May 1, 2017
The Educational Theatre Association annually awards this $500 scholarship to an inducted Thespian pursuing a major in education, technical theatre, playwriting, or English who demonstrates the qualities of persistence, hard work, diligence, and strong character. This scholarship was established in honor of the late Alan Engelsman, a former Thespian troupe director, theatre educator, and author of theatre textbooks. This year’s recipient is Grace Pruitt, Troupe 4630, Ashland High School, Ashland, Oregon.
Pruitt plans to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre from Azusa Pacific University. She was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, after being adopted by missionaries. When she was 13, her parents moved to Ashland, Oregon. Pruitt credits theatre as giving her a voice. She says, “Coming here, we were immediately defined by our skin color. I went from living in a world where everybody looked like me to a place where it is dangerous to look like me. Theatre has created an environment where people listened rather than filibustered. The feeling of becoming completely vulnerable and honest is why I pursue acting. Because society has told me I can’t have a voice, theatre has allowed me to speak my truth loud and proud.”