By Janet Hrezo, CIP Brevard Staff
The opening of the Good Purpose Gallery and Spectrum Playhouse in Lee, MA sends an important message about the benefits of being involved in the arts for CIP students. Art, as a means of self-expression, is so important to our students and, in its creation, can teach students many other necessary skills.
The CIP Brevard Center, over the past 5 years, has offered students the opportunity to take part in creative writing, photography, art and drama classes. Each has been a great success. Walk our hallways and you’ll see the results. What our students have accomplished is extraordinary.
Brevard’s Drama Club is an example of why the arts matter and how students benefit from them. Acting teaches social skills and provides a safe environment to practice them in. Communicating, taking another’s viewpoint, self-control, flexibility, working as a team and the willingness to give and accept feedback are all a part of what actors learn and practice.
For example, an actor must determine what his or her character is feeling and, given the circumstances, why. Once that’s established then it’s essential to understand what that feeling looks and sounds like in order to play it. Feedback from other actors provides a measure of how well an actor is communicating and suggests other ways that he or she might look at and understand a character.
Improvisation is very popular with student actors here. It’s also a great skills teaching opportunity. Playing these acting “games” requires actors to listen to each other, use their imaginations, play by the rules and be open to new and unscripted challenges. A favorite is “World’s Worst” where the actors give examples of the worst ways to handle a given situation. We’ve explored everything from worst job interviews to worst wellness exercises.
Art matters and CIP is a leader in promoting it in all it’s forms.