With the upcoming Phase IIs and adjustments, a lot of thoughts are on our minds: Do I have more requirements to satisfy? Do I need a GPA booster? Will this professor be all right? Trust me, we’ve all been there. With different classes come different challenges. But, regardless, here are seven reasons why everyone should take at least one theater class during their time in college.
They’re interactive classes.
Nobody wants a boring professor to stand in front of a PowerPoint presentation, rambling on for hours. Theater classes are generally different. Students are told to stand up in the beginning of the class and stretch, since the class is both physically and emotionally demanding. From stretching before class to dancing across the classroom, there’s not a single class spent sitting behind a desk.
They improve your presentation of yourself.
As Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” Every day, we are performing, whether in front of classmates, friends, colleagues or superiors. From expressions to simple gestures, we notice the way our small actions can be interpreted in front of any audience. Theater helps us gain control over how we present ourselves on this “stage.”
They build confidence through practicing conversations.
A fundamental part of acting is how you react to your fellow actors onstage. How are you affecting your scene partner in this scene? Even without any dialogue, you’re exchanging actions with your classmates like a conversation. Therefore, taking a theater class and practicing acting is sort of like practicing how to have conversations. Student or not, everyone can benefit from this.
They qualify as an Arts & Literature breadth.
If you’re anything like the majority of students at UC Berkeley, you know about the seven breadth requirements you need to complete in order to graduate from the College of Letters and Science. Good news: Many theater courses actually satisfy the Arts & Literature breadth! You could gain all these advantages and simultaneously complete your breadths.
They teach the power of vulnerability.
You have to be vulnerable in theater. When you have to show your emotions through your expressions in front of the whole class, it’s not easy. However, throughout the process, it strengthens your own character, and you grow more comfortable and confident in your identity. My theater class taught me that vulnerability is a necessity in relationships and in interactions with other people. The more confidence you have in yourself, the more vulnerable you can be in front of others.
They provide great company.
Because of the projects and assignments you’re be required to do, you gain a sense of familiarity and companionship with your classmates. With that comes good times. Students support each other, laugh together and cry together throughout the course.
Lastly, theater is fun. Whether they’re taking on silly personas or dancing with friends to spiritual music, students make memories in each class that they look back on with gratitude and joy. Most theater students enjoy every moment of a class and would take it again in a heartbeat if they could.
UC Berkeley is difficult. The classes are demanding, and the competitive environment does not help. Why don’t you challenge yourself in a different way by taking a class unlike your normal classes? Theater is just one of the many you can take to make your college experience more meaningful.