“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” ―Pablo Picasso
Art plays an important role in education. It is introduced from young to nurture creativity. Creativity is not confined to artistic pursuits—it is also essential for science and even math. The possibilities are endless. Bringing your child to theatre performances is an excellent way to foster creativity.
We spoke to Charlotte Nors, Executive Director of The Singapore Reportory Theatre (SRT) to learn more about the importance of creative arts in your child’s development.
Tell us more about SRT's productions for children.
SRT set up The Little Company to stage plays for children. When The Little Company was launched 15 years ago, SRT wanted to offer class theatrical productions that adults and children can enjoy. That way, both parents and children can spend quality time.
Most of our plays have been based on literary classics, such as The Ugly Duckling and the recently ended Charlotte’s Web. We aim to make novice theatre-goers see things in a new light. At the same time, we want to keep a sense of familiarity with evergreen works. These productions also stimulate children’s interest in classic literature, which is important in this rapidly changing digital era.
We always ensure that education meets entertainment, edutainment so to speak. Such as learning about the importance of friendships and helping other people. I am immensely proud of our work; we now cater to nearly 70,000 children and adults. It bodes well for the future of theatre – and arts-loving generations to come.
The recent production, The Three Little Pigs, says a lot about our devotion to quality. It was created by Anthony Drewe and George Stiles – the team behind Honk! which won the Oliver Award ahead of Lion King in 2002. They had created Mary Poppins for Cameron Mackintosh as well. World-renowned creators of theatre producing for SRT’s 2-year-old audience. There is no better proof.
Why is it important to get children involved in the arts from young?
Exposure to the arts is important. Our children rely too much on digital entertainment so we must find ways to engage them in offline activities. Experience is life’s tool-box; ideas emerge and opinions are formed so our children are better equipped to take on new challenges.
How do the arts improve the parent-child bond and how can we get children interested?
Watching a play is a great way to spend time together. We encourage parents to read the book with their children first, then have a post-play discussion. Ask them about what they had watched and how the story was told. You can even go on to doodle the scenes together. It is really up to your imagination.
Besides plays, are there other offerings tailored for children?
We organise holiday programmes where children spend a week of mentorship with artists in the mid of preparation. This is one area we want to develop further to nurture an artistic sensibility.
Arts education is crucial to children’s development. It bolsters your child’s creativity and prepares him/her for the road ahead. Moreover, it offers quality time. Enjoy the art of bonding!