Panola College drama professor and theater department director Karen King has been awarded the 2019 Founders Award from the Texas Educational Theatre Association, the school announced.
King will receive her award at Theatrefest 2019 at the end of September in Dallas.
King has been at Panola College since 2013. She is an active member of the Texas Educational Theatre Association, the Texas Theatre Adjudicators and Officials organization and the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
She works with the University Interscholastic League, hosting one act play competitions at Panola College and serving as the house manager for the 4A-6A state one act play meet. King is also an adjudicator at the State Film Festival and communications officer with ATHE. She edits Texas Theatre Notes.
King is a Houston native and current Carthage resident who graduated from Cy-Fair High School, where she studied under the late Panola College drama professor Elizabeth R. Hedges. She earned her bachelor’s degree from East Texas State University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston.
In her career, King has worked for MGM/UA, where she worked in accounting and then co-edited the studio’s newspaper. In 1986, she was hired at The Bedford Falls Company, where as an assistant to the producers she worked on “About Last Night,” “Legends of the Fall” and “Glory.” King earned an Emmy Certificate for 1987 Best Drama for her work on “thirty-something.”
In 1990, she became a student mentor with the American Film Institute and has worked with graduate students on films like the award-winning “In the Name of the Father.”
King’s Texas education career includes a stint with a Dallas charter school and serving as theatre director at Hillsboro High School.
At Panola College, King’s students have won numerous awards at 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.
Panola College has brought home four superior play ratings and more than 142 awards for TCCTA, including best director of a play and the Sherrie White Memorial Award for best ensemble of a play at last year’s competition.