The Friends of PHS Performing Arts is proud to announce that Pittsburg High School Theatre Teacher Greg Shaw was chosen for an honorable mention in the national Excellence in Theatre Education Award presented by the Tony Awards.
The Tony Awards announced the news today with higher education partner and award presenter Carnegie Mellon University.
He is one of just 20 teachers selected for the honor from hundreds of deserving nominations across the U.S. He was nominated for the award by the Friends group, which is comprised of parents who support the performing arts program financially and with human resources by volunteering. A parent and a student created a 3-minute video, while others, including a former student and an administrator, wrote letters of recommendation.
The Excellence in Theatre Education Award recognizes a K-12 theatre educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession. A panel of judges was comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University and other leaders from the theatre industry.
Rachel Harry, a 30-year veteran theatre teacher of Hood River, Oregon, was named the recipient of the award and will receive the award at the 71st Annual Tony Awards on Sunday, June 11, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Shaw’s name, along with the other finalists, will appear in the Playbill.
Harry will receive $10,000 for her theatre program, round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations for her and a guest to New York City, and tickets to the Tony Awards and Gala.
“I was honored to have been nominated for the award, but to receive honorable mention and be listed alongside such great theatre teachers across the country that create amazing theatre, innovate in the classroom, and aggressively advocate for the arts is humbling,” Shaw said Monday afternoon. “Needless to say, I am very proud of the award and I share it with all the many people who have had a hand in creating the Pittsburg High School Theatre Department.”
Shaw began teaching the program at PHS 10 years ago, collaborating with band teacher Cooper Neil and vocal teacher Susan Laushman on musical productions and expanding the annual production list. He partnered with Mt. Carmel Foundation to produce an annual gift to the community, “Breakfast With Santa,” each December. He has engaged former students to serve as choreographers, and worked with a professional playwright to create a series of annual social issues plays that have garnered national attention.
In recent years, the program has received some 40 nominations for Jester Awards from Music Theatre Wichita for shows like “Shrek” and “Seussical,” has been chosen for a main stage performance of “Band Geeks” at the Kansas Thespian Conference, and has produced numerous scholarship winners.
Shaw also serves on the board of directors at Pittsburg Community Theatre, where he has directed such hits as “Annie,” “Junie B. Jones,” and “13," and has directed 13 shows for Shawnee Mission's Theatre in the Park.
Shaw is a native of Gardner, Kansas, where he graduated from Gardner-Edgerton High School in 1987. He earned his master's of science in education with an emphasis in communication/theatre from Pittsburg State University in 2006.