Students who are members of the International Thespian Society (ITS) from California, Georgia, Kansas, Oregon, and Texas will be financially assisted in their college studies thanks to scholarships established by the leaders of EdTA. The scholarships are for a variety of areas of theatre-related study including technical theatre, theatre education, marketing, student achievement, and leadership.
The Educational Theatre Association Presidents’ Leadership Scholarship is created with donations from past and current EdTA board presidents. This scholarship is for inducted Thespians who successfully demonstrate leadership abilities. The 2020 recipients are Anna Hastings of Olathe South High School, home to Thespian Troupe 5006 in Olathe Kan. and Jennifer Jarvis of Newnan High School, home to Thespian Troupe 7132 in Newnan, GA.
Hastings has served as Thespian officer of Olathe South for three years where she worked as publicity chair, officer board chair, and vice-chair of the Kansas State Thespian Officers. In the 2019-20 school year, the senior was elected chair of the International Thespian Officers. In that role she represented the student voice of EdTA and ITS at Thespian activities across the country, teaching leadership and advocacy workshops. Hastings says, “My experience as a part of ITS taught me more about my ability to persevere in tough times. And above all, it reinforced that people matter. That is the most important lesson that I will take with me into every audition, interview, and classroom I walk into for the rest of my life.”
ITS made Jarvis feel a part of Newnan High where she was elected Thespian troupe president for two years. Her term allowed Jarvis to fundraise for classmates, lead during performances, and advocate for the arts at her school. This year, the senior served as a Georgia State Thespian Officer where her skills were used to advocate for school theatre at the national level. Jarvis says, “Being a Thespian has shaped who I am as a person and helped me realize who I want to be in my future. I do not want to live a life that does not revolve around the arts.”
The Michael J. Peitz Leadership Scholarship is awarded to an inducted Thespian who successfully demonstrates leadership abilities. The 2020 recipient is Tiffany Hoang of Foster High School, home to Thespian Troupe 7961 of Richmond, TX. Hoang has served as president of her troupe for the past two years. After becoming a Texas State Thespian Officer she says, “I have become a more confident individual who possesses a strong work ethic, resilient determination, and self-reliance. Most importantly, I have learned the importance of making an impact within the community, the society, and the world.”
The EdTA Board of Directors Scholarship is for Thespian alums who are undergraduate college students currently enrolled full-time at an accredited college or university, pursuing a career in theatre education. The 2020 recipient is Audrey Burgoon, an alum of Salina High School Central, Thespian Troupe 639, Salina, Kan., who is currently enrolled at Kansas State University. The former International Thespian Officer is pursuing a career in education where she hopes to encourage her future students to consider art as a vital part of education. Burgoon says, “In the world, we need doctors, political leaders, scientists, and citizens who think critically, outside the box. The arts are vital for a well-rounded curriculum because they are preparatory and transferable to unprecedented obstacles.”
The Bob and Marti Fowler Future Theatre Educator Scholarship is awarded to a student pursuing a theatre education major and who demonstrates leadership qualities. The 2020 recipient is Susan Nash of Canby Union High School, home to Thespian Troupe 632 of Oregon City, Ore. The senior will be pursuing a double major in English and theatre education at Seattle Pacific University. Nash says, “Theatre is something I have been passionate about for some time, but in recent years, I’ve noticed my desire to serve others and better the world through art. I realized I want to spend my life showing people how many possibilities they have to shine. To me, impactful educators are individuals who can transcend lessons beyond the classroom and make students feel seen.”
The Christopher L. Hunt Scholarship, named in honor of the late Director of Marketing at EdTA is intended for inducted Thespians who plan to use skills learned through theatre in a career focused on business or marketing. The 2020 recipient is Jessa Laboissonniere of El Dorado High School, home to Thespian Troupe 199 of Fullerton, Calif., where she served as publicity and social media manager. The senior plans to double major in theatre technical design and graphic design. She says, “Theatre has been in my life since before I knew how important it was to me. My future would not be complete without theatre in it, which is why it is such a defining part of my future career in marketing.”