This Home-school year we have been to many performances ranging from ballet to Broadway. Below are some of the shows we went to see in our very own Anne Arundel community. Most of which were performed by children.
Of course, I am partial to musicals because that is the world I have been in for most of my life, but I really believe that all of these shows offer wonderful lessons and should be considered a vital part of a child's cultural and artistic development . (Not that I am bias in any way.)
Not only do Musicals and other performance arts expose your children to different styles of music, you get to see people of all ages working together harmoniously (hopefully) on stage and see how there are many people working back stage to help make the experience what it is on the stage.
You are also exposing your child to different ideas about life, as most musicals have wonderful lessons interwoven throughout the show. Not only to you usually hear the message in the songs and spoken words, you are able to see the characters act out the struggle and come to resolution right in front of your eyes in real time.
As an audience member, you are actively watching the show, clapping when you like what you see, laughing when you think it is funny, and sometimes crying when you think it is sad. Unlike TV, when you respond to something on the stage, the performers respond to you as well. Most of the time in very subtle ways, but sometimes in more obvious ways.
At the end of the show, you feel connected to the performers, and as a performer, you also have a connected feeling with the audience that you shared yourself with for the past hour or two. I particularly love the fact that at the end of the show, you get to say thank you to the performers for all their hard work, and they, usually by giving you a big smile, say thank you to you for coming to see what they were offering.
And if you want to talk to the performers and ask a question or just say "great job!" you can wait at the stage door for them after the show. Now you definitely can't do that after a TV show or movie.
All in all, I think it is a wonderful thing to do with your family, friends and especially your children. It is an interactive activity that sparks the imagination and curiosity. Who knows, you just might find yourself or your child wanting to give performing a try, or maybe backstage, or you might be happy where you are, as a part of the ever important audience. Wherever you are in the theatre, just make sure you are there as much as possible. Enjoy the show!