Monday, November 28, 2016

Integrating UIL in the Elementary Classroom

Hello Teachers,

I hope you have all had a wonderful holiday season. Our winter convention is fast approaching and we are looking forward to a great turn out at Moody Gardens. As the Elementary Interest Chair, I have decided to try to incorporate some of the ideas that we discussed at SummerFest. I am going to be presenting a workshop on integrating UIL into your elementary classroom. I would like to help the middle school and high school programs by encouraging the elementary teachers to introduce UIL into their classrooms. I would love to see teachers of all levels to come and give ideas for what they are looking for in a student for UIL. I am looking forward to seeing everyone this year and I hope you all have a great end of the first semester.

Davina Fangman
TETA K-12 Committee
Elementary Interest Chair

Friday, November 18, 2016

TETA Board of Directors Nominations

Greetings fellow Theatre Artists, I hope everyone is having a great fall theatre season and that you are as excited about TheatreFest in Galveston as I am. It’s Island Time! I am about to close a production of Shoulders, by Jeffrey Kinghorn. It’s a beautiful play and I am very proud of my cast and crew for the work they have done.

This past summer, it was my pleasure as President-Elect of TETA to put together a committee made up of a diverse group of members charged with providing a slate of nominees for the Board of Directors. We had representatives from the Higher Education area, the public school sector, the private school realm, retired Theatre educators, and fine arts administration. After soliciting nominations from membership, the committee discussed the nominees and selected the individuals identified below. While the committee believes the list of nominees to be highly qualified, rich in experience and expertise, and eager to serve, any current member has the ability to nominate from the floor of the annual Business Meeting at TheatreFest.

We have three nominees for the Board of Directors to present to the membership at the annual Business Meeting at TheatreFest. The first is Cy Scroggins. Cy is nominated to serve a two-year term as one of two Members-at-Large on the board. One at large member is from the Higher Ed section and one is from the K-12 section. Cy would be representing the latter category. He is a graduate of West Texas A & M University in Canyon. He has been teaching for ten years, the last four at Randall High School in Canyon. Prior to that he taught at Sonora High School for six years. He has taken plays to UIL Regional contests eight times, made five State Meet appearances, including the 2013 4A State Championship. In 2016, he received the Teacher Excellence Award from Randall High School. He has been a member of TETA as an educator for ten years and as a student for two years.

The second nominee is no stranger to TETA and Board involvement. Pam Wilson is nominated as Treasurer-Elect, which is a four-year commitment to the Board, two years as Treasurer-Elect, followed by two years as Treasurer. Pam recently retired as Theatre Director and Fine Arts Department Chair from Katy ISD in Katy. She directed theatre in Texas Public Schools for thirty-eight years. Pam is a certified adjudicator with the Texas Adjudicators and Officials (TTAO) organization. In addition, Pam has served on the Board of Directors of TETA as Secretary, Vice President Elect, President and is currently a Past President of the association. She also served on many committees through TETA and the Texas Education Agency to develop and promote theatre curricula throughout Texas and the United States. If elected, she would bring a beneficial breadth of knowledge and experience to the Board deliberations.

The third nominee is for the position of President-Elect. This is a six-year commitment for the person elected. Two years as President-Elect, two years as President, and two years as Immediate Past President. Missey Head, another well-known TETA member has been selected by the committee for this nomination. A long-time, very successful high school teacher and Theatre Director, Missey’s UIL productions appeared at the State Meet no less than ten times, winning numerous awards at that level. She is currently the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Lewisville Independent School District overseeing all aspects of theatre, art, dance, and drill team, and a staff of 150. She has an extensive record of involvement with TETA and Texas theatre education in general. She served as TETA TheatreFest Program Director for three years and she is in her fourth year as Co-Convention Director. She has been recognized by TETA as the Secondary Educator of the Year and was given the Founders Award in 2016.

In closing, I want to emphasize again that the names listed above are nominees. Any standing member of TETA has the right to nominate individuals to fill these positions and that opportunity will be afforded at the Annual Business meeting, Thursday afternoon, January 26th, at 3:30, immediately following the Convocation at TheatreFest. I encourage you to attend both events and to take an active part in the governance of your organization. I look forward to seeing you there. It’s Island Time!!!

Monday, November 7, 2016

TheatreFest 2017 : Middle School Thoughts

TheatreFest 2017: Moody Gardens Galveston!

Johanne Wolfgang Von Goethe said, “Instruction does much but encouragement does everything.” There are thousands of reasons I could choose to encourage my peers to attend TheatreFest 2017. However, no two reasons stand out to me more than the instruction you will acquire and the encouragement you will receive from your peers.

Looking back, as a young teacher, I remember attending TheatreFest in Dallas and Austin. At the time I had no idea what an impact those workshops and connections would have on my future productions, classrooms, departments, and students. Now, as a tenured educator, I have found very few conferences that include so many wonderful and applicable workshops in one setting. From my previous years at TheatreFest I have acquired an overflowing file cabinet and cloud storage. Inside are wonderful lesson plans, classroom management techniques and many more useful sharables that have added to the value of my classroom year after year.

Additionally, the connections I have made at TheatreFest have made a huge impact in the quality of my teaching. I have gained mentors that have lent their ear numerous times, when this young teacher did not have the answers. I have also had the opportunity to be the mentor teacher and reach out to my fellow Theatre teachers, tenured and newly certified, giving them tried lesson plans and advice on the many obstacles that can face an educational Theatre professional. In the past thirteen years as a Texas Theatre educator I have built a network of TETA friends that have been a tremendous support system.

Lastly, and shamelessly, I can not write this article without mentioning my favorite workshop at TETA, Middle School Madness. Middle School Madness is a workshop where Theatre teachers bring in their favorite lesson plans to share with the room!!! Each teacher gets up and shares their lesson plan with the group and their reproducibles are shared with the attendees via Google Drive and the TETA file cabinet. This workshop, alone, has provided me with multiple semesters worth of material over and over again! If you are interested in presenting at Middle School Madness please contact me at

As the Middle School Interest Chair of the K-12 Committee, I am excited to share a few K-12 features for TheatreFest 2017:
  • Middle School Madness
  • New workshops specifically geared for the K-12 classroom
  • K-12 Interest Meetings
  • Information on CPE Hours
  • Announcement of 2017 SummerFest location and details

Thank you so much for attending SummerFest 2016 at Texas State University! Attending events like SummerFest and TheatreFest display your passion for enhancing the quality of education in your district, campus and classroom!

Also, Please consider finding a way to give back to TETA. Serving as a volunteer and a chair person has been one of the most fulfilling aspects of my career in education! We have several quality individuals who have been nominated for multiple positions and voting will take place at the K- 12 interest meetings at TheatreFest.

Please join us for TheatreFest 2017: Moody Gardens Galveston!
Don’t delay…register now!

In your humble service,
Reina A. Johnson
TETA K- 12 Middle School Interest chair

Saturday, October 29, 2016

2017 Scholars Debut Papers Project

Dear Theatre Friends,

The Higher Education Section is pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the 2017 Scholarly and Debut Papers Project!

This is one of TETA’s longest-standing projects and we have awarded thousands of dollars in prize and scholarship money.  

This project has recently been included as part of the Academic Symposium, and winners will receive the chance to have their paper presented at the Symposium!  

Please see the attached flyer for more information and instructions on entry submission.

Texas Educational Theatre Association
A competition for undergraduate and graduate students of Theatre.

Theatre Professors: We want your best Student Papers!

Winning student papers presented by the authors at THEATREFEST 2017 – Galveston, TX
$200 First Prize; $100 Second Prize; $50 Third Prize
Complimentary TheatreFest Registration & Awards Reception Ticket

This is an invitation for you to submit the best of your student papers for the annual
Texas Educational Theatre Association’s Scholars Debut Papers Project. Any paper written during the 2015-2016 school year is eligible.

We're looking for short, clearly written, thoughtful papers concerning any topic within the area of theatre arts. Winning papers will be anonymously chosen by prominent theatre scholars. The winners receive $200 for first prize, $100 for second prize, and $50 for third prize. All winners also receive a complimentary registration & awards reception ticket for the T.E.T.A. 2017 THEATREFEST Convention at the Moody Gardens Resort in Galveston (January 25–28, 2017)
This competition is an excellent way for students to receive recognition for their work. It also showcases the vitality of Texas theatre scholarship and the superb job instructors at all levels are doing in the twenty-first century!

Please distribute this information to your most promising emerging scholars. Please note that T.E.T.A. requires that all students submitting papers to the competition must be members of T.E.T.A. ($20 student fee - Please see the website at Please note that submission deadline is November 1, 2016.
Thank you for your help in distributing this information to your students. T.E.T.A. looks forward to reviewing your students’ work!

  • The subject of the essay should be one that requires either systematic research, thoroughly documented in the paper, or the application, development, and/or creation of new theory or criticism. 
  • The enrolled student must have written all submitted papers during the 2015-16 academic year. 
  • The paper may not have been previously presented at a state, regional, or national conference, convention, or symposium. Papers which have been previously published or accepted for publication may not be submitted. 
  • Jointly written papers are not accepted. 
  • The title page must include the author's name, mailing address, telephone number(s), and email address in the lower right hand corner. 
  • The title page should be followed by a second page with a biography of the author, one page or less in length. 
  • The essay itself should begin on the third page and be long enough to be read in approximately 15 minutes (8-12 pages.) 
  • Although it is not possible for papers to be returned, each student will receive categorized feedback regarding his/her submission from anonymous theatre scholar reviewers. 
  • Each student entering the competition must become a member of TETA; student membership is $20. This $20 payment and a completed copy of the membership registration form must accompany all submissions 

Essay Materials and Completed Membership Form must be postmarked by November 1, 2016 and submitted to:

M. Mellissa Marlowe, Asst. Professor of Drama
Northwest Vista College
3535 N. Ellison Drive
San Antonio, TX 78251

PDF copies of materials may be submitted via email to
Please direct all questions to: M. Mellissa Marlowe at

We look forward to experiencing your students’ work.

Perry Crafton
Chair, Higher Education Section


TheatreFest 2017 - It’s Island Time!

Image result for moody gardens

Ahoy, mateys!  I, being a landlubber, know little about the waters surrounding Galveston, but I do know the value of attending our annual convention.  Hopefully you have booked your cabin and are ready to embark on an exciting cruise complete with fantastic excursions.  

In our crazy busy theatrical lives, we often forget the importance of gathering as a community to celebrate, collaborate, and educate.  Being active in your professional organization provides so many opportunities to connect to other professionals who are active in the same line of work.  While it is important to be connected to others, it is just as important to engage fully in the organization by joining a committee and participating in meetings.  No matter what your level of interest may be, please make plans to attend TheatreFest 2017.

Here are five reasons to attend TheatreFest 2017-It’s Island Time!

  1. Educational Opportunities- Participate in the 200 plus workshops covering every aspect of theatre education by serving as a presenter to share your knowledge with others or attend workshops focused on areas you need to develop.  There is nothing better than developing as an artist, sharing your expertise with others, or learning something new to share with students.
  2. Meet new vendors and suppliers- Meet with vendors from all over the state to learn about new products and industry standards.  Vendors can serve as great contacts when you need advice or a sponsorship.
  3. Network with Peers- Forming relationships and sharing like experiences is perhaps the best reason to participate in TheatreFest 2017.  Some of the best workshops can be found in the conversations happening in the lobby of the convention site.
  4. Invest in Yourself- Invest in yourself, your career, and your school.  When you register for a conference, you are committing to developing as an artist and as an educator.  
  5. Have Fun- Don’t miss out on the opportunities.  It may be hard to break into conversations with strangers or certain groups, but it is worth the effort to create lasting friendships and amazing connections.  

The convention committee is hard at work to prepare and present an amazing convention experience.  Convocation will feature a beach-themed performance from the talented students of the Houston School of the Performing and Visual Arts followed by the TETA Business meeting.  Door prizes and VIP tickets will be provided to those who attend.   

We have received a wide variety of programming proposals, and we are continuing to incorporate and include new and innovative programming concepts into the schedule.  We have included numerous workshops for our growing number of students, our valued K-12 teachers, our esteemed university faculty members, and our community and professional theatre practitioners.   A variety of programming topics ranging from acting, playwriting, stage-combat, musical theatre, auditioning, mime, make-up, technology, scene design, and costumes will be offered.   In every cubby-hole and lobby space, ongoing performance activities will take place enveloping convention participants in the world of theatre.  This year we are excited to present “Techno-Fest,” a new and exciting event dedicated to theatre technology.   Vendors will demonstrate the new technology currently available in our industry.  This exciting workshop will take place in one of our large performance spaces providing opportunities for attendees to actually “see” the effects of new theatrical software, and equipment.  Catch a quick session by taking advantage of the “Walk-up Workshops” available for two days during the convention, and plan to attend the UIL Film workshops along with the ever popular UIL A-Z hosted by UIL Theatre Director, Luis Munoz.  Please take time to support PlayFest and DesignFest as they play a vital role in the development of our future playwrights and designers.  Numerous performances from local school districts will be presented throughout the weekend along with TETA’S Got Talent.  Most importantly, please attend the TETA Educator’s Awards to recognize our colleagues who represent our state by modeling excellence in our organization, the classroom and on the stage.

Hopefully, you and your students will take advantage of the wonderful activities presented at TheatreFest 2017.  We are looking forward to an exciting convention and new experiences.  Pack your bags and prepare to sail!  It is “Island Time.”  Ahoy!