EdTA annually awards the Melba Day Henning Theatre Education Scholarship to an inducted Thespian who is working toward a career in theatre education. This year’s recipient is Victoria Turk, alum of Troupe 4739, Sequoyah High School in Canton, Ga.
Turk is currently pursuing a major in theatre education and a minor in musical theatre and dance at Columbus State University. Reminiscent of her scholarship’s namesake, in her application Turk says, “Performance alone will never be enough for me; I want to inspire future generations through this astounding art form. I plan to not only provide a source a joy and love for my students, but to also make big, long-lasting changes in the world of arts education. In today’s day and age, so many theatre, music, and art programs are being cut out of schools and curriculums due to lack of funding, and I hope to one day be a part of the movement that will make arts education accessible to every student, no matter where they come from. I want to inspire my students to be the best that they can be, not only as performers, but as life-long learners, influential leaders, and caring community members.”
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. Comments from students on this personal remembrance speak to her role as an inspiration and guide. At the time her bequest was received in 1994, it was the largest single personal gift to the Educational Theatre Association in history.