April 27, 2017
The Educational Theatre Association recognizes Thespian troupe directors, emeritus members, and other professional members who have 20 years of service or more in theatre education. During the 2017 EdTA National Conference, the EdTA Hall of Fame will induct two theatre educators: Lori Hathaway from Big Rapids (Michigan) High School and Gina Parrish from Norcross (Georgia) High School.
Lori Hathaway is in her 28th year of teaching theatrical arts to high school students. She had been director of Thespian Troupe 2606 at Palm Bay High School, Melbourne, Florida, and is currently director of Troupe 1176 at Big Rapids High School, where she began a cocurricular theatre program and a work-to-school program in which the students work as paid staff in the auditorium. Hathaway has been an active member of both EdTA and its Michigan Chapter, spending three years as chapter director, serving on its executive board as chief recording officer, and leading the state’s Summer Leadership Camp and Michigan Youth Arts. She created the orientation for judges still used by her state today and has helped grow the Michigan Chapter’s student involvement, board involvement, and financial support. She has been inducted into the Michigan Hall of Fame and awarded Theatre Teacher of the Year by the Michigan Interscholastic Forensic Association.
Gina Parrish has been a theatre educator and member of EdTA for 28 years. She is director of Thespian Troupe 1203 and has served as a member of the chapter board of Georgia Thespians. For three years, she directed and choreographed the opening number for her state conference. In her last year, right after 9/11, she created an opening number exploring how Americans, and especially theatre students, could come together to embrace diversity and strengthen our unity as a nation. She also served as hospitality chair for the Georgia Thespian Conference for five years. Parrish, described as a hands-on educator who leads by example and takes every opportunity to grow, has been inducted into the Georgia Thespian Hall of Fame and was named Teacher of the Year by the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce.