EdTA's home for professional learning and teaching resources.


Supporting Standards Based Theatre Education

Use the links on this page to access and download copies of the National Theatre Standards, the Opportunity to Learn Standards, EdTA"s Teacher Evaluation Workbook, Theatre Curriculum Framework resources, Business of Theatre resources, Backstage Exam information and more.

NEW!  View Standards Alignment to the Thespy rubrics.  

And don't miss these FEATURED COURSES to support your progam; including partnership courses on theatre safety and copyright guidance. 

Standards Resources

Download the National Theatre Standards and supporting materials.

  • The Role of Cornerstone Tasks in the Next Generation of Theatre Standards
    In this 2014 interview with Jay McTighe, EdTA's Jim Palmarini explores the purpose of model cornerstone assessments.
  • Theatre Glossary
    This glossary was developed by the writers of the 2014 National Theatre Standards.
  • 2014 National Theatre Standards - Horizontal View
    View all of the 2014 National Theatre Standards in a scope and sequence, arranged in order by Artistic Process and moving from grade level performance standards in Pre-K through three levels of High School. (HS-I Proficient, HS-II Accomplished, HS-III Advanced).

Download additional educator support materials. 

  • Arts Education is Essential
    Joint statement affirming the importance of education in the arts- dance, media arts, music, theatre and visual arts- especially during the covid-19 pandemic.
  • 2016 Opportunity to Learn Standards
    The EdTA Opportunity- to-Learn Standards identify the resources teachers, schools and districts need to ensure that students can achieve at or above standard aligned to levels suggested in the 2014 National Theatre Standards. A valuable tool for program review and advocacy, the document defines needed Curriculum & Scheduling, Staffing, Resources & Equipment, Safety, and Facilities for high school and middle level grades programs.
  • EdTA Theatre Educator Evaluation Workbook
    The Teacher Evaluation Workbook clearly articulates what learning looks like in theatre education and ties it to classroom experiences in a language administrators recognize. Based on Danielson methods of teacher evaluation, the Workbook provides a toolkit for evaluating and building your program as well as a communication tool.
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Standards Courses

Need help in understanding how to choose and use the national theatre standards?  Choose any of the courses below. 

BACKstage High School Tech Theatre Exam



BACKStage is a partnership between the Educational Association and USITT to create and field test a high school technical theatre exam.  The exam is  currently being piloted across the nation.  Learn more here.

Archived Teaching Theatre Articles

Articles from EdTA’s publication Teaching Theatre that are aligned to specific theatre standards (each article includes a standards reference). While these articles don’t address the performance standards directly, the skills, knowledge, and exercises they outline are intended to help teachers design curriculum that will meet the student learning outcomes suggested in the standards.

  • American Speech
    By Rena Cook. Vocal exercises that honor the authentic voices of students, Teaching Theatre, v23n2. (TH:Cr3.1.6 through TH:Cr3.1.III, strand b).
  • Artful illusions
    By Sean O’Skea. Creating three dimensions out of two with shading and shadows, v21n4. (TH:Cr1.1.6 through TH:Cr1.1.III, strand b).
  • Courtroom drama
    By Michael Bigelow Dixon and Nina Therese Kasniunas. Using landmark cases to create a courtroom drama with acting students, Teaching Theatre, V22n2. (TH:Cn10.1.6 through TH:Re8.1.III, strand a; TH:Re8.1.6 through TH:Re8.1.III, strand b).

Assessment and Instruction Models

Curriculum Maps

View or download curriculum maps for a variety of theatre classrooms which will help you create scope and sequence in your instruction. 

Free resources for curriculum planning and assessment.

Enjoy several free Model Cornerstone Assessment Units below. Learn more about Model Cornerstone Assessments

  • HS-I Proficient MCA: Costume Design
    Students will create a costume design for a character in a drama or theatre work by analyzing the work, identifying and researching a design concept, constructing a mood board, sketching renderings and estimating a budget. Authors: Theatre Educator Jessica Shaw with Shirlee Idzakovich, NYC Costumer
  • HS-I Proficient MCA: Creating a Devised Play
    Students will work collaboratively to create a devised play or scene based on a contemporary photograph, and present the resulting script as a staged reading. Authors: Theatre Educator Matthew Moody with Julia Cuppy, La Jolla Playhouse
  • HS-I Proficient: Sound Design
    Students will explore audio production for theatre, radio, film, television and other crative media by working to create a fully realized soundscape for a piece of literature. Authors: Theatre Educator Aileen Zeigler with Andre Rodriguez, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

EdTA Partners on the Connected Arts Resources Grant

EdTA is proud to announce that the Educational Theatre Association has entered into a partnership with the National Art Education (NAEA) as theatre content experts for a five year project funded by a grant from the US Department of Education - the Connected Arts Networks program. Other grant partners include the National Dance Education Organization, the National Association for Music Education and New York City Public Schools.  With a focus on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Social and Emotional learning and empowering teachers, the CAN grant project is aligned with the EdTA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan and recent work to build an SEL Lesson Plan Library model lesson plan embedded with SEL instruction.