All the World’s a Stage: Starting with the Classroom

By Andrea Gribble ‘18

“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope that they were entertained,” Walt Disney famously quipped. The advanced drama course at Conestoga Valley High School is necessary in the development and education of students. It has helped me become the young woman that I am today. Students need this program.

Drama classes improve student performance. On standardized tests, students that were involved in drama classes or experiences outscored students that were not by an average of 65 points on verbal and 35 points on math, says the American Alliance of Theatre and Education. A Vanderbilt University study suggests that drama classes can help students and children with autism with the social skills they lack. Acting helps students learn new ways to think, to solve problems.

Students learn to express themselves better. Teens often have problems expressing themselves while trying to conform to the social standards. In a drama class, Students can improve their communication skills without fear. Imagine the school wide benefits of better communication.

Finally, in a 2005 Harris Poll, 93% of Americans think that arts are vital to a good education. Drama classes not only open up students’ minds, but they also open up opportunities in the school. With increased confidence they will want to positively impact the community.

The arts are just as important as academics.

So, with the curtain closing on this commentary, know that drama classes improve student performance, students learn to express themselves better and that the public believes that drama classes are needed. Theatre classes are important to education.