Why Bring Children to the Theatre?


"Children need to go to the theatre as much as they need to run about in the fresh air. They need to hear real music played by real musicians on real instruments as much as they need food and drink. They need to read and listen to proper stories as much as they need to be loved and cared for. 
The difficulty with persuading grown-up people about this is that if you deprive children of shelter and kindness and food and drink and exercise, they die visibly; whereas if you deprive them of art and music and story and theatre, they perish on the inside, and it doesn't show." 
Philip Pullman, writer

"For a variety of reasons teachers are a key gatekeeper in children’s engagement with theatre and the arts. Not least because for many children their first experience of theatre will be with school. For many children it is their teacher, even more than a parent, who provides a model of artistic engagement and stimulation for them to observe and adopt. As gatekeepers to the arts it is the task of teachers to nourish children with quality artistic experiences." 
Professor Matthew Reason, York University

"The nature of theatre – subjective, nuanced, intangible – is one of the things that enables human beings to realise their individual power of expression and belief. The private world of experience is the strength within us all no matter our knowledge or expertise…
In many parts of the world, adults are invested in control. Driven by anxiety about safety and fear of the world we live in, we deny our children physical freedoms we once had and we are inclined to fill every waking moment with interpretation and commentary. Through theatre we have the chance to offer space and time to subjective experience and offer a place where the child’s power and sense of control is returned."
Sue Giles, International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ)