Ron and Jean Gordon will probably tell you that what they have done for the Omaha Community Playhouse Theatre Technology Apprentice Program (TTAP®) isn’t much. We vehemently disagree.
In 2008, Ron and Jean established the first ever scholarship for TTAP® in honor of Ron’s sister, Joyce Gordon. The Joyce Gordon Memorial Scholarship is now awarded annually to a deserving apprentice entering their second year of the program and underwrites the student’s tuition at Metropolitan Community College as well as needed books and tools.
TTAP® Program Director, Steve Bross, has seen how the scholarship has affected not only the student who receives it, but the entire program.
“The Joyce Gordon Scholarship recipient has really emerged as a leader in TTAP®, serving as a role model for their peers and first year apprentices,” he states. “It’s become a highly coveted award and great learning tool for all apprentices as it teaches them the value of recognizing their own worth and reaching for their dreams.”
The Gordon family decided to establish the scholarship to honor Joyce Gordon, whose lifelong dream was to become a serious stage actress. Joyce had acting experience in New York, Chicago, California and Frankfurt, Germany and also taught drama to children. Throughout her life, Joyce’s devotion to the theatre never wavered as she performed with various theatre groups until her death at age 69. Joyce introduced her children, niece and nephews to all the arts. Now they remember and cherish their relationship with “AJ” (Aunt Joyce) and all the beauty she brought to their lives. Through the Joyce Gordon Memorial Scholarship, Joyce’s legacy lives on as she helps other young people have a successful life in the field of theater and the arts.
Past Joyce Gordon Scholarship recipients include Jamie Fields (2009-10) who is currently attending the University of South Dakota, Vermillion. She spent the summer in between semesters working for the Santa Fe Opera. The 2010-11 recipient, John Bone, is now the Omaha Community Playhouse’s house manager. Katie Harper, this year’s recipient, hopes to pursue a career in theatre in the electronics field once she completes the program.
Although humble about their participation, the Gordons are pleased to support OCP with Joyce's scholarship and hope their story may inspire others to do the same. If you would like more information on setting up a scholarship for TTAP® or other education and outreach opportunities provided by OCP, please contact the Development Director, Alena Furlong, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (402) 553-4980, ext. 127.