The Educational Theatre Association, (EdTA) annually awards the Melba Day Henning Theatre Education Scholarship to a student who is working toward a career in theatre education. This scholarship is funded by a bequest from veteran theatre educator Melba Day Henning, who was a member of the first class inducted into the EdTA Hall of Fame in 1991 for her leadership at the local, chapter, and national levels, including serving as president of the EdTA Board. This year’s 2020 recipient is Hector Pascual Alvarez,Chicago, Illinois.
Alvarez is currently pursuing a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Directing, at California Institute of the Arts. His passion for theatre education was inspired by former teachers who helped Alvarez acquire discipline, confidence, and self-knowledge by introducing him to theatre.
The future playwright plans to teach theatre as a college professor and to citizens in the prison system, where he hopes to celebrate students’ voices and encourage individuals whose stories change society. Alvarez’s commitment to bringing theatre to incarcerated populations was inspired by Curt Tofteland’s Shakespeare Behind Bars. Alvarez says, “I believe that theatre provides a space for healing and personal liberation while allowing participants to develop skills that will serve them when they go back into society. My goal is to become an accomplished theatre-maker and educator who helps young artists find their voice, build their future, and change reality.”