The Other Side of the Wall Receives First Annual Jamie Hawkins-Gaar Memorial Scholarship

The Other Side of the Wall, Atlanta's only Spanish-language improv group, was announced as the inaugural recipient of The Jamie Hawkins-Gaar Memorial Scholarship at Dad's Garage Theatre. The scholarship, dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusion within the Atlanta's improv community, honors the life and legacy Jamie Hawkins-Gaar, who was a improviser and friend of Dad's Garage.

The Other Side of the Wall will receive a year of coaching, for free, from Dad's Garage ensemble members to hone their craft. The bilingual troupe is comprised of Miguel Figueroa, Bobby Kirscher, Henry Coraza, Lucas Politzer, Sorrell Sanders, and Michael Santiago. They have performed in theatres all over Atlanta, including Dad's Garage, The Village Theatre, Highwire Comedy, and Java Monkey in Decatur. They are currently performing weekly at The Village Theatre for the Atlanta Improv League.

"We believe improv comedy can transcend language and culture, and has the power to unite audiences," says Kevin Gillese, artistic director of Dad's Garage. "We can't wait to see what amazing things Other Side of the Wall does next."

This was the first year of the Jamie Hawkins-Gaar Memorial Scholarship. Hawkins-Gaar passed away from a rare and undiagnosed heart condition on February 4, 2017, while running a half-marathon in St. Petersburg, Florida. A good friend of the Dad's Garage family, he was a vivacious creative professional who developed and directed a considerable library of online sketches, which garnered hundreds of thousands of views, and wrote several film scripts. Hawkins-Gaar also worked on award-winning Dad's Garage TV videos, including "Movers" which he directed.

Improv comedy was very much central to Hawkins-Gaar's creative passions, and Dad's Garage is proud to collaborate with his wife, Katie Hawkins-Gaar, to offer a scholarship program that continues his legacy of continually creating awesome work. The scholarship is funded for four consecutive years, with new teams receiving a year of coaching each time. The goal of the program is to build a more diverse improv scene in Atlanta, reflective of the range of voices and perspectives that make Atlanta so great.

Founded in 1995, Dad's Garage Theatre Company has grown from a small volunteer led organization to a thriving mid-size theatre led by professional artistic and administrative staff that includes over 300 volunteers and performers. We now entertain more than 33,000 people each year in Atlanta, at public events across the state, and at improv festivals across the continent. In addition to outrageous original productions, Dad's Garage produces improv shows year-round, educates young improvisers in a high school outreach program, and facilitates classes and workshops for the general public.

Dad's Garage transforms people, communities, and perspectives through laughter.

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