We all hope that our children become people of ‘good’ character, but what does this really mean and how do we encourage them to build ‘good’ character?
Drama allows boys to explore unfamiliar territory, ideas and emotions through acting and play. It exposes them to new ways of thinking and encourages them to question and evaluate the actions of others. While your son may not be the next Hugh Jackman, Drama can help him build character on and off the stage by giving him opportunities to create, think, make, judge, challenge, and face his fears.
With this in mind, we look at how Drama builds character on and off the stage.
- Looking at the world from another point of view
Having empathy by understanding the feelings of others can have a huge impact on your son’s character development. If your son can empathise with others, he is more likely to be respectful and maintain healthy friendships with his peers. Drama can expose him to new emotional experiences and different ways of portraying and interpreting them, through making choices about how to develop a character for his drama production. Off the stage, having the ability to observe, interpret and empathise with others gives him insight, allowing him to understand those around him in greater depth.
- Analysing the decisions of others
During Drama classes, students are often asked to explore the decisions made by characters and how these affect their behaviour. Having the ability to do this can be greatly advantageous in the real world. By understanding the correlation between decisions and consequences, your son will be more considered in the way he thinks, leading to better decision making.
- Thinking creatively and collectively
As your son learns to become a character for the stage, he will develop an understanding for his ability to change himself and his demeanour. Stage improvisation can teach your son to think on his feet, and interact and cooperate with his fellow actors. He will use his judgement to determine where he will take his character and the storyline, all the while being mindful to allow scope for his cast members to do the same. He will learn the value of being part of a team and working together for an end goal.
- Builds confidence
Facing fears head-on can be an effective way of dealing with them. Drama can help to build confidence and self-esteem as boys escape their own reality to ‘become’ a different character. The ability to perform and make others laugh, cry and feel is an incredibly powerful talent that brings great rewards to the performer. Having the ability to speak with volume and confidence will stand your son in good stead in many areas of his life.
- Developing effective verbal and non-verbal communication skills
Non-verbal communication can be just as important as verbal communication, particularly when watching a drama production. When developing a character for the stage, your son will be encouraged to consider his character’s stance, posture, facial expressions and movements. By understanding how these things affect the portrayal of a character on the stage, your son should be more aware of the way he communicates off the stage as well.
Human experiences are explored, shared and enjoyed through Drama. Students are encouraged to empathise, analyse decisions, perform with confidence and use non-verbal cues to communicate effectively on the stage; all of which builds character off the stage.
We take creative and performing arts seriously. Trinity Grammar School provides a rich cultural environment enabling boys to recite their stories and express the intangibles of life. The Year 7 Drama Club focuses on developing skills in play-building and improvisation. The Years 8 to 11 Drama Club focuses on performance in external competitions like the Globe Shakespeare Festival and the City of Sydney Eisteddfod.
At Trinity, we have guided boys to grow in mind, body and spirit for over a century, and we know what boys need to truly flourish. To experience the Trinity difference for yourself and to learn about the excellent opportunities on offer at the School, register for our Open Day: