Written by Bruce Jacklin
We at MTVarts often talk of the power of live theater and how it influences our artsIQ participants? What starts out in a workshop setting culminates into a full theatrical production. Having taught for more years than I would like to admit, I’ve seen first hand that theater makes for smarter, braver human beings. Theater helps connect the head to the heart.
Theater also connects to the importance of reading. A play has the ability to jump a story off the page and bring it to life. This can be a revelation to regular bookworms, but also a connection to reluctant readers. Part of what is happening on stage is very similar to the roleplaying all children do. The difference with roleplaying and live theater is that an audience completes the process of theater. However it is with a live audience that actors subject themselves to the risk of being critiqued. Imagine yourself standing in front of a large group of strangers with a spotlight on you, hanging on to every word you say. This can be a very paralyzing experience. Theater breaks down those imaginary barriers and bolsters self-confidence that will carry through the rest of their lives. Without risk there is no growth.
The selection of our material is no accident. Choosing the junior versions of well known musicals seems to celebrate risk, leaving open the option of success once one breaks boundaries. They also give a message of "follow your dreams". One of my friends used a very good expression; he said, "It is not about an ending that is happy, but an ending that is positive.''
We humbly thank our volunteers, donors, patrons, parents, and friends for their support of MTVarts and the power of community. We are very grateful to be a part of the artistic movement that is embracing our great city.