Man on Stage

WHY WE NEED THE ARTS

Fresh Air for the Soul

 

DEVELOPING A CREATIVE POTENTIAL TO GROW, HEAL AND CULTIVATE

June 10, 2025

BY MEG STEINER, Creative Director, On Stage Ready


We are born to create. Each of us is gifted with hidden gems buried deep within, and uncovering them is among the greatest of life’s joys. How we use our gifts determines our personal fulfillment and legacy. During our limited, precious time on earth, it is our responsibility to wholeheartedly work towards developing creative potential so we can grow spiritually, heal a deeply troubled society, turn pain into power, and cultivate gratitude. It is our responsibility to let our light shine.


As an artist, educator, and visionary, I do my best to look closely at systematic flaws that stifle creativity and combat human actualization. We are in cultural crisis. Societal values have created a breeding ground for mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and addiction. There is an ever present sense of lacking. We continuously struggle to keep up with unreasonable expectations in an effort to avoid shaming messages from our communities at large. Science has discovered a relationship between social media and the rise of narcissism and decline of altruism. While humans are now more technologically connected than ever, we are the least connected in our daily lives, and such isolation leads to despair, sloth, and apathy- all enemies of the creative spirit.


Taking action towards health and wellness individually and socially requires us to actively express ourselves and consume art that nourishes our soul, challenges our thinking, and helps us connect to each other and the world.


Theatre, among the greatest and most collaborative of art forms, proactively combats subconscious self sabotage, loneliness, and ignorance through the practice of empathy, discipline, vulnerability, catharsis, innovation, and education. Theatre offers an immediate connection to the human spirit. It is a profoundly important part of civilization, and we are thrilled to begin bringing a professional and educational company to Dripping Springs.


“To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow.” -Kurt Vonnegut


“This world is but a canvas to our imagination.” -Henry David Thoreau


“The theatre is a spiritual and social x-ray of it’s time.” -Stella Adler


“The formula of happiness and success is just being actually yourself, in the most vivid possible way you can.” -Meryl Streep


“The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” Steve Jobs


“Theatre is a form of knowledge; It should and can also be a means of transforming society. Theatre can help us build our future, rather than just waiting for it.” -Augusto Boal


“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” -Oscar Wilde


We hope you will join us in creating an environment that nurtures artistry and performance for the young and young at heart, right here at home. Dripping Springs not only deserves to be enriched by community theatre, but requires one to continue the expansion of its universal consciousness and ethical progression. Take part in the magic and support the artist in you. 

PARENT TO PARENT: HOW EVERY CHILD CAN BENEFIT FROM PERFORMING ARTS TRAINING

DS OUTLOOK, April 2022


BY NORAH MARTIN, Production Director at On Stage Ready

In this very publication about a dozen years ago, I read an article that changed the trajectory of my child’s life (and by proxy, mine as well). The article was written by a Wimberley-based voice and acting teacher, now retired, about an upcoming children’s theatre summer camp. It seemed like a reasonable way to occupy my High School Musical-obsessed daughter’s summer break. She’d been asking for acting lessons for months. Something about Sharpay and Ryan’s antics struck a chord in her that no one in my household quite understood or was prepared for.

Fast forward to the present day: said child is now a young adult in college studying acting. I have co-founded a performing arts school, On Stage Ready, here in Dripping Springs.

While few are destined to study performing arts at the university level, there are several traits I have observed in my own child and in children who have spent time learning performing arts that will benefit them in whatever they choose to be as adults:

(1)    They learn awesome public speaking skills.  Statistics show that nearly eight in ten adults have significant fear or anxiety about public speaking. Opportunities and access to speaking in front of a crowd, especially starting at a young age, helps normalize that which fills a majority of adults with fear. Kids with performing arts training learn diction, enunciation, and projection. Being able to speak clearly and confidently in front of a Board of Directors, prospective employer, or on camera after the big game is a life-long skill that can be honed in acting classes starting at a young age.

(2)    They learn history in a memorable way. Let’s be honest. How much did we really remember about Alexander Hamilton’s relationship with George Washington until Lin-Manuel Miranda masterfully set syncopated words to music? Ok, what did we really remember about Alexander Hamilton at all? Cue in Fiddler on the Roof, 1776, Cabaret, Evita, and Newsies as well. Theater tells the human side of history. History becomes live, rich, palpable, and memorable.

(3)    They learn about others feelings as well as their own. Living in a diverse group of character’s shoes, singing their songs, and embodying their emotions helps children build compassion and empathy. In a world where social interactions are increasingly digital and anonymous, working in concert with a group of others to bring a production to stage fosters necessary “high touch” social skills: teamwork, cooperation, and listening. On the flip side, they can also vent their own emotional steam through comedic and dramatic moments, dance, singing, general silliness, and camaraderie in the performing arts environment.

PARENT TO PARENT: HOW EVERY CHILD CAN BENEFIT FROM PERFORMING ARTS TRAINING
PART 2

DS OUTLOOK May 2022

BY NORAH MARTIN, Production Director at On Stage Ready


Last month, I wrote about how children with performing arts training are more confident public speakers, are able to learn history in a memorable way, and have deeper emotional intelligence. I’m back again to continue the reasons why I believe performing arts training can benefit all children, regardless of what they may choose to be as adults:

(4)  Children have access to a huge umbrella of experiences. In theater, children are exposed to a vast array of different creative activities in addition to acting, dancing, and singing. These include sewing, mask making, and millinery skills in costuming; crafting and procurement in properties; the technical aspects of lighting, sound, special effects, and rigging; woodworking, design, and visual arts/painting in set creation; people management and organization in stage management and directing; hospitality for front of house activities; historical research in dramaturgy; as well as design and marketing for publicity and playbill - to name just a few! This is access to an all-you-can-taste buffet of potential future interests not readily found anywhere else.

(5) They flex their creative muscles. Much of a child’s day is spent in receiving information from their teachers, families, friends, and social media. Children need to transmit ideas - or flex their creative muscles - to foster their imagination. In performing arts children can use their imagination to embody a witch, a tin man, a scarecrow, a lion, a lost girl from Kansas, or her little dog (too). The ability to think creatively is an important asset as children grow and join their respective work forces.

(6)  They learn goal setting and collaboration. In performing arts, children work collaboratively to meet deadlines, polish difficult scenes or choreography, and create a piece of work in a finite period of time. They use collaboration to accomplish the main goal of bringing a production to stage, however, they learn to set smaller goals with their individual contribution to the main goal – learning a chorus or their lines for a particular scene. They learn – and live – that making a production is much like the old saying about how to eat an elephant. Setting smaller goals as a foundation for a larger goal is a valuable tool for a child to learn in preparation for adulthood.