Otis D. Hackney III, Principal of South Philadelphia High School was honored on Monday October, 3 at the 17th Annual Barrymore Awards at the Walnut Street Theatre.
Hackney, accompanied by students from South Philadelphia High School who opened the awards show with an excerpt from We Write South Philly, accepted the Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service Award for his collaboration with teaching artists from local theaters to create, produce and perform the original piece of theater.
The play, directed by teaching artist Tom Reing was the product of three semester-long residencies during which more than 50 students from the high school studied acting and playwriting with the intention to foster creativity and rebuild school pride among students.
Facilitated by Hackney’s faith and support in the project, the play became a great success, and students from South Philadelphia were given the opportunity to unveil their creation on the stage of the Wilma Theatre last June.
Hackney expressed his gratitude in receiving the award saying, “I was honored to be acknowledged by the Theatre Alliance for the Barrymore Award. The true credit goes to my students, teachers and partners. My role was widening a door that was already open.”
We Write South Philly was a collaborative effort with 1812 Productions, Philadelphia Young Playwrights, The South Philadelphia High School Alumni Association, and the Asian Arts Initiative, and The Wilma Theater.