National theater group recognizes Montana chapter for excellence

National theater group recognizes Montana chapter for excellence

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Montana Thespians and Montana Congressional Delegation

Montana congressional delegation members met with Montana Thespian board members following the EdTA Leadership Summit. From left, Sen. Jon Tester, Sarah DeGrandpre, Sarah Piper, Rep. Greg Gianforte, Kayla Hawk, Myra Nurre and Sen. Steve Daines.

The Montana Thespians organization was recognized for outstanding theatre work at the national Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) Leadership Summit, in Washington, D. C., July 17-19.

The Educational Theatre Association (EdTA) is the professional membership organization for theater educators with chapters in 50 states and 13 countries. EdTA’s mission is to shape lives through theater education and it is the home of the International Thespian Society, the honor organization for theater students founded in 1929.

Montana Thespians is a nonprofit organization representing drama students at high schools across the state and a branch of the national organization.

“Being recognized at a national level through the EdTA honor chapter medal recognizes all of the continuous work the Montana Thespian Chapter has accomplished to bring great theatre experiences and educational opportunities to its members,” said Sarah DeGrandpre, the volunteer Montana Chapter director. “This award validates the work we do as Montana Thespians.”

Students from two Ravalli schools are members of this organization: Hamilton High School and Stevensville High School. Faylee Favara is the director of the Hamilton High School troupe and has already created a new annual high school theater festival for Bitterroot schools.

Sarah Piper is the director of the Stevensville High School troupe and is the secretary of the state-wide Montana Thespians.

Other thespian schools in Montana include Belgrade High School, Big Sky High School, Billings Senior High School, Billings West High School, Bozeman High School, Capital High School, Charles M. Russell High School, Great Falls High School, Hardin High School, Helena High School, Hellgate High School, Jefferson High School, Plains High School, Ronan High School, Sentinel High School, Whitefish High School and Whitehall High School.

Following the EdTA Leadership Summit, the state delegation of four Montana Thespian board members — Sarah DeGrandpre, chapter director; Sarah Piper, secretary; Kayla Hawk, treasurer; and Myra Nurre, special projects — met with the Montana's U.S. senators, Jon Tester and Steve Daines, and U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte to discuss the importance of theater and arts education funding. They also attended the Montana Coffee. 

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