10-2 | Toward Creativity


Toward Creativity
Do Theatrical Experiences Improve Pretend Play and Cooperation among Preschoolers?

Meredith L. Rowe, Virginia C. Salo, and Kenneth Rubin


The authors ask if participating in an early-childhood theater production improves pretend play and cooperation among preschoolers.  They examined play sessions immediately before and after productions of interactive early-childhood performances at Imagination Stage, Inc. and measured children’s engagement, cooperation, pretense, and misbehavior.  They found that participating in the performances enhanced the cooperation and pretense of preschoolers. The authors discuss their results in relation to the role of the arts and of play in early creativity and social-competence development. Key words: cooperation; creativity; early-childhood development and the arts; make-believe; pretense; social competence