The mission of the International Museum Theatre Alliance is to inspire and support the use of theatre and theatrical technique 
to cultivate emotional connections, provoke action, and add public value to the museum experience. 


In 2014, IMTAL established an annual award dedicated to the memory of playwright Jon Lipsky. Jon was Professor of Acting and Playwriting at Boston University’s School of Theater, and he created many wonderful short plays on science themes for Boston's Museum of Science. The winner of the Lipsky award will have written the play that most exemplifies standards of excellence in Museum Theatre. 

The award was presented at The IMTAL luncheon during the American Alliance of Museums Conference and Expo in Phoenix on May 7.

The recipient of this year's award is P.J. Griffith, for his play Midwinter Mischief at Old Sturbridge Village.

Midwinter Mischief is a fable told as a two-hour theatrical adventure that follows a wily Yankee Peddler as he barters his way through the village, having spent all of his earnings at Bullard Tavern the night before. After being confronted over his debt, The Peddler asks to fill his cup with ashes from the tavern’s hearth, promising Mr. Bullard (the tavern owner) that he will “return with a cup overflowing with gold” and heads out into the village. The audience is sent from the warmth of the tavern out into the cold in pursuit of The Peddler, challenged by the town constable to gather enough evidence to convict him. They meet the various residents of the town who tell stories of what The Peddler has done and where he was going.

Please check out P.J.’s website to learn more about this outstanding work. 

Congratulations P.J., and thank you to all the writers and institutions who submitted work for consideration.


The Board of IMTAL recognizes the importance of decision makers to the future of museum theatre. The IMTY Award was established to recognize CEOs or Senior Staff members who have demonstrated strong support for museum theatre. 

The recipient of this year’s IMTY is Heather Nielsen of the Denver Art Museum.

She is Director of Learning and Community Engagement at the Denver Art Museum. At the DAM Heather overseas all program areas including Family and Community, Adult and College, Teacher and School Outreach, and the Museum’s Artist and Studio Programs. She is also instrumental in the ongoing encouragement and support of the successful museum theatre programs at her institution.

The award was presented at The IMTAL luncheon during the American Alliance of Museums Conference and Expo in Phoenix on May 7.

The Winter 2018 Issue

 Our Quarterly Newsletter

"Finding the Story:
Creative & Collaborative Processes"

In this issue:

Puppets: Undomesticated
By Julia Garcia Combs

Then and Now: 
Finding Our Way Through Storytelling
By Jenny Gillett

Collaborative Construction:
Building the Perfect Program
By Michelle Myers

Mary Walton: Mother of Invention
By Elysia Segal

Six Characters Discovering da Vinci
By Douglas Coler

...and more!


In addition to the PDF version (above), now you can also link to, comment on, and share articles on social media via the ARTICLES ONLINE section. We encourage you to explore and interact with this new format: leave a comment, start a dialogue, and spread the word about museum theatre!

Navigating the Seas of Change: IMTAL 2017

The 2017 Annual Conference
was a huge success!

Thank you to all of our amazing attendees, as well as Jen Brown of The Engaging Educator and our hosts: Mystic Seaport, Mark Twain House, and Gillette Castle State Park!

Click here for full official conference program.

If you couldn't join us this year, don't fret! Just announced:
Our 2018 IMTAL Global Conference will be held in Los Angeles, CA!
More details to come, hope to see you there!

Build Your Library!

The following is a list of the available texts, along with a some of our recommendations. We encourage you to make a purchase through the links below, as IMTAL will receive a small percentage as an Amazon Associate.

Exploring Museum Theatre 
by Tessa Bridal

Theatre Games for Rehearsal:
A Director's Handbook
by Viola Spolin

Effective Exhibit Interpretation and Design
by Tessa Bridal

Kamishibai Man 
by Allen Say

Museum Theatre:
Communicating with Visitors Through Drama
by Catherine Hughes

Speak With Distinction: The Classic 
Skinner Method to Speech on the Stage 
by Edith Skinner

100 Neo-Futurists Plays: From Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (30 Plays in 60 Minutes) 
by the Neo-Futurists

The Kamishibai Classroom: Engaging Multiple Literacies Through the Art of "Paper Theatre" 
by Tara M. McGowan

Process: An Improviser's Journey 
by Mary Scruggs

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America 
by Erik Larson

The Viewpoints Book 
by Ann Bogart and Tina Landau

Improvisation for the Theatre (3rd Edition) 
by Viola Spolin

Read The Value of History 
from the 
History Relevance Campaign.

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