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Theater for Children: How Theater Arts Fuel Youngsters' Imaginations

December 30, 2020

Theater for Children: How Theater Arts Fuel Youngsters' Imaginations

Children are natural born performers! In fact, they do instinctually what acting teachers try desperately to pull out of their adult students — they live truthfully in imaginary circumstances ALL THE TIME! 

Kids have such wonderful and vivid imaginations, that it makes them the perfect candidates for acting class. And we are now realizing just have valuable theater education can be for children. Research from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education by Dr. James Catterall shows that students who are exposed to the arts are more likely to get involved in community service, and are far less likely to drop out of school. 

The performing arts teaches children to think outside the box, which – whether they become the next Meryl Streep or not – will benefit them throughout their entire lives in whatever profession they choose. Most children love to ‘play pretend’, but if you notice a child who is especially obsessed with their imaginary friend or dress up clothes, you might consider getting them into a theater arts class.  This will nurture their natural talent and give them a useful outlet for all of that creativity! 

Cultural Exposure 

Another benefit of theater for children is the cultural exposure. Theater exposes audiences to stories about characters from all different backgrounds, cultures and walks of life.  Watching theater can help teach children about the world around them in an entertaining and obtainable way.

Furthermore, performing in shows, can introduce children tot he wonderful world of ‘theater people’. Often funny, intelligent, cultured and kind — children will certainly benefit from being around performers. It is important to teach children to appreciate people of all kinds and how to respect other points of view. What better way than through the theater? 

Teaches Patience

Another important lesson theater offers for children is how to be patient. In theater, you must wait your turn to speak your line.  You have to be patient and attentive while you wait.  This is a wonderful exercise for kids that can certainly be applied in every day life.  

Boosts Communication Skills

While patience, culture and thinking outside of the box, are all very important— communication is also a huge pro of getting your little on involved In acting.  Theater exposes kids to new stories, ideas and vocabulary that they might not otherwise hear.  Take Musical Theater, for example.  Children learn how to communicate through song, dance and speech/ acting! Learning how to communicate with peers while watching other performers express themselves through song and dance is a one-of-a-kind learning experience.

Builds Collaboration Skills

Being in theater class also encourages team building and working together. In a show, the whole cast must work together in order to put on the best show possible. Even if there is a ‘star’ of the show, no one person is more important than the next. 

You may have heard of the phrase ‘there are no small parts, only small actors’ — this is a wonderful lesson for children to learn early on.  No matter their job in the production, they are valuable! You become so close with the other performers in a cast, this is a great way for your child to make new friends that have a shared interest.  The theater community is a tightly knit one. 

Without theater and the performing arts in general, kids not only miss out on an exceptional artistic experiences, but they also lose the opportunity to encounter an endless amount of learning opportunities. With exposure that raises school performance, boosts out of the box thinking, culture immersion, patience, communication and imagination, the benefits of spending time onstage cannot be overlooked.  


Emily Meredith is a professional actress residing in New York City. She is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Union and has performed in productions all across the country. An experienced acting, voice and dance teacher, Emily has worked with all grade and skill levels. Emily is extensively trained in voice, dance and acting, she attended Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA -- where she majored in classical and musical theater and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music with a BFA in Musical Theater. She has trained at various other prestigious institutions including Festival Ballet (Providence, RI), T. Schreiber Studio (NY,NY), HB Studio (NY,NY), Ballet Prestige (Providence, RI), Steps (NY, NY), and Broadway Dance Center (NY,NY) among many others. As a teacher, Emily strives to create a fun and relaxed learning environment where her students can grow in confidence and ability. In addition to private lessons, Emily currently teaches Theater Arts, Dance and yoga classes virtually for many studios including, Kids HeArt Yoga (Chicago, IL), The Starz Program (NY,NY), Medicine for the Soul Yoga (NY,NY) and Jolie Musique School of the Arts (Monmouth County, NJ) among others. Emily shares her passion for the arts with her students enthusiastically and with love and patience. Please visit for more information.

Emily Meredith