Plymouth State University TIGER program roars to an Emmy win

July 2nd, 2013 by Lynn
    Tiger Program wins Emmy

    PSU PROFESSOR Patricia Lindberg, left, and NHPTV producer Carla Russell, right, hold their newly-won Emmy Awards. COURTESY

     PLYMOUTH — For years, school children throughout New England have been challenged to “become a TIGER,” and stand up to bullies and bullying.

    Now the Theater Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility program has earned an Emmy from the Boston/New England Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for best produced “Children/Youth Program.” Lindberg shared the honors with NHPTV producer Carla Russell.

    “I was so proud of our TIGER team and how they worked and adapted to television,” said PSU Professor Trish Lindberg, one of TIGER’s creators. “Everyone worked so hard and so well together at both PSU and NHPTV to make this dream come true.”

    The successful small stage production TIGER, created by Lindberg and PSU Professors Gary Goodnough and Gail Mears, has won numerous awards and special acclaim from teachers and parents. Last spring, Lindberg and her crew partnered with New Hampshire Public Television to create a small screen version, “TIGER Takes On Bullying.”

    The Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences represents broadcast markets in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont and most of Connecticut. Local Emmy-nominated programs were judged by another regional chapter.

    TIGER is a collaboration between the PSU graduate programs in Integrated Arts, School Counseling and School Psychology. The professional theater company helps children, schools, parents, and communities deal proactively and positively with social issues and concerns facing children in schools today.

    Using childrens’ own words, TIGER uses musical theater to give school audiences tools to identify, discuss and, hopefully, reduce bullying. The cast has spent several years traveling across New England to give performances and lead workshops for students, teachers and parents on bullying and other issues such as self-esteem and friendship.

    Lindberg serves as writer, producer and lyricist and has worked closely with others on music and set design. Many of those collaborators, including musicians Will Ogmundson and Jeff Lines and set designer Robb Dimmick, were also nominated for Emmys for “Musical Composition/Arrangement” and “Set Design.”

    This long-time crew, along with a troupe of talented actors, makes for what Lindberg calls “a very tight collaboration.” Not only was this a proud moment for Lindberg and her TIGER crew she also said “It was a great moment for Plymouth State.”

    Notable behind-the-scenes collaborators who made the TIGER TV vision a reality were the private donors who funded the project. NHPTV and Plymouth State both approached their constituents with funding requests. Alex Ray and the Common Man Family of Restaurants and Tom and Susan Stepp of Holderness contributed through Plymouth State. All are long-time supporters of Lindberg’s creative efforts.

    Lindberg said her years in the theater, creating TIGER and other awardwinning productions prepared her for her first attempt at television. While the television show has a similar theme to the traveling show, Lindberg knew that adaptations were needed for the new medium.“We had to come up with a new way” to present the material, she said. TIGER in schools is performed with a minimal set with the actors creating and performing all the characters. For the television show, a colleague advised Lindberg to “establish a place,” a location for the core action. This led to what she calls the “TIGER Lair,” the clubhouse where the TIGER Team receives e-mails for help (a loud tiger roar is the new show’s equivalent of “you’ve got mail”).

    The show was taped at NHPTV studios and at locations in Manchester and at Plymouth Elementary School.

    Lindberg says she “loved” her first chance to create a television show with her TIGER crew and NHPTV colleagues and says it was an honor just to be nominated. “I had never done television, and I learned so much from the process.”

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