Teaching healthy living through theatre

The program's director, Regina Dwerlkotte, and Kaiser pediatrician Dr. Charles Wibbelsman visited The View from the Bay set to promote Kaiser's Educational Theatre.

About Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs:

  • Educational Theatre Programs (ETP) uses live theatre, music, comedy and drama to inspire children, teens and adults to make healthier choices and better decisions about their well being.

  • ETP's live, interactive performances capture students' attention while creating an emotional connection that makes the show's health issues real to them.

  • To meet the diverse health needs of today's kindergarten through 12th-grade audiences, ETP had developed five different award-winning presentations with the help of teachers, parents, students, health educators, medical professionals and professional performing artists.

  • ETP's programs are led by young, professional performer/educators who are trained in peer counseling and who reflect the cultural diversity of the communities we serve.

  • After each performance, ETP provides students, teachers and parents with educational support materials designed to facilitate an ongoing dialogue about the health issues covered in the program.

    Current productions include:

  • ZIP'S GREAT DAY, an interactive experience that uses puppetry, music, dance and comedy to help elementary school children make healthier choices, resolve conflict and build self-esteem

  • PEACE SIGNS, designed to address youth violence and conflict resolution

  • NIGHTMARE ON PUBERTY STREET, which shows adolescents they are not alone in facing the changes and challenges of puberty

  • SECRETS, a dramatic presentation that educates students about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases by providing them with a realistic look into the lives of people impacted by the HIV virus

  • THE BEST ME, which addresses healthy eating and active living.

    A community benefit of Kaiser Permanente, Educational Theatre Programs are offered free of charge to eligible schools and community groups. If you are interested in bringing the program to your child's school, you can visit www.kp.org/etp.

    Learn more about Kaiser's Educational Theatre Programs: www.kp.org/etp


    Regina Dwerlkotte, PH.D.
    Director, Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs, California

    Dr. Dwerlkotte is the Divisional Director of Kaiser Permanente's Educational Theatre Programs (ETP), California. Her commitment to high quality educational and artistic theater for children has brought Kaiser Permanente wide acclaim for this free, community benefit program. Dr. Dwerlkotte has been instrumental in the creation of ETP's Nightmare on Puberty St., a tongue-in-cheek journey through adolescent angst, PEACE Signs, a five-part program to "increase the peace" for upper elementary school students, and The Best Me, a multi-intervention program about healthy eating and active living for upper elementary students and their parents. She has also directed and coordinated Secrets, an HIV/AIDS and STI prevention program for high school students. During her tenure ETP has inspired over ten million children throughout California to make better decisions about their health and well-being.

    Prior to joining Educational Theatre Programs in 1990, Dr. Dwerlkotte taught for eight semesters at the University of California, Berkeley, where she received her Ph.D. in Dramatic Art. There she won numerous awards for her writing, teaching, acting, and directing, including being twice given the university's most prestigious award in the arts, the Eisner Prize.

    Charles J. Wibbelsman, M.D.
    Chief, Kaiser Permanente's Teenage Clinic, San Francisco

    Dr. Wibbelsman is a physician in the Department of Pediatrics at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Francisco where he is Chief of its Teen Clinic. He acts as medical consultant to Educational Theatre Programs. Dr. Wibbelsman is Chair of the Chiefs of Adolescent Medicine for Kaiser Permanente, Northern California, a member of The Committee on Adolescence for The American Academy of Pediatrics, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, and President- Elect of The San Francisco Medical Society. He has devoted his entire professional career in medicine to child and adolescent health. Dr. Wibbelsman is a widely published author of books and articles on teenage health, including The Teenage Body Book and Growing and Changing: A Handbook for Preteens. He also has participated on national and local TV shows on these subjects.

    Dr. Wibbelsman received his Honors B.A. in classical language from Xavier University and his M.D. from the University Of Cincinnati College Of Medicine; he interned at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente in 1979, he was Chief of San Francisco's Venereal Disease Control Division of the Department of Public Health.

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