Eastern Michigan University
direct edit

Christine S. Tanner

Professor of Applied Drama & Theatre for the Young

Christine S. Tanner 102 Quirk




  • PhD - Theatre & Cinematic Arts, Brigham Young University, 1985

Professional Associations/Memberships

  • American Alliance for Theatre & Education
  • International Performing Arts for Youth
  • Theatre Communications Group
  • Theatre for Young Audiences- USA

Representative Courses Taught

  • CTAR 222 - Drama & Play in the Human Experience
  • CTAR 322 - Theatre for the Young
  • CTAR 323 - Improvisation
  • CTAR 327 - Plays for the Young
  • CTAR 329 - Touring to Young Audiences
  • CTAR 502 - Introduction to Theatre for the Young
  • CTAR 515 - Drama Facilitation for Artists and Educators
  • CTAR 529 - Producing Theatre for the Young
  • CTAR 535 - Youth Theatre
  • CTAR 657 - Improvisation


  • Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young, MA and MFA
  • Children’s Literature and Drama/Theatre for the Young, Interdisciplinary Major


Dr. Christine Tanner specializes in creating theatre and dramatic activities for and with young people.
Over the last ten years at EMU, she directed Anne of Green Gables, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,
Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse, Holes, James and the Giant Peach, and a British Panto version of Pinocchio
for EMU Mainstage. Her touring productions include The Bully Show, Real Friends, Who’s Capable?,
the “Box Theatre Company” performances and Walking the Dog. She received academic fellowships
both in academic service learning and with the Department of Justice through ISCIF. Tanner was also the
recipient of a New Faculty Research award in 2003, Service to the University Award in 2006, and four
time recipient of the Most Valuable Professor award from EMU’s Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams.
While director of the Riverside Arts Project, she created and oversaw a variety of arts events as part of an
economic development program for downtown Ypsilanti. Prior to coming to EMU, she was both a
professional educator and theatre artist/administrator. As a middle school drama/English/choir teacher,
Tanner developed new programs for transitioning students from 6 th to 7 th grade. She also developed new
programming as educational director at STAGE ONE: The Louisville Children’s Theatre and the Seattle
Children’s Theatre (SCT), and managing director of The California Theatre Center. Under her
leadership, the Education programs at SCT expanded to include the Drama Shop Program, the Deaf
Youth Drama program and the classes became The Drama School. Between 1988-1996 class enrollment
grew from approximately 500 students per hear to well over 2000 per year. She has been artist-in-
residence in a variety of settings and locales in Michigan, Utah, California, Washington, and Kentucky.

Research Interests:
Theatre across the curriculum both as a teaching methodology and learning structure. Improvisation as a
tool for personal growth and confidence.