How Theater for Young People Could Save the World: theater is like a gym for empathy

So much of toxicity in this world comes from a collective draining of empathy. We don’t understand each other, and we don’t want to. But theater forces us to empathize.

As my friend Bill English of San Francisco’s SF Playhouse says, theater is like a gym for empathy. It’s where we can go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves. 

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theater is like a gym for empathy.

It’s where we can go to build up the  
muscles of compassion,
to practice listening  

and understanding 

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Kids need this kind of practice even more than adults do. 

by Lauren Gunderson Dramatist and theater essayist