There is a great deal of research that backs up the importance and benefits of performing arts for students, not just in their academic lives but also their lives in general. Here are some links to articles that give compelling reasons for why the performing arts is such a vital area of education.
We at PAPA know how important the performing arts is for our students because we see the remarkable growth they achieve as creative, caring and courageous people in a short space of time. It really is quite astonishing to see the transformation that occurs as students discover the joy and sheer fun of expressing themselves through performing.
Because of the importance participating in performing has for each student, we have made a conscious choice to engage students in presenting a showcase of the material they have been working on rather than a scripted musical.
We do this because:
1. It ensures all students have the opportunity to be equally involved rather than a few taking starring roles whilst the others operate as support characters.
2. The showcase format allows for them to participate in a broad range of material rather than being limited to one particular style.
3. The showcase format allows for much greater flexibility in ensuring the performance provides suitable opportunity for all age ranges and abilities.
4. We place the interests of our students as being of paramount importance and we believe it is often the case when presenting a scripted musical that the students end up serving the needs of the performance, rather than the performance serving the needs of the students.
5. We place great emphasis on acting when exploring musical theatre, believing it to be the most important aspect of this wonderful art form. As a consequence we include the presentation of scene work in the showcase because it allows each student the opportunity to more fully explore this area than a scripted musical generally allows.
Musical theatre is a fantastic and powerful storytelling medium that, at its best, unites the three elements of singing, acting and dancing in one mesmerizing art form. To be proficient in this area is to be a truly remarkable performing artist and requires a great deal of skill, training and dedication. We believe the best way for students to undertake such a journey is to have their creative curiosity and passion ignited, to be given performance opportunities that fully engage and excite them, to be nurtured and encouraged in their exploration of their own innate artistry and most of all, to experience the exhilaration and delight that comes from being an important and valued member of a performance.
In this regard, the showcase format rather than a scripted musical is almost without exception a more effective training tool.
It’s also a great deal of fun to be involved in – and fun is something we value a great deal! Learning should always be exciting and enjoyable rather than dull and daunting; it’s fantastic to discover new things!