in their daily school curriculum.
The education programming at Stages Theatre Company (STC) is an all-access pass to theatre education! STC programs are designed to meet the needs of any young person looking to deepen their knowledge of theatre, discover its integration into other subject areas, and develop personal confidence and self-expression.
With theatre arts education, children have the opportunity to celebrate the depth of human expression in all of its forms. Not only does this connect them to themselves and helps the children find their inner voice, but it also teaches them empathy. “When you have empathy you can see people who are different than yourself and still figure out a way of connecting and reaching out to them,” said Nikki Swoboda, Stage’s Education Director. “The greatest impact that theatre can have is enhancing the kind of human we can be.” Through creative expression, students learn to understand the world better and are better equipped to handle different situations that may come their way.
The Stages Theatre Acting Programs have expanded exponentially since their beginning 35 years ago. Throughout the school year, Stages offers pre-school programming for children 2-6, a multi-track conservatory program for ages 6-17, and an incredible CAST program for children affected by ASD, and more! It truly started with 6 kids in a room with one teaching artist to providing theatre education opportunities for over 20,000 children and youth.
“What makes the education programs at Stages so special is that we are not in the business of making stars,” said Swoboda. “What we care about is: Are you a better person when you’ve left a class at Stages? Are you a person that believes in creativity? Have you built your confidence? Have you found a way to push your character? That is what education is about at Stages.”
What do parents love most about their children participating in Stages’ Education Programs?
- “Aside from giving my child the tools for her acting toolbox, it has really given her greater confidence in her day to day work”
- “Having our kids participate in Stages programs has brought out gifts in them that they don’t even realize they have and that they find useful in a lot of aspects of their lives. We have seen them all grow in knowledge and confidence. It is amazing to watch them bring that confidence to new arenas at school, in the community and even amongst their friends”
- “Stages is a great non-profit and are great about involving kids from all communities”
- ”Its been really cool as a parent to see our kids really have a safe place. This is a community and there is a spot for you.”
- “They have opportunities for all children to build a solid foundation. I have three girls, they are all very different and all have participated in Stages programs with success”
- “From the administration to the kids, it is amazing to see how much everyone respects each other, gets along, and helps to improve each other’s craft.”
- “I have the utmost respect for the staff at Stages and the work they are able to produce is incredible. The level of commitment that they get from the kids is just spot on!”
- “Stages Theatre focuses on the kid, and they make sure that no one is left behind”