I often use team sports as an example in my teaching. Most people understand that sport is so important for developing minds – not only for exercise, but all the other skills that come into play as well.
When we discuss casting, I explain the benefits of playing a large role as well as the responsibilities. I then talk about how in a netball/football team etc, every single player has an important role. The Wing Defence is as integral to success as the Goal Shooter. If anyone doesn't give it their all, then the team as a whole will suffer. They work together, lifting each other up, supporting each other and working hard for each other. It's exactly the same for theatre companies.
There is also learning to cope with disappointment. When a team loses a game, it's hard! The players have to find a way to keep positive, to believe in themselves and keep coming back and pushing themselves. The ability to accept defeat strengthens our spirit, to congratulate the other team on their result and walk away proud of your efforts is a learning curve all children should experience in order to build resilience.
Playing sport improves social and personal skills, including cooperation and leadership. It improves mental health, such as greater confidence. It teaches children discipline and respect for others.
All these skills are also taught in the theatre. Plus it increases reading ability, critical thinking and empathy among many other things. It certainly engages teamwork and respect for self, the space and others.
At Actually Acting, that is just the start of the journey.