Educational Theatre

BFA in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Educational Theatre

About the major

In the Educational Theatre program, you’ll receive a comprehensive, intensive training experience that includes academics, studio training and performance internships, as well as internship placement in the Latham Clinical Schools Network. Upon successful completion of the edTPA electronic portfolio, you’ll be eligible to earn NC Theatre Arts K-12 licensure.

“Dr. Dolittle”

You study acting, technical theatre, stage movement, directing, playwriting for youth, voice and articulation and arts education.

You’ll find yourself on all kinds of stages, on campus, in the community and across the region. ECU Storybook Theatre performs marquee title productions in ECU’s Wright Performing Arts Center as a part of the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s Arts Smart and Family Fare series, and tours regionally to the Turnage Theatre in Washington and the Two Rivers Theater and Event Center at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. You will have the opportunity to perform for patients at Vidant Health’s James and Connie Maynard Children’s Hospital. Storybook Theatre also holds a host of material in repertory, using live theatre to encourage best literacy practices in elementary schools, at regional festivals and in public libraries.

If you’re not acting in these productions, you may work as a part of the production team.

You’ll gather source material—stories from around the world—when you link via satellite with university students studying English in countries including Poland, Egypt, Russia, China, Peru and Japan. They’ll share stories and myths, and you’ll translate them into multicultural theatrical productions, such as Peru’s “The Three Shovels” and Japan’s “Peach Boy.”

The concentration provides opportunities to teach in the K-12 ECU Summer Drama Camp. Study abroad options are also available.

“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane”


Student experiences

In addition to outreach and mainstage productions, you’ll build your own path through Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity award projects, participation in student organizations and professional conferences.

Your student teaching will be an exciting two-semester experience in your assigned school with eight hours per week during the first semester and full-time the second semester of your internship.




How do I learn more about the program? 

Contact Lisanne Shaffer-Dickerson: 252-328-1196

Professional Licensure Disclosure Statement:

All applicable ECU academic programs prepare students to sit for licensure in North Carolina. In order to comply with U.S. Department of Education regulations regarding distance education and professional licensure ECU is required to make the following disclosure with respect to professional licensure outside the state of North Carolina. ECU cannot confirm whether a particular program meets requirements for professional licensure outside of the State of North Carolina.  Please contact applicable licensure board(s) in any state you may want to pursue licensure prior to beginning the academic program in order to determine whether the program meets licensure requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm program eligibility for licensure in any state outside North Carolina.

Professional Licensure Notification:

The unit has determined its program curriculum meets the state educational requirements for licensure or certification.

Important Note to Residents Outside of North Carolina:

Admission of applicants outside the State of North Carolina to an online degree, certificate or individual online course offered by East Carolina University, is dependent on ECU’s ability to secure authorization from the applicant’s state of residence, if such authorization is required.

East Carolina University delivers online education programs and courses throughout the United States and internationally. All programs have been approved by the University of North Carolina General Administration. Many states have prescribed an authorization process for out-of-state institutions delivering online programs to its state residents to ensure quality post-secondary education, to preserve the integrity of an academic degree, and to instill greater consumer protection for its student citizens.

East Carolina University has taken steps to protect its students and programs through nationwide compliance by participating in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA); obtaining authorization, approval, exemptions, and waivers; or confirming that East Carolina University can operate without such authorization because the state’s laws do not pertain to a public institution, to an accredited institution, or to the ECU’s activities in that state.

On November 14, 2016, East Carolina University was approved by to participate in NC-SARA which is a voluntary, regional/national approach to state oversight of postsecondary distance education. Institutions that participate in SARA are authorized to provide online education to students from all SARA member states.  States and institutions that choose to become members of or participate in SARA operate under a set of policies and standards overseen by SARA and administered by the four nationally recognized regional higher education compacts.

The Theatre Arts Education Program at East Carolina University is comprised of outstanding studio, internship, classroom, and performance/technical experiences. Students are able to participate in the College of Fine Arts and Communication’s Arts Smart and Family Fare series, yielding onsite experiences in theatre education training.

Training is further enhanced through participation in performance and technical theatre for mainstage, studio, directing projects and workshop productions at East Carolina University.

Licensure in Theatre Education is K-12 and requires 128 semester hours of study and internship experience. (This is going to change to 120 as soon as the package goes through Curriculuog).

Upon successful completion of educator preparation program degree requirements and licensure requirements for the State of North Carolina, such as, but not limited to, testing and national assessments, candidates will be eligible for an ECU recommendation for an NC license.  However, final licensure granting decisions are the sole responsibility of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, not ECU. Candidates who graduate and seek out of state employment will have to meet the receiving state’s requirements for licensure. There is no automatic licensure reciprocity between states. ECU will verify the completion of an approved, accredited program for candidates who seek employment out of state, and those candidates will be responsible for working with the receiving state to complete any additional requirements needed to obtain the license for employment.