Social Question

ragingloli's avatar

What are your thoughts on children acting in school plays?

Asked by ragingloli (47256points) December 18th, 2016

I think they are all terrible, and those children should be told that they are crap.
This video sums it up perfectly:

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40 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

I give the kids credit for trying.

When you attend a school play, you don’t expect the Royal Shakespeare Company or Broadway stars. In your clip, there are a half dozen 6–7 year olds – clearly amateurs in a school production.

I think, @ragingloli , that you need to examine your expectations and outlook if this is the sort of thing that bothers you.

cazzie's avatar

I have a kid in school and I get where you are going with this, @ragingloli . Some years the kids to a really good job, but this past year, they did this really old, bad religious play in English. Initially, they gave my kid the lead part, because he speaks perfect English, but in the end, my kid dropped out because his stomach got tied in knots having to listen to the other kids try to speak English and the very lame storyline. He made up an excuse to his teacher so he didn’t have to say to them how he was really feeling, but he told me. When I saw the play, I completely agreed, especially when they tried to sing, ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’. They really overshot this year. Two years ago, they did a good job and it was a really cute play, but this year, just… yuck.

Sneki95's avatar

That was so bad it was kinda funny a bit. In a “blow air through nose” kinda way.

As for the question, I wouldn’t straight out tell them they’re crap (I mean, they’re kids, come on), but it could be done better.

More luck next time, I guess.

Berserker's avatar

Hahaha what is this show? That Sean Lock guy was going apeshit lol. But what do I think about it, not much really. We had plays and crap at school. In one Cristmas play I was an angel, and in another I was a housewife who’s turkey burned in the oven. Thankfully I had very little lines in both, as I did not ask to be in either play. Now doubt we were all crap, but it’s kids acting, what do you expect?
I wouldn’t tell kids they suck at acting, and I suppose the cute factor overlaps any lack of skill. Still though, that Sean Lock dude is awesome. Just never gave it much though as I believe it’s rather common for schools to have shows and plays and whatnot.

Coloma's avatar

I think they’re cute, even of the acting is terrible. haha
It’s about team work, and a great way to help kids with public speaking/presentations. Goofy school plays are classic rites of passage for elementary school kids.

cookieman's avatar

They mostly are really bad, but every once in a blue moon, one or two kids shines through and are pretty good.

It’s all about hope.
Rebellions are built on hope.

canidmajor's avatar

@cookieman, been to the movies, I see! :-)

janbb's avatar

It really depends on if it’s your kid or not in the play. Sure they’re mainly hokey and bad but it’s not necessarily supposed to be fine drama; it’s just fun to see your kid up there in the play. Of course, if they’re not enjoying it and don’t want to be in it, then they shouldn’t have to be.


Love_my_doggie's avatar

It’s generally not a good idea to inform children, or any other human beings, that they’re “crap.”

SavoirFaire's avatar

“Sucking at something is the first step to becoming sorta good at something.”
—Jake the Dog (Adventure Time)

dxs's avatar

So, what was it that they were acting?

marinelife's avatar

I was in a lot of plays as a child, and it was a wonderful experience. Good practice public speaking and singing. Good chance at building teamwork, taking direction, and other life lessons. Plus, it was great fun.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I agree. I also think children at school shouldn’t be alowed to play musical intstruments, paint, play sport, read books, or in fact anything else just in case they aren’t very good at those either.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

When I was growing-up, acting in school plays was a little different. We had three different kids that did live TV acting, one kid did Playhouse 90 (big show in the 1950’s) and a trumpet player in fourth grade that played weekends in his family’s group (later he played in a well known classical brass group, he is on four of that group’s albums).
We did have amateur acts but really kids in elementary school remembering lines and places is enough.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I loved being in plays.

Pachy's avatar

I think it’s a great idea, and the quality of the play is irrelevant. The dramatic arts can help a youngster develop all kinds of highly useful skills for current and future life.

YARNLADY's avatar

Given that sort of expectation, we shouldn’t allow them to write on paper or answer math problems, since they are really terrible at it. ~~

I hated being in school plays, but my grandkids have all loved it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was the wicked step mother in Cinderella. Mom thought I should have been Cinderella. I still remember my line. Want to hear it?

Coloma's avatar

Go for it Dutchie! haha

Dutchess_III's avatar

“You?! What would you be doing going to a ball!”

That was my line. It’s a pretty good tongue twister, actually. Especially for 12 year old.

And Prince Charming was a super cute boy I really had a crush on. He danced with Cinderella and it made me mad and jealous.

JLeslie's avatar

I think it’s fine as long as children aren’t forced to do it and there are lots of parts where kids can be in the background, or chorus, or an easy dance thing, so if they aren’t good actors they can still participate.

If the costumes are basically supplied by parents, there has to be a way to help parents who really can’t afford it.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

It’s a penance for having children or for having relatives who have children. Bad orchestra’s, terrible acting, ear-torturing choirs… are all just part of the joy of being a parent. When my kids were little they did ballet. At one end-of-year concert three of them ended up having a stoush on the stage. Pretty little ballerinas in tutus pushing each other around on the stage. You can’t tell them they suck! It’s about fun and participation rather than quality entertainment. Although it can be unintentionally entertaining.

janbb's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit What’s a “stoush”?

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

A fight, a punch-up. They were only little, 5–8 I’d say. I think one of mine started it. The other two weren’t following directions. She’s quite bossy and it all went pear-shaped. The audience loved it!

Dutchess_III's avatar

My daughter was pretty talented. I didn’t have to provide the costume, but I did do her make up…at which point I got volunteered to to the make up for all the girls.

flutherother's avatar

School plays are about the kids, the parents and the teachers having fun and enjoying the experience. They are not put on for the benefit of drama critics and it is best to encourage the children who take part. Saying they are crap misses the whole point of it.
PS We called fights like that a ‘stushie’.

ucme's avatar

This question could only be put by a never will be parent, one of the nerds trying desperately to sound cool & edgy. As if the kids think they’re great & above criticism, that shite never enters their heads, they’re just having fun with it & enjoying themselves, you know…being kids
It’s only negative, misery filled adults that think along those meaningless terms, smile, it might never happen.

ragingloli's avatar

That response can only come from someone who was among the first to be rejected by George Lucas for the role of Anakin Skywalker.

cinnamonk's avatar

Do you also think children should be told their art is crap?

cazzie's avatar

Of course the plays are rubbish, but we don’t really say that. Imagine a school in America doing an entire play in a foreign language. I give the kids props for that. But it was difficult to listen to as a native speaker of the language they were attempting. The kids are only 12.

ragingloli's avatar

@AnonymousAccount8 I would set it ablaze in front of them.

jca's avatar

I think the plays, concerts and pageants are for the parents to enjoy. I also think the school is trying to give kids as many experiences as possible. My daughter’s school does a school concert twice a year for different grades, they do an art gallery thing another time where the kids’ art is posted for all to see, too. Field Day is another opportunity for kids to show their stuff.

I think these things are to give kids different experiences, to help make them confident (as the parents can say “You did so well singing” or whatever), and to expose the kids to various experiences to give them a chance to see what they’re good at and what they like.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

We don’t ask children to participate in school plays thinking they will be equal to professionals. We ask them to participate so they can expand their minds and their ranges of experiences. It broadens them.

Theatre provides important education. They must train their minds to memorize lines. They must practice teamwork. They learn to take direction. They learn left from right. They can get over some of their natural fright and become more outgoing.

As they grow and expand their repertoire to more advanced fare like Shakespeare, they get into some real psychological dramas about the human condition.

Theatre is the greatest art. It is immediate. It is participatory. It is engrossing. And it is also ephemeral and never repeated.

cinnamonk's avatar

Involvement in school plays should be voluntary, in my opinion. For extra credit, maybe. I was forced to participate in school plays from 4th through 6th grade and can’t say I feel “broadened” by the experience.

Dutchess_III's avatar

The plays and concerts are not about talent. They’re about teaching children organization and new experiences. I promise the kids get very, very excited about them, and they work hard getting ready.
That’s all that’s needed.

ucme's avatar

Methinks a nerve has been touched, dis iz gud yah?

Aethelwine's avatar

You need to start somewhere. The younger the better. At least they are trying.

LostInParadise's avatar

I have nothing against children in school plays, but I remember listening to a piece by David Sedaris where he gave a scathing review of a school play using the same standards as if the actors were grownups. I can’t remember the details but I remember it was pretty funny.

filmfann's avatar

I was so terrified by going on stage I referred to my class as Trauma 101.

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