The Performing Arts has a number of benefits for young people, both physically and mentally. For children having a safe space in which they can express themselves freely and release pent up energy will have a positive impact on how they are feeling.
The stage adaptation of the novel by Patrick Ness ‘A Monster Calls’ is embarking on a tour later this year. The story covers a number of topics which are examples of the real-life applications of the benefits of the performing arts.
The production follows 13-year-old Conor on his journey to come to terms with losing his mother to cancer, whilst also dealing with a mysterious monster, who comes walking to tell Conor three important tales. When the monster is finished, Conor must tell his own story and face his deepest fears.
The show focuses on themes such as bereavement, bullying, loneliness and the importance of loving others and healing together. The Monster’s stories are carefully chosen to teach Conor that, whilst emotions are difficult and can be hard to communicate, he must be honest with those he loves most in order to start healing.
Performing arts help encourage children to communicate and be open, giving them the ability to express themselves even when they are faced with difficult and life-changing subjects.
Children will experience times in their life where they need to be open to criticism and own their mistakes, such as peer to peer feedback in an acting class. The performing arts provide an opportunity for young people to learn how to give and receive feedback, in a safe and understanding environment, developing resilience.
Performing arts gives children confidence when discussing difficult subjects and with contributing ideas and opinions, such as having the confidence to perform or to suggest a move in a dance class.
‘Live theatre enables audiences to explore and engage with challenging issues because it gives them the imagination and creativity to do so in a safe place. Just as we find in grief and sadness, the theatre also allows all of us to experience joy and happiness and the ability to navigate a way through the complexity and contradiction of life.’ A Monster Calls Teaching Resource Pack