Theatre plays are not just a pastime to keep the children entertained for a while, they offer the children an accurate and creative way to understand the world that surrounds them. The theatre’s influence on children’s imaginations is enormous. Just as with all narrative forms – television, film, video games, children’s literature. Forms presented by actors, i.e. formats which include a story comprised of characters and plots evoke first an emotional and then a rational response from the youngest audiences. This is why a child’s age and maturity must be considered when selecting the appropriate content – from fairy tales read to them by others, to puppet shows and theatre plays. Moreover, media content is subject to classification with regards to children and adolescents, as vulnerable groups, so it must be labelled with an appropriate warning on prohibition and parental supervision for audiences of certain ages.
This is a necessary introduction preparing the grounds for an emotional response – relating to the story and its protagonists. This is why in fairy tales, which are the first works of fiction that the children come into contact with, naturally, with the help and interpretation from their parents – things are set very clearly and are quite polarized. On one side is good, on the other evil and there are no shades in between. Nuances of character, psychological transformations, complex structure of the events and characters come later. In the general opposition of black and white, a space is created for educational, or ethical dimension of each form of content, most of all theatre. Since the times of antiquity, theatre has had an ethical dimension as a “school of morals” and ethical realisation is the most important precondition for dramatic catharsis.
Thus, the positive influence of the theatre, from the most naive to the complex, comes full circle. The educational dimension based in observing the good and recognizing the bad, is the final stage in this process. Theatre plays encourage children’s imaginations, develop their sense of details, improve their concentration, enrich their vocabulary and develop their ethical faculties. The world in the eyes of a child must be fun, clear, understandable to be properly understood and accepted.