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Advocacy in Kansas

Theatre is extremely relevant to the 21st century, whether it’s for the workplace or finding a way to navigate social media, students learn what it means to present themselves to the world, understand the audience, work in team and pull together something bigger than themselves.– Representative Jeff Pittman, 2018 recipient of the EdTA Leadership Advocacy Award.

Most decisions about theatre in the school curriculum are made at the local level by principals, superintendents, and school boards.

Getting started

  • Establish a positive and open communication channel with your school administrators.
  • Make a point to learn when your school board meets and who its members are.
  • Find out who the local decision makers are and reach out to them: the mayor, district school superintendent, city council, chamber of commerce, superintendent, etc.
  • Build a network of supporters that you can call on when there is a need for quick action.

Teachers:

Contact other ITS troupe directors in your district to help organize a long-term theatre education advocacy strategy.

Students:

Participate in the year-round Theatre In Our Schools (TIOS) campaign, an effort to promote awareness of theatre education’s value and purpose in schools across America, culminating in a month-long celebration in March. Encourage your fellow Thespians to do the same, and begin planning how you can promote TIOS at public events–shows, school board meetings, and your Thespian conferences. TIOS is jointly sponsored by the Educational Theatre Association and the American Alliance for Theatre & Education.

Community members:

Attend school board meetings and request to get on the agenda. Use the materials below to advocate for starting a theatre program or growing resources for the theatre program.

Theatre Advocacy Day:

Thespians and Troupes Directors can attend the Kansas State Capitol in March to advocate for Theatre In Our Schools.

To learn more about Theatre Advocacy in Kansas, contact Jennifer Morgan-Beuchat.