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Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities Professor Honored: Dr. Coleman A. Jennings Awarded Orlin Corey Medallion

The Children's Theatre Foundation of America is recognizing Jennings' work by awarding him the Orlin Corey Medallion, a prestigious award that honors individuals and institutions for their significant achievements in theatre that have contributed to the cultural enrichment of children and youth.

An eminent leader in the field of theatre for young audiences, Dr. Coleman A. Jennings' career as a professor, administrator, director, playwright, author and producer spans over four decades. This month, the Children's Theatre Foundation of America is recognizing Jennings' work by awarding him the Orlin Corey Medallion. The prestigious award honors individuals and institutions for their significant achievements in theatre that have contributed to the cultural enrichment of children and youth in the United States and Canada.

Jennings earned a bachelor of fine arts degree and master of fine arts degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a doctorate from New York University. He served as chair of The University of Texas at Austin Department of Theatre and Dance for twelve years. During his tenure he recorded notable achievements in the areas of faculty recruitment and student scholarships, and helped establish an endowed chair in theatre for youth and playwriting. He has directed over twenty productions at UT, as well as productions in Texas and Illinois and spearheaded the successful campaign to require theatre arts for all Texas elementary school children.

He is a former president of the Children's Theatre Association of America (American Alliance for Theatre and Education, AATE) and past editor of the Children's Theatre Review. In addition to The Honorable Urashima Taro, Jennings is co-author with his wife, Lola H. Jennings, of Braille: The Early Life of Louis Braille, Johnny Tremain and a book on drama in the elementary school classroom. He has edited eight anthologies of plays for young audiences, the latest being Nine Plays by José Cruz González Magical Realism and Mature Themes in Theatre for Young Audiences.

Jennings, who holds a Jesse H. Jones Professorship in Fine Arts, has received a Texas Educational Theatre Association Founder's Award, is an inductee into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre of the Kennedy Center, as well as the College of Fellows of the Southwest Theatre Association. In 1997 he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education. He is recipient of a Department of Theatre and Dance Teaching Excellence Award, as well as a College of Fine Arts Outstanding Professor Award.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

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