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KellyGram – In the Spotlight

 

 

Today I want to spotlight Trustus Theatre, which has long played an essential role not only in Columbia’s arts and culture scene, but also in the Kelly family. My son Patrick caught the theater bug when he was in middle school at Heathwood Hall, then went on to become a Trustus apprentice in high school. Being a single parent with a busy law practice and two teenage sons, I needed all the help I could get in raising my boys! There is a lot of truth to the adage “it takes a village,” and Trustus Theatre played a major role in Patrick’s upbringing—I have often told Jim and Kay Thigpen, Trustus’s co-founders, that they were like part-time parents to Patrick Michael Kelly! Today, Patrick and his wife, Martha Hearn Kelly, are Trustus staff members, and Trustus continues to excel through its unique brand and presentation of theatrical, musical, and comedy pieces to its patrons in the Midlands.

Recently, the South Carolina Theatre Association honored two Trustus staff members, Chad Henderson and Martha Hearn Kelly, with prestigious awards. Chad, the Artistic Director for Trustus Theatre, was the recipient of organization’s highest honor—the SCTA Founders Award—recognizing him as the individual who has made the most significant contribution to South Carolina theater over the past year. This is a tremendous and well-earned honor for Chad, whose leadership has been vastly influential on local theater.

Martha, my beloved daughter-in-law and Theatre Company Member and Education Coordinator, was awarded the Debora Smith Hoffman Outstanding Mentor Teacher Award for her exceptional and innovative work as a K-12 theater educator. In addition to her work at Trustus, where she coordinates inspiring workshops and opportunities for high school theater students, Martha is a teacher with the Ridge View High School Theatre Department (not to mention an adoring mother to my one and only grandchild, Helena!).

Thank you Chad and Martha—and Trustus Theatre—for your contributions to South Carolina theater, and a huge congratulations to you both for such well-deserved recognition!

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Mike Kelly

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