Raising the bar for theatre educator professional development.


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.

Supporting Standards Based Theatre Education

Download the 2014 National Theatre Standards and supporting materials.

  • An Overview of the Standards
    Read an overview of the 2014 National Theatre Standards which explains the structure and use of the standads. Author: Jim Palmarini.
  • 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.
  • 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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  • EdTA's Standards Based Lesson Plan Template
    Use this template to guide the creation of lessons and units aligned to the National Theatre standards.

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. 

  • HS-II Accomplished MCA: Bringing Shakespeare to Life
    Using scenes from Shakespeare's 12th night students will analyze text and learn how to use the language of Shakespeare to guide their performance. Authors: Theatre Educator Maura Vaughn with Kristen Giroux, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
  • 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