Steve Halper chartered Thespian Troupe 2234 at Benson High School and Troupe 5370 at Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson. At Salpointe he developed new curricula for introductory theatre and advanced drama classes, including on-camera and broadcast acting units. The Salpointe Thespian troupe earned Arizona Honor Troupe awards for five consecutive years and participated in every Arizona Thespian conference from 1981 through 2002, performing on the main stage at three of them.
Mr. Halper began serving on the Arizona state Thespian board in 1984. He was appointed to complete an unexpired term as state director in 1985 and was elected to two-year terms in 1986 and 1988. In 1989, during his tenure as state director, he cofounded what he considers his greatest legacy, the Arizona Thespians’ Leadership Camp, an idea that has spread to other states. He served as Region I director for two terms, during which he coordinated and directed western regional theatre education conferences in Denver, San Diego, and Las Vegas.
In 1980 Mr. Halper served on an ad hoc committee on censorship in schools for the Arizona Communication and Theater Association, and the following year he was elected president of that association.
He has also served on the Arizona Alliance for Arts Education executive board and as a theatre representative on the Arizona Interscholastic Association Speech and Theater Advisory Committee. He has conducted workshops on theatre safety at various state and regional conferences and coordinated outreach programs in southern Arizona for the Utah Shakespeare Festival.
Arizona state director Susan Morrell describes Mr. Halper as the “heart of Arizona Thespians,” in part “because of his committed passion for educational theatre… In the end, that is what he has represented to me, a man devoted to having educational theatre create a community that makes us better human beings.”