Patricia (Trish) Lindberg of Plymouth has been named one of New Hampshire’s six Remarkable Women of 2003 featured in the May edition of New Hampshire Magazine. She is an associate professor of education at Plymouth State College, M.Ed. Coordinator, founder and artistic director of the Kearsarge Arts Theatre (KAT) Company, co-founder and artistic director of the Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC) and artistic director for TIGER, PSC’s professional educational theatre company.
The article, “Six Women at the Top of their Game” features her career as a champion of theatre arts in education, highlighting some of her award-winning work. “I was taken completely by surprise when the Magazine contacted me and told me I’d been selected,” says Lindberg. “I had no idea I’d even been nominated for anything. I was thrilled and very humbled.”
Lindberg, who received the 1999 Governor’s Arts and Education Award from the N.H. State Council on the Arts, has been widely recognized for her original theatre productions inspired and performed by children and young adults. One of her most acclaimed successes came two years ago with her musical “Mail to the Chief,” inspired by the 3,000 letters she solicited from school children around the nation asking them to express to the President their hopes, dreams, and solutions for a better America. From those letters Lindberg penned the script and song lyrics which were set to music by composer Cynthia Bizzaro. The KAT Company production was performed for enthusiastic local audiences to rave reviews before moving on to Washington, D.C. on a special invitation to perform on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
For Lindberg’s most recent creation, a collaboration of KAT Company and PSC’s M.Ed. in Integrated Arts, she contacted teachers from around the globe to have them encourage their students to write of their views on how to make the world a better place. The result was a charming and stirring musical “A You and Me World,” performed by a cast of 85 children from 12 countries. The production won Lindberg the NETC Moss Hart Award for Best Children’s Theatre for a second time, along with their most prestigious award, the coveted Moss Hart Trophy for Best Overall Production of 2002.
Lindberg is now working on an updated version of “Mail to the Chief,” based on children’s letters to the next president to be elected in 2004. ETC will be performing it in January of 2004, just two days before the New Hampshire presidential primary. “A You and Me World” is scheduled to tour South Africa this summer along with PSC’s Chamber Singers under the direction of Dan Perkins.
“Kids learn so much from participating in theatre,” says Lindberg. “Lessons that don’t always come from other experiences, like self-confidence and working as a team to achieve success. In my productions, everyone is equally important no matter how prominent their role. Each individual owns a piece of the success.”
Along with learning teamwork and self-confidence from their theatre experiences, Lindberg wishes much more for these students. “If I could send each child away with one thing, it would be the memory of how it felt to have hundreds of people stand up and cheer for them. They need to remember how that felt inside, especially at those times in their life when they might not feel so valued.”