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CRHS Drama Academy Named Premier Community For Theatre Education

CRHS Drama Academy Named Premier Community For Theatre Education



Cumberland Regional High School Receives National Recognition for Theatre Education Program

Bridgeton, NJ, May 17, 2024 – Cumberland Regional High School has been honored with the distinction of being named a Premier Community for Theatre Education for its outstanding commitment in the field. The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) recognizes individual schools that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide theatre access and education to all students.

“Theatre Education provides students with a different outlet to express themselves.  It brings introverted kids out of their shell.  Theatre Education sparks creativity in a way that is different from any other discipline.  It allows for social interaction, collaboration, improv, and freedom of expression.  All much-needed skills in today’s world more than ever.” said Carl Dolente, Superintendent of Cumberland Regional School District. “All of us at Colt Nation were already well aware of how incredible our Dramatic Arts Academy was, but being only one of twelve schools in the nation to receive this distinct honor certainly puts us on another level.  Ms. Campbell and her students have proven time and again that they are among the top in the state year after year, and now we can officially boast that they are the best of the best in the nation!”

To qualify for the distinction, Cumberland Regional High School answered detailed questions about funding, teacher development and evaluation, theatre class curriculum and participation, instruction time, facilities, and support for the theatre program. Responses were verified with official documentation and reviewed by the Educational Theatre Association.

Drama Teacher, Ms. Elisabeth Campbell says “Theatre education helps students learn all the soft skills necessary to be successful in the future.  Students involved in theatre gain so much confidence and also learn how to collaborate, how to communicate, how to be creative, and how to have compassion for others.  I love watching how much theatre can help a student thrive and grow. I am a firm believer that theatre can change lives.”

“Being recognized as a Premier School for Theatre Education is an honor and validates the extraordinary work that our staff and students pour into the program on a daily basis.  Additionally, the recognition confirms what we already knew, CRHS is one of the best places for theatre education in our area, state and now the nation” said Building Principal, Justin Martin.

Research affirms the educational and social-emotional benefits of participating in school theatre. In one study, at-risk middle school students who engaged in an after-school musical theatre program demonstrated improved confidence, creativity, resiliency, responsibility, collaboration, and sense of community. Another study found that students who received drama-based instruction made better connections to the curricular content. 95% of school administrators believe that theatre experiences improve students’ overall academic skills.

EdTA celebrates the community effort it takes to build and sustain a quality theatre program,” said Dr. Jennifer Katona, EdTA’s executive director. “The Premier Communities for Theatre Education distinction recognizes the work done by the entire school or district—from administration to teachers to students and parents—to ensure a safe and robust education in theatre is available to all students. We are thrilled to celebrate this cohort of schools and look forward to continuing to recognize high quality programs in future years.”

More information about Cumberland Regional High School can be found on their website at



For further information or for questions or concerns, please contact:

Timothy C Zoyac, M.A.

Coordinator of Grants, Communications & Special Projects

Cumberland Regional School District

(856) 451-9400 ext. 209



About the Educational Theatre Association

The Educational Theatre Association, home to the Educational Theatre Foundation and International Thespian Society, is an international nonprofit whose mission is shaping lives through theatre education. The foundation provides essential financial support to enhance theatre education, expand access, and foster racial equality. The International Thespian Society, an honor society active in nearly 5,000 schools, has inducted 2.4 million students since 1929. Visit to learn how EdTA honors students, supports teachers, and influences public opinion that theatre education is essential for building life skills.