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Exploring Museum Theatre


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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Preface or Dramatic Prologue Chapter 2 Chapter I: What Is Museum Theatre? Chapter 3 Chapter II: A Brief History Chapter 4 Chapter III: The Interpretive Palette Chapter 5 Chapter IV: Selecting, Writing, and Developing Your First Program Chapter 6 Chapter V: General Costs and How to Fund Them Chapter 7 Chapter VI: There's an Actor in our Collections! Chapter 8 Chapter VII: Technical Requirements and Staff Chapter 9 Chapter VIII: Evaluations and Visitor Perspective Findings Chapter 10 Chapter IX: Selling the Idea Chapter 11 Chapter X: Promoting and Marketing Your Theatre Program Chapter 12 Chapter XI: How Theatre Has Been Used to Present Difficult Issues Chapter 13 Chapter XII: Collaborations and Partnerships Chapter 14 Chapter XIII: Historic Interpretation Chapter 15 Epilogue: The Future of Museum Theatre Chapter 16 Appendix A: Average Costs Incurred in Mountain Museum Theatre Productions and Sample Budgets for Small, Medium and Large Programs Chapter 17 Appendix B: Elements of a Treatment and Sample Treatment Chapter 18 Appendix C: Sample Contract - Playwright, Director, Actor, Designers Chapter 19 Appendix D: Position Description - Actor/Presenter Chapter 20 Appendix E: Audition Form Chapter 21 Appendix F: Position Description - Theatre/Presentations Coordinator Chapter 22 Appendix G: Glossary of Commonly Used Theatre Terms Chapter 23 Bibliography Chapter 24 About the Author

About the Author

Tessa Bridal is Director of Public Programs for the Science Museum of Minnesota, one of the pioneer institutions in the use of theatre as an interpretive technique.


Tessa Bridal is considered by many museum administrators and theatre artists to be the country's leading authority regarding the use of theatre as an educational tool in museums. Ms. Bridal's professional reputation alone will be enough to convince those people to purchase this book. Having read the work, however, I can also testify with a great deal of enthusiasm that her discussions are both comprehensive and scholarly. -- Larry Gard, Artistic Director, Carpenter Science Theatre Company of the Science Museum of Virginia
How I wish I had Tessa Bridal's Exploring Museum Theatre when I became museum theatre coordinator for the Kentucky Historical Society five years ago. Like many of my compatriots, I entered this field having never heard of or encountered live theatrical experiences in a museum setting. Compacted with information from a variety of institutions, Bridal's how-to-do-it manual serves as a sturdy guide for novices and old pros endeavoring to incorporate this interpretive tool into their institutions. -- Mike Thomas, Museum Theatre Coordinator/ Kentucky Historical Society
Tessa Bridal doles out good advice in her book, Exploring Museum Theatre. She has written a sweeping how-to manual that covers the myriad elements required to create a successful museum theatre program. -- Catherine Hughes, Ohio State University * Visitor Studies Today *
This is a great book, well written, well researched, and a pleasure to read. I'm sure it will become the 'must-read' book for all museum theatre practitioners, educators, and museum professionals. -- Dale Jones, Institute for Learning Innovation

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