Excuse me while I climb on my soapbox for a moment. But, while I am getting it ready, please pop over and read this article from the Tucson Weekly.
I’m ready. Are you?
Did you read the article? Well, if you did, good job. If you didn’t, it basically discusses a study conducted by one of my former (and fabulous) professors and another colleague, both of whom I admire for many different reasons. Their study looked at the long-lasting affects of drama and speech programming in high school on people’s lives, and to no surprise at all, they discovered lasting important effects.
To put it simply, the arts helps people become better people. The arts help people think, empathize, become public speakers, and grow in multiple ways.
And yet, what is the first thing the politicians want to cut rather than give up their cushy tax breaks? The arts.
We are headed, my friends, to a catastrophe with a society of people who cannot communicate in person, cannot empathize with each other, cannot think beyond the test or the rules, because the artist in them has been squashed at an early age.
Theater has made me the person I am today. That is obvious. But, even if I had chosen another career path, my experiences in theater as a child and a high school student would still have made me who I am. I learned to speak up. I learned to question and challenge. In some ways participation in theater has made me a stronger writer. I learned to express myself in new and wonderful ways. I saw people saved by theater, people who would have ended up going down a dark path in life.
I’d love to hear what effect participation in arts/drama/speech programs had on your lives? Share the anecdotes to fight for the power of the arts.
Stepping down from my soapbox now. Thank you for listening.