Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)

Degree Name

Fine Arts (Integrated Arts and Education)

Department or School/College

Creative Pulse

Committee Chair

Jillian Campana

Commitee Members

Karen Kaufmann, Mary Mallahan


theatre, theatre-education, drama education, education, arts education, theatre education for early-childhood


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Early Childhood Education | Elementary Education | Other Theatre and Performance Studies


This paper seeks to answer the question, How can I use my professional experience developing a theatre-based curriculum for early-childhood and elementary students as a platform to advocate for the importance of theatre-based curricula in early and elementary education? The subject of this research project is a Pre-Kindergarten through Fifth Grade theatre-based education program founded by the author. The program was developed over the past 20 years at the Bertschi School, an independent PK-Fifth elementary school located in Seattle, Washington. For the purposes of this paper, the program itself will serve as a proving ground to explore and define primary lasting outcomes experienced by program participants. Using a Theory of Change data-science process, the author will identify, define and seek evidence of three possible primary long-term outcomes, or Anchor Changes, resulting from participation in the program. Quantitative data will be collected by surveying program alumni and their families for the purpose of evaluating evidence of ongoing behaviors and practices associated with the projected Anchor Changes. This research is being done as an act of advocacy in an effort to generate interest and discussion about possible effects resulting from early and consistent participation in theatre-based programing as part of an early-childhood and elementary education. This research is being conducted to gather evidence in support of the many ways theatre-based instruction can be developed to serve the individual child, the entire class, and the community beyond the walls of the classroom. It is my hope that the data collected will provide compelling evidence in support of theatre-based curriculum with early-childhood and elementary-aged children.



© Copyright 2017 Tina M. La Plant