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Studio Theatre to be named for Liz Hedges

Liz+Hedges+will+be+honored+with+a+reception+at+11+a.m.%2C+Friday%2C+Feb.+16+in+the+studio+theatre+of+the+Q.M.+Martin+Auditorium+Building+on+the+Panola+College+campus.+Friends%2C+former+students%2C+and+the+public+are+invited+to+attend.
Liz Hedges will be honored with a reception at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 16 in the studio theatre of the Q.M. Martin Auditorium Building on the Panola College campus. Friends, former students, and the public are invited to attend.

Liz Hedges will be honored with a reception at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 16 in the studio theatre of the Q.M. Martin Auditorium Building on the Panola College campus. Friends, former students, and the public are invited to attend.

Liz Hedges will be honored with a reception at 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 16 in the studio theatre of the Q.M. Martin Auditorium Building on the Panola College campus. Friends, former students, and the public are invited to attend.

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Panola College will honor longtime theatre professor Elizabeth “Liz” Hedges by formally naming the campus Studio Theatre in her honor. Former students, friends and the public are invited to a reception scheduled for 11 a.m., Friday, Feb. 16 in the Elizabeth R. Hedges Studio Theatre.

Hedges retired from Panola College in 2007 after a 30-year career as a theatre and speech professor. During her tenure, she directed hundreds of student performers in countless plays, winning awards and accolades in state and national venues.

“Liz Hedges grew the theatre department from three to thirty-five students,” said Karen King, current Panola College Theatre Professor. “Students such as Linda Davis crossed the stage and went on to careers in show business. She also inspired generations of teachers and college professors.”

The Studio Theatre was Hedges’ inspiration. Originally slated to be a storage area for the Q.M. Martin Auditorium, she lobbied for the space to house a studio theatre. She helped design the new addition, creating an intimate theatre option that proved to be the drama department’s most popular venue.

Upon completion of construction in 1987, Hedges inaugurated the dinner theatre, which continues today as the major fundraising program for the drama department. Students convert the open space into a tiered dining area, and serve dinner to patrons prior to the show. In 2017, Hedges came back to Panola to guest direct the dinner theatre’s three performances of “Steel Magnolias” to sold-out audiences.

Hedges remains active in educational theatre in Texas and was named the Texas Educational Theatre Association’s College-University Teacher of the Year in 2005. The Texas Community College Speech/Theatre Association gave her the Founder’s Award in 2007. She travels throughout the state adjudicating performances, as well as judging and coordinating University Interscholastic League one-act play events.

A sixth-generation native Texan, Hedges chairs the Panola County Historical Commission, and is the Historian General for the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. She is now working on producing and directing an original film about Texas history that will be given free to every middle-school classroom in the state.

She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master’s Degree from the University of Texas at Tyler, where she also completed post-graduate work. She began her career teaching high school theatre in Houston before coming to Carthage and joining the Panola College faculty in 1978.

Dr. Greg Powell, Panola College President, invites the public to the reception on February 16. “We are pleased to honor Liz Hedges for the three decades of devotion she has shown to theatre and the fine arts by formally creating the Elizabeth R. Hedges Studio Theatre,” he said.

 

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Studio Theatre to be named for Liz Hedges