Cedar Creek High School Receives National Recognition For Theatre Education Program

EdTA recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide theatre access and education to all students.

By: Apr. 19, 2023
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Cedar Creek High School Receives National Recognition For Theatre Education Program

Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District's Cedar Creek High School has been honored with the distinction of being named a Premier Community for Theatre Education for its outstanding commitment in the field.

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide theatre access and education to all students.

"Our goal is not to produce the next Broadway or film star; being involved in theatre helps to foster skills that are essential for success in whichever field students choose to pursue after high school: communication, problem-solving, working collaboratively, critical/creative thinking, self-confidence, leadership, and enjoyment. Educational theatre provides the opportunity for students to develop a strong sense of self and identity, while fostering empathy and vulnerability, broadening the ways they make meaning of the world around them," says Theatre Director, Mr. John Stephan. "This honorable distinction from the Educational Theatre Association will allow us to continue to mount high-quality productions that provide a rich educational and theatrical experience for its participants and audiences."

Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District Superintendent, Mr. James Reina, feels that "The Cedar Creek Theatre Program is an excellent example of what passionate people who believe in inclusivity and opportunity can create. From the show selection to casting to the performances, students are provided the palette to grow and expand their skills, while displaying their passion for all to see...and those performances are truly community events, bringing everyone from future Pirates to local seniors into our theatre!" Cedar Creek principal, Mr. Scott Parker, adds that "Our theatre program is instrumental in bringing our communities together and gives our students an opportunity to build friendships that will last a lifetime. I am most impressed with how our program has promoted inclusion and team work while also helping build confidence in our students."

To qualify for the distinction, Cedar Creek High School answered detailed questions about funding, teacher development and evaluation, theatre class curriculum and participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the theatre program. Responses were verified with official documentation and reviewed by the Educational Theatre Association.

Senior theatre performer, Grace Long "believe[s] theatre education is important because it brings out the creative side of students. It can also really help to build confidence-it takes a lot of vulnerability to do theatre and doing it in a supportive and educational environment can really build a person up. Cedar Creek Theatre has helped me to become a more well-rounded and creative person and has helped me build long-lasting relationships."

Research affirms the educational and social-emotional benefits of participating in school theatre. In one study, at-risk middle school students who engaged in an after-school musical theatre program demonstrated improved confidence, creativity, resiliency, responsibility, collaboration, and sense of community. Another study found that students who received drama-based instruction made better connections to the curricular content. 95% of school administrators believe that theatre experiences improve students' overall academic skills.

"EdTA's vision is that every student will have access to theatre education taught by qualified educators as part of a well-rounded education," said Chief Content Officer Allison Dolan. "We're proud to honor Cedar Creek High School for helping to achieve that vision."

The Educational Theatre Association, home to the Educational Theatre Foundation and International Thespian Society, is an international nonprofit whose mission is shaping lives through theatre education. The foundation provides essential financial support to enhance theatre education, expand access, and foster racial equality. The International Thespian Society, an Honor Society active in nearly 5,000 schools, has inducted 2.4 million students since 1929. Visit schooltheatre.org to learn how EdTA honors students, supports teachers, and influences public opinion that theatre education is essential for building life skills.



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