Matthew Wolfe, theatre director and educator at Ohio's Westerville South High School, has been named the 2023 Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year. The honor, presented by the ASCAP Foundation and the Educational Theatre Association, includes a $5,000 cash prize. Wolfe will be recognized at EdTA's Theatre Education Conference, set for September 28-30 in St. Pete Beach, Florida.
Wolfe has led Westerville's Thespian Troupe 513 for the past decade, while also serving as theatre director and teaching four theatre courses. The Troupe presents a number of productions annually, including musicals, plays, student-directed one-acts, and more. Wolfe has also worked to make theatre accessible and affordable to aspiring theatre artists in his community through programs like IB theatre, the Black Voices program, and a summer enrichment theatre program for middle and high school students. The educator has previously been a finalist for The Tony Awards and Carnegie Mellon University's Excellence in Theatre Education Award, and has been named a Westerville Great Educator and Westerville Educator of the Year.
"We’re delighted to recognize Matt Wolfe as the 2023 Stephen Schwartz Musical Theatre Teacher of the Year," says EdTA Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Katona in a statement. "His efforts to promote school theatre and build support for the organization demonstrate his unwavering commitment to theatre education and its profound impact on students’ lives."
Established in 2020 by Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz, the ASCAP Foundation, and the Educational Theatre Association, the annual award honors exceptional theatre educators at the middle and high school levels. Any currently active middle or high school theatre teacher who produces musicals at their school are eligible for nomination by their administrator, students, peers, or others who know their work. Teachers may also submit themselves. Nominations are evaluated by a panel of EdTA teachers and leaders, industry professionals, and ASCAP representatives on the quality of work in their program, career accomplishments, and their impact outside the school.
For more information on the award, click here.