Madison Christian ’20
Theatre Arts and Psychology Major
Theatre and Mental Health: The Arts as a Necessary Role in Education
Throughout my time at the school, I have been able to get hands-on experience in acting and other various aspects of theatre arts. This experience includes previous roles on and offstage in productions, attending the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and serving as a member of the Executive Board of our student-run theatre group.
As a culmination of both my Theatre Arts and Psychology majors, I have been researching the relationships between mental health and theatrical arts. It has been shown that students who participate in arts programs, namely theatre, have experienced improvements in emotional state, well-being, and ability to make connections among peers. In an attempt to show evidence of this correlation, I will be collecting data from students with history in theatre to report how taking part in theatre has affected their well-being.
From this research, I am hoping to gather evidence of theatre serving as a therapeutic resource for students and to further highlight its importance in higher education. I hope from this project I can work to start conversations relating to mental health and the necessity for programs in performing arts that positively impact young artists.
As a person who has had connections to theatre for the majority of my life, I can say that being involved in performing arts and theatre especially has impacted my life for the better. In a society where mental health disorders and related issues are higher than they have ever been, it is important that students have an outlet for escape, self-expression, and a place to build a community.