I am always on the look out for ways of communicating to parents and others the value of studying drama has on a young person. Recently I’ve had the opportunity to re-instate Drama at Key Stage 3 in my school, a major step forward in the current climate. As part of that I’ve been building a display in my Drama Studio which focuses on the soft skills that drama offers you the opportunity to develop and build.
I’ve always been annoyed with the simple tag-on response that many people have about Drama being full of “soft skills” at the expense of academia and rigorous study. However, the soft skills are there and they are there in larger numbers than any other subject besides, perhaps, PE and Music, and they should be celebrated alongside the academic side of the subject.
So here are the key soft skills that I feel Drama Promotes:
ORAL COMMUNICATION SKILLS
Drama helps develop the confidence that’s essential to speaking clearly, lucidly, and thoughtfully. Acting prepares you to speak effectively in public. Collaborative experiences offer opportunities in developing clear, precise, and well-organized oral communication skills. These skills are highly sought after by many employers.
MOTIVATION & COMMITMENT
Drama productions and classes demand commitment and motivation. Theatre teaches students that success comes to those who are highly committed to the task at hand and who are willing to work together. These are highly sought after and transferable qualities useful in all careers.
CREATIVE THINKING & PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS
Creative thinking and advanced problem solving techniques are used as a foundation of Drama and practice in virtually every aspect of theatre. These skills are highly sought after by many employers.
COLLABORATION & TEAMWORK
Drama, by its very nature, demands that anyone working on a project is an integral member of the team. The final product could never be successfully completed without every member working toward the same quality goal.
During the construction process in all aspects of production individuals must bring their individual skills to bear on an entire production and each individual aspect must be worked in as a cohesive part of the whole.
TIME-MANAGEMENT SKILLS & RESPECT FOR DEADLINES
Every aspect of drama demands preparation and efficient use of time. It also demands a respect for the time and active involvement of all others on the project as well. In Drama you must make sure that they use your time effectively, that you create and rehearse your performance ready and on time.
All careers demand a great deal of initiative and no Drama production can be completed without this quality being shared and practiced by all team members.
RESPECT FOR OTHERS
Team members can only be successful if they share a mutual respect for each other.
ADAPTABILITY & FLEXIBILITY
To be successful in Drama you must be willing to try new ideas, accept new challenges, and have the ability to adapt to constantly changing situations and conditions.
Drama allows you to develop confidence in yourself. Your accomplishments in drama show you that you can handle a variety of jobs, pressures, difficulties and responsibilities. You will develop a “Yes, I can!” attitude. Any employer in any field will treasure that personality trait.