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2019 Honor Chapters

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The Educational Theatre Association established the Honor Chapter Program to recognize those chapters that do tremendous work and deserve acknowledgment for their high level of excellence. The following chapters were recognized at the national   EdTA Leadership Summit  July 17-19  in Washington, D. C.    Gold Honor Chapters:  Arkansas California Indiana New Jersey Texas Washington Silver Honor Chapters: Georgia Kansas Missouri Nevada Ohio Bronze Honor Chapters: Illinois Massachusetts Montana South Carolina West Virginia Watch for the photo album ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our next spotlight is Jessica Speck, a Theatre/Math/English teacher at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland. Jessica also leads Thespian Troupe 335 at Wootton. Jessica has been contributing to Community conversations since its launch over five years ago and has earned bronze level status for her insightful advice and recommendations. ...
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The Educational Theatre Association  (EdTA) annually awards the Legislator Leadership Award for Arts Education to a legislator who has demonstrated public leadership in support of theatre and other arts education policy and practice on a national or state level. This year’s recipient is Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), who accepted the award at EdTA’s Theatre Education Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C., July 16. The award was created to demonstrate and support the association’s ongoing and growing national and state advocacy efforts on behalf of theatre and other arts education. Legislators are considered based on specific actions and outcomes that ...
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The Educational Theatre Association is pleased to announce that the Next Generation Works program is being sponsored by the National Theater Institute, the undergraduate training arm of the prestigious Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.     Amanda Ritchie, Director of College Relations for the  National  Theater  Institute  shares,  “ For 55 years the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center – which pioneered new play development and originated the ‘staged reading’ – has been the ‘Launchpad of American Theater.’  Recognized for training and supporting new work and new artists with two Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts, we are proud to sponsor ...
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Gai Laing Jones   of Ojai, Calif. is beginning her two-year term as President of the Educational Theatre Association board. Jones was elected in 2016 and served as vice president from 2017 until now. Jones is a longtime theatre educator having served for 34 years as theatre and troupe director at El Dorado High School, in addition to instructing at several California colleges, theatres, workshops, and festivals as a teaching artist. She is the founder of CA Youth in Theatre and the author of  Raising the Curtain, Activities for the Theatre Arts Classroom  and  Break a Leg, Tips for the Theatre Educator . She has also served EdTA as California chapter director. ...
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A program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools that currently have none. This is a series of monthly updates about the  JumpStart Theatre  pilot program launched in Cincinnati, Ohio. To view previous updates,  click here .  Early Enthusiasm in Maryland JumpStart Theatre regional partner, Mountain City Center for the Arts (MCCA) in Frostburg, Maryland, recently selected their first three schools for the program. Northern Middle School asked MCCA to visit before the end of the school year and make a presentation to approximately two hundred 6th and 7th graders about JumpStart Theatre to ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our next spotlight is Susan Nieten, the theatre teacher and troupe director at Noblesville High School in Noblesville, Indiana, home to Troupe 8118. One of the things we always love to hear about is when a Thespian Alum turns into a theatre teacher, and Susan is one of these treasures-she hails from Troupe 3088 at Highland High School in Anderson, ...
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The Educational Theatre Association’s President’s Award  recognizes an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the Association, EdTA President, board of directors, or volunteer leadership of EdTA. The 2019 recipient is Bob Henrichs of Lincoln, Nebraska.  Elected to the EdTA Hall of Fame in 2012 Henrichs spearheaded the effort to establish a new home for the International Thespian Festival (ITF) at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln (UN-L), his alma mater in 1994, succeeding in moving it from its previous site at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind. ITF, produced by EdTA, is the premier high school theatre festival in the nation, attracting ...
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The Educational Theatre Association ’s (EdTA) Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes individuals who support the Association through exceptional volunteer efforts. The 2019 recipients are the volunteer ushers at the Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, for their work during the International Thespian Festival over the past 25 years. During the last week of June, two times a day, the dedicated volunteers guide a full house of 2,200 high school theatre students from across the country and around the world to their seats as they prepare to watch performances from a half dozen Thespian troupes whose work has earned the highly ...
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EdTA Advocacy Update June 19, 2019   The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education.     EdTA NEWS EdTA Theatre Education Advocacy Day Registration deadline extended to July 1 The 2018 mid-term elections have ushered in a fresh era in Washington, D.C., with the election of many new senators and representatives. Here’s your chance to make theatre education part of the change. Join your colleagues July 15-16 for the second EdTA Theatre Education Advocacy Day! Engage in a day of training followed by a day of visits to Congressional offices on Capitol Hill. This ...
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EdTA annually awards the Melba Day Henning Theatre Education Scholarship to an inducted Thespian who is working toward a career in theatre education. This year’s recipient is  Victoria Turk , alum of Troupe 4739, Sequoyah High School in Canton, Ga.  Turk is currently pursuing a major in theatre education and a minor in musical theatre and dance at Columbus State University. Reminiscent of her scholarship’s namesake, in her application Turk says, “Performance alone will never be enough for me; I want to inspire future generations through this astounding art form. I plan to not only provide a source a joy and love for my students, but to also make big, long-lasting ...
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Students who are members of the  International Thespian Society  (ITS) from Alabama, California, Kansas, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Ohio, and Texas will be financially assisted in their college studies thanks to scholarships established by current and former leaders of  the Educational Theatre Association  (EdTA). The scholarships are for a variety of areas of theatre and related study including: technical theatre, theatre education, marketing, student achievement, and leadership. Scholarships for leadership and achievement are: The  Educational Theatre Association Presidents’ Leadership Scholarship  is created with donations from and in honor ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our next spotlight is David Kramer, a “retired” theatre educator who ran Thespian Troupe 128 at Miller Place High School in Miller Place, New York for 25 years and ran theatre programs for various grade levels for 39 years. Our Community members have been benefiting from David’s sound recommendations and trusted advice for several years now ...
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Students who are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS) from Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Beijing will all be able to attend the International Thespian Festival (ITF) this year thanks to grants established by former leaders of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA), which has produced ITF since 1941. ITF, which takes place June 24-29, is an immersion in all facets of theatre arts for high-achieving middle and high school drama students. It features student productions on four professional stages, hundreds of workshops, and dozens of opportunities for students to audition for college admission and scholarships. ...
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EdTA Advocacy Update June 4, 2019   The Advocacy Update is where you can find current national and state news concerning arts advocacy and arts education.     EdTA NEWS For ITS 90 th Celebrating Thespian Alums Giving Back In 2019, the International Thespian Society (ITS) is marking the 90th anniversary of its founding with a yearlong celebration of the power of theatre to instill confidence, empathy, and compassion to build better communities. Grants Awarded to Fire-Impacted Schools, Funded by MTI The Educational Theatre Foundation is pleased to announce that three California high schools damaged by last year’s fires will ...
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In 2019, the International Thespian Society (ITS) is marking the 90th anniversary of its founding with a yearlong celebration of the power of theatre to instill confidence, empathy, and compassion to build better communities. ITS, the honor society of middle and high school students who participate in theatre in their schools, is a program of the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). It was founded in Fairmont, W.Va ., during the 1928-29 school year, chartering its first troupes in April 1929. Today, EdTA reaches into nearly every corner of North America and beyond. It has 135,000 active members, publishes two bimonthly magazines, operates the ...
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A program designed to build sustainable musical theatre programs in underserved middle schools that currently have none. This is a series of monthly updates about the  JumpStart Theatre  pilot program launched in Cincinnati, Ohio. To view previous updates,  click here .  Three JumpStart Theatre Showcases This spring, three JumpStart Theatre Showcases took place across the nation, celebrating the accomplishments of 15 schools. These Showcases bring students together to perform selections from their musicals for the public, build a community of support, and celebrate their achievements. The Cincinnati region, led by The Children's Theatre ...
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This summer EdTA is introducing a series of six live professional development webinars. Education Manager Cory Wilkerson says, “While students are out of school for the summer is a good time for teachers to focus on their own professional development." EdTA polled members to learn what topics were most important for them. The survey generated more than 2,000 responses, with requests for technical theatre topics, acting, and directing ranking the highest. Wilkerson added, “We also have had requests for help building curriculum, so there are webinars planned for this as well.” Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald says, “I am proud to launch the newest ...
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One of the main goals for our Theatre Education Community is to help theatre students and professionals from all over connect and identify with each other in order to build resources and support the theatre education field. We shine a spotlight on a different member every other week by conducting a simple interview. Our next spotlight is Ellen O’Reilly-LaSalle, the Theatre Teacher and ELA Department Head at Dighton-Rehoboth Regional High School in North Dighton, Massachusetts. Ellen also serves as troupe director for Thespian Troupe 8193 and has earned Bronze Most Valuable Member status for the fantastic questions and advice she has been contributing over ...
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The Educational Theatre Foundation is pleased to announce that three California high schools damaged by last year’s fires will receive grants to aid their recovery thanks to a grant funded by licensing agency Music Theatre International ( MTI). The  2018 wildfire season  was the most destructive on record in  California , according to the  California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection  and the  National Interagency Fire Center . The MTI California Fire Relief Grants offers grants to high school and middle school theatre programs in California that were negatively impacted by wildfires in 2018. Petaluma High School, impacted by the Camp ...
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