Team building is a valuable life skill that we must teach our kids as early and as often as possible. Think about how many times as an adult you have worked together to get something accomplished. Whether it was in your home with your spouse or at the office with your coworkers; we work together all the time to accomplish things. When we work together seamlessly no task is too hard to complete. How do we teach this valuable skill? The first thing that crosses the mind is that we must get our kids involved in some type of sport or other competitive activity. All too often the arts get overlooked as a great place to teach these skills!
Nowhere does one get a better sense of the value of working together than when someone works on their first theatrical production. Think about all the moving pieces that go into a show. You have actors, technicians, and creative folks all working on many different elements of a production for one sole purpose, the benefit of the audience. Each of these elements must work together seamlessly, otherwise bad things happen. One time I saw a production where the scenic designer hung a huge chandelier the night before the opening of the show on stage without telling anyone. When everyone came in the next day for the opening they realized too late that it blocked almost all of the stage lights! Let’s just say the director wasn’t too pleased when no one could see the actors because they were all in the shadows. It was a very stressful situation! On the other hand, I have worked on productions where everyone met regularly beforehand, shared their ideas, and worked together to bring everyone’s vision to life. Those shows were fun to work on because things clicked, stress levels were low, and the final product turned out really well!
Next time you run into one of your theatre friends ask them, what was their most successful and least successful show they worked on? I bet that in most cases their answers will all boil down to their personal experiences with the show and how people did or did not come together. Collaboration is key to any successful endeavor whether it’s on stage or in the real world. It is so important to teach this valuable life lesson as early as possible. It will help our kids succeed now and in the future. Sports are valuable, but do not discount the power of the arts in teaching these valuable life lessons. Remember, there is no “I” in arts!