Winners Announced for 2019 American Alliance for Theatre & Education Awards | Playbill

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Education News Winners Announced for 2019 American Alliance for Theatre & Education Awards The annual honor recognizes exceptional work in theatre with and for young audiences.

The American Alliance for Theatre & Education has announced their 2019 National Award winners, which recognize exceptional work performed in theatre with and for young audiences. The honors are presented at AATE's annual National Conference, to be held this year in NYC August 1–5.

“This year’s winners represent artists, scholars, and educators from across the country, whose work has impacted young people locally and globally," said AATE Board Chair Stacey Ardelean. "We are proud to count them among our colleagues and allies."

“Congratulations to these amazing artists, teachers, scholars, and change makers," added AATE Managing Director Alexis Truit. "You find ways to share voices, spotlight struggles, and celebrate the value of young people. Thank you for using your passion, art, research, and time to teach, see, and hear young people through the frame of theatre.”

Take a look at the complete list of winners.


Ann Elgood Youth Theatre Director of the Year:
Rhonda Wilson (middle school drama teacher and founder/executive director of Star Center Children’s Theatre in Gainesville, Florida)

Ann Flagg Multicultural Award:
Ghostlight Readers Theatre at Round Lake High School in Round Lake, Illinois

Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award:
Rosemary Newcott (artistic director of Theatre for Youth and Families at Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia)
Chris Vine (Author, facilitator, lecturer, and academic director of applied theatre at CUNY’s School of Professional Studies in New York, New York)

Charlotte B. Chorpenning Playwright Award:
Kevin Kling (author, playwright in Minneapolis, Minnesota)

Orlin Corey Award for Artistic Excellence:
Dr. Luke Jorgensen Ph.D. (associate professor of the practice of theatre at Boston College and artistic director of the Tufts University Children's Theatre Program in Massachusetts)

Sara Spencer Artistic Achievement Award:
Sandra Fenichel Asher (author and playwright in Lancaster, Pennsylvania)

Zeta Phi Eta-Winifred Ward Outstanding New Children's Theatre Company Award:
Bluelaces Theater Company (a theatre company curating immersive and multi-sensory work for audiences with autism and other developmental differences in New York, New York)


Distinguished Play Award - Plays primarily for Pre-K & Elementary School Age Audiences:
The Smartest Girl in the World by Miriam Gonzales (Publisher: Dramatic Publishing)

Distinguished Play Award - Plays Primarily for Middle & Secondary School Age Audiences:
Ever in the Glades by Laura Schellhardt (Publisher: Dramatic Publishing)

Distinguished Play Award for Adaptations from existing children's literature primarily for Pre-K and elementary age audiences:
Corduroy by Barry Kornhauser (Publisher: Plays for Young Audiences)

Distinguished Play Award for Adaptations from existing children's literature primarily for middle and secondary age audiences:
Beowulf by Toby Hulse (Publisher: Plays for Young Audiences)

Distinguished Book Award:
Palabras del Cielo: An Exploration of Latina/o Theatre For Young by José Casas and Christina Marín (Publisher: Dramatic Publishing)


Distinguished Dissertation:
"'I'm Gonna Use it to tell You:' Exploring Narratives of Adolescent Identity Through Theatre" by Gina Grandi (New York University)

Distinguished Thesis:
"Storied Moments: Foregrounding Community Cultural Wealth through Digital Storytelling Abstract" by Moriah Flagler (University of Texas at Austin)

Distinguished Thesis Honorable Mention:
“Multi-Sensory Theatre for Children on the Autism Spectrum: Creating an Artistic Version of Autistic Space” by Molly Mattaini (University of Wisconsin, Madison)


Research Award:
Monica Prendergast (Associate Professor of Drama/Theatre Education, University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

Winifred Ward Scholar:
Faith Willis (University of Texas at Austin)

Don and Elizabeth Doyle Fellow:
Sarah Tan (Arizona State University)

Don and Elizabeth Doyle Special Recognition:
William Kiley (University of Texas at Austin)

Outstanding Undergraduate Award:
Rachel Seidenberg (Northwestern University, Illinois)

For more information, visit

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