EdTA has awarded its 2018 Linda P. Wise Grant for Theatre Educators to Heather Achter, theatre teacher and director of Thespian Troupe 7561, at Kings Mountain High School in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. The grant is awarded to an EdTA professional member and theatre educator who presents a well-laid plan for an in-class program in need of financial support.
Achter teaches theatre classes ranging from beginner to advanced level and will use the funds to purchase professional stage makeup kits. Her students currently use their own store-bought makeup and materials brought from home. This grant will allow her students the tools and resources to learn the art of theatrical makeup design and execution with a practical, hands on approach, giving them the skills to begin building their portfolios. Achter says the additional resources will provide a “fun and engaging way for students to learn a practical skill with which they can see immediate results.”
Linda P. Wise spent her 42-year career as an English teacher and theatre educator in Georgia. She was a five time Governor’s Honors Teacher in Theatre, Teacher of the Year at Rockdale County, and an Honoree of the Georgia High School Theatre Hall of Fame. Wise’s former students include Holly Hunter, Jerry D. Smith, and Hunter Bell, among others who have made a career in theatre. Wise directed the Atlanta Children’s Theater and founded the Depot Players. She was an active member of the Georgia Thespians Chapter Board and created the Individual Events program at the Georgia Thespian Chapter Conference. Wise’s husband, Henry J. Wise, funded this grant in her memory to honor her lifetime of dedication to theatre education.
Each year, the Educational Theatre Association’s awards, grants, and scholarship opportunities honor the achievements of individuals and theatre programs, providing award-winners with the financial support to attend Association events or further educational endeavors. Awards are presented in recognition of notable accomplishments by individuals or theatre programs. Grants are one-time financial awards presented to individuals or troupes to attend Association events such as the EdTA National Conference or the International Thespian Festival. National scholarships are presented to students, typically based on a combination of merit and career goals. Many of the opportunities have a deadline to apply by February 1, 2109.