About the Program

The EmersonTHEATRE Playmaking Project (ETPP) is a program in which Boston area high school students (grades 9-12) develop and perform original pieces through playmaking focused on issues that affect their lives.  Playmaking uses a variety of theatre structures, such as improvisation, character exploration, scene work, movement and monologue. ETPP has three main goals:

  1. to provide an enriched educational experience designed to promote critical thinking and the development of life skills in the areas of leadership, advocacy, public speaking, and literacy
  2. to develop students’ voices and theatre/performance skills
  3. to encourage students to explore material and social circumstances which constrain their futures and consider their roles as change agents in those dynamics.

About Bethany

Dr. Nelson teaches in the area of theatre education, and supervises the field work of students pursuing Massachusetts licensure as teachers of Performing Arts.

Bethany Nelson teaches in the areas of theatre education, playmaking, and multicultural education at the graduate and undergraduate levels. She has taught drama and theatre K-12 in urban, suburban, and rural settings, and her research interests are focused on using Applied Drama and Theatre for meeting best practice in multicultural education with at-risk urban youth.

Research on the effects of in-role drama, process drama, and playmaking are published in Youth Theatre Journal, Drama Australia Journal, Drama Research: international journal of drama-in-education and Research in Drama Education Journal: the journal of applied theatre. She regularly presents workshops and papers at national and international conferences and is a contributor to Key concepts in Theatre/Drama Education (2010), an international textbook on the state of the field edited by Shifra Schonmann.