Christine S. Tanner

A photo of Christine Tanner

Emeritus Professor of Applied Drama and Theatre for the Young

School of Communication, Media & Theatre Arts

713N Pray Harrold


[email protected]


Dr. Christine Tanner specializes in creating theatre and dramatic activities for and with young people. Over the last ten years at EMU, she directed a British Panto version of Pinocchio, The Bully Show, Real Friends, Who's Capable?, launched the "Box Theatre Company" and wrote and directed 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 6th to 7th 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 year to well over 2,000 per year. She has been artist-in-residence in a variety of settings and locales from California to Washington.


  • Ph.D., Theatre and Cinematic Arts, Brigham Young University, 1985

Interests and Expertise

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


  • CTAR 222 Drama and Play in the Human Experience
  • CTAR 300 Integrated Arts
  • 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

Professional Affiliations

  • American Alliance for Theatre and Education
  • International Performing Arts for Youth
  • Theatre Communications Group
  • Theatre for Young Audiences, USA