“I think that improvisation builds resiliency skills,” said Robin Galloway, actress, and Cape Fear Regional Theatre’s military liaison.
Galloway elaborated, explaining that the need to adapt and think on your feet builds valuable skills for the military child, helping them to learn to cope with their ever-changing environment.
It also helps them hone team building skills, which can be important when you are in a new place, Galloway said.
Galloway speaks from a place of understanding; she grew up in a military household.
CFRT is hoping to help Fort Bragg military children build that resiliency and reap the benefits of theater participation by bringing theater classes to Fort Bragg.
CFRT has created two classes created for Fort Bragg Families
The classes, Drama Drop Zone and Passport Series, are being funded by the Military and Veterans Healing Arts Grant from the North Carolina Arts Council, and are free of charge for the Families that have signed up.
The Passport Series caters to two age groups, ages 7 to 10 and ages 11 to 14, with a once weekly hour-long commitment from students and parents.
Held at Throckmorton Library students will be able to improvise, develop their characters and by the completion of the eight-week class perform their creation for parents.
The Drop Zone class accommodates two age groups, as well, ages 4 to 6 and ages 7-10. The Drop Zone class will rotate to different Corvias community centers across the installation, and military Families were not required to commit to regular attendance for this theater class format.
The hope is that, through the support of potential future partners, CFRT and military Families will have a more long-term relationship, explained Galloway.
Malissa Borden, a Fort Bragg Family member, and CFRT drama teacher was invited to teach and develop these classes.
Borden knows from personal experience what impact theater involvement can have on a military Family’s resilience in the face of multiple deployments.
Two years ago, Borden’s now 12-year-old son found a voice through theater. Struggling to express the difficulties he was facing in his father’s long periods away, Borden’s son found confidence, a voice and a place he felt like he belonged in drama classes.
“It was just incredible how he was able to express himself,” Borden said.
Even more than the confidence he developed and the interest in the theater created an unexpected connection to his father.
It opened a passageway for them to talk, something they could share, she said.
Borden hopes that this program will do the same for other Families on Fort Bragg.