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Theatre Educators of Western Pennsylvania

a collective of like-minded teaching artists working together for the betterment of arts education in the Pittsburgh region

what are we?

Theatre Educators of Western Pennsylvania is a collective of performing arts educators in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania. Begun in the summer of 2024, it grew out of the recognition and appreciation of the sense of community inherent among the educational drama programs in the region. The mission is simple: to strengthen and grow this network of support and ensure that no person feels alone or unsupported as they work to bring quality arts education to their community. 

One of the strongest arguments for theatre education is that of its effect on the emotional growth of a child. Engaging with dramatic literature and viewing live performances activate the emotional and analytical centers of the developing brain, inviting them to consider, in myriad ways, what it means to be human. Theatre is the great mirror of the soul. The first lesson any student artist learns is that a play is only as strong as the community that makes it. 

So let's teach this kind of valuable collaboration by doing it ourselves.

why are we?


In January of 2024, the longtime director and producer of Moon Area High School's drama program, Robert Michael, passed away while in the early stages of the spring musical season. In the wake of this shattering loss, the remaining staff fought alongside the students to ensure that the program, Rob's life work, continued to grow and thrive.

The support provided by the administration and the community was robust, but beyond that was the steady outpouring of love and support from the theatre programs in the surrounding area. Donations were made, entire costume plots were offered, and statements of love and support echoed Rob's own love for theatre and constant support of its place in the lives of children.  

Rob's last musical continued rehearsals, and in April of 2024 his beloved program mounted his final show, The Drowsy Chaperone. With the love and support of so many communities, his work was poised to continue

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