Drama creates a community where every person has an important role, everyone’s input is valuable
In a world where everyone is looking out for number one it may seem impossible to be part of something bigger than ourselves, that creates community. Although, this is exactly the type of environment we want our children to be raised in. A place that makes them feel needed while at the same time shows them the benefits of helping others.
Community is defined as,”a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” Or, “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” As parents, we know the value of community. The issue in recent times is finding a healthy and positive arena for those values to be instilled.
Drama provides all the above and more. It gives a safe place where children with like minded interest can gather together and contribute their individual qualities in a group setting. In a study at Melbourne University titled ‘Teaching for Community: Empowerment through Drama’, a year 11 student named Stephanie said, “Drama is a pivotal subject, it can help improve confidence, it can help relieve stress, but most of all, most importantly, it creates a community (Helen Cahill,2002). Young ones are seeing the value of community and are finding those characteristics in drama.
With each role that is tried out for in drama a child or young adult can explore their individuality and broaden their limits of understanding. A sense of self and accomplishment is achieved when one contributes to a drama production; while at the same time a feeling of belonging and community awareness. In a book by Patrice Baldwin and Rob John (2012) it reads, “Wholeclass drama creates its own collaborative community of ‘role players’” (Inspiring writing through drama:creative approaches to teaching).
Drama creates community through:
● Establishing members
● Gathering people of common interest
● Gathering people of a common goal
● Allowing one to use their talents to contribute to a bigger picture
● Providing a social environment where people can fellowship
● Presenting a production that brings in more of the community at large
● Role playing
No matter one’s contribution to a drama each role is viewed as essential and a piece to the whole. Giving a person a function, a purpose and a social environment with like minded individuals establishes a healthy sense of self.
Why is community important?
● Gives one a sense of belonging
● Establishes individual functions that contribute to a whole
● Provides fellowship
● Let’s people interact with one another
● Gathers people of similar interest
● Has people work together for a common goal
● Offers purpose
● Creates valuable relationships
Drama is a community and community is important. Not only is drama fun but it is a reasonable, affordable, and relatively safe environment to capitalize on all the benefits a fun, loving community has to offer. In addition, roles allow one to experience new things and see from other points of view. They also establish a sense of value in that one is needed and essential. Trying drama will in the least leave you with a new experience, but at most give you so much more.