The Benefits of Youth Theatre
The benefits identified in research studies include:
The confidence that arises from individual and group problem-solving, risktaking and high levels of achievement
Young people participating in youth theatre projects learn things about themselves; they learn to co-operate with others, to think independently, to be imaginative and to analyse difficult emotional and moral questions. In the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) “Arts in their View” study, young people give specific examples of ways in which participation in the arts generally helped them to:
Meet people and make friends
Broaden the scope of their interests Express themselves better
Learn how to work with others
Become more open-minded Organise themselves better
Relieve anger and stress
Some benefits are easy for an observer to see. For example, a young person gains confidence as the result of participating in a youth theatre project and moves into employment. Some benefits are more real for participants than for the observer.
Friendships are made, different groups within communities develop a greater respect for each other and self-confidence grows within an individual.
What the young people themselves say…
“I really enjoyed it, looking forward to it every Tuesday. So it definitely made a difference in terms of being a great hobby in my teenage years. It was good to have a different social scene other than school. Also it developed my confidence in public situations.”
“What differences has youth theatre made? Immeasurable – it has affected every aspect of my life for the better.”
“CATS is a family, I have built lots of long-lasting friendships there and it has helped me learn and develop my life-skills whilst enjoying my love of drama and musical theatre.” “Young people are given the opportunity to perform and develop their confidence in a supportive, encouraging and enthusiastic environment. CATS is amazing!”