Tuesday, Sept. 20: Something you wish more people knew or believed.
A rehearsal photo from the production of Almost, Maine that I directed in February.
I wish more people knew, believed, or understood that an arts education is VITAL to their development as a contributing member of society. Note I said contributing member. People can survive without it, but in order to function well and to give something good into the world around you, I think exposure to and education in the arts is a game-changer. It doesn't have to be theatre (though I'd prefer it to be, but that's just me), because art in any form has plenty to teach you.
In Texas, football is king. It gets the money, the glory, the attendance, and the focus. Academics are valued, too, but the arts can often get the short end of the stick. What's the first thing to go when funding is low? You guessed it. STEAM turns to STEM and my position loses its place.
But what I do is more than teach students how to play pretend. It's more than watching movie-musicals and playing games (though yes, that does sometimes happen). It's teaching people to ask big questions, of themselves, of society, and of each other. It's teaching people how to express themselves verbally, physically, and creatively. It's teaching collaboration and problem-solving, wrestling with the balance of serving your audience and challenging them. It's introducing various viewpoints and histories, finding similarities and differences. It is teaching people that everyone has something to contribute, and art takes a community.
A photo from the production of Almost, Maine I directed last October.
I absolutely LOVE theatre. I am learning to love teaching theatre. I am learning that not everyone loves theatre. And I am learning that I must keep on anyway.
I found the following quote floating around in a teachers' packet on my beloved subject, and I thought today was the perfect place to share:
Theatre is a science.
Theatre is mathematical.
Theatre is a foreign language.
Theatre is history.
Theatre is physical education.
Theatre is business.
Theatre is technology.
Theatre is economics.
Theatre is taught in schools
not because you are expected to major in theatre,
not because you are expected to perform all through life,
not so you can relax,
not so you can have fun,
so you will recognize beauty,
so you will be sensitive,
so you will be closer to an infinite beyond this world,
so you will have more love,
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living
unless you know how to live?
That is why theatre is taught in our schools.
That's why I do what I do. That's why I get up and go to work in the morning. That's why I battle all the paperwork and mindless details, staying at the theatre until dark night after night for rehearsal. It isn't always easy, but it is so worth it.
What about you friends?
What do you wish more people knew/believed?