Lots of students will tell you that theater classes are a waste of time. "It's just for actors-wannabees and show-offs!"
Oh no, my friend. It's so much more. Even if you have no desire to become a working actor, drama can improve your grades in almost all of your other classes.
#1: Leave Your Speech Class Speechless
After taking a few drama classes, a speech class will be a snap. Public speaking is one of the most common (and one of the most intense) fears. A good theater class will eradicate this phobia. Drama class will help you stay calm while all eyes are upon you. You'll learn posture, poise, eye-contact and projection.
Also, when you are debating in a political-science class, or perhaps participating in a mock-trial at law school, dramatic skills will add power and emotion to your statements. You will outshine your shy, uncomfortable classmates. And your instructor will be thrilled to give you an "A".
#2: Get a Jump on Literature
Throughout your school years, English teachers are bound to throw a few plays at you. But by taking Drama you'll already be ahead of the game. Theater class will make you well versed not only in Shakespeare, but in Ibsen, Shaw, Miller, and Chekhov as well -- all of which are playwrights commonly studied in literature classes. By performing scenes from these plays, you'll receive one-on-one feedback with your drama instructor and gain insight into writing literature essays.
Not to mention, your dramatic reading skills will turn you into a poetry-reciting genius. Volunteer your dramatic services, and you are certain to earn lots of participation points from your English professor.
#3: Make History and Science Come Alive
Now, theater training won't help you pass a multiple choice test. However, drama skills will make any oral presentation a truly inspiring experience. Classes such as history and science tend to bore students, but that shouldn't be the case! My best professors have been storytellers at heart, science and history instructors with a flair for the dramatic.
When you present a project, don't just rely on Powerpoint and a monotone voice. Use acting skills to energize your presentation. Become an impassioned narrator. Your instructor will give you brownie points for keeping the rest of the class enthralled.
#4: Dig Deep in Psychology Class
Actors spend hours exploring psychological questions.
- What's my motivation?
- Why would my character do this?
- What does this action represent?
Therefore, it seems natural that psychology and drama go hand in hand. Take all of the self-reflexive questions you would generate in a drama class and apply the same line of reasoning when writing psychological profiles about real-life case studies.
#5: Make Brilliant (and Believable) Excuses
Last but not least, drama classes can increase your slacker skills. Oftentimes students make up lame reasons for not having their homework: "I was sick", "My Great Aunt's Funeral was on Tuesday," or my favorite, "I totally forgot!"
Those excuses will not sway the heart of any professor. However, if you are theatrically trained you can use improvisation to generate a believable excuse with realistic sobs and actual tears. Sure, it's deceptive. But there's a good possibility the teacher will give you a second chance.
Note: It's probably a better idea to just do your homework!