Congratulations to Gardner Edgerton High School Theatre and Thespian Troupe 2135 President Kara McCormick for being honored as one of only 12 Kansas Thespian Scholarship recipients this year at the Educational Theatre Association’s Kansas Chapter 2018 Thespian Festival in Wichita, January 4-6. McCormick, a senior at GEHS, received one of only three $1,000 Theatre Educator Scholarships awarded in the state of Kansas.
In addition, GEHS Director of Theatre Jeff Lady was named the Kansas Thespian Region 2 (Northeast Kansas Region) Teacher of the Year 2018 at the Festival for his dedication and work in theatre education and efforts to improve quality theatre education at the high school level.
Jeff Lady has been the theatre director at GEHS since 2011, and is responsible for producing and directing all theatre productions on the GEHS stage. Along with his theatre responsibilities, he also teaches Introduction to Theatre, Technical Theatre, Acting, and Repertory Theatre. Since arriving to GEHS, Lady has produced many extraordinary musicals and plays including “The Wizard of OZ”, “Guys and Dolls”, “Fools” and “12 Angry Jurors” just to name a few.
Lady is a native of Shawnee, Kan., and graduate of Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. He received his undergraduate degree in communication studies from Point Loma Nazarene University as well as a law degree from The University of San Diego. After many years practicing entertainment law as a talent agent and manager in Hollywood, he returned to Kansas to earn a teaching certification from MidAmerica Nazarene University in 2011.
Other noteworthy accomplishments earned at the Festival this past weekend include:
• Final Third Round for the “A Matter of Fiction” Improv Teams (Only five teams made it to the final-round with two from GEHS)
The A-Team tied for First Place with Olathe Northwest. Members include: A Team-Luke Scheck (Captain), Makenzie Schaeffer, Jade Haney, Joanne Wyss, & Nate Sawchak. B Team-Hope Garrie, Hunter Jones, Sawyer Brooks, Gaven Johnson, & Riley Buck
• Junior Allie Mathos received a ‘Superior’ Rating for her solo musical theatre performance.
• Senior Hannah Collette received an ‘Excellent’ rating for her monologue performance
• Junior Logan Peralez received an ‘Excellent’ rating for his solo musical theatre performance
• Daisy More received a ‘Good’ rating for her solo musical theatre performance.
More about the Festival
Each year, approximately 2,200 high school theatre students attend this three-day festival. Students choose from nearly 200 workshop sessions taught by college theatre professors, high school drama teachers, and guest artists from around the country.
Students compete in Individual Events for a chance to qualify for the International Thespian Festival in June. Five schools from across the state bring a show to perform on one of the main stages in Century II Performing Arts Center. Students can also compete in a variety of theatre activities including playwriting, charades, theatre trivia, improvisation, creative costuming, and Tech Challenge.
Thespians who are seniors can audition for the colleges that attend the conference. Two seniors from each school have the opportunity to compete for $12,000 in Thespian Scholarships.