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Break a leg
October 4, 2010
by Jenni Sebora

This past weekend, my 6-year-old daughter, Delaney, had the opportunity to be a part of the theatrical production of “Peter Pan” which was put on by of the River City Theater Company and Watertown Community Education.

Although the hours of rehearsal were long and there were quite a few trips to Watertown and back, the experience turned out to be well-worthwhile for our entire family.

The production featured a cast that consisted of many children, and it was interesting to see how they developed as opening night approached.

It is apparent that involvement in drama has many benefits that aid in a child’s development.

All the children, to a degree, started out somewhat unsure of themselves. But, along the way, each became more confident in the role they were playing, and in turn more confident in themselves.

As the production progressed, the children weren’t fazed if a line was forgotten or was said with different inflection. They handled it seamlessly.

Beau Jorgensen, the director of the production, was very patient and understanding. He provided guidance and encouragement. But, he allowed the children’s creativity to develop and their imaginations to flourish, and the children took advantage of that freedom.

It was great to see how they used different gestures and expressions to convey the emotions necessary for the development of their roles. Jorgensen also was adept at assigning roles that would foster self-confidence

Teamwork was definitely developed. The entire cast grew together as one cohesive unit, and with each passing rehearsal, the students became more and more supportive of each other. They became trusting of each other and their growing abilities as they strove for, and achieved, their common goal.

Without knowing it, all of the cast members had to employ analytical thinking skills. They had to “think outside the box” to determine such things as How should my character sound? How does my character move in certain parts of the play? How does my character interact with other performers to achieve the desired comedic or dramatic affect?

Obviously, the skills children acquire in the make-believe world of the stage enhances the skills they will need in the real world for successful relationships, employment, and leadership roles.