Hall of Fame
Minnesota Thespians Hall of Fame Nomination Process
Minnesota Thespians recognizes annually an individual who has dedicated themself to the cause of theatre education.
must be or have been a member of the Educational Theatre Association (Troupe Director or Individual member).
must have 20+ years of experience in theatre education.
"Theatre educator" includes anyone who has worked to educate students in the art of theatre.
Potential inductees can be nominated by any EdTA members or Thespian in the chapter. For consideration for the 2020 Hall of Fame Award, submissions must be submitted by November 1, 2019.
To nominate an individual:
Please complete the form below, including a nomination of no more than 500 words below describing the candidate and detailing their dedication to the promotion of theatre arts and arts education and their years of service.
Please submit a maximum of two letters of recommendation for this nominee from colleagues, parents, students, and/or community leaders. Each letter of recommendation should be no longer than one page in length. You may use existing letters or excerpts. Note: The nominator may not be the author of one of the letters of recommendation. Please list the names of your letter of recommendation authors below. Letters can be submitted to the form below or can be emailed separately to firstname.lastname@example.org.
An external committee will review and rate all applicants. A subcommittee of the Minnesota Thespians State Board will review the rated applications to then select those individuals to be elected into the Hall of Fame. The recipient will be inducted at the Minnesota Thespian Conference.
2019 Hall of Fame Inductee
Mark Quinlan was a passionate, dedicated theatre educator. In a 41 year career at Centennial High School, he influenced thousands of students through the 111 plays, 41 one-act productions, and 39 musicals he directed. He is the first inductee into the MN Thespian Hall of Fame. Recently the Mark Francis Quinlan Legacy Scholarship was created by Centennial to support students pursuing the fine arts. Mark helped revive Minnesota Thespians in 2008 and served at the Chapter Select and Freestyle One Act Coordinator for MN Thespian Conference and as a valued member of the MN Thespian Chapter Board. Mark passed away on May 17, 2019 after a long, brave battle with cancer. As Shakespeare wrote, "May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, sweet prince."
2020 Hall of Fame Inductee
Tony Matthes is a distinguished educator with a master’s in theatre education from the University of Northern Colorado and more than 29 years of experience working with theatre students. Matthes served as the director of Troupe 1539 from 1997 until June 2018, served as a board member of Theatre in the Round as well as the Guthrie Theater Educational Advisory, and successfully executed the first Minnesota Thespian Festival. Matthes is also a past chapter director and a past treasurer of the chapter. He has directed or co-directed more than 60 productions and has produced countless plays. For the past six years, Matthes has been honored to produce the Minnesota All State play/musical. Under Matthes’ direction, more than 55 of his students have been accepted to conservatories, B.F.A.s, and prestigious theatre programs. Tony has also been inducted into the International Thespian Society Hall of Fame.