"Act well your part; there all the honor lies." - Alexander Pope; the Thespian motto

Message From Our Leadership

When the world shut down in March 2020, it felt unthinkable. As the pandemic stretched into its second year in 2021, the disbelief turned to resignation and resolve. It was no longer a matter of waiting for the worst to be over — but learning how to move forward despite the ongoing challenges.

For EdTA, the theme of our teacher conference — “Renew. Rebuild. Reimagine.” — was the focus of all activities and programs throughout the second year of COVID. As students and teachers grappled to find a “new normal” in an ongoing pandemic, EdTA dedicated itself to meeting them in the moment. Among the accomplishments we’re most proud of in 2021:

  • Delivering virtual events to ensure that Thespians and teacher members could access our mission, including a brand-new student event in collaboration with EdTA chapters
  • Developing 150 new lesson plans to help teachers embed social and emotional learning into their instruction, addressing a growing need during the pandemic
  • Deepening our work to infuse diversity, equity, and inclusion values and outcomes into everything EdTA does
  • Launching new scholarship programs to support students’ ongoing education, including an exciting partnership with the Princess Grace Foundation, and new scholarships specifically for students of color
  • Obtaining grant and relief funding to sustain programs and launch new initiatives, such as the $8.5 million U.S. Department of Education grant awarded to EdTA and four other arts education associations for a five-year project focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion

Throughout the disruptions of the pandemic, our commitment to our members and mission have remained our north star. We feel honored and humbled to support the incredible creativity, resilience, and dedication of our theatre teachers and students. You continue to be our inspiration.

And we thank everyone who has supported our work. Without you, our members – and our association – could not continue to shine. You have our gratitude.

Helen Duranleau-Brennan

Helen Duranleau-Brennan
EdTA board of directors

Matt Conover Headshot 2017 02 0337

Matt Conover
ETF board of trustees

Allison Dolan 2021 headshot

Allison Dolan
Chief Content Officer and Interim Executive Director

BrianMonk ChiefOperatingOfficer

Brian Monk
Chief Operating Officer and Interim Executive Director

Hans Weichhart headshot

Hans Weichhart
Chief Membership Officer and Interim Executive Director

© 2021-2025 Educational Theatre Association

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