December 5, 2016
The Educational Theatre Association has awarded its 2016 Linda P. Wise Grant for Theatre Educators to Kimberly Patterson, of Thespian Troupe 7866, Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches, in West Palm Beach, Florida. This $250 grant is awarded to an EdTA professional member and theatre educator who presents a well-laid plan for an in-class program in need of financial support.
Patterson teaches a course in stagecraft and will use the grant to purchase tools and tool storage. Her students currently work with used, incomplete sets of tools, Patterson’s personal tools, and tools borrowed from a woodworking class with limited availability. This grant will allow the Performing Arts Department greater flexibility in when they can build sets, giving more students in class the opportunity to work with new tools.
“Most of the stagecraft students have no theatre experience, and very few have ever used any kind of tool," says Patterson. "Teaching a freshman girl how to use a hammer and nail was gratifying when I saw her huge smile of satisfaction upon completion of the task. This grant can help me provide a strong introduction to hand tools and ensure that everyone has a resource to use in class."
Linda P. Wise spent her 42-year career as an English teacher and theatre educator in Georgia. She was a three-year Start Teacher, five time Governor’s Honors Teacher in Theatre, Teacher of the Year at Rockdale County, and an Honoree of the Georgia High School Theatre Hall of Fame. Wise’s former students include Holly Hunter, Jerry D. Smith, and Hunter Bell, among others who have made a career in theatre. Wise directed the Atlanta Children's Theater and founded the Depot Players. She was an active member of the Georgia Thespians Chapter Board and created the Individual Events program at the Georgia Thespian Chapter Conference. Wise’s husband, Henry J. Wise, funded this new grant in her memory to honor her lifetime of dedication to theatre education.