EAC drama director Crae Wilson receives national theater award
By Todd Haynie
THATCHER, AZ—Dr. Crae Wilson, EAC’s drama director, has been directing, teaching, and mentoring theatre students at the College since he first arrived in 1977. His efforts were rewarded on February 16, when Wilson was presented the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) 2008 Kennedy Center Gold Medallion at an awards ceremony at California State University, Los Angeles.
The award is given in recognition for excellence in educational theatre. “During my whole teaching career the student has come first,” said Wilson. “There has been no better feeling than to see a student happy.”
Through a series of state, regional, and national festivals, KCACTF honors and celebrates the best of college and university theatre work, involving over 18,000 students from colleges and universities nationwide.
Wilson has participated in the festival for 30 years, serving on the Kennedy Center National Board, the director of the state festival, the director of the Next Step Auditions, and as an Irene Ryan Award adjudicator and respondent.
He has the distinction of having taken a college-level competition play to the festival each year, involving more students in theatrical competition than any other school in the history of the festival.
After 30 years of teaching, Wilson will be retiring from Eastern at the end of this academic year. In his tenure at the College, he has taught thousands of students in classes such as Introduction to Drama, Public Speaking, Acting, Screenwriting, and Introduction to Motion Pictures.
He has also directed hundreds of plays and musical productions at the College and acted in many of them, most notably in his signature role of Tevye in the musical Fiddler on the Roof. Wilson will take the stage again when Fiddler performs March 28, 29, 31 and April 4, 5, and 7, in the College’s Fine Arts Auditorium.