The Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award
Presented by The ASCAP Foundation and the Educational Theatre Association is Announced
(CINCINNATI-January 30, 2020)— One of Broadway’s most decorated composers is giving an accolade of his own: The Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year Award will represent the highest level of achievement for a middle or high school theatre teacher, with the winner receiving $5,000 and travel to the International Thespian Festival for the announcement and recognition.
The three-time Oscar winner and four-time Grammy winner wants to recognize the many ways that theatre teachers impact lives. “Theatre teachers help to not just bring theatre, but bring empathy and the ability to think, to work together as a group, and understand other people. These are things so desperately needed in our country right now that go way, way beyond theatre and musical theatre,” said Schwartz at a teacher conference last fall.
The ASCAP Foundation and Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) have partnered to administer the annual award. Any currently active middle or high school theatre teacher who produces musicals at their school may be nominated by their administrator, students, peers, others who know their work or may apply themselves. Nominees will be evaluated on the quality of work in their program, career accomplishments and impact beyond the school. Nominations are now open and due by March 15. Visit schooltheatre.org for complete criteria.
Applications will be evaluated by a distinguished panel of EdTA award-winning teachers, EdTA leaders, musical theatre industry professionals, and representatives of The ASCAP Foundation.
Schwartz will announce the winning teacher during the International Thespian Excellence Awards (aka ThespysTM) Showcase at the close of EdTA’s International Thespian Festival, the nation’s premiere summer theatre intensive for high-achieving students and their teachers.
“We are thrilled to partner with Stephen Schwartz and The ASCAP Foundation to bring well-deserved recognition to the extraordinary work of teachers who bring musical theatre to life for their students,” said EdTA Executive Director Julie Cohen Theobald.
Stephen Schwartz wrote the music and lyrics for the current Broadway smash hit Wicked as well as Godspell, Pippin, The Magic Show and The Baker’s Wife. Schwartz has also worked in motion pictures, collaborating with composer Alan Menken on the songs for Disney’s Enchanted, Pocahontas and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. He wrote the music and lyrics for the Academy award winning film The Prince of Egypt. In addition to his awards, Schwartz has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has been given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Schwartz is also a long-standing board member of The ASCAP Foundation and recipient of the ASCAP Founders Award. He has served as artistic director for the ASCAP Musical Theatre workshop in both New York and Los Angeles for more than 20 years, nurturing many of the young composers and lyricists working in the theatre today. Among many others, he has served as a mentor to Tony award-winning Justin Paul and Benj Pasek (Dear Evan Hansen) and Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In the Heights).
About The ASCAP Foundation
Founded in 1975, The ASCAP Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to supporting American music creators and encouraging their development through music education, talent development and humanitarian programs. Included in these are songwriting workshops, grants, scholarships, awards, recognition and community outreach programs. The ASCAP Foundation is supported by contributions from ASCAP members and from music lovers throughout the United States. www.ascapfoundation.org
About the Educational Theatre Association, home of the International Thespian Society
The Educational Theatre Association is an international association with more than 139,000 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 nearly 5,000 schools, that has inducted more than 2.4 million theatre students since its founding in 1929. EdTA also produces the International Thespian Festival and publishes Dramatics magazine online for high school theatre students, and Teaching Theatre, a journal for theatre education professionals. The Educational Theatre Foundation is the philanthropic arm of EdTA.