Pat Collins, professor of education, was awarded the newly-established Fredric Blumberg Distinguished Volunteer Award. He is one of the first two recipient of this award; it was presented to them in late November at the Theatre Association of New York State Festival, in Batavia, N.Y.
The award recognizes volunteers under the age of 65 who have faithfully served community theatre for 15 years or more. Collins helped to found the Geneva Theatre Guild Youth Theatre in 1986. In 1998, he helped establish the Nancy Curvin Playground Players jointly sponsored by Geneva Theatre Guild and the Geneva Recreation Department. He served on the Guild’s Board of Directors for more than 15 years, was president for two terms, and for 23 years, has volunteered in many capacities. Additionally, he directed the Geneva High School Drama Program for many years.
Several of Collins’ courses at the Colleges have benefited the youth of Geneva by producing children’s plays on campus and holding after-school workshops to help college students discover the power of drama and to pass that on to the children who participated. Most recently, Collins has been instrumental in consulting on the construction of the Black Box theatre at the new Geneva Community Center and directed the Guild’s “Mad About Theatre” to inaugurate the new space.
The Fredric Blumberg Distinguished Volunteer Award was created in honor of the first President of the Theatre Association of New York State. When asked about the award Collins said he was surprised and overwhelmed.
“I really haven’t done any more than other people involved in community theater do, but I am glad to receive this award on behalf of the Geneva Theatre Guild,” he said. “It is a testament to all the support I have received over the years from Geneva Theatre Guild, Hobart and William Smith and the larger Geneva community. At its best, theatre is a community-building enterprise and I feel fortunate to be able to contribute to that in some small way.”
Collins earned a B.S. from St. Joseph College, an M.S. from Indiana University, and an Ed.D from Harvard Graduate School of Education. He has nearly 25 years of teaching experience at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. In addition to teaching courses on theatre, drama and the arts in education, Collins is co-chair of the Arts and Education Program and past chair of the Education Department at the Colleges. He has published in the Youth Theatre Journal and penned book chapters on drama and education. He was also co-editor of “Stories and Readers: New Perspectives on Literature in the Elementary Classroom.”
For more information about the Geneva Theatre Guild visit www.gtglive.org.
In the photo above, Collins (seated, back left) directs “Mad About Theatre.”