Three School Theatre Programs Honored By National Association

Three School Theatre Programs Honored By National Association­The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) recognizes schools whose theatre programs exemplify and promote high standards of quality in educational theatre. This year only three schools in the nation were honored: Arbor View High School in Las Vegas, Nevada; Lakewood High School in Lakewood, Colorado; and Papillion La-Vista High School in Papillion, Nebraska.

EdTA is a national nonprofit organization with approximately 125,000 student and professional members that supports and promotes school theatre. EdTA is the home of the International Thespian Society (ITS), an Honor Society for middle and high school theatre students, which has inducted more than 2.3 million members into Thespian troupes since 1929.

The Arbor View High School theatre program, home to Thespian Troupe 6891 under the direction of David Kelley, was cited for offering an array of opportunities for students to become engaged with multiple facets of fine arts and gain skills to use beyond high school. They collaborate with the English department to implement cross-curricular studies for at least one show each year. In addition, theatre technicians from the program assist throughout the year for concerts, assemblies, and awards ceremonies. Members of ITS Troupe 6891 are held to high standards to promote a positive image of school theatre within the community. They frequently volunteer at the local YMCA and represent their theatre program in Nevada Chapter Thespian events.

The Lakewood High School theatre program, home to Thespian Troupe 1697 under the direction of Tami LoSasso, was cited for the positive ways in which they contribute to their community. Teachers support the programs by either encouraging or requiring students to attend productions and review and reflect on what they learned. The program is closely integrated with the tech ed film programs, where students routinely collaborate in the construction of set pieces for the productions, and the creation of sets and costumes. The department was commended for its inclusivity and success in supporting students of all abilities. It has developed a program called the Unified Theatre program that provides opportunities for students with special needs to participate in the creation of a theatrical work. Troupe 1697 also attends Colorado Chapter Thespian events and the International Thespian Festival.

The Papillion La-Vista High School theatre program, home to Thespian Troupe 68 under the direction of Molly Grasso, was cited for fostering a collaborative environment to promote comprehensive and innovative instruction. They have incorporated cross-curricular studies with the history, physical education, instrumental, English, and foreign language departments. Troupe 68 promotes school theatre in their community, volunteering with school and community organizations, and participating EdTA's TOTS-Eat program. They work closely with the Papillion-LaVista Schools Foundation to participate in additional performance opportunities at ribbon cuttings, fundraisers, and more. In addition, they participate in Nebraska Chapter events and the International Thespian Festival.

About the Educational Theatre Association, home of the International Thespian Society

The Educational Theatre Association is an international association with approximately 125,000 active members. EdTA's mission is shaping lives through theatre education: honoring student achievement in theatre; supporting teachers by providing professional development, resources, and recognition; and influencing public opinion that theatre education is essential and builds life skills. EdTA is the home of the International Thespian Society, an honorary organization established at more than 4,700 schools, that has inducted more than 2.3 million theatre students since its founding in 1929. EdTA also produces the International Thespian Festival and publishes Dramatics magazine for high school theatre students and Teaching Theatre, a journal for theatre education professionals. The Educational Theatre Foundation is the philanthropic arm of EdTA.

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