Student receives PHS’s second straight KEAP award

By CONNIE NOLEN / Community Columnist

“Lucas Schlosser has won the Southeastern Theatre Conference’s (SCTC) Keynote Emerging Artist of Promise Award (KEAP) for 2017. I am stunned that two Pelham High School students have received this award back to back,” said PHS Theatre teacher Jamie Stephenson.

Last year, Pelham High School’s Riley Taylor won Keynote Emerging Artist of Promise (KEAP). Having two students from the same school win the award in two consecutive years is stunning.

“I don’t know that this has ever happened before at any school,” said Stephenson. “Both students were extremely strong candidates.”

SETC chooses KEAP students based on several criteria including scholastic aptitude and artistic potential. The award provides students admission to the SETC convention including lodging, special sessions with the keynote speaker, reserved seating for Friday’s luncheon and Saturday’s awards dinner and many other perks.

“This award waives audition fees for scholarships for many colleges who will be at the convention,” said Schlosser. “I have serious preparation ahead; I plan to make the most of this opportunity.”

In 2016, over 100 undergraduate programs were present for auditions at The Southeastern Theatre Conference Convention. This year’s conference runs from March 1 through March 5 and will be held at the Lexington Convention Center in Lexington, Kentucky.

“Lucas is a student that really understands the craft of Theatre. He works every day to learn more and share his love of Theatre,” said Stephenson. “Lucas is unique because he’s not invested in being the star. He wants everyone in the show to have success.”

Schlosser attributes his KEAP success to his teacher.

“Mrs. Stephenson helped me immensely with the application process,” said Schlosser. “The process involved condensing my entire theatrical history, aspirations and qualifications into a few concise paragraphs and conveying why I should receive the financial reward. I want to be a teacher. I reasoned that I’ll need all of the financial aid I can get.”

“Theatre training teaches articulation, collaboration, creatively problem solving and innovation.

PHS is blessed with community leaders who support Theatre and understand that theatre majors excel in many professions,” said Stephenson.

Strong communities empower talented students.