Kathy Krzys, the archivist and curator of the ASU Libraries' Child Drama Collection, was honored in Boston recently by both the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America (CTFA) and the American Alliance for Theatre Education (AATE) at two awards ceremonies at the AATE conference in Boston July 27-31. Kathy's contributions to the profession were celebrated with both the 2016 Orlin Corey Medallion Award from the CTFA and the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award from the AATE. The Orlin Corey Medallian Award " ... honors recipients for their significant achievements for the enrichment of children in the United States and Canada through nurturing artistic work in theatre and the arts," while the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award "honors an individual for a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the field."
The announcement for the medallian award chronicled Kathy's laudable professional achievements:
Katherine Krzys, archivist, actress, director, author, and theatre for youth historian, received her MFA degree in Theatre with Concentration in Theatre for Youth from Arizona State University (ASU) in 1988. For her graduate research assistantship she was assigned to transfer the finding aids for the recently established (1979) Child Drama Collection (CDC) from typewriter generated text to computers. At the time there were about 125 books and 100 linear feet of archival collections. Under Krzys' 31-year curatorial leadership the CDC has grown to become the largest repository in the world documenting the international history of theatre for youth back to the 16th century.
Krzys is committed to preserving the history of the field. There are currently 136 different collectons in the CDC, which record the contributions of professional theatres for young audiences, foundations, youth theatres, playwrights, designers, university programs and professors, national organizations, and arts educators. For more information about the holdings, see the library guide on the ASU Libraries online catalogue.
Krzys has many publications that help to document Theatre for Youth history. Included are: a biography of Sara Spencer, one of the founders of CTFA and of the first publishing company specializing in plays for young audiences; assistant editor with Ann Shaw and lead Nat Eek of the three volume ASSITEJ history; indices to journals; and eulogies to leaders in the field. She is frequently invited to deliver keynote speeches at conferences and landmark celebrations and is working on creating online tutorials recording the history of the field.