Theatrical Thinking: The Habits of Mind Taught in Acting Class

What are the benefits of an acting class beyond the artistic skill itself? With mental health concerns amongst teens on the rise, Dr. Thalia Goldstein, Associate Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at George Mason University, shares the many benefits of drama class. Join Dr. Goldstein as she discusses her study Theatrical Thinking: The Habits of Mind Taught in Acting Class, investigating how teachers are fostering explicit and implicit social and emotional skills in their acting students. By studying 5 diverse schools, including Imagination Stage, Dr. Goldstein discovered both how teachers are using their time, and what psychosocial skills students are being asked to use during their lessons. This conversation sets the stage for why, how, and when acting classes may help adolescents gain important generalizable skills such as empathy, interoception, self-esteem, and creativity.

This event will take place via Zoom on June 9 at 5:15 p.m. To attend, please register here.

Dr. Thalia R. Goldstein is an Associate Professor of Applied Developmental Psychology at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. Her work focuses on children's developing social and emotional skills, particularly theory of mind, empathy, and emotional control and regulation, and how such skills intersect with children's engagement in pretend play, theatre, drama, and other imaginative activities. She directs the SSIT lab (The Social Skills, Imagination, and Theatre Lab), which conducts research that looks both at the effects of engaging in pretend play and theatre on children's social-emotional skills, and how children understand and learn social information in fictional worlds. She is also the co-director of the National Endowment for the Arts Research Lab, the Mason Arts Research Center (MasonARC).  Dr. Goldstein received a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology in 2010 from Boston College. She completed post-doctoral training at Yale University from 2010-2012.  Before then, she was a failed professional actor in New York for a few years, and only a few embarrassing photos remain of that time. Don't ask about Churchill High School's Blast from the Past, though ;)

Community Conversations are made possible by the generous sponsorship of Primrose Schools.

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