Theater Day for high school students, being led by faculty from the Department of Theater and Dance.

Theatre Day for Teachers

Theatre Day for Teachers offers professional development opportunities for middle and high school theatre teachers.

Our Mission

Montclair State University has become the major resource within the higher education community offering professional development opportunities for secondary school theatre educators. We hope to become a national model for universities seeking to reach out to schools in their communities and states.

With Theatre Day for Teachers we provide an annual day of workshops, networking, camaraderie and support to secondary school theatre teachers in New Jersey and neighboring states. The workshops vary each year and are conducted by professional artists and educators in the areas of theatre performance (acting, voice and speech, and movement) design, technology, directing, stage management, dramaturgy, and classroom practice.


STANJ Teacher & Student Workshop Registration Information

2024 STANJ Workshops for Teachers and Students 

This year, we are partnering with STANJ and our professional development workshop will be held in person in MSU’s Life Hall on Saturday, January 6, 2024 during STANJ’s Governor’s Awards Competition. In addition to running one professional development workshop for teachers, we will simultaneously be running student workshops.

The registration deadline for the workshops is December 1, 2023.  


Workshop registration fees are the following:

$75 for schools participating in STANJ competition

$85 + $10 per student for all other schools attending workshops


Included in registration fee:

Certificate for 1 hour of professional development

1 Professional Development Workshop for Teachers

1 Workshop for Students


Here is a tentative schedule of the day:

1:00pm – Workshop A Check-in Time

1:30-2:30pm – Workshop Session A

2:15pm – Workshop B Check-in Time

2:45-3:45 pm – Workshop Session B

*Theatre Night Awards Participants will receive a $10 discount off of the Non-STANJ Teacher registration fee

**Workshop time slots will be assigned at a later date. If you are only coming for the workshops, please keep the full time available in your schedule until assignments are given.

*** Teachers and students participating in the Governor’s Awards Competition will only be able to participate in one workshop. For an additional fee of $5, students from a school that isn’t competing in the Governor’s Awards Competition can take a second workshop if space is available.

****We ask that all schools provide 1 chaperone to every 10 students they bring to the workshop. This chaperone CAN be a teacher who is attending the professional development workshop. There is no charge for a chaperone who does not take the professional development workshop.

Space is limited so register ASAP.

STANJ Workshop Registration Form


Not a member of STANJ? 

There is still time to join and register for their Governor’s Awards Competition on January 6, 2024.

Space is limited so register ASAP. 


Theatre Day for Teachers Professional Development Day Registration Information

Theatre Day for Teachers is back and will be held in person in MSU’s Life Hall on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. 

Theatre Day for Teachers Online Registration Form

The $175* registration fee includes the following:

  • Certificate for 6 hours of professional development
  • Parking Pass
  • Lunch
  • 2 Workshops

*Please note that if you are also registering for Theatre Night Awards, you will be given a $25 discount on your Theatre Day for Teachers registration.


Here is a tentative schedule of the day:

8:00- 8:15 a.m. – Registration

8:15-9:00 a.m. – Opening Remarks/Networking Breakout Groups Part 1

9:15-10:45 a.m. – Workshop I**

10:45-11:00 a.m. – Break

11:00-12:00 p.m. – Workshop II Part 1**

12:00-12:45 p.m. – LUNCH BREAK

12:45-1:10 p.m. – Networking Breakout Groups Part 2

1:15-2:15 p.m. – Workshop II Part 2**

2:15 – 2:30 p.m. – Closing Remarks

**Workshop topics will be decided based off of the interest question below

The registration deadline is December 15, 2023. We must have at least 15 teachers registered to run the full event. If there are less than 15 registered,  we will do a modified schedule. 


Payment Information

Types of Payment Accepted:

  • Personal checks
  • Purchase orders/school checks 
  • Credit Cards (Via Venmo)

You will receive an invoice via email 3-7 business days after your registration as confirmation. 



On the day of the workshop, please park in the Red Hawk parking deck on the University campus. 

Our History

In 2007 we responded to the New Jersey Arts Education Census Project’s report (9/18/07) in WITHIN OUR POWER: THE PROGRESS, PLIGHT AND PROMISE OF ARTS EDUCATION FOR EVERY CHILD, In the Recommendations the report states, “We recommend that the New Jersey State Department of Education and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts work with the professional arts education associations in the state and the state’s institutions of higher education to develop and expand professional development opportunities for visual and performing arts educators.”

Theatre Day for Teachers was initiated in 2008 by Theatre and Dance Department professor Susan Kerner and Mahwah High School teacher JoAnne Fox to provide an opportunity and a place for theatre educators to gather to share ideas and learn new Best Practices from professionals in the field and from each other.

The event is a positive educationally based community building experience.  Students are able to share their work with other students and to be recognized outside their own high schools.  This outside recognition has direct benefits for students and teachers in districts throughout the state. In a time when theatre arts programs are in peril this outside recognition helps maintain and even build quality high school theatre programs.


In the past seven years the College of the Arts at Montclair State University has created several successful ongoing programs for a new generation of teachers who seek professional development opportunities, support, and the stimulation provided by colleagues sharing similar challenges. The programs have positioned Montclair State University as the place to go for professional development opportunities in the Arts for secondary school teachers in the region.

The collaborative approach of these programs has created a network of shared ideas, best practices and resources for the New Jersey theatre education community. A core of dedicated teachers takes advantage of all of the University’s programs during the past seven years and regularly participates in Theatre Day for Teachers, Theatre Night Awards, and Theatre on the Move.

In the words of Bergen County Academies teacher Rebecca Strum:

Those of us teaching theatre arts in secondary schools were hungry for the types of professional development available to our colleagues in the visual arts and music…. Then five years ago Susan (Kerner) began her Theatre Day for Teachers initiative and a community was born.  We began to feel a connection, not only with each other, but with theatre educators at the university level. We could adjust and refine our curricula in order to better prepare our students who chose to continue their theatre arts education at the university level.

Inspired by the overwhelming response to her Viewpoints workshop, Head of Acting Heather Benton traveled to the schools of several participating teachers to lead Viewpoints workshops for their students at no charge. Numerous high school students applied to Montclair State University’s undergraduate BA and BFA degree programs as a result of these workshops and the discussions that followed. We intend to expand these school visits in the future as a service to NJ schools and as a recruitment effort for the Department of Theatre and Dance.

For two years Montclair State University offered a one-week summer intensive for theatre teachers in directing Shakespeare and in directing new work and hopes to re-institute that highly successful program again.