Elements and Principles

Defining Theatre Elements and Principles


One way to determine the essential components of an art form is to define a set of elements and principles that are generally agreed upon by discipline practitioners. As a part of developing a model curriculum framework for theatre education, EdTA worked with teams of teachers and teaching artists to reach consensus on theatre elements and principles which may be used to focus instruction on key learning.  The elements and principles articulated here reflect the teachable skills which are the core of standards-based curriculum and assessment.



Elements are the smallest components/building blocks that are present in all aspects of an art form in some way.

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Principles are arrangements of elements that form the specific crafts/processes of the art form.

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