October 19, 2015
The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) has announced a partnership with the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE) to sponsor Theatre In Our Schools, a campaign designed to raise public awareness of the impact of theatre education and draw attention to the need for more access to quality programs for all students. Theatre In Our Schools presentations and advocacy may happen anytime in schools, theatres, and other public spaces. However, AATE and EdTA will recognize and promote March as the official Theatre In Our Schools month, with a series of community- and school-based events and celebrations nationwide.
The partnership between EdTA and AATE follows the two organizations’ successful collaboration in creating the new National Core Theatre Standards. The two groups will coordinate Theatre In Our Schools, popularly known as TIOS, together, sharing resources and promotion. AATE will begin organizing and promoting TIOS-themed regional conferences in December 2015, with details on how to participate coming later this year. EdTA will manage the creation of a digital toolbox of materials including downloadable graphics, promotional ideas, and event-planning guidelines.
The announcement marks a renewal of EdTA’s involvement in TIOS, having most recently been invested in the program in the 1980s and ‘90s.
“It is exciting to re-commit to this wonderful program and build our partnership with AATE,” EdTA Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald said. “I’ve seen great stories and results from TIOS when EdTA participated in the 1980s and ‘90s, and now in the digital world the possibilities are even greater. We all know the powerful benefits that theatre provides to students, and this is our chance to share it.”
EdTA’s coordination of TIOS will be led by student Thespians, with management and guidance provided by the International Thespian Officers. Promotion will begin at EdTA state conferences beginning this month, with advocacy activities encouraged throughout the school year.