“If we could only do the arts everyday and forget about things like science.”

I had a delightfully long drama rehearsal with two young actors this afternoon. We put in a good hour and a half on a nine minute sketch we are working on. As we finished, one of the actors commented how she has to go home and wade through a 13 page biology study guide for a test in the morning.

We all kind of shuddered at the thought, and then I asked, “Wouldn’t it be cool if we could just focus on the arts all the time and forget the other stuff?”

You should have seen their faces light up! Though the one actor clarified that the arts needed to be expanded to include creative writing, and I, of course, wholeheartedly agreed.

Some people just aren’t wired for the hard sciences. I know I’m not. I’m glad other people are or we would still be living as cavemen.

I’ve often thought that perhaps there is a better way to do school for some people – a way where they can thrive, explore, create, and learn to act, perform, do.

I was reading a post a while back from one of my former students and she said how school is crushing creativity. School is pouring useless facts into their heads, and giving them waste-of-time assignments while not allowing them to create and explore areas of interest where they thrive and where they show the most potential.

To a certain degree, I agree. I understand the need to expose everyone to some level of understanding in the various disciplines. But if I can dream for a minute, wouldn’t it be cool to have a performing arts semester for those who are inclined towards such endeavors. Wouldn’t it be amazing to spend day after day, writing, acting, honing skills, creating shows and productions, and then take the group on the road to expose them to the thrills and hardships of the performing arts? Wouldn’t it be amazing for them to learn about expenditures and income by looking at the box office receipts of their particular show? Wouldn’t it be a challenge to see their script and performances critiqued by bloggers and theatre reviewers? Wouldn’t it be invigorating to sit down with a group of professional actors for a week or two and do extended workshops? Wouldn’t it be gratifying to have everyone learn about lighting, sound, and other technical aspects?

Wouldn’t one concentrated semester on the arts change the way they would look at their world?

I do hope that someday this group of talented, creative kids I work with, and the many others around the world, will have a better opportunity to thrive in the arts for a long period of time as part of their schooling. It would be an amazing way to reach a large group of kids through a powerful teaching method.

After all, shouldn’t all learning be practical?

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