Submitted by Angie Bin
Theatre in Our Schools Month (TIOS) is a grassroots effort to educate everyone about the benefits of having theatre in the schools, and to draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students. The campaign is jointly sponsored nationally by the American Alliance for Theatre Camp, Education (AATE), the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), and the International Thespian Society (ITS).
Fort Scott High School is promoting the importance of Theatre In Our Schools this month through the following activities: traveling to New York City for Broadway performances and classes, posting photos of our classroom activities to the Fort Scott High School Thespian Facebook page, posting Educational Theatre facts on posters at FSMS and FSHS and through social media posts, and promoting the Tiger Drama Camp in the Buck Run Program Guide.
Fort Scott High School is the home of ITS Troupe 7365, the nationwide high school drama honorary society planning TIOS activities. TIOS is a chance for students, parents, communities, school boards and elected officials to become familiar with the benefits of school theatre participation, which include development of the 21st century skills of communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.
In fact, according to The College Board, in 2015, students who took four years of arts classes in high school scored an average of 92 points higher on their SATs than students who took only one half year or less. But, according to the U.S. Department of Education, only 28 percent of public high schools in high poverty areas offer theatre instruction.
And according to a 2016 poll:
9 in 10 American adults agree that the arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.
90 percent believe students should receive an education in the arts in elementary school, middle school and high school.
The poll, “Americans Speak Out about the Arts: An In-Depth Look at Perceptions and Attitudes about the Arts in America,” was conducted by Americans for the Arts.
To see ITS Troupe 7365, and the Fort Scott High School drama program in action, come to the next performance of the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre, “Wedding Song” on April 7 and 8, at 7 p.m. at the Beaux Arts Centre.
For more information about TIOS visit schooltheatre.org/programs/tios and follow #TIOS17 and #TheatreinOurSchools on social media
In many places, like Fort Scott, March is known as much for introducing spring as it is for basketball “madness” or the launch of baseball season. It’s a season when we come together to cheer on students for their efforts outside the classroom. Now there’s another way to recognize another group of students for similar achievements.
March is Theatre in Our Schools Month and, just like basketball and other sports, putting on a play requires collaboration and communication. It teaches teamwork, and builds team spirit. It creates learning experiences that benefit the student for the rest of that person’s life. Putting on a play creates opportunities for students to take initiative, demonstrate leadership and more.
After her first experience at the recent international Junior Thespian Festival for middle-schoolers, a first-year drama teacher was inspired to share about her own experiences and what she was witnessing now with her students. She wrote, “When I was 14, I played Anne Frank. When I performed it, I was noticed for the first time. The confidence I gained made a difference then and it’s still making a difference now for me, and for my students. Through theatre in my school I see ‘invisible kids,’ who can’t do sports, finally being noticed by their peers, by their teachers, and sometimes, by their families.”
A Thespian alum who heads an international business says, when meeting sales and marketing candidates, that he can instantly spot those who have theatre experience—it shows in their strength and self-confidence.
So this March, go to a game and cheer the team, and go to a school play and applaud the actors. Specifically, you can see the FSHS Thespians on stage at the Beaux Arts Centre on Apr. 7 and 8, in the Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre “Wedding Song.” Share your school theatre thoughts online with #TIOS17 and #TheatreInOurSchools and visit the Fort Scott High School Thespians Facebook page and spread the word about Theatre In Our Schools Month.
FSHS Thespian Troupe #7365