To concentrate effectively on any activity, you need to be in the present, free from focusing on past events and concerns about future ones. Improvisers learn to find this space so they can focus their concentration wholly on their role in the scene, and what their team mates are doing. Consequently, we have adopted and adapted many fun games to facilitate this. What class wouldn’t benefit from students with a few more concentration skills?
TheatreSports is very effective in developing the individual’s self esteem. Being “in the here and now” provides the space where students are free to express and develop their own ideas without fear of censorship or ridicule (as long as they are G rated). When the audience claps, they are applauding who the players are and how they can express their own creativity rather than how well they can express somebody else’s.
TheatreSports also trains the individual to support the development of the self esteem in others. Once the scene topic has been provided, the first player with an idea, enters the stage and sets the scene. Team mates that follow need to accept anything created previously and find ways to support and build onto these ideas. What could be better for self esteem than to be watched and listened to by your peers and the audience, and have any suggestion you make treated with respect, and made the focus of future activity? They also learn to give each other space to develop their own ideas, but to also rescue each other when in need. All of this requires the development of trust between players and provides a wonderful foundation for any type of teamwork on and off the stage.
The development of flexibility and lateral thinking skills are other benefits of playing TheatreSports. Each scene played needs to be developed utilizing the novelty rules of different games, eg mime, rhyme, song, dance or speaking in gibberish, just to name a few. Players build confidence in coping and adapting to novelty situations they find themselves in.
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