Michael Daehn of Ball State University has been honored with the Educational Theatre Association’s Founders’ Award which is presented to an individual or group who has made significant contributions to the growth and development of theatre education, research, and practice. The award recognizes work that supports the principles and mission of the EdTA founders to promote and strengthen theatre education. The award was presented as part of the awards luncheon at EdTA’s National Conference, September 14.
Daehn has been at Ball State University for 15 years and currently serves as the associate professor of theatre education and directing. He is the coordinator of the university’s theatre education program and teaches a variety of courses such as directing, acting, and introduction to the theatre. Daehn has directed over 130 shows on the high school, college, community, and professional theatre levels. He is co-founder and production director with the Ball State Prism Project which provides area youth with specific needs musical performance opportunities.
EdTA Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald said, “Michael Daehn personifies the mission and goals of the Educational Theatre Association—in both action and spirit. EdTA would not be who we are today without such supportive and wise leaders such as himself.”
In addition to serving as a Thespian troupe director at two Indiana schools for more than 20 years and as a member of the Indiana Thespians advisory board for 10 years, Daehn has also contributed numerous articles on acting, directing, and other theatre skills for EdTA’s Dramatics magazine and Teaching Theatre.
At International Thespian Festival and National Conference, he has volunteered his time as a script reader, director, and dramaturg, and has presented more than 90 workshops for fellow student and professional members. Daehn has advocated on behalf of theatre education on a national, state, and district level, and is a founding member of EdTA’s Advocacy Leadership Network (ALN). He has engaged in important review work of the 2014 National Core Theatre Standards.