Discovering the Next Superstar: Exploring Drama, Theater, and Acting with Children

By Gilman, Chris | Parenting for High Potential, June 2007 | Go to article overview

Discovering the Next Superstar: Exploring Drama, Theater, and Acting with Children


Gilman, Chris, Parenting for High Potential


Discovering the Next Superstar: Exploring Drama, Theater, and Acting with Children

Our Learning at Home column provides ideas and resources for you to draw on at home to support, enrich, and expand learning. We extend thanks to Dr. Holly Hertberg-Davis and Dr. Carolyn Callahan of the University Dr. Virginia for coordinating this series of columns.

Whether your child has a flair for the dramatic or a desire to be the next Fellini, Hollywood and Broadway hold great excitement and wonder for children. Children are natural performers. From the first time they create their own circus, magic act, or pretend to dance like a ballerina, their imaginations are actively constructing a world of fantasy. However, those games do not have to stay imaginary. It is difficult to determine if your child just has a passing fancy with the dramatic or if this is the beginning of a lifelong passion for theater. However, even if your child has a passing fancy, the skills learned through theater (i.e. art, sewing, leadership, and organization) are valuable and will transfer to other interest and passions. There are myriad opportunities for children to learn and get involved with theater, acting, and movies.

Children often marvel at the fame actors achieve, the creative freedom of expressing themselves through script and screenwriting, and the challenge of creating costumes and props that accurately depict the setting and time period of the movie, musical, or play. The following resources are intended to introduce children to the enchanting world of theater and movies. Although most of the resources deal with school-based or community theaters, parents can work with their children to scale the ideas to be appropriate for neighborhood or homebased productions as well.

Theater for Young Children

While many children have vivid imaginations and creative spirits, not all will want to pursue theater, acting, or movies. If you think your child may have the acting bug you can start with even a very young child using some of the resources below.

On Stage: Theater Games and Activities for Kids (1997). By Lisa Bany-Winters. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, ISBN 1556523246. 180 pages, paperback, $14.95.

This book provides scores of games for children of all ages that will allow them to be creative and perform. The games are also designed to be educational and develop some of the basic skills children will need to be actors when they grow up. It also covers some of the other elements of theater, including puppetry, costuming, and makeup for beginners.

Puppet Mania: The World's Most Incredible Puppet Making Book Ever. (2004). By John E. Kennedy. Central Islip, NY: North Light Books, ISBN 1581803729. 64 pages, paperback, $14.99.

Many children love puppets, and this book is a good way to introduce your child to the magic of puppetry. This book explains how to make puppets and turn them into characters by lip synching, body movements, and imagination.

Theater for Adolescents

Screen/Scriptwriting

The start of any great movie or play is with a single idea that blossoms into a script or screenplay for the actors and directors to bring to life.

The Elements of Playwriting by Louis E. Catron (2001). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, ISBN 157766227X. 240 pages, paperback, $14.95.

Everyone must start with an introduction to a topic, and this book is an exceptional introduction to writing plays and dramatic fiction. Using a how-to format, the book describes the elements of a great play and will guide your child in creating his or her own play.

Playwriting: The Structure of Action, Revised and Expanded Edition. (2005). By Sam Smiley and Norman Bert. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, ISBN 0300107242. 336 pages, $19.95.

For those who want a more advanced experience with playwriting this book is a good choice. While it does not work from a how-to format, it covers many of the same topics as the previous book, but from a more poetic position. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Discovering the Next Superstar: Exploring Drama, Theater, and Acting with Children
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.