Premier Academy STEM programLast week, we talked a little bit about the importance of Reading and Art as additions to the STEM curriculum. Important inventions such as the submarine, the helicopter, the rocket, and atomic power might not have been created had it not been for science fiction authors envisioning them first. Mechanical hands, cellphones, tasers, and virtual online communities were all also products of science fiction before reality.

A big part of making those ideas real is being able to envision what the author is describing. However, not all of us are imaginary readers.

But we can’t simply convert these ideas into television because TV and film don’t speak to our minds in the same way. Rather than engaging our brains to experience the story, these mediums hypnotize our brains into taking a pseudo-nap.

Not saying that we couldn’t learn from them, but it is much more difficult and takes more exposure.

There is still another way to get a visual sense of the items and innovations found in the world of other people’s imaginations and that is through stage-plays.

childrens play
Going to a play, like reading, accesses a part of your brain that isn’t necessarily accessed in any other way. According to a study conducted by the University of Arkansas Department of Education, people watching a play demonstrated an increased ability to comprehend and empathize with other people’s feelings and reactions over people who watched a movie adaptation or even those who read the play rather than watched it.

According to the researchers, there is something intangible but important about attending live performances. A connection occurs between the individual, the performers on stage, and the other people in the audience that heightens and deepens the experience.

And, while there are several different types of plays you might choose to watch, researchers have a few recommendations.
theater masks
Scientists at the Mayo Clinic, for example, would be much more likely to recommend a comedy or a musical.

As they explained, laughter is great for relieving stress and stimulating organs. While you’re laughing, you’re giving your muscles, lungs, and heart an extra burst of oxygen. Giggling creates a boost of the good-feeling chemicals called endorphins. Your blood pressure might spike just a bit, but laughter also releases it which helps you feel more relaxed.

And, of course, popular musicals such as Mary Poppins, encourage you to sing along, making you a part of the action. Remember that connection the researchers talked about?

Mary Poppins
Even better, most local live theater can be attended for about the same cost as a movie ticket with so much more benefit!

If you want an opportunity to test out these scientific conclusions for yourself, be sure to check out The Artisan Theater’s Broadway version of Mary Poppins performed as theater-in-the-round. Premier Academy’s own Miss Jane, our music education and enrichment provider, will be playing the part of Mrs. Brill, the Banks family’s harried housekeeper on Monday and Friday nights at 7:30 pm and during the Saturday matinees at 3 pm.

But you only have until July 22 to make this happen, so be sure to get your tickets soon. Tickets are available at, but ask the front desk for the discount code first!

The Artisan Theater is located at 444 E. Pipeline Road in Hurst.

Plays are FUNdamental
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