Thirteen Individuals, Four Schools Celebrated for High Achievements in Theatre Education
Each year, EdTA honors the achievements of individuals and theatre programs with special awards presented in recognition of notable accomplishments. This year’s list of recipients includes the following:
The Educational Theatre Association Administrator’s Award recognizes outstanding school administrators who have demonstrated exemplary support for educational theatre. Joseph Casey of Clever R-V High School in Clever, Mo., Rebecca Morrisey of Topeka High School in Topeka, Kan., and Christopher Scott of Southeast Guilford High School in Greensboro, N.C., are this year’s recipients. In addition to being ever-present within their schools’ theatre communities, each administrator has prioritized theatre programming by bolstering programs, finding solutions when needed, and advocating for their staff.
The Educational Theatre Association Founder’s Award is presented to an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the growth and development of theatre education, research, and practice, supporting the principles and mission of the founders. The 2023 award is presented to Joshua Rashon Streeter.
The Educational Theatre Association Hall of Fame Award is presented annually to EdTA members who have dedicated 20 or more years to promoting educational theatre. This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are James Fewer of Southridge High School in Beaverton, Ore., and Allen Price of Patuxent High School in Lusby, Md.
The Educational Theatre Association President’s Award is presented to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to the association, EdTA president, board of directors, or volunteer leadership of EdTA. The 2023 honoree is Silvia Scaife of Auburn, Ala.
The Educational Theatre Association Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes individuals who support the association through exceptional volunteer efforts and is awarded to Kristi Jacobs-Stanley of Mt. Carmel Academy in New Orleans, La., and Todd Robinson of Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Educational Theatre Association Outstanding School Award is given to high schools with theatre programs that exemplify and promote high standards in educational theatre. This year’s honored schools are Floyd Central High School in Floyds Knobs, Ind., and Topeka High School in Topeka, Kan. As part of its robust curriculum, Floyd Central includes a student mentorship program, allowing senior and junior students to mentor freshman students, which significantly increases their involvement in the program and ITS Troupe. As a 6A school with a large student population, Topeka High has found success in utilizing cross-curricular connections between classes and clubs outside of theatre, eventually leading students to apply learning to theater and vice versa.
In addition to the Outstanding School Award, Topeka High School was also among three schools who were awarded the Outstanding Impact Award for their work in March, which is Theatre In Our Schools Month. Also recognized for their efforts were Harrison High School in Harrison, Ark., and Topeka West High School in Topeka, Kan. Schools documented their advocacy efforts during the month at the school, community, and governmental levels and earned points for their efforts. The four winners each received a free license to perform a Disney show of their choosing from program sponsor Disney Theatrical Group.
The International Thespian Society Inspirational Theatre Educator Award recognizes individuals who have inspired their students and dedicated themselves to providing quality theatre education. The 2023 recipients are Peter Johnson of Rock Ridge High School in Ashburn, Va., Tyler Price of Alexandria Senior High School in Alexandria, La., and Kate Wilkinson of Fort Zumwalt East High School in St. Peters, Mo.
Previously announced as the recipient of the Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award was Matt Wolfe of Westerville South High School in Westerville, Ohio. The award is presented in partnership with The ASCAP Foundation to recognize the highest level of achievement for teaching musical theatre. Wolfe will receive a $5,000 cash prize, and the award will be formally presented to him at EdTA’s Theatre Education Conference September 28-30 in St. Pete Beach, Fla. Registration for the event is open through September 8, 2023.
“Each of these award winners exemplifies the excellence in theatre education that EdTA strives to achieve,” said executive director Dr. Jennifer Katona. “We’re thrilled to recognize their outstanding contributions.”