Stage Position can strengthen Communication with Children

Keith Tusing October 14, 2013 0

Stage Position can strengthen Communication with Children Children\s Ministry YouthAs a leader of children and family ministries most of us have the role of lead teacher or communicator with our kids on Sunday Morning. One of our goals is to communicate the lesson clearly and draw our children into action with our teaching. When we are teaching our use of stage or platform space is an important tool. My undergrad degree is in theatre and that has served me well in my goal to connect with and teach children. With that in mind I thought I would share a few principles about connecting with both children and adults from the stage.
Stage positioning is a key factor in how we are perceived by our audience. There are several distinct areas of the stage that have individual names and each holds a different perception by the children. Our goal on stage is to hold the audience’s attention and communicate clearly. With children our visual cues can help us reach our teaching goals. So, here we go. With stage direction these are terms we need to know to help improve our communication with children.
Downstage – closest to the children. This term is based on the fact that theatre stages in the past where actually tilted down toward the audience or raked. Just a little theater history to enlighten all of us.
Upstage – further back moving away from the children. When we are teaching moving upstage can draw attention simply by creating curiosity. Also, can be used as a derogatory term, but that’s another story.
Center Stage – Yes, the middle of the stage. When we are teaching the over-use of Center stage can cause it to become boring.
Downstage - a strong position as we are closer to the kids we are teaching. However, if we deliver everything from downstage it tends to lose it’s power to communicate with the children.
Hanging around Upstage as we teach allows for our trips downstage to help emphasize our main points.
Center Stage can become boring if that’s where we stay. We must be intentional about moving around away from center stage.
Creating “mind-pictures” on stage as we tell our stories is very powerful. By moving to different areas on stage and describing the locale kids imaginations will fill in the blanks. Then when we move back to that area on stage they will immediately picture that locale without further description.
So, there you have it a crash course in the power of stage positioning. I hope this short stage primer will help to improve our teaching technique. How we use the stage physically can empower and strengthen our teaching. Give it a try!

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