About Us

Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs-Georgia has been teaching healthier living to Metro Atlanta since 1995. During that time, we’ve reached over 1 million people with empowering messages to improve health. We’ve invited kids to Give Peas a Chance and find out What’s In That Lunch, Anyway? We’ve helped adults discover ways to be Acting on Stress. Preschoolers have listened and learned safety lessons through Mumferd’s Safety Tales, and teens learned about HIV prevention and the impact of choices through Secrets. All presented free of charge to metro Atlanta as a community benefit of Kaiser Permanente Health Plans.

  • 1995
    The Educational Theatre Programs (ETP) began in Georgia. One production, “Professor Bodywise and the Traveling Menagerie” was performed in schools for children grades k-5.
  • 1997
    ETP begins performing “Secrets” HIV/AIDS education piece for High School Students. Partnership with Camp Magik (Mostly About Grief in Kids) begins. “Uncle Gherkin’s Magical Show” is developed for children ages 5-10.
  • 1998
    “Asthma” (also known as “The ABC’s of Asthma”) is developed. Created to teach children about the effects of asthma on the body, show is initially performed at Snapfinger Elementary, a school partner and incorporated character from KP health department education literature, “Bronchi the Airosaurus.”
  • 1999
    “Kaiser Kidzone and Physical Activity Challenge” games are created. The series of outdoor activities patterned after Olympic-style competitions encourage families to have fun while being active. The games undergo many transformations over the years and eventually become the template for the game-show styled “What’s in that Lunch, Anyway?”
  • 2000
    “Acting on Stress” is created to address stress-related health issues. Initial booking focus was schools as a teacher workshop. Requests from community and business groups followed as awareness grew. ETP adds second version of performance in 2002 to include stress scenarios common in business and work groups.
  • 2001
    Educational Outreach classes explored. First incarnations of “Mumferd’s Safety Tales” appears. Performances emphasized health and safety as well as physical activity for elementary-aged children in a classroom setting. “Fragments: Impressions of Grief” created—performed at Camp Magik.
  • 2003
    “Give Peas a Chance” takes root in Georgia. The production, led by Cris P. Broccoli, employs a colorful crew of puppet characters to tackle obesity prevention in children ages 5-12 by teaching healthy eating and acting living messages.
  • 2004
    Doc Broc makes his debut in Georgia, and is soon followed by Nurse Blueberry. They are a refreshing hit.
  • 2006
    ETP continues to focus performances on community groups and begins an initiative to perform “Secrets” in faith-based institutions for community members. “What’s in that Lunch, Anyway?” is introduced.
  • 2007
    ETP partners with Avondale High School and begins “Teens Take it On”, a program designed by the Colorado ETP. The program is a high-school residency designed to empower students to become advocates for healthy eating and acting living, and helped support the Healthy Belvedere initiative through the Community Benefit program.
  • 2010
    “Mumferd’s Safety Tales” is changed from one program to a menu of four. “What’s in that Lunch” games specifically for Senior audiences are introduced.
  • 2011
    ETP is restructured into two departments: Educational Outreach Team and Performance Company. Department moves from 3 FTE’s and contracted employees to 14 FTE’s, including full-time actor-educators and performers. Department ceases formal productions for 5 month period to activate new structure.
  • 2012
    The Performance company introduces The B. Healthy show, a Healthy Eating/Active Living program for grades 3-5 and Vegetable Soup! , a program focusing on nutrition choices for families. A workshop focusing on empowerment and decision-making is introduced for teen girls by the Educational Outreach team. Mumferd’s Safety Tales, a series of 9 workshops performed in residency for community partners serving at-risk youth, is introduced.
  • 2017
    The present!

Bett Potazek
Artistic Supervisor

bettpBett Potazek has worked in the field of theatre for youth and educational theatre since 1986. She has a diverse theatre background focusing on performing, directing, script writing, teaching and costuming. Bett has written several of ETP’s productions including Give Peas a Chance, Fragments, Uncle Gherkin’s Magical Show, and Acting on Stress. She has had the pleasure of working for Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs since 1997.

Prior to joining ETP, Bett was an educator/artist at the Alliance Theatre, Center for Puppetry Arts, and Arts For All. She was a co-chair of the Georgia Theatre Conference’s Professional Division. Prior theatre management experience includes the Artistic Director for the Phoenix Theatre in Vermont, the Managing Director for Northern Sign Theatre in Minneapolis, and the Managing Director of the Madison Theatre Guild. She also had been the costume shop Supervisor for MTG, maintaining a stock of over 70,000 costumes and accessories and vintage pieces for productions and rental.

Bett has taught workshops for youth in numerous schools and venues in Georgia, Vermont, Wisonsin, Kentucky, Indiana and Minnesota, and was an Actor/Educator with CLIMB theatre in St. Paul, MN, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, Hopkins Art Center and Very Special Arts—Kentucky. She worked extensively with special needs populations and adaptive arts, creating connections between the arts and individuals with unique challenges so that the fine arts could be enjoyed by all. Bett taught at the University of Vermont and the University of Louisville Theatre Departments. She graduated with a BA double major in Theatre and English from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI, and earned her MFA from the University of Louisville in KY.

Larry Davis
Performance Company Lead

larryLarry Davis has worked in the field of Theatre for Young Audiences and Educational Theatre for over 20 years. His career at Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre Programs began in 2001 when he toured as an actor in the HIV/AIDS education production of Secrets. He has also performed in Acting on Stress, Fragments, Give Peas a Chance and Uncle Gherkin’s Magical Show.

Larry was promoted to the company Booking Coordinator and then became the Performance Company Lead in 2012. Work in theatres outside of ETP include national tours of Pamela Parker’s Pulitzer Prize Nominated play “Second Samuel” as well as “A Higher Place in Heaven”. He has performed in various theatres in Metro Atlanta including Actor’s Express, The Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, Atlanta Street Theatre, The Aurora Theatre, The Essential Theatre, Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Jewish Theatre of the South, Onstage Atlanta, the Process Theatre, S.A.M.E (Southeastern Arts, Media and Education)/Outproud, Stage Door Players, and Theatre Gael. Larry has a Bachelor of Arts in Drama and Theatre from the University of GA.

Ruth Herndon
Educational Outreach Lead

Ruth HerndonRuth D. Herndon, a third-generation educator and native of Durham, NC is a specialist in education and has over 25 years of experience  teaching both children and adults.  She  considers herself fortunate to have lived in places such as Okinawa, Japan and Germany.

Ruth was the founder of a  free after-school program that provided childcare, homework assistance, snacks and support to children  in Snellville, GA.  She and two generations of her family were also featured in “Essence” magazine focusing on young entrepreneurs and the role that family support provides.

One of Ruth’s proudest teaching moments occurred when she became reacquainted with a former student she taught in kindergarten and who is now a local high school principal.   Her former student revealed that Ruth was the inspiration for her decision to be an educator and leader.

Ruth has a Bachelor’s degree in Political science and Education from North Carolina A& T University, a Master’s in Public Administration from Golden Gate University and currently working towards a PhD in Educational Leadership at Capella University.  Ruth also is a graduate of the Leadership North Fulton 2001 class.  Ruth is a proud mother of two adult children, Adrian and Ashley and loves playing golf, traveling, the arts (theatre and music), shopping and laughing.