WSHS theatre director receives top honor in Tony Awards’ national theatre educator award

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Matthew Wolfe, theatre director at Westerville South High School and the district’s Summer Theatre Enrichment director, is among 18 educators in the country to receive an honorable mention in the Tony Awards’ 2022 Excellence in Theatre Education Award.

Sponsored by Carnegie Mellon University, the award recognizes K-12 theatre educators who have demonstrated “monumental impact on the lives of students and who embody the highest standards of the profession.” This year, more than 5,000 applications were submitted for the award.

Rising junior Moira Hogan nominated Wolfe for the award, working with fellow Troupe 513 members and WSHS Theatre Boosters. They noted Wolfe’s passion and persistence in providing creative and safe opportunities for students to get involved and feel included during the COVID pandemic.  

“Being able to continue to make theatre while living in the most unprecedented time of my life is something I am endlessly grateful for,” Theatre Troupe 513 President Tyler Zwick, who graduated in May, said in his recommendation letter. 

“At a time when departments across the country were struggling to make it work, Wolfe was jumping at any and every opportunity to just make theatre happen,” he wrote. “Sure, it was different, but we were doing something that continued to keep us together even when we were forced to be apart.”

He described Wolfe as the best troupe director, teacher, and mentor a student could ever desire.

“The lessons of humility and hard work he has taught me both on and off the stage will follow me for the rest of my life, and I am but one a countless amount of lives he has changed.”

By receiving an honorable mention, Wolfe’s name as well as WSHS will appear in the playbill for the Tony Awards ceremony on June 12. 

Learn more about the Excellence in Theatre Education Award here