It is an honor to be directing the Brimmer musical once again. It is wonderful to see students stepping out of their comfort zones and singing in front of their peers. The process has reminded me of the importance of the creative arts in our School and in the greater world. Theater and drama help students to grow in several key areas that are essential to their growth and development. At Brimmer, the Creative Arts are a vital part of the student experience, and our classes and productions help students to develop in these key areas.
The process of putting together a show is a complicated process. Participation in a production requires students to explore complex group dynamics during team building exercises. Every person involved–from the director, to the stage crew, to the cast–are essential to the success of the production. Everyone involved works collectively to ensure a successful outcome.
Building Public Speaking Skills
The importance of being able to communicate effectively is vitally important component of success in the Upper School and beyond. Drama helps to build these skills by providing opportunities for students to articulate their thoughts in front of their peers and adults. I will never forget one fifth grader who struggled with extreme stage fright. Through his time in Middle School drama classes, and with the support of the faculty, he grew immensely, and he ended up as a lead in the fall play his 8th grade year.
Building Empathy and Emotional Intelligence
Exploring dramatic literature builds empathy and compassion for human experiences different from our own. Building these key skills is important in middle school, and I believe it plants the seeds for who we want our students to be as adults. It also supports our mission of developing ethical citizens and leaders and our diverse world.
When students come together to create a play or musical, they are able to expand their horizons and think creatively about how to portray the world of the play. So often, students come to rehearsals with costume and set design ideas, as their experience as an actor opens their minds to think about how to portray the world of the play to the audience.