Theatre Professor Harry Parker ’80 was awarded this spring with the Elston Brooks Lifetime Achievement Award from the Live Theatre League of Tarrant County. The award is given to an individual who has dedicated their work to the advancement of live theatre and has made a significant contribution to the area’s live theatre.
Parker said he is incredibly flattered.
“The League is filled with all of the professional theatre producers from our community, and I so appreciate them and respect all that they do,” he said.
Parker joined the TCU faculty in 2003 where he served as chair of the theatre department until 2021. He received the Chancellor’s Award for Distinguished Achievement as a Creative Teacher and Scholar in 2013 and has directed numerous shows at TCU, as well as in the community for Stage West, Amphibian Stage Productions, Jubilee Theatre, Lyric Stage and Circle Theatre.
“One of the great advantages of teaching theatre at TCU, or studying theatre at TCU, is that we are located in one of the most vibrant and active professional theatre markets in the country: Dallas-Fort Worth,” Parker said. “This is a huge advantage for faculty members like me who have the opportunity to create professional theatre productions – by directing, acting, designing, choreographing, etc. – without having to travel across the country. This enables us to continue teaching full time and in person at TCU.”
Parker has hosted a weekly KTCU radio show called “Curtain Up!” featuring songs from musical theatre and was the founding managing director of the Trinity Shakespeare Festival, which was hosted at TCU for 10 years. Next for TCU, he is scheduled to direct The Mystery of Edwin Drood in 2023. He is also scheduled to direct The Play that Goes Wrong in a joint production for Stage West in Fort Worth and Water Tower Theatre in Addison.
Being able to work in the community benefits his work at TCU, he explained, and vice versa.
“As is the case with all scholars, my teaching on campus feeds my professional creative work and makes it stronger,” Parker said. “Likewise, my outside professional creative work fuels my teaching and improves it constantly.”