Monday, January 26, 2015

TETA Nominating Committee's Nominees for Election

The TETA nominating committee has put forth these theatre professionals for election to the following offices:


Charlie Hukill is a Professor of Theatre at McMurry University, and the Chair of the Division of Fine Arts within the School of Arts and Letters.  He holds a BFA in Theatre from Stephen F. Austin State University, an MFA in Design and Playwriting from Trinity University, via the Dallas Theater Center, and has completed an additional 60 hours of post graduate study in Fine Arts, with concentrations in Playwriting, Acting, Directing, and the Fine Arts, from Texas Tech University.
Since 1979, he has designed sets for more than 100 productions, designed lights for over 90 productions, directed over 60 productions and performed roles in 39 plays, mostly in Texas, but also in Minnesota, Iowa, and Louisiana.   He has had two original scripts produced, Southbound, at Simpson College, in Iowa, for which he also designed the scenery, and Occupational Hazards, at Texas Tech and McMurry. 
Charlie is an active member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association.  In addition to serving a term as Vice President for the College/University section of TETA, he has also been very involved in the former Adjudicator’s Organization of TETA, now known as TTAO.  For the AO, he has served on the Standards and Practices Committee, the Administrative Committee, and was Chair of that organization for two years.  He has been an approved Critic Judge for UIL one-act play competitions since 1980 and has judged at all levels, zone to state, A-AAAAA all across the state.  In 2001, Charlie was selected as the Educator of the Year for Colleges and Universities by the TETA.
Recognitions at McMurry University include the Outstanding Faculty of the Year (2000), the Graduates’ Faculty Award (2001), the Gordon R. and Lola J. Bennett Award (2002), and the E.E. Hall Memorial Scholarship Award (2005).


Rachel Mattox has acted, directed and taught theatre for over thirty years, including for the University of Texas Summer Theatre Workshops, for the University of Houston Children’s Theatre Festival, Theatre Showcase, The Country Playhouse, and The Texas Repertory Theatre Company. She taught theatre at Spring Branch High School, St. Agnes Academy, James E. Taylor High School, and Hempstead H. S. before retiring from teaching in 2004.  As a theatre educator, Rachel directed her students to the U.I.L. State Meet One Act Play contest 11 times, winning three State Championships and placing 2nd in State twice.
Rachel has also conducted acting and directing workshops for TETA, and taught acting, directing, voice and diction, and children’s theatre at the University of Texas, and at the University of Houston. Rachel Anne received the U.I.L.Sponsor Excellence Award in 1992, and was named TETA High School Educator of the Year in 2004.
She has served on several TETA committees, and is former chair of the UIL OAP Advisory Committee which formulated the Ethics Code in practice today. She was also one of the TEA appointed writers of the early TEKS for theatre curriculum.
Since 2006 Rachel has been proud to be a U.I.L. Theatre Adjudicator and clinician. For the past year she has served as TETA’s Treasurer.
Rachel studied at the Mary Wigman Institute of Dance in Berlin, Germany, was a dancer and actress at the Ashland, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and received a BFA in Theatre from the University of Texas, Austin, and a MFA in Directing from the University of Houston.


Timothy Estelle has served the Texas Public School system since 2005. Previous professional experiences include Assistant Theatre Arts Director at Clear Creek high school from 2005-2009, and Theatre Arts Director at Cypress Woods high school from 2009-2014. As Theatre Arts Director, Timothy’s students have excelled in both the Texas and National Thespian Competitions, garnering awards and scholarships, as well as advancing to the State UIL One-Act Play competition. Prior to Timothy’s educational work he was the artistic intern at the Arizona Theatre Company in Tucson, AZ from 2004-2005.  Currently, Timothy serves the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District as the Coordinator of Secondary Fine Arts for Dance and Theatre Arts. In his role, Timothy is responsible for guiding the alignment of district curriculum practices with both State and National standards, the advocacy and support of district performing arts groups, as well as the development of authentic professional growth opportunities for content teachers. Timothy has been a member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association since 2005, as well as the Educational Theatre Association since 2009. Timothy holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre as well as a Masters of Education from Stephen F. Austin State University.


Annie Dragoo began teaching and directing in 1993. She holds a BA in English and Speech Communication with a Concentration in Theatre Studies from Houston Baptist University. In the summer of 2008, she was granted a scholarship to study in residency at the Globe Theatre in London and has trained for several years with the Broadway Teaching Lab in New York. Her career has included directing elementary, middle, and high school students across Texas. Annie began the musical theatre program at Austin High in 2004, and in that time has directed fifteen musical productions.  She wrote the Musical Theatre Curriculum for the state of Texas and is currently writing a musical theatre text book. She has performed in several professional productions in Dallas, Houston, & Austin. Dragoo co-directed three of the last seven UIL One Act Play productions that have qualified for the 5A State Contest, winning the State Championship in 2012. Among her favorite productions to direct are Round and Round the Garden, Into the Woods, Urinetown, Spring Awakening, Radio Eyes and Gypsy. She was nominated for the UIL Sponsor Excellence Award.

Ronnie Watson attended Southwest Texas State University and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a pre-professional concentration in acting in 1987.  He received his Master of Arts Degree in Directing and Design from Baylor University in 1997.  From 1994 to 2005 he taught and directed at Odessa High School, Sonora High School, Jersey Village High School, Klein High School, and Alief-Taylor High School.  In 2005 he joined the theatre faculty at San Antonio College where he currently is a tenured instructor of theatre.  He has served as the State Contest Director for the Theatrical Design Contest since its inception in 2006 and has served as a U.I.L. One-Act Play Adjudicator since 2006.

In addition to the nominees above, Adult TETA members will have the opportunity to nominate individuals for any of the offices above.  Nominations will be taken from the floor during the annual business meeting following convocation.

Friday, January 23, 2015

All That Jazz Award Recipients

Come on gang, why don’t we paint the town…” in Houston, January 31, 2015, with the TETA Award winners! 

 You will have 2 chances to celebrate with your award winning peers on Saturday morning and Saturday evening. The TETA Award winners will be introduced as a panel for a discussion workshop session lead by Mandy Epley, Fine Arts Director, Comal ISD. Come and learn teaching successes from those we admire.

The excitement of celebrating YOU during TheatreFest continues throughout the Awards Reception on Saturday evening, 5:00pm-7:00pm. The “All That Jazz Awards Reception: Past Meets Present,” will be filled with beautiful music, videos, hors d’oeuvres, and inspirational people from the past and the present. There is no special dress code, but we often dress nicer than normal.

All winners were nominated and chosen by their peers. Nominations will continue to become easier as we send reminders to you to nominate for the 2016 awards. We must continue to support and celebrate our own as the arts continue to be at risk in some areas.

It is with great pleasure that I present to you, the 2015 TETA award recipients.
  • K-8 Educator of the Year, Jenae Glanton, Maurine Cane Middle School
  • High School Educator of the Year, Erin Moore, Sealy High School
  • Community/Jr. College Educator of the Year, Dr. Cynthia SoRelle, McLennan CC
  • University Educator of the Year, Alison Frost, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christie
  • Founders Award, Craig Hertel, Argyle High School
  • Founders Award, Dr. Jerry Ivins, San Jacinto College
  • Founders Award, J.E. Masters, Retired
  • Emeritus Award, Luis Munoz, UIL State Drama Director

Please help us make this TheatreFest Awards day better than ever before. Look in the schedule for final times and places for the Award Winners Workshop and Awards Reception on Saturday, January 31, 2015, Houston Hyatt Regency.

…I know a whoopee spot where the gin is cold, but the awards are hot...and all that jazz!

Gloria McLuckie
TETA Awards Committee Chairman

Sutton Foster Interview at TheatreFest 2015

Great news! 
Amazing workshops and endless choices await each TETA TheatreFest attendee. On Saturday, January 31 the Houston Symphony generously presents Sutton Foster in an exclusive on-stage interview at TheatreFest 2015. 

 Sutton Foster's interview will take place in the Imperial West Ballroom at 12:30 p.m. Because seating is limited, anyone wishing to attend this session will need a ticket. All tickets are free to TETA members.

Tickets for this event will be distributed to the first 150 attendees at the TheatreFest Convocation scheduled for Friday, January 30 at 2:00 p.m. 50 "secret" tickets will be provided to members by visiting the booths in the Vendor area (ask any vendor for a Sutton Foster ticket). 50 tickets will randomly be placed in 50 of the TETA convention bags, and the remaining 122 tickets will be distributed at the Business Meeting (adult members only).

Members with tickets and those without tickets who are interested in attending the event, must follow the directions below:

Ticketed Members:
  • ​Ticketed members must be in line outside the Imperial West Ballroom by 11:45 a.m. (tickets must be visible)
  • Tickets held by Ticketed Members not in line by 11:45 a.m. will be forfeited.
  • Ticketed members will be seated promptly at 12:15 p.m. Ushers will seat all ticketed members. No seats will be saved or reserved.
  • Any ticketed member who leaves the ballroom will not be allowed to return for any reason.
  • Open seats will be counted at 12:15 p.m.

Non-Ticketed Members:
  • ​Members who have not received tickets but would like to attend the event, will meet by the Imperial East Ballroom at 11:45 a.m.
  • Non-ticketed Members who are not in line by 11:45 a.m. will not be allowed admittance into the event.
  • Once open seats are counted, non-ticketed members will be seated on a first come first serve basis until all seats are taken.

During this same session, TETA will offer an array of fantastic workshops presented by an amazing group of Special Guests Artists and teachers. Check your program to view all options available. TETA is committed to offering the best presenters and workshops to and for our members. It is our greatest hope every attendee will take advantage of the many opportunities available.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

TheatreFest 2015 - It Is Time!

With TheatreFest 2015 only days away, it is time.

It is time to make sure your TETA membership is up to date.  You can NOT attend TheatreFest unless you are a member of TETA and your membership dues are paid for this school year.  If your school is an Institutional Member, you still need to have an individual TETA membership account for yourself.  If you have any questions, ask.

It is time to make sure you are registered for TheatreFest 2015.  Don't assume your registration is complete...log on to your TETA account online and confirm that your registration is complete.  Verifying the information now could save you time standing in lines when you arrive at convention.

It is time to make sure your hotel plans are complete.  It is time to make sure your travel plans are complete.

Are you presenting a workshop at TheatreFest 2015?  It is time to make sure your handouts are complete and a digital copy is forwarded to

Are you a student member?  Are you a sponsor of a student member?  It is time to make sure each high school student attending TETA has not only completed the online registration form but they have also downloaded and completed the student code of conduct form.  Every high school student attending TheatreFest 2015 MUST have a completed student code of conduct form on file with the registration team.  Bring it with you.  Even if you mailed it to us...bring an extra copy with you.

If you plan to register / pay on-site, you are welcome to do so but remember we do NOT accept personal checks on-site...make sure you have a school check, a credit card, or cash.  Be prepared to pay your balance if you've received an email from us recently showing that you still have an outstanding balance on your invoice.

Remember, there will NOT be a printed program this year.  Our workshop listing will be in the Guidebook app, which is a free download for your smartphone.  Don't forget to bring your smartphone fully charged as you will want to take advantage of all the Guidebook features, including the workshop schedule, the exhibitors list, maps, welcome letters, award recipients, a suggestion box, and even a new Exhibitor Scavenger Hunt!  More information on this very soon.

If you have any questions at all...ask them.  Send me an email.

TETA Members...It Is Time!

See you in Houston.

Darve Smith
TETA Communications Director
TheatreFest 2015 Registrar

Friday, January 16, 2015

Moving Forward

As I look back over nearly thirty years of my membership in the Texas Educational Theatre Association, what I cherish most is the inspiration I've received from exceptional theatre educators from all levels from all over our great state. As a beginning theatre educator, I needed information about everything from technical theatre to UIL OAP and ideas for lessons about, well, everything. I found those things at TETA (as we then called TheatreFest). As I found my way with the guidance of so many of my fellow members, I became a better teacher and a better director. At some point, I knew it was time to pay it forward, and I began presenting workshops. Like so many of you, I love helping others, and I wanted to do what I could to assist those who were just starting out on the path of theatre education. The more I presented, the more connections I made, the more I became involved, the more I learned. It was a beautiful thing!

As I conclude my last few weeks as a member of the Board of Directors of our organization, I find myself reflecting on my past eight years of service. The times I cherish most during those years were my years as Vice President Elect of K-12, Vice President K-12 and the past year or so as Immediate Past President. As a K-12 committee member, I enjoyed working with K-12 educators from throughout the state, developing programming that addressed the needs of educators in a wide variety of situations, and collaborating with so many people about things that would make our section, and therefore our entire organization, stronger. We worked together to changed things for the better, and we did.

As Immediate Past President, I have been a part of even more significant changes, and I feel very fortunate for that. Blessed, actually. Of course, it hasn't all been easy. There are always challenges in any endevour that is worth doing, and working for a stronger, better TETA is one of the worthiest causes there is. As I end my service on the Board of Directors, I am confident that we are moving together toward a bright future which will encourage the involvement of each and every member. I find great peace in that, and I am proud of the collaborative nature of our leadership. I am greatly honored to have served with them and for all of you.

I look forward to seeing you all at TheatreFest 2015 as we move Together Toward Tomorrow.

Melissa McMillian-Cunningham
TETA Board of Directors
Immediate Past-President