Patricia L. Lindberg, professor of education and coordinator of Plymouth State University’s graduate program in integrated arts, received the 2006 Award for Excellence in Children’s Theatre from the New Hampshire Theatre Committee (NHTC) Feb. 2.
The NHTC is an all-volunteer board which oversees the year-round operations of the New Hampshire Theatre Awards, leading up to their annual celebration of the best community and professional theatre in the state. The award recognizes excellence in community and professional theatre.
“Trish was an easy pick,” said Rick Broussard, editor of New Hampshire Magazine sponsor of the award, “Some children’s theatre groups use kids creativity to give audiences a remarkable theatrical experience. Other groups focus on programs that provide a lasting value for the kids. Trish Lindberg’s productions accomplish all of the above in a way that transcends the bounds of conventional children’s theatre.”
“Trish Lindberg reminds us that the implicit promise of all art is that it can change the world for the better. And she knows that this promise rings most true when the art comes from the hands and hearts and voices of young people.”
Lindberg is co-founder and artistic director of the award-winning Educational Theatre Collaborative (ETC), a 13-year partnership between Plymouth State University, Plymouth Elementary School and Friends of the Arts. She also founded the Kearsarge Arts theatre, the largest summer arts organization of its kind in New England, offering a wide variety of arts classes for children ages 4-18 for more than 20 years in the New London area.
Working with professors Gail Mears and Gary Goodnough of PSU’s M.Ed. in counselor education program, Lindberg created TIGER (Theatre Integrating Guidance, Education and Responsibility) a professional theatre company that has toured to more than113,000 school children in 398 schools. TIGER shows are created from the writings of children about difficult social issues they face in school, such as bullying, diversity, and friendship.
“TIGER enables children to hear their own voices as they step back from the experiences of bullying and intolerance of individual differences to move into more successful social interactions at school,” Lindberg said.
Each January ETC produces a full-length work, with a cast comprising area children, members of the community, and students and staff of Plymouth State University. Notification of this award came just as ETC was rehearsing the 2007 production, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which was staged in Plymouth Jan. 24-28.
“Only one word really sums up the Educational Theatre Collaborative’s recent production of Beauty and the Beast: amazing … Allison Duhamel as Belle captivated the stage, proving she can not only act, but sing as well.” —¬Plymouth Record-Enterprise
For the first time ETC will tour a production to Concord when it performs Beauty and the Beast at the Capitol Center for the Arts Feb. 9 at 4 and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets for the Concord performances are available at the CCA box office, at 223-1111 or online at http://www.ccanh.com/online-ticketing/87
“We are pleased to reach out to the Concord area community with an outstanding example of intergenerational theatre,” Lindberg said. “We have many alumni and current students’ families in the area and Concord is a city that really supports the arts. We are very excited to be performing there.”
Lindberg’s work has been recognized by the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts, which presented her the 1999 Governor’s Arts and Education Award. In 2002 she won the prestigious NETC Moss Hart Trophy for Best Overall Production of 2002 for her original play, A You and Me World. In 2003 she received the Youth Theatre Director of the Year Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education (AATE).
She was named Plymouth State’s Distinguished Teacher of 2003, and one of New Hampshire’s six most remarkable women by New Hampshire Magazine. In 2004 , the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education named Lindberg New Hampshire Professor of the Year. She was selected from among nearly 400 top professors in the U.S.
“The opportunity to work with young people and the arts is an exciting and extremely fulfilling journey,” Lindberg said. “I am fortunate to be part of an institution that encourages opportunities for faculty to pursue integrated creative projects. ETC, KAT and TIGER flourish because of the tremendous support from the University and members of the greater community, who have shown that they value what educational theatre an do for young people, families and society.”
“My teaching has been enriched by the contact I have had with so many different people engaged in the power of the arts.”
The NHTC was founded by a group of performers, directors, producers and theatre lovers who believe in the magic of the stage. The motivation was originally to give a lasting tribute to the hard work and talent that is given, often for little or no tangible reward, to bring joy and understanding to people of New Hampshire, to promote New Hampshire theatre to each other and beyond, and to raise the already high standard of theatre that exists in New Hampshire. That motivation now has become a shared vision. Dozens of groups across the state have benefited from participating, sharing notes, resources and experiences, gaining awareness of the greater theatre community and discovering their places within it.