Why does theatre education matter?


[Students chatter]>>This is my first time going to a theatre. [Students chatter] NAHEEM GARCIA: It’s a beautiful experience
to see somebody go to the theatre for the first time. “You do your moves. I’ll do mine.” “You turn your head -” “There’s more to throwing the cards than that!” “Oh, come on! We can be a team, man!” GARCIA: You see somebody’s life change, right before your eyes. One trip to the theatre and their life is different. One trip to the theatre and they have a whole different view about themselves and life. LIESL TOMMY: I first encountered the Huntington when I was in high school. We were taken to see Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. It was an experience that changed my life and opened up my eyes about what theatre could be, what theatre could do. “You don’t know what kind of blood I got,
what kind of heart I got…” TOMMY: What I think theatre does for kids
is it teaches them how to communicate, it teaches them how to collaborate.>>What is the purpose of this?>>To, like, get you out of your head a little
bit. You’re thinking too hard… MEG O’BRIEN: It’s about showing them that they have what it takes within themselves to do this work that they thought was really weird or so outside of what they’re used to. “You ain’t taking that piano out of my house.” O’BRIEN: By the end of it, they are excited to be on stage and excited to talk about that experience.>>That was, like, my best one.>>Yeah! Sure was! It is the greatest feeling to watch your students take that stage and own it and be brilliant, and then be proud of themselves. And know that they’ve accomplished something great that a few months ago they were convinced they could not achieve. That’s really special. “Death ain’t nothing. I done seen him, done wrastled with him…” BISHOP: I still can’t believe it. Cause, you know, I’m not the kind of person to win stuff. If winning anything I feel like I’m winning
grades but you know, I’m grinding for that. With this, I put in a lot of work and a
lot of passion into it. And I really really like it! I left with something more than just the first place and the cash prize and the trip to New York, I left with something that I can cherish, that I didn’t need to win to get. “Blue rider, writing me off…” ANITA WALKER: The things that are going to really pave the pathway to success for our young people is their own creativity, their own inspiration, their own passion. And the pathway to that is through the arts. The Huntington opens that door. I never knew that I could get up on stage
in front of all those people and move on to a national competition. I never knew that I could do that until I started working with the Huntington. Before I was just always shy, reserved, didn’t really speak to people. But now it’s just like, I have so much to
say, I have so much that I want the world to know about me. ARIE: They said my name for first, I sort of didn’t believe it. [Cheering] ARIE: Before everyone was like, “Oh yeah, that’s Arie.” “It’s cool.” And now everyone’s like, “Well, you won.” “Like, you can do things.” “You have talents and such.” Our young people right now have such a powerful voice And they’re not afraid to use it. And it feels really important to continue to create space for them to explore their voice and their passion and what their interests are and then let them use that voice to advocate for the things that they care about. WALKER: Every single child in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts deserves an opportunity to participate in the arts, deserves an opportunity to experience live theatre, deserves an opportunity to fall in love with poetry, and the Huntington
really makes that possible for so many of our young people. I wanna make it. I’d like to be the next Will Smith or Denzel. And if that doesn’t work, maybe I’ll go into
the education field. Maybe I’ll be the next superintendent or mayor of Boston, who knows, But now I have something to hit and that’s all I need.

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