Lake Charles, Louisiana

Kerry A. Onxley is the artistic director of the Children’s Theatre Company in Lake Charles, Louisiana, home to Thespian Troupe 5701, offering arts education and performance opportunities to young people age five to eighteen. He has also served as theatre specialist for the Calcasieu Parish School Board for the past twenty-seven years.

Mr. Onxley was a leadership coach for the Educational Theatre Association for eight years, and EdTA’s chapter director for Louisiana for eleven. He chaired Louisiana’s annual Thespian conference and has been a state evaluator for Louisiana’s Talented Arts Program for ten years.

A theatre graduate of McNeese State University, in 2012 he participated in the Juilliard School’s Directing Workshop for Theater Educators. He chaired a Louisiana Department of Education committee on theatre arts. He is a recipient of the 2009 Arts and Humanities Citizen of the Arts award, 2010 Times of Southwest Louisiana Patron of the Arts, and the 2014 Delta Kappa Gamma-Alpha Gamma Chapter’s Excellence in Education Award for Outstanding Teacher. In 2008 he was inducted into the Arkansas Thespian Hall of Fame, and he has been named Regional Teacher of the Year for the state of Louisiana. In 2012 he was selected for the American Idol Mentor Award by American Idol runner-up finalist Joshua Ledet.

Shelly Appleby wrote in her Hall of Fame nomination: “I look to Kerry as an example and mentor of what a true leader is. I am looking forward to seeing what I will learn from him tomorrow.”