History

The Educational Touring Theatre (ETT) is a curriculum-based, professional touring theatre. ETT specializes in developing and presenting theatre programs that are designed to both educate and entertain.

ETT was founded in 1982 by professional actor Neil Spencer. Originally known as Poe on Tour, the theatre, based in Washington State, specialized in presenting the works of author Edgar Allan Poe.

After relocating to Minnesota, the theatre expanded its programming and was renamed the Minnesota Educational Theatre. Along with Edgar Allan Poe programs, presentations were developed about the dawn of the 20th Century in America (The Turn of the Century Showcase), the American Civil War (Smoke & Fury), and the Klondike Gold Rush (Yukon Gold).

The theatre was also selected by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to create and perform a special program celebrating the centennial of the Minnesota State Park system (A Rendezvous with Jacob Brower).

In 2000, ETT moved to Tennessee and partnered with the Adventure Science Center of Nashville to create two very popular science based programs, Sir Isaac Newton: The Apple and Beyond and Giants of Electrical Science.

Most recently, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation commissioned ETT to create The Energy Detective, which explores alternative energy sources and promotes energy efficiency.

ETT remains committed to creating and presenting high quality, professional educational theatre programs that integrate science, history, literature and the arts.

Neil Spencer is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association, which is the union of professional actors and stage managers. In addition to his work with ETT, Spencer’s credits include performances for Tacoma Actors Guild, The Guthrie Theatre, CLIMB Theatre and the Horse Cave Theatre (Kentucky Repertory Theater). While a member of the professional acting company at the Science Museum of Minnesota, Spencer gave more than 1,300 performances from a 20-role repertoire. He is a Teaching Artist for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s ArtSmart Program. Spencer studied theater at The National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of Minnesota.