Jocelyn L. Buckner
Too often ridiculed as a “dying art”, theatre endures a ceaseless struggle for validity among educators, employers, and citizens alike. However, the skills garnered by performers, technicians, and designers through theatrical education span far beyond the final curtain, and are significantly more relevant and impactful than we think.
A theatre education means learning about the human condition, communication, gaining self-confidence, expressing creativity, problem solving, and thinking on your feet. In addition, drama techniques have been enormously effective in improving self-esteem and building community. A theatre education is a highly successful catalyst for the development of a “soft skill set.” Because our education system is largely geared towards fostering a career path, it becomes crucial that soft skills are developed alongside hard skills. Beyond education, however, the pillars of theatre teaching have firmly stood their ground in the workplace. The Second City, a comedy theatre and improvisation school, emphasizes the often overlooked benefits of utilizing theatre in business. Second City Works, the business arm of the company, highlights the importance of “Yes, And” rather than “No, But” thinking, and enhances confidence, creativity, and collaboration in the office. Through interactive improvisational workshops, Second City Works has taught these principles to thousands of corporate clients, showing leaders how to apply the tools of improv to common business challenges. By utilizing the pillars of theatre education, we can foster creativity, collaboration, and communication in leaders and employees alike, and apply these skills to create the strongest, best possible workforce.
Hale, Caroline, "The Business of Theatre: How Creativity, Collaboration, and Communication Infiltrate 'The Real World'" (2016). Student Research Day Abstracts and Posters. 220.
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