TAMPA — Nancy Sears, who took several high school plays to the Florida State Thespian Festival and was twice nominated for Pinellas County Teacher of the Year, has been named the new theater chairwoman at the Patel Conservatory at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.
Sears brings a career in theater to the position, from her days running the Los Angeles children's entertainment company she created to chairing theater programs in District 4 of Pinellas County Schools. The 21-year educator also coordinated college transfer auditions for the Florida Theatre Conference.
Sears has acted in commercials and educational films, and on the stages of Pinellas and Hillsborough County community theater. Some favorite roles include Sister Amnesia in Nunsense, Meg in Crimes of the Heart and Adelaide in the Spanish Lyric Theatre's production of Guys and Dolls.
Sears was nominated in two categories for Teacher of the Year, "inspiring students to perform at higher levels" and "commitment to children and families."
Located at the north end of the Straz, the Patel offers sessions for elementary through high school students during the school year and summer. Students audition for six productions a year in a way that mirrors the professional world, going through callbacks and rehearsals. Its accredited course menu includes acting and musical theater, dance theater and music, as well as stage management, lighting, sound and costuming.
Sears replaces Suzanne Livesay, who was recently named the Straz Center's vice president of education.
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