Open Forum

CTE Technical Theatre Certification

  • 1.  CTE Technical Theatre Certification

    Posted 04-20-2017 09:46
    Are there any schools that are putting their Tech Theatre Classes under the CTE umbrella?  If so, do you have PEIMS code?  What classes and what cert?

    Cynthia Baker
    Celina High School
    Theatre Director
    UIL Coordinator
    469-742-9102 x2520

  • 2.  RE: CTE Technical Theatre Certification

    Posted 04-21-2017 09:45
    What does that stand for? I am just curious. All I can come up with is some sort of technical school standands

    Dan Mellitz
    Technical Director
    St Andrews School
    Barrington, RI

  • 3.  RE: CTE Technical Theatre Certification

    Posted 04-22-2017 09:09

    CTE is Career and Technical Education. There are a few state that have placed technical theatre under this umbrella and in turn, have created a robust list of skills and understandings related to the field.

    I have attached a few documents from Arizona CTE program in technical theatre and a list of states currently following this model.



    Dana Taylor
    MSD of Mt. Vernon
    Evansville IN


  • 4.  RE: CTE Technical Theatre Certification

    Posted 04-22-2017 14:08
    CTE stands for Career and Technical Education.  I've been teaching CTE Tech Theatre for 3 years now. There are a lot of federal & state requirements that create a lot of extra work beyond a regular prep for a class, however, I do believe it's worth it.

    Essentially, it is a two or three year course that prepares students for entry level work in technical theatre.  The standards cover ALL areas of technical theatre, including some that we don't have access to, such as automated rigging & intelligent lighting, so that can be challenging. The second year builds on the knowledge & skills from the first year of course. The third year, a student can serve a paid or unpaid internship in your school or a local theatre company.

    It is not a stagecraft class where students just build sets for school productions. CTE funding has allowed me to get much needed tools & teaching materials as well as given me the funds to take students into professional theatres to learn and observe real world tech. Getting their state CTE certification has gotten my students tech jobs before they even graduate from high school as well as college scholarships. It has become more than just an elective, but a place where students have discovered the career they want to pursue beyond high school.

    Jeana Whitaker
    Theatre Director
    Mesa AZ

  • 5.  RE: CTE Technical Theatre Certification

    Posted 27 days ago
    Hi Jeana,
    I know your CTE post was from a few years ago, but I'm working now to put together a CTE program proposal for my school. The people in charge are asking for information in regards to the effectiveness of offering a CTE in tech theatre and what their return on investment will be. I was wondering if you would be able to answer some questions for me - or if you have additional resources that you could offer as we put this together?
    Thank you for you time and any help you can offer,
    Tracie Folger
    Instructor of Technical Theatre
    College of Lake County

    Tracie Folger
    Grayslake IL

  • 6.  RE: CTE Technical Theatre Certification

    Posted 04-22-2017 14:10

    The Dept. of L&I says that any minor doing the type of labor we do in tech theatre (working at heights, working with 'hoisting equipment', using power tools, and so on) may only do so in a bona fide vocational program, ie: a CTE class, and therefore everyone working with minors in tech theatre must be under the CTE umbrella.


    It sounds like your state is in the process of complying, which is great! Unfortunately not all states have come to adopt that, and some that have make up excuses to get around it. For instance, in our school district in Washington State the admin is telling us that if the tech theatre class or club is after school, then the "requirement that the instructor be CTE certified doesn't apply", which makes no sense. The Dept of L&I is saying the rule is that minors working in a scene shop (for instance) must be in a CTE course, but the state and the district are saying: because the minors aren't in a CTE course, the rule doesn't apply and they can work in the scene shop without a CTE instructor. What!?


    I don't see WA under Dana's list, but I'm not surprised given the attitude they have towards it. That said, I don't know if WA has a PEIMS code, or what it is – because although I work with students in tech theatre, I'm not required to be CTE certified (!!!), although I've been taking the classes to cover my anatomy – but they do have Career Clusters and Frameworks. Tech Theatre is under "Arts, A/V Technology & Communications; Performing Arts" Cluster. (Although personally I think Tech Theatre should be under the "Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics" – techies are not performers.) Technical Theatre/Theatre Design and Technology's Theatre's CIP (Classification of Instructional Programs) Code is 50.0502.   Costume Design, and Costume Design alone, has its own CIP Code, 50.0510. I know not why. Information (Frameworks, etc) regarding WA's CTE Tech Theatre can be found at


    As for classes, there is an (mostly) online program at a local community college. As soon as you've taken the Intro to CTE course (which you can take online) then you are qualified to get your Provisional certification for two years while you take the other courses. You can even get a two year extension after that. There are some Saturday classes, although I believe in the past they may have helped people in other states, so check with them, or look for a similar course in your state.


    Good luck, and Kudos to you and your state for moving in the right direction!


    Beth Rand
    High School Theatre Operations Coach

    Next HS Theatre Management Training for Drama teachers online course: Summer Session starts June 12. Spaces still available.

    Author of "High School Theatre Operations"
    Woodinville, WA