Have you ever been to a live performance of your favorite play or musical? The atmosphere is electric. From the quiet hum of conversation before the start to the expectant hush as the curtain opens to the exuberant rush of applause at the last line that you can feel through your bones, nothing else is quite like the theater. If you live in New York City, ny cabaret is a part of everyday conversation, if not a once a week event. We all know how entertaining it can be, but did you know that it can play a part in child development and senior health?
Remember the elaborate stories you and your friends, or your dolls, acted out on long summer afternoons? Did you know that those play-acting experiences contributed to your ability to solve problems and understand teamwork? Have you ever noticed how even very young children seem to know all the words to the most popular Disney musicals? Did you know that singing lyrics to favorite songs helps to develop communication skills? Taking children to live performances can be enriching to the whole family when you see how excited they are to see their favorite characters and listen to them sing their favorite songs in unison.
Like children, seniors’ brains can also benefit from singing songs from favorite musicals. No matter how much interaction they may get in their daily lives, participating in the story playing out before them on stage can give a sense of engagement and adventure. This experience can lead to improved mood and a decrease in loneliness and anxiety. Seniors that actually participate in live stage productions can create new relationships and expand their network of friends and acquaintances. Learning opportunities are created when they are allowed to explore a range of emotions and social interactions.
If laughter is the best medicine and music soothes the savage breast, then the theater is surely the best medicine for young and old alike.