(Cincinnati, Ohio, March 14, 2018)– A new television show RISE, which premiered March 13 on NBC, promises to shine the spotlight on the influence that a teacher and a drama program have on the lives of high school students, their families, and their community.
School theatre is big business and has a bigger audience cumulatively than might be realized. There is data that enumerates the benefits of participation: everything from teaching listening, collaboration, and empathy to increasing SAT scores and instilling lifelong self-confidence and voluntarism.
But, warns Educational Theatre Foundation president Julie Cohen Theobald, there is a troubling gap in opportunities for access. According to the U.S. Department of Education, only 28 percent of public high schools in high poverty areas offer theatre instruction.
“That is why,” she adds, “I am excited for the RISE TV show to illuminate to a general audience the impact of theatre on students and communities. School theatre is not just a fun activity; it can put kids who are in challenging situations on a positive path and set them up for success in life. Being in a school play is a mini version of life: students work collaboratively in a team environment, build their communication skills and creativity, and must be disciplined and accountable to deliver a final production in front of an audience.”
The network behind RISE established the R.I.S.E. America project, standing for Recognizing and Empowering Student Expression, and donated half a million dollars in the form of $10,000 grants to 50 high schools to enhance their theatre programs.
Everyone can take the inspiration created by RISE and make it possible in their own schools and communities. The easiest way to start right now is to participate in Theatre in Our Schools month in March. Share facts, hashtags, videos, and graphics to make others aware of the benefits of school theatre.
Here are 10 more ideas.
Parents and Community