TTAO Fall Newsletter
A Message from our President
Dear TTAO Membership:
I hope this letter finds you all in good health and high spirits. I wanted to take a moment to express my
heartfelt gratitude for your exceptional participation and unwavering support at our recent TxETA
convention. The event was a resounding success, and it was truly inspiring to witness the enthusiasm
and dedication displayed by each one of you.
I would also like to extend my appreciation for your wholehearted embrace of our new service initiative,
SIOS Service Is Our Signature. This initiative, which encourages every TTAO Adjudicator to conduct one
free UIL OAP Clinic to an underserved school in the state of Texas, underscores our commitment to
providing unparalleled service to the community, the educators, and the students we serve. By embracing this philosophy, we strive to elevate the standards of excellence in the field of adjudication and continue to make a meaningful impact on the lives of countless young artists.
As we move forward, I would like to remind our esteemed directors of our collective goal for the upcoming 2024 UIL OAP season. Our aim is to increase the number of adjudicator evaluation submissions by at least 10%. By doing so, we can ensure that the valuable feedback we provide to the performers becomes even more comprehensive and insightful. Together, we can help shape their artistic growth and foster an environment of continuous improvement.
I have full confidence in the abilities and dedication of our esteemed membership. Each one of you plays a vital role in the success of our organization, and I am grateful for your tireless efforts. Let us work hand in hand, supporting one another, and striving for excellence in every endeavor.
Please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the board if you have any questions, suggestions,
or concerns. We are here to listen and support you in any way we can.
Once again, thank you for your unwavering commitment to TTAO and for your outstanding contributions to the field of education. It is an honor to serve as your President, and I look forward to the exciting journey ahead.
With warmest regards,
Yvonne J. Phillips-Dupree
Fall Contest Manager Training
Contest Manager Training Session #1:
DATES/LOCATION: Saturday, October 28, 2023 8:30 a.m. - (est) 10:30 p.m.
ALMETA CRAWFORD HS
801 Caldwell Ranch Blvd
Rosharon, TX 77583
1. Go to https://www.ttao.org/core-values/and read the "TTAO Core Values" and also scroll down to read, "TTAO’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion."
2. Go to https://youtu.be/jGEIFtZ1THA and watch TTAO's introductory video on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training
DEADLINE TO APPLY: TTAO will accept applications until Monday, October 6, 2023. Applicants are encouraged to apply early during the application period. Applicants will be notified by Wednesday, October 16, 2023 if they have been selected.
NOTE: Please read eligibility requirements carefully. All participants are encouraged to secure hotel accommodations as soon as possible. Hotels do fill up quickly.
WORKING SCHEDULE: Participants should plan to arrive on site by 8:00 a.m. and remain throughout the duration of the contest.
This training is for anyone seeking to become a TTAO Certified Contest Manager.
There is no fee for the workshop, however, following the workshop, new Contest Managers will be required to pay a TTAO $50 membership fee online to be added to the list of Contest Managers (unless you are already a member of the organization). New CMs must also complete an online bio to finalize their eligibility. Questions may be directed to Larry Carpenter at email@example.com.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Can I miss part of the workshop and still certify?
A: No. You must attend all parts of the certification workshop to certify. No exceptions.
Q: Who is eligible to certify?
A: Anyone who is or will be a Contest Manager for a UIL One-Act play contest.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: There is no fee for the workshop. However, following the workshop, CM will be required to pay a TTAO $50 membership fee online to activate their membership (unless you are already a member of the organization).
Q: I can't attend this workshop -- are there other opportunities?
A: Yes. We generally hold 2-3 certification workshops each year. Check TTAO.org or Facebook for more info.
Q: If I have questions, whom should I contact?
A: Larry Carpenter @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Here is the link to the application:
Core Value: Diversity by Freddie Buckner
One of our TTAO core values is Diversity. This core value states: “Diversity- we
celebrate differences and include all the varied voices that represents students and
the communities we serve.” Our TTAO President, Yvonne Dupree, has asked each
member of TTAO to explore each core value in our educational endeavors, and she
has asked each board member to write an article sharing our viewpoint on one
selected core value. I selected DIVERSITY.
Never would I have thought that I would have an unsettled mind on the morning
of putting my thoughts down on paper. You see, it is a Monday morning, two days
after a hateful gunman walked into a Dollar General store and killed three innocent
people in Jacksonville, Florida. My heart hurts. My mind hurts from constantly
wondering why? Why has this happened again in our beloved America? And just
as importantly, I ponder this question- Where are we headed as a nation? How do
we educators become a part of the solution? Our nation needs to review the lessons
of our frightful past and present. Diversity in all of its forms makes us a better
As Theatre Educators and Administrators, we must be committed to doing what
we have been doing for years, but with greater strategies and focus.
TTAO is addressing this need to Theatre Educators. In fact, our board president has
chosen the slogan, “Better Together” during her administration of our organization.
She challenges us to be more effective in using our TTAO power. This message is
simple, yet packed full of meaning and power. We ARE better together!
Better together in the classroom. Better together on the stage. Better together doing
workshops. Better together developing Theatre curriculum. The Better Together
list goes on and on. Our diverse communities help us to strategize and focus on
ways to achieve this Better Together through TTAO.
The Arts, especially Theatre, must remain vital and strong in its presence and in
its commitment to reaching and teaching each and every child…and ensuring that
ALL are included in our Theatre Arts programs. Theatre Arts can save a child.
It saved this frail and shy young boy, who came from one of the “so-called”
poorest areas of Houston, to be involved in an unfamiliar course of Theatre offered
by a young African-American man from Louisiana. He changed and inspired the
lives of a community. He constantly reached out to diverse people, diverse
curriculum, diverse parts of the world, and to diverse ideas. He lived diversity, and
I am eternally grateful to C. Lee Turner and so is TTAO.
C.Lee Turner Real Change Applications are on the TTAO website
2023 submissions opened on June 15 and close on September 10.
Diversity and inclusion come in many ways. As a Theatre teacher, Thespian
Festivals, Student Workshops and Conferences kept me “on my toes”with group
It was not only a means of raising funds, but it was also a way of removing
economical barriers. It helped to foster a diverse program where all of my students
were allowed to participate in a myriad of activities. No matter the cost.
I see you! I value you! I want you involved in all that we do. Not just here on
campus, but in everything. Kids pay attention to who can and who can’t. .
I point this out because it took me a while to understand this form of inclusivity
allowing for diversity. I thought that my students in the neighborhood were all the
same, but we weren’t, economically. Wow! I needed to even the playing field, and
I’m so very glad that I did. Getting kids out of the city and state was a joy to see.
Diversity is important to our lives as human beings. Even in our Theatre
classrooms. We must not succumb to the feeling of, “but we don’t have power”.
We have the power to teach through using and researching an inclusive curriculum
that is diverse in a variety of ways.
Diversity shows up when we cast our shows. For example, Casting an Asian-
American as Homer in Lillies of the Fields and an African-American as Mother
Maria was a no-brainer for me due to talent. I can think of several other shows that
were just part of the norm of diverse casting or colorblind casting. Stretch the
Diversity will continue to require us to be honest and have open and frank
conversations. Diversity will require a commitment that we will make in our minds
and hearts to touch all children in our classrooms. For they will eventually become
adults that create, inspire and motivate mankind to be our better selves.
This is so very much needed right now. I believe that in our small or maybe not so
small way, we can continue striving to teach this world to be a better place.
Diversity in our Theatre programs may very well be part of the solution.
Yes, indeed. Better Together!