Theater games and performances have the advantage of being used by any age group in a class setting. Apart from being fun and challenging, most theater games are rewarding to participating students. In most cases, theater games allow teachers and students to interact as fellow players thus enabling them to connect, communicate, experience, experiment and discover. While others view this as a diversion from the school curriculum, most theater games act as supplements. They ensure there is an increase in the student awareness regarding day-to-day issues that may have a significant effect on their intellectual development. This is because a majority of the games provides a connection between the theme of the games and study areas in the curriculum.
Theater games enable students to acquire some essential skills that turn out to be beneficial. Such include quick and creative thinking, use of imagination, role-playing, voice variations, and body movement. Each theater game is performed for a purpose. They all fall into different categories and are used together with classroom activities. For instance, it could be employed in the introduction of new topics in the classroom. Whether in a private or public context, they raise the student’s levels of understanding. Through this, students manage to improve in areas of group interaction, problem solving and concentration levels.
Today, most teachers infuse theater arts and game activities in their daily classroom lives. The techniques and strategies used ensure students are engaged in inspirational and creative learning processes. Most teachers believe theater games provide an easy preparation for students when it comes to the achievement of academic excellence and the development of their emotional and social competencies. Since they are used as classroom teaching techniques, they have no winners or losers. The aim of such games is to ensure individual and group participation towards the achievement of similar goals.
Categories of Theater Games
Theater games give students an opportunity to develop different forms of skill sets. Students manage to expand their self-awareness levels as well as that of imagination. The other skills developed through theater games are communication skills that are both verbal and non-verbal and concentration levels. The skills developed turn out to be beneficial in other aspects of life in the future job markets.
It aims at increasing the focus, energy and creative thinking of the students. Here, the participants work towards knowing each other and testing individual memory skills. This turns out to be the first step towards successful teamwork. It also allows individuals to loosen up thus allowing the measure of one’s participation. Warm-up games also help in the introduction of main themes thus removing any forms of misunderstandings or inhibitions. It is at this point that teachers and students discover the abilities and skills of the participants thus matching them to their suitable roles in the games.
Group Cohesion or team-building
Through theater games, students are able to work together and cooperatively towards the same goal. They are able to bring in different cultural and individual ideas, thus allowing them to appreciate one another when it comes to attaining academic excellence. With teamwork, students also establish trust relationships with others thus allowing them to extend this to their personal lives and that of academic activities. Acceptance of self and others encourages students to share and learn from each other thus broadening their knowledge bases.
Different types of theater games bring out various emotions. With this, students are able to know the difference between positive and negative emotions based on the theme presented to them. Constant interaction with emotional scenes trains students on how to manage their emotions while maintaining a particular objectivity. They are also able to release and control their emotions without causing harm to others.
Important Issues of Theater Games
Each student should be able to identify the different characters in the game and their specific-assigned role. This also requires confidence as well as the ability to communicate to different characters without bringing in emotions. All participants must be explorative in nature such that they take part in different scenes with different real-life issues. Movement is the other important element of the theater games. Tutors must train their students on right movement during the games in order to convey different ideas and feelings. While this is true, participants must learn to appreciate the importance of theater games and performances and their contribution to the classroom performance.
The other important issues are the presence of willing and curious students. With this in place, teachers can come up with themes that pass the intended message to the students. It is essential for teachers to distinguish between actors and non-actors. This turns out to be important when it comes to the administering of complex and less-complex roles. There exists different types if games for different actors hence the need for this knowledge on the part of the tutors. A language ensures effective communication amongst all the participants must be used to ensure equal interaction. Additionally, tutors must gradually introduce complex themes to students when it comes to theater games. Due to cultural diversity, it is possible that students handle real-life issues differently. Complex such as conflicts can be introduced to students with an experience in theater games thus avoiding confrontations and other emotional issues.
Giving feedback is the other important element of theater games. At the end of certain games, teachers should talk to the students regarding the game performance. The important factors one can mention here are the levels of co-operation, decision-making processes and emotional availability of the different characters. Feedback could also be of a positive or a negative context based on the experience of the teacher. In the same context, tutors could mention the specific areas that either need improvement at an individual or group level. Feedback turns out to be a motivating factor for all students. With this, there is a sense of appreciation with most of them working to improve in the next classroom theater games. It is also important for students to engage in such games regularly. Regular involvement in theater games enhances the speed with which their individual skills develop.
Importance of Theater Games
It is obvious that the use of theater drama and games is beneficial to the students and the teachers. It encourages students to communicate and collaborate given a specific situation. Use of drama gives learners real-life experiences that are not found in the textbook or other forms of curriculum. Apart from learning, such scenarios ensure students are open-minded to various problem-solving techniques and other life experiences. It is through drama and other forms of theater games that students become confidence and realize a rise in their levels of self-esteem. Taking up different roles assigned to them allows students to pick up new identities that may end up changing their personalities. Additionally, use of theater games enhances the understanding and memorizing of classroom content by the students. The direct experience of life-scenarios and lessons allows students to use all their body capabilities such as hearing, sight and body movement. This also makes it easy for the teachers who do not have to go through concepts repetitively for students to understand. It turns out to be an effective teaching tool that reaches out to different learning styles, age groups, experience levels and content areas. With continuous participation in such, the intellectual and imaginative capability of students also increases. Theater games consist of teamwork and collaboration with an aim of achieving similar goals. This allows students from different cultural backgrounds to work together thus promoting effective communication and interaction.
Connection Between jazz music and theater performance
There exist different types of performance in the jazz music context. The audiences include little ones, young adults and grownups. Like theater games, jazz in theater performance pose as a good introduction to performing arts as well as creative and effective ways of exploring curriculums. The content areas may be in arts and other areas covered in the classroom. In the jazz music context, this kind of connection with classroom activities is enhanced by the availability of specially designed keynotes. This comprises of artistic backgrounds, engaging classroom activities, study resources, roles, and responsibilities of students in the performance. With jazz and theater performance, there is the expansion of creativity, imaginative thinking and respect for student talents. Teachers use basic jazz techniques to ensure improvisation. Exploration of jazz in the classroom is through group performance, improvisation and effective listening. Like theater games, there is the use of warm-ups to melodic improvisations.
Connection between jazz music and stage Show
Stage shows require turning classrooms into stages thus requiring students to act as if they were in a theater. Like theater games, jazz music can also performed as stage shows. Apart from its performance, students could use dance and other forms of entertainment. For the classroom, teachers could set up props and other elements necessary in the performance of the music and dance when need be. Stage shows take up different types of performance like jazz. Like theater performance, stage show exhibits the same expectation to its audience. Such include creativity, improvisation and imaginative thinking.
The use of theater games has become an important tool to teachers and students. Regardless of the student levels, they come with a number of benefits that span across all students and teachers. For students, they enhance their individual performance in a social and academic context resulting in the development of intellectually stable individuals. For tutors, theater games present real-life scenarios to students thus enhancing a understanding of the complex concepts of the school curriculum. They give the students the motivation to research and learn on their own with minimal assistance from the teachers. From the paper, it is evident that such games are important in all aspects of life that require participation and collaboration.