When Yatesy Harvey began teaching at Forsyth Central High School in Georgia in 1989, her classroom and rehearsal area was a single-wide trailer. Later, she converted a garage to a black box theatre. Eventually she led a successful campaign for state-of-the-art performance spaces in all three high schools in Forsyth County. Along with overseeing the growing facilities, Ms. Harvey built a theatre program from a single class to a full range of courses and performances.
Ms. Harvey served as Georgia State Thespian director and took shows to the main stage at the International Thespian Festival, the Georgia Theatre Conference, and the Georgia Thespian Conference. She was also active on various arts councils and the Georgia Governor’s Honors Selection Committee.
Ms. Harvey received a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi University for Women and has done graduate work at Memphis State University, Georgia State University, and North Georgia College and State University. Before joining the Forsyth Central faculty, she was a theatre teacher and director at First United Methodist Church in Chamblee, Georgia for twenty-three years. She directed all ages in two or three major productions each year. Her earliest teaching jobs were at Milam Junior High, Tupelo High School, and Hazlehurst High School in Mississippi; and at Oakhaven High School in Tennessee. She currently serves as chair of the Fine Arts Department at Forsyth Central.
Ten of her former students have pursued theatre majors in college and become theatre teachers, actors, directors, or other theatre professionals. A parent of two of her students wrote: “Teaching the game of life is Mrs. Harvey’s greatest attribute to these young students. There is no doubt in my mind that leaving her program, a student has learned not just all the ins and outs of theatre, but how to relate to their fellow man, how to solve unexpected problems, and how to think quickly on their feet.”