Performing arts – what skills can we get out of them?

Jakub Karch, ARTeria Foundation

Performing arts, associated with theatre or the so-called ‘new circus’ (also known as ‘cirque nouveau’) have an immense influence on many people’s lives, their competence and skill development, that can prove to be useful at different stages of life. They allow people to boost their creativity and to express themselves, their feelings and identity in a better way.

They can be helpful primarily for people dealing with problems concerning finding a job or  experiencing social exclusion. Stage fright, no skills of coherent information sharing, no abilities to work in a group, no critical thinking or any skill to analyse one’s progress – these are the issues that people trying to enter the labour market struggle with. Performing arts allow them to overcome these problems and improve useful competences.

Better verbal communication with others

Many people that deal with performing arts by profession, especially those working at a theatre, notice that performing on a stage helps learn how to talk publicly in a convenient way. It allows people to overcome stress, stage fright or even mental blocks connected with public performances.

In both daily and work life, it proves to be handy in communicating with others. Coherent, precise messages allow the receiver to understand the speaker better, react and answer them accordingly. It has a direct impact on clear understanding and the feeling of belonging to social and work groups. In work life, communication skills can also help in team management, which is an important advantage of an employee.

When a person possesses the skill of good communication, cooperation with other people becomes easier and more convenient for both parties.

Group cooperation

Theatre helps improve both communication and team cooperation skills. Group members can understand others better and assess their contribution to their work, not minding their role. They also learn what shared success is and how to support others when they are down.

Even though such teams are rather hard to find in bigger companies, there is a better chance of creating more satisfying groups at the workplace when more people are gaining cooperation skills.

However, not only is team cooperation crucial at work but also in social life. Almost every technique of social contribution requires interacting with others, and cooperation skills make it easier to find a job or create the perfect work environment to pursue common actions.

Following the deadlines

While preparing for a performance, it is always necessary to take its date into consideration, as well as to assess the preparation time and stick to it. It allows you to learn that time frames should be respected, which is also an important skill in both daily and work life.

People that follow the deadlines are perceived as more effective and organised by others, they find co-workers faster and are more reliable. Moreover, employers can be sure that if they entrust such a person with any task, it will be done on time, and they perceive such a person as responsible and diligent, which impacts the job’s assessment positively and increases the chances of climbing up the career ladder.

The ability to observe and to think critically

An important element of stage work is self-analysis and self-reflection – an assessment after each performance is required. What went well, what went badly, what can be improved. Such practices shape a habit of self-reflection on your own vices and virtues. It is an incredibly vital competence, allowing one to progress constantly, both in the workplace and in personal life.

People that improve all the time, judge their skills and work objectively are desired on the labour market. That is why these abilities increase their chances of getting hired.

Creative problem solving

Stage work requires the team to stay organised and adjust the scenarios depending on the conditions on the stage (also the unpredictable ones), for instance through choosing props or customizing the scenography. Additionally, their resources are often limited, which may result in increasing their creativity and improvisation skills.

This competence is also useful in social and work life. The ability to solve problems creatively helps with dealing with difficult life situations, allowing you to find the best solutions – sometimes really unusual ones. Similarly, at the workplace – the skill of being able to solve difficult problems is also appreciated by employers.


Performing arts can contribute to one’s life much more than you would think. Susan Albert Loewenberg is an inspiring example of a person who uses the influence of theatre on her life (but not only!) in an interesting way. She shares her experiences in a conversation on TEDxTalks programme (the video is available in English):

It is possible to develop competences that will significantly influence the overcoming of difficulties that happen during a job search, as well as social exclusion, thanks to performing arts

MasterTheACT Staff

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