How to Manage Emotions Through Theater

Theater is the perfect tool for people to learn to manage emotions. In this article, we'll show you some exercises to achieve it. Also, we'll tell you everything you need to know about this topic.
How to Manage Emotions Through Theater

Last update: 05 January, 2019

Theater is an activity that has many therapeutic benefits. In fact, it’s a discipline that allows you to work, let go and express feelings. Let’s take a look at how we can manage emotions through theater.

Expressing the darker aspects of the human experience can be very comforting to people. Acting provides many opportunities to explore our innermost shadows and secrets. Interpreting characters lets people transform on a personal level.

Likewise, the most important aspect of expressing ourselves creatively is that it lets us bring out all of the dark aspects that live inside us.

By playing roles that are tyrannical, selfish and destructive, you can release negative energy that’s trapped inside. If you don’t let this out, it could affect your psychological and mental health.

Theater helps children development

Theater can greatly benefit the way individuals developIt’s an opportunity for young people to learn to manage emotions. They can experiment with their relationship with their body, with others, with beauty, and even ideologies, values and issues.

Adolescents find everyday emotions and situations in theater as well. However, they express them with a little more artistic dimension. This means that they live a rewarding experience as they build their relationship with the world.

Among other things, theater offers young people knowledge of their own bodies, emotions and reactions. It also teaches listening skills, teamwork, empathy, healthy relationships and how to boost self-esteem.

How to Manage Emotions Through Theater

In itself, theater creates a space where people can create different situations. In addition, they can recreate and interpret roles to use them for a purpose.

More and more schools incorporate theater into their curriculum. This is because artistic education is very important in human development. The idea of having theater classes allows students to work on this. Additionally, it’s an excellent way to connect them with the world of emotions.

Exercises to manage emotions through theater

If you want to manage emotions through theater, you should know that there are some simple exercises. We’ll explain a few below:

1. Express emotions

To carry out the first exercise, you need a large dice that has 6 faces. Each face represents one emotion you want to work with. For example, you can include sadness, admiration, fear, etc.

Students should sit in a circle, and each participant needs to wait their turn. Once you roll the dice, you must express the emotion you rolled. Then, you need to explain when you experienced that emotion in the past.

“Acting provides many opportunities to explore the shadows and secrets inside us. Interpreting characters lets people transform on a personal level.”

2. Role play

This second exercise is undoubtedly the most fun of the three. You’ll need several participants. They’ll maintain a conversation using different roles and emotions.

Before starting, distribute some papers with different emotions on each one. Then, at the end of the exercise, guess the emotion that each participant acted out.

How to Manage Emotions Through Theater

3. Guess the emotions

Finally, here’s a very simple exercise to learn to manage emotions through theater. As in the first activity, children need to sit in a circle next to each other. Each participant represents an emotion and everyone else needs to guess it. When they succeed, move on to the next participant.

We should mention that theater is a fantastic tool to work on kids’ emotional education. In fact, it also works well with the elderly. Everyone can benefit from the skills you learn onstage.

Acting allows people to control emotions in a positive way and learn important skills for personal and social development. Performing theater improves people’s self-esteem, empathy, responsibility, teamwork and confidence. They learn to get along well with others, as well as learn more about themselves.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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    • Núñez Cubero, L. y Romero, C. (2004). La educación emocional a través del lenguaje dramático. Addenda a la II Ponencia: Los lenguajes de las Artes. Escenas y Escenarios en Educación, XXII-Site-Sitges Conference.
    • Núñez Cubero, L.; Bisquerra Alzina, R.; González Monteagudo, J. y Gutiérrez Moar, M.C. (2006). Emociones y educación: una perspectiva pedagógica. En J.M. Asensio; J. Carrasco García; L. Núñez Cubero y J. Larrosa (Coords.) La vida emocional. Las emociones y la formación de la identidad humana (171-196). Barcelona: Ariel.
    • Tejerina, I. (1994). Dramatización y teatro infantil. Dimensiones psicopedagógicas y expresivas. Madrid: Siglo XXI.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.