July 9, 2015
The Educational Theatre Association recognized the service to school theatre by the American Alliance for Theatre and Education, Colorado Thespians, the publishing house Theatrical Rights Worldwide, and volunteer Thespian leader Alex Minton with its top awards, presented during the 2015 Thespian Festival.
Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald cited AATE’s commitment to advocacy, diversity, and building the future of theatre education in presenting the EdTA Founders’ Award to Jo Beth Gonzalez, AATE’s board president and director of Thespian Troupe 1489 at Bowling Green (Ohio) High School.
Board President Jay Seller celebrated the thriving Colorado Thespian organization’s record of innovation with the 2015 President’s Award. Colorado, he said, was a pioneer in hosting a Junior Thespian event, a film conference, an annual conference for theatre teachers, and its own state-level Arts Advocacy Day. It was also an early adopter among Thespian organizations of social media, and has developed online event registration, mobile-friendly event schedules, and apps for Individual Event adjudication and audition and rehearsal management.
The Standing Ovation Award, created to recognize corporate or organizational contributions to EdTA’s work, went to TRW, or Theatrical Rights Worldwide, in recognition of the company’s role in the development of the three-year-old Thespian Musicalworks program for young composers and lyricists. TRW also provides sponsorship support and guest artists for EdTA events and education programs.
EdTA Director of Chapters and Communities Diane Carr praised Alex Minton’s energy and leadership in presenting the Volunteer of the Year Award to him. A spring graduate of Millard West High School in Omaha, Nebraska, where he was a member and former officer of Thespian Troupe 5483, Minton served as chair of the International Thespian Officers for 2014-15. In that capacity he represented the Thespian Society’s student leadership at nine state chapter conferences, the national Junior Thespian Festival, the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market, and Arts Advocacy Day, and led the ITO in raising more than $25,000 for EdTA’s Send a Troupe to Festival grant program.