‘Creativity is intelligence having fun’

Published 9:27 am Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Throughout the country, there are multiples high schools for the arts who place the ability to pursue an art with the same rigor as academic classes.

For example, The Los Angeles County High School for the Arts “offers a specialized program combining college-preparatory academic instruction and conservatory-style training in the visual and performing arts.”

While our local public schools may not afford the same rigorous style of learning between arts and academics due to requirements set by the state, the importance of creativity and expression through the arts can be life-changing.

School officials recently announced theater class at Randolph-Henry High School (R-HHS) would be taken off the curriculum for the upcoming school year.

“The class is not being offered due to a lack of available space in the schedule,” said Randolph-Henry’s Principal Shep Critzer. “However, we are planning on offering the extra-curricular activity if there is sufficient student interest. We will be assessing that at the start of the year.”

In light of this news, many former and present theater students voiced their opinions concerning the matter.

“It’s like a second home,” said Randolph-Henry High School Student Cole Pillow. “Finding out that the students of Randolph-Henry will no longer have the option to take theater breaks my heart.”

He said theater is beyond the scope of an ordinary class because the skills learned can help students learn a variety of skills including bravery, how to be courteous, love and respect for each other.

Albert Einstein once said “creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Artistic creativity allows students to have an outlet outside of their regular academic classes to express themselves as individuals. Self-expression, described as “the expression of your thoughts or feelings, especially through artistic activities …” according to Merriam-Webster, can be vital to the level of happiness and fulfillment an individual feels in life.

In addition, the skills learned in classes such as theater can stick with students as they embark on their journeys into the real world.

Former theatre student Lizzie Powell said being in college now, she has used more skills from theatre than in any other required class in high school.

“I feel that canceling the theatre program has taken something vital away from its students. It’s taking away somewhere where creativity can flourish, academics can improve and self-expression can be developed,” said Powell. “It just saddens me that R-HHS has just given up on something so important to its students. We must not forget the importance of having the arts in schools.”

On the other end of the spectrum, students who may later decide to pursue theater at the college level may not have the comparable experience or techniques necessary to train at the college level if that craft is not exercised during high school.

It is our hope that a satisfactory balance can be achieved to satisfy the need for self-expression through the arts at R-HHS as well as meeting the academic requirements.