Why create a Mission Statement for your theatre program? Aren’t things like ‘mission’ and ‘vision’ better suited for corporations? Amy Pugh Patel, Theatre Teacher, Director, and DTA Instructor, shares her experience in this post. To learn more about creating a mission and vision for your drama program, check out Amy’s course Mission Possible found on the Drama Teacher Academy website.
Reason #1: A Mission Creates a Culture
Developing a mission creates a unified culture for you and your students. Before creating a mission statement, I knew why I did theatre but did not know why the students did it. After creating a mission statement for our program, we understood each other better.
Reason #2: A Mission Inspires and Motivates
The mission statement helps to motivate and inspire students to dig deeper than their initial reasons for taking drama. We had our program’s mission statement printed on the back of t-shirts, as a visual reminder and inspiration for students and teachers.
Reason #3: A Mission Determines the Aim of Your Theatre Program
The mission statement creates the path that your program is going to be on. It also creates checks and balances. You can evaluate every group decision, procedure, and activity by asking: “Does this directly support our mission or should we do something different?”
Reason #4: A Mission is Validating
Some people view drama as a frivolous, unnecessary school department. A mission statement communicates the significance and strength of your theatre program to sponsors, parents, prospective students, and your school administration. It shows the rest of the world what you do, why you do it, and how you do it. A theater program with a clear mission statement will draw more people to support and advance its cause.
Reason #5: A Mission Defines Purpose
Crafting a mission statement forces you to determine the underlying reasons for doing what you do. With my theatre program, I realized that I needed to incorporate students’ voices into the program’s mission. I couldn’t dictate what was important to them. Writing a mission statement is a joint effort between teachers and students that will unify your program.Click here to download Sample Mission Statements from theatre programs across the country.
If you’re ready to dive in and develop a mission with your students, check out the DTA course Mission Possible. The course takes you through each step of the process: how to ask the right questions, examine your school’s culture and traditions, write and revise your program’s statement, and shout your statement from the rooftops.
Find out more about the course by clicking on the video below: