Developing Social Cognition Through Theater
The basic premise of Acting Antics is to use live theater as a means to teach social cognition skills. Students participate in theater games, improvisation activities designed to develop the reading of non-verbal cues, build confidence and stimulate appropriate interaction. Actors participate in short scenes with a partner, in which they must take on the persona of a particular character. Development of that scene requires taking the character's perspective, and provides great opportunity to teach this difficult skill in a fun and non-threatening manner. Six of the twelve Chester County school districts are using the "Acting Antics" program as part of an Extended School Year option. This grant would provide the necessary resources to assist Acting Antics to bring direct instruction of the program to additional school districts during the school year, modeling the techniques and gathering data. to train special educators in the school districts in the techniques, and to provide ongoing consultation for the trained educators in the school district.