When a theater educator succeeds, it’s usually the students who get the applause. But once a year the Cincinnati theater community gives a great big standing ovation to a few area teachers who inspire excellence on and off their school stages. Working long hours, out of the spotlight, these committed men and women foster collaborative creativity in all its forms, maintain vibrant educational theater programs in tough budgetary times, and produce graduates with a lifelong love of the performing arts — and the skills and values they’ll need to succeed in any field they choose.

CCM’s own Diane Kvapil received one of two Enquirer/Fifth Third Bank Theater Educator Awards presented this year; the other went to Lisa Bodollo of Mother of Mercy High School (Theater Educator Award Winner). The Acclaim Educator Winner, Kvapil has taught at CCM since 1977. Both Kvapil and Bodollo will receive a financial award for their schools’ theater programs.

Diane Kvapil’s acting students at CCM put together a video nomination describing Kvapil’s extraordinary efforts as a teacher and a pinch-hitting director at the conservatory this year. She has taught there for 34 years.

“In our production of Three Sisters, she really instilled a belief in us to expect a level of professionalism in ourselves and to motivate each other to do the same,” said CCM junior Caroline Shannon.

“Diane Kvapil is the true definition of the master teacher because she lives by every tenet she teaches, and all of her students are better off because of her,” said Cameron Davis, also a CCM junior.

For more on the Acclaims and the Theater Educator Award, go to: www.cinstages.com/acclaim/theatreed.asp.

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