Theatre in Our Schools:
'21 Workshop Series

AATE is pleased to present an ongoing community conversation series focused on bringing awareness to the importance of theatre education in our schools.
AATE Members can access recordings of
completed sessions below:

*note you will be prompted to sign into your AATE account

Upcoming Sessions: 

Creating a Universally Designed Drama Classroom
with Fran Sillau
Wednesday, September 22nd at 7pm (EDT)

This sixty-minute workshop will unpack strategies for creating a truly inclusive drama classroom, utilizing the principles of Universal Design for Learning. Participants are encouraged to bring their favorite ensemble games and exercises to share, we will create inclusive versions of these games and activities to take right back to the classroom.

Fran Sillau serves as the Accessibility Coordinator at The Rose Theater, where he organizes educational opportunities for students with disabilities. Sillau also serves as Executive Artistic Director of Circle Theatre, a company dedicated to creating theater that includes artists with disabilities. Sillau is an Aurand Harris Fellowship recipient and a winner of The Access Grant from The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts where he is a frequent contractor. He also served as a Teaching Artist Fellow for VSA: The International Association for Arts and Disability. He holds an MFA in directing and inclusion from Goddard College. Learn more at

Click HERE to register.
Completed Sessions:

Youth Theatre, Mental Health, and Wellbeing: What Does the Research Say?
with Chris Miller
Thursday, March 25th at 7:30pm (EDT)

Have you ever wondered about the mental health benefits of young people engaged in theatre? What about social-emotional benefits? If so, please join us as Chris Miller, Ed.D. provides insights on the mental health benefits of youth participation in theatre. Through a review of the literature, a real-life case vignette of suicidal youth, and sharing of best practices, Dr. Miller speaks about the broader mental health and social-emotional benefits of youth theatre and conclude with recommendations for those that are engaged in youth theatre work on how to develop positive social environments that support all of our youth.

Dr. Chris Miller is a religious studies teacher at a Catholic High School in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently enrolled in a Master of Science program in Clinical Psychology at Notre Dame de Namur University. A recent graduate of the University of San Francisco, where he earned a Doctoral Degree in Education, Chris has degrees from Boston College and Santa Clara University in the areas of education, history, pastoral ministries, and youth and young adult faith development. He volunteers his time with stage crew for the award-winning Children’s Musical Theatre in San Jose, CA, having crewed 53 shows since 2007.

New Sight Lines: Deepening the Work
with Broderick Stanze Ryans, Khalia Davis, Chil Kong, Tara Moses, & Ilasiea Gray
Thursday, April 22nd at 5pm (EDT)

In this conversation, we talk about tangible and strategic next steps on how we ground anti-racism work across our organizations, rehearsals, and classrooms. We invite you to reflect on what you have already learned and how you have changed your practices. Our panelists will share how they have disrupted racism and systemic inequity, what they have built in its place, and what we must do together to inspire and sustain the necessary and lasting changes in educational theatre.

Broderick Stanze Ryans will be the Panel Facilitator. Ryans is the creator and host of a podcast called TIMEOUT w/Broderick that is about bridging the gap between POC culture, creative arts spaces, and educational theatre based in Seattle, Washington.

Khalia Davis serves as Artistic Director at Bay Area Children’s Theatre in California.
Chil Kong is the Artistic Director at Adventure Theatre MTC in Maryland.
Tara Moses is the co-Artistic Director in Residence at Red Eagle Soaring. She also serves as Producing Artistic Director of telatúlsa and co-Founder of Groundwater Arts that currently based in Oklahoma.
Ilasiea Gray is an Actress, Teaching Artist, and Director based in Colorado.

Story Drama in the Elementary Classroom
with Joshua Streeter
Tuesday, May 25th at 7pm (EDT)

This workshop actively explores how to bring a text to life through story drama, a specific approach to drama education. Extending beyond the lines of the text, we create characters, inhabit imaginary worlds, and examine situations. Specifically considering culturally responsive literature, the session discusses ways to select a text and ethically embody stories.

Joshua Rashon Streeter is an Assistant Professor of Theatre Education at James Madison University. He leads the Theatre Education Pre-Professional Licensure Program and the Teaching Artist Concentration. His teaching focuses on pre-service and in-service education in K-12 schools, drama and theatre education, Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA), musical theatre, and arts integration.

Staging Intimacy with Young People

with Jamie Macpherson
Tuesday, June 1st at 7pm (EDT)

What do the top 5 most produced shows in high schools across the U.S. have in common? Why, moments of intimacy that are central to their plot! In the professional world, we are seeing a shift as more theaters are hiring Intimacy Directors for their productions, and drafting up policies for rehearsals. But what about when it comes to working with young people? What does this work look like for classroom teachers and youth theater programs? What about in virtual spaces during the pandemic?

Join us in this workshop as we explore consent, self advocacy, and physical storytelling, with a special lens of how this work applies to TYA specifically. Leave with tools to incorporate into your classroom and rehearsal spaces to promote the wellbeing and creativity of your students and production teams!

Jamie Macpherson is a Chicago-based Intimacy and Fight Director who specializes in working with young people. Jamie has worked at such institutions as the Lawrence Art Center (KS), Macalester College, Augsburg University (MN), Arizona State University, and the University of Chicago. She is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors and received her MFA in Theater for Youth from Arizona State University.

AATE TIOS National Core Theatre Standards Workshop
with Jim Palmarini
Wednesday, August 25th at 7pm (EDT)

In 2014 AATE and the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) collaborated to create new, grade-by-grade PreK-12 theatre standards. The two nation theatre education organizations were part of a larger coalition of national arts groups that came together to write standards across all arts areas, using an overarching structure built on the four artistic processes of Creating, Performing, Responding and Connecting. The National Core Theatre Standards have since been adapted by 39 states, with multiple other states expected to follow. This session, presented by EdTA Policy and Advocacy Advisor Jim Palmarini, will offer a comprehensive overview of the standards’ structure and their applicability in the classroom and onstage. We’ll also have an open discussion about how they validate theatre as a rigorous academic discipline and serve as a springboard for creating curriculum that both classroom educators and teaching artists can use to build and measure student learning in theatre.

James Palmarini is director of educational policy for the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) and a member of the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards Leadership Team. As EdTA director of educational policy, Mr. Palmarini serves on the Arts Education Partnership Advisory Board; the Washington, D.C.-based Arts Education Working Group; and EdTA's Advocacy Task Force. In 2012, he led or participated in four presentations about the new National Core Arts Standards with Americans for the Arts, Arts Education Partnership, National Guild for Community Arts Education, and Educational Theatre Association. He tweets regularly at @edtadvocacy and blogs occasionally at