Theatre group to honor Karen King


Katy Chance

Karen King, drama professor, will be honored with the Founders Award from the Texas Educational Theatre Association, Inc.

The Texas Educational Theatre Association, Inc. has announced Karen King as the recipient of the 2019 Founders Award. King came to Panola College in 2013 as professor of drama and director of the theatre department.

TETA will present her award during Theatrefest 2019, Thursday through Sunday, Sept. 26-29 in Dallas.

King is an active member of TETA, the Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials organization, and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. She also works closely with the University Interscholastic League and hosts one-act play contests at Panola College each year. She is house manager for the 4A-6A UIL OAP State Meet. She has also served as an adjudicator for the State Film Festival. King edits Texas Theatre Notes, and currently serves as communications officer for the Two-Year Colleges Focus Group at ATHE.

The Houston native graduated from Cy-Fair High School, where she studied under Elizabeth R. Hedges, long-time Panola College drama professor. She earned her bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University – Commerce), where she double-majored in drama and English literature. She worked for MGM/UA in California, starting in accounting, co-edited the studio’s newspaper, and, in 1986, was hired as the first employee of The Bedford Falls Company. As assistant to the producers, she worked on “About Last Night,” “Legends of the Fall,” and “Glory.” She also earned an Emmy Certificate for 1987 Best Drama for her work as assistant producer on “thirty-something.” She worked closely with the Academy’s Education Program, and in 1990, became a student mentor with the American Film Institute, working with graduate students on films including the award-winning “In the Name of the Father.”

In 1993, King returned to Texas and began her education career with a Dallas charter school before moving to Hillsboro High School as theatre director. She continued her education, joining the inaugural class for the University of Houston’s master’s degree program for theatre educators. She completed her Master’s in Theatre Arts in 2010.

In 2013, King joined the Panola College faculty as drama professor and director of theatre. To date, her students have won numerous awards at both the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and the Texas Community College Theatre Association Play festivals. In 2016, their production of Kabuki Lady Macbeth was chosen as the showcase production for the Regional Festival, and Nikki Lawhorn was chosen as the Regional Dramaturgy winner, and was afforded a trip to the National KCACTF in Washington, D.C. For TCCTA, Panola College has brought home four Superior Play Ratings as well as over 142 awards for students and productions, including last year’s Best Director of a Play and the Sherrie White Memorial Award for Best Ensemble of a Play.

Karen King lives in Carthage with her husband Paul and her cairn terrier, William Wallace II.