kids performing in a play

Educational Theatre Program

Theater has the power to change how we think, feel, and act. It’s also recognized by educators for its ability to connect people, raise awareness of public health issues, and resonate with kids and the communities they live in.

In fact, studies show that theater helps kids take in and retain health information, helping them make positive behavior changes so there’s no drama, except on stage.

Since 1986 Kaiser Permanente has been using our Educational Theatre Program to bring important health education to young people in underserved communities. All programs are offered free of charge to qualifying schools. In Washington, we reached over 18,000 middle school students in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, Spokane, and Whitman counties during the 2017–2018 school year.

A collaborative art
The arts have long been recognized by educators for their power to connect people, and inspire change. Kaiser Permanente is collaborating with Seattle Children’s Theatre to bring important health information to young people in underserved communities. The plays are created by theater professionals who work with:

  • Educators
  • Kids
  • Community advisory committees
  • Kaiser Permanente health providers

Our plays and workshops address the physical and emotional health issues that are most important to middle school children. Play topics range from mental health to healthy eating to HIV. The plays inspire healthy choices and teach people how to build stronger communities.

How to book a play:

To book a performance, contact:
Scott Koh, Arts Based Learning Program Manager
206-443-0807 ext. 1082

Meredith Berlin, Arts Based Learning Program Assistant
206-443-0807 ext. 1083

Seattle Children's Theatre logo

Bullying and mental health in the spotlight

Our first production, "Above Between Below," focuses on how bullying and aggression can lead to damaged self-esteem and depression. The play gives young people tools and strategies to cope with and avoid bullying. This program was shared with more than 20,000 students in King, Pierce, Kitsap, Snohomish, Spokane, and Whitman counties during the 2017-2018 school year. For 2018-2019, the play will expand to additional schools in these counties and schools in Yakima.

Next up for 2018-2019 is "Ghosted" — a play to help build awareness and reduce stigma around mental health issues.

After each show, students can talk with the actors. The discussion aims to spark further conversation about how conflicts arise and how to brainstorm positive alternatives.

Staging more learning opportunities that help kids thrive

Our Educational Theatre Program is also planning other types of interactive, arts and performance-based education for schools. Check back to discover more learning opportunities.

Conflict resolution workshop: STAR (Stop, Think, Act, Reflect)

This one-day workshop helps elementary school kids understand and practice using tactics to reduce and resolve conflict, including ways to:

  • Identify problems and feelings
  • Stay safe and calm
  • Communicate effectively

Two teaching artists use roleplay to explore these ideas with students. After the workshop, students will be better able to describe a problem with words, identify their feelings about it, and use the role-play steps to deal with conflict.

Residency Program: Adventures in SELf and Space

Over the course of a week, elementary school students have fun helping teaching artists and a puppet from outer space learn how to make healthy choices. This is an active, hands-on workshop incorporating movement, story, drama games, and props in support of Social Emotional Learning.

Topics include:

  • Self-awareness and social awareness
  • Managing and expressing emotions and stress in constructive ways
  • Social engagement and relationship skills, including tools for working through conflicts
  • Responsible decision making

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