Performing toward a career through 4-H

4-H offers youth the opportunity to sing, dance, act or perform on stage in theatre arts. Participation in this project area can lead to more opportunities in college and careers.

There are a variety of projects that are offered in the 4-H Program. According to Michigan State University Extension, these projects help youth learn and build skills for their future. If youth like to sing, dance, act or perform on stage, 4-H has a place for them. Through caring adult volunteers, 4-H gives youth the ability to display their creative skills in the different areas of performing and theatre arts.

As youth participate in theatre arts in 4-H, the interest and skills gained from this project area can lead to a major in college and a career. At Michigan State University, in the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Theatre offers the following degrees and majors:

Students also have the opportunity to minor in Theater and Dance. If students are interested in pursuing a Master’s degree after the Bachelor’s degree, the Department of Theatre offers a Master of Fine Arts in Acting and a Master of Fine Arts in Production Design.

Some careers related to theatre arts are acting, producing and directing, set and exhibit design, dance and choreography, music and singing, and music directing and composing. Some of these careers do not require a college degree. As a career, theatre arts can be taught at the middle school, high school or the postsecondary level.

Youth who have a passion, interest and skill in singing, dancing and acting can gain experience in the school or community plays. The third “H” in 4-H stands for “Hands” relating to community service, volunteering and citizenship. Youth can use these skills to give back to their local community by coordinating local plays or skits at afterschool programs, other community organizations, schools or even their local 4-H program. As a volunteer or service learning activity, youth can also teach younger students skills for theatre arts in local schools or younger members in 4-H clubs.

Michigan 4-H Youth Development offers theatre arts through performing arts as a project area and offers resources like the curriculum Youth Take the Stage: An Introduction to the Interactive Theatre. In 4-H, youth have the opportunity to learn and enhance their skills for theatre through participation in 4-H clubs and community service or service learning. These are ways for youth to have fun while learning and helping them “perform” their way to a career.

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