Poplar Pike Playhouse
Home
About Us
Box Office
Productions and Events
Playhouse Staff
Thespians
Alumni
Support Opportunities
Links
About Us
General Information Honors and Awards History
History

Jump to: 1980's - 1990's - 2000's - 2010's

  • 1974 - Ernest L. Chism is hired to replace Commodore Ferguson at the newly renamed Germantown High School.

  • 1974 - Germantown High School's Thespian chapter is created by Alice Clough.

  • 1976 - Frank Bluestein is hired by Ernest Chism to direct the school's drama program.

  • 1976 - Arsenic and Old Lace is presented as the first full-length public production performed on the GHS stage.

  • 1976 - Kelvin Butler receives the first Lamplighter Pearl Scruggs Visual Arts Scholarship.

  • 1977 - Jim Terry, Almeda Zent, and Frank Bluestein form the Germantown High School Fine Arts Department. This is the first fine arts department created in any Memphis or Shelby County school.

  • 1977 - The first "Ephie" Awards are presented at a school assembly for Best Actor, Best Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress.

  • 1977 - Oklahoma! is the first musical presented on the GHS stage. Jim Terry is the musical conductor, Almeda Zent is the scenic designer, and Frank Bluestein is the director.

  • 1977 - Brad Sharp wins the first Rotary Club Carolyn C. Taylor Scholarship in the amount of $250.00. Later that year Bobby Lanier forms the GHS Scholarship Committee to oversee all fine arts scholarship donations. George Walters serves on the committee.

  • 1977 - Late one night at the old Toddle House (a.k.a. Steak and Egg Kitchen, C.K.'s, and Greasy Spoon) Stacy Hall, Rich Booth, and Frank Bluestein create the name Poplar Pike Playhouse. The PPP logo is designed by Scott Blake. PPP also is said to stand for Pride, Passion, and Performance.

  • 1977 - Sara Savell is hired by Ernest Chism to re-invigorate the choral music program at GHS.

  • 1978 - The first Alumni Banquet is held at Cafe St. Clair. Bill Watkins (Class of 1978) is the guest speaker.

  • 1978 - Music!, Broadway!, America! is performed at the Germantown Festival. The show breaks all attendance records for any PPP production. All eight performances are sell-outs.

  • 1979 - In March, the PPP, along with the Germantown High School Band, performs Music! Broadway! America! on a goodwill tour throughout Spain.

  • 1979 - Gary Peterson wins the first Fine Arts Student of the Year Award.

  • 1980 - The Miracle Worker wins the Best One-Act Play in the State of Tennessee. Five cast members are chosen for the All-Star Cast including Best Actor and Best Actress.

  • 1980 - Russ Jolly is awarded the first J.H. Florow Dramatic Arts Scholarship.

  • 1980 - Music! Broadway! America! is performed at the International Thespian Festival in Muncie, Indiana. The show receives 16 curtain calls and is clearly the top-rated attraction of the week. Way Way Down East is performed to much laughter in the play marathon.

  • 1980 - 1989 - Germantown High School wins First Place in the State of Tennessee District Forensic Competition for nine years running.

  • 1981 - Wes Walker receives the first Germantown Festival Association Fine Arts Scholarship.

  • 1982 - Highwire Magazine recognizes Germantown High School as one of the top 100 schools in the nation based on its fine arts program.

  • 1982 - Jim Barrett is named as the first General Manager of GHS-TV.

  • 1982 - Laura Walker and Heidi Haymans perform Robert Patrick's play My Cup Ranneth Over at the International Thespian Festival.

  • 1983 - On September 20 the Poplar Pike Arts Guild holds its first meeting. The Arts Guild, formed by Carol Florow, serves as a support group for the Poplar Pike Playhouse and the Fine Arts Department. Mrs. Florow and her husband Jim are the first co-presidents of the group.

  • 1983 - GHS-TV is named a winner of the Tennessee Audio/Visual Awards Contest.

  • 1983 - Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is presented at the International Thespian Festival in the final Saturday night slot. Once again, the play is recognized as the best of the week's offerings.

  • 1983 - Martin Cutler receives the first Cablevision Communication Arts Scholarship.

  • 1984 - GHS is named a winner of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund Arts in Education Award ($10,000 prize). GHS was one of eight high schools in the United States to win this honor.

  • 1984 - Kelly Shoemaker receives the first Poplar Pike Arts Guild Vocal Music Scholarship.

  • 1984 - The Diviners wins the Best One-Act Play in the State of Tennessee. Two cast members are chosen for the All-Star Cast including Best Actor.

  • 1985 - Karen Dean joins the theatre arts faculty; Lanny Byrd is hired as Director of Instrumental Music.

  • 1985 - GHS-TV wins its first Hometown USA Video Award.

  • 1985 - Germantown High School is one of only six schools in the nation to be visited by the People's Republic of China.

  • 1985 - Greater Tuna wins the Best One-Act Play in the State of Tennessee. Both cast members are chosen for the All-Star Cast including Best Actor.

  • 1986 - GHS is awarded the Governor's Award for Excellence in Education. Lamar Alexander presents $10,000 to Germantown High School because of its strong fine arts program.

  • 1986 - The PPP celebrates 10 years of excellence with an original production, Celebration '86. The show features over 20 alumni from past productions.

  • 1987 - GHS-TV receives a Cable Ace Award nomination for the documentary A Secret to Be Told, produced for the Porter Leath Children's Home.

  • 1987 - The Foreigner wins the Best One-Act Play in the State of Tennessee. Three cast members are chosen for the All-Star Cast including Best Actor.

  • 1987 - Lance Zitron is one of 25 students in the nation awarded an Arts Recognition and Talent Search scholarship.

  • 1988 - And They Dance Real Slow in Jackson wins the Best One-Act Play in the State of Tennessee. Four cast members are chosen for the All-Star Cast including Best Actor and Best Actress.

  • 1988 - The Poplar Pike Playhouse is the first non-professional theatre in America to present The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

  • 1989 - Kerri Giffin and Liz Kirkscey win the first Germantown Civic Club Fine Arts Scholarships.

  • 1991 - In December, the Playhouse hosts Salute to Sara. This special alumni banquet honors Sara Savell for her 30 years in education.

  • 1991 - The PPP is the first non-professional theatre in America to produce Into the Woods.

  • 1992 - GHS-TV is a winner in the High Tech category of the Seventh Annual Florida Department of Citrus Nutrition Music Video Contest.

  • 1992 - Ginger Hilbun transfers from the GHS Special Education Department to the theatre arts faculty.

  • 1992 - GHS-TV's promotional video for the City of Germantown, Germantown, Tennessee: Working Together for a Quality Community, wins the Tennessee Governor's Award.

  • 1992 - GHS-TV is named the winner of the Best Educational Access Studio in the United States. The award is presented by the National Federation of Local Cable Programmers.

  • 1993 - Jerome Lawrence, the acclaimed playwright and author of Inherit the Wind, conducts workshops for GHS-TV students.

  • 1993 - In March, GHS-TV studios are totally renovated and re-opened with a dramatic ribbon cutting ceremony attended by dignitaries and alumni from across the country.

  • 1993 - GHS-TV produces a three part training video, Combat Masters International, for Certified Fight Master David Leong.

  • 1993 - Kathy Bates appears on the Poplar Pike Playhouse stage in a performance of Love Letters.

  • 1994 - Frank Bluestein is named Tennessee Teacher of the Year.

  • 1994 - Charles Strouse premieres his newest musical Can't Stop Dancin' on the Germantown High School stage. Charles and his wife Barbara co-direct and choreograph the production.

  • 1994 - Seth Rowan, a tenth grader at Germantown High School, is tragically killed in an automobile accident. A Sophomore Achievement Award and a permanent endowment fund are established in his memory.

  • 1995 - Leonid Mazor joins the GHS staff as the GHS-TV Studio Coordinator.

  • 1995 - GHS-TV participates in a collaborative venture with the Moscow International Film School. The PPP takes its production of The Fantasticks to Russia and tours in three cities. The PPP's production of The Fantasticks is the first time this show has ever been produced in the former Soviet Union.

  • 1995 - The PPP presents the first American production of the Russian classic Twelve Months, directed by Leonid Mazor.

  • 1996 - Amy Underwood receives the first Ulhorn Family Memorial Scholarship. The overall scholarship fund has now grown to well over $16,000.00.

  • 1996 - GHS-TV participates in a collaboration with the Television Profile School in the Republic of Georgia.

  • 1996 - Disney and McDonald's name Frank Bluestein Outstanding Performing Arts Teacher in the USA.

  • 1996 - The Germantown Community Television Foundation is formed to handle all financial aspects of GHS-TV. George Walters is named chairman.

  • 1997 - Charles Haraway is hired as the new GHS choral director.

  • 1997 - GHS-TV students participate in a cultural exchange with students from the Television Profile School of Tbilisi, Georgia.

  • 1997 - GHS-TV wins 1st place as Best Educational Access Studio in the United States.

  • 1998 - Jeff Capps joins the GHS faculty as the newest member of the theatre arts staff.

  • 1998 - Seventeen students return to the Moscow International Film School for another cultural exchange.

  • 1998 - USA Today recognizes Frank Bluestein as one of the top 40 teachers in the United States.

  • 1999 - Fifteen students and teachers travel to Austria for the first Igor Niels Kreinig International Arts Academy. Founder Ulrike Kreinig visits Germantown on several occasions to promote the camp and to spread the message of the camp: tolerance, friendship, and understanding.

  • 1999 - Students from Germantown's sister-
    city Koenigs Wusterhausen visit GHS and perform their production of The Importance of Being Earnest.

  • 2000 - PPP students travel to Berlin, Germany to visit their two sister-city schools in Koenigs Wusterhausen.

  • 2000 - Ted Horrell joins the theatre arts staff.

  • 2000 - The Germantown Fine Arts Foundation is established to offer financial support to the GHS fine arts program. Jim Siegfried is named as the first president.

  • 2001 - Under the leadership of Sandra Abel, GHS-TV's Auction 2001 meets its goal of $20,000.

  • 2001 - GHS-TV wins 12 1st place Hometown Video Awards (an all-time record) and is, once again, named as the Best Educational Access Station in the USA. The station has now won over 50 1st place citations since 1985.

  • 2001 - Children of Eden breaks all box office records as the highest grossing musical ever presented at the PPP.

  • 2001 - The David Lilly Memorial Service Award is established. Justin Card is the first winner. Total scholarship contributions now exceed $30,000.

  • 2001 - In December, the PPP celebrates its 25th anniversary with a gala weekend, highlighted with a banquet at the Peabody Hotel attended by over 400 people. David Hershey creates a documentary that chronicles the 25 year history of the Playhouse.

  • 2002 – Thirteen students and teachers travel to Berlin, Germany to once again conduct an exchange with their partner schools in Koenigs-Wusterhausen.

  • 2002 – The English Lovers Improvisational Comedy Troupe from Vienna, Austria comes to Germantown for a week of workshops and performance. The troupe, led by Kathy Tanner, finds the experience so rewarding that they decide to make the workshops a yearly experience.

  • 2003 – PPP Alumna Allison Rogers joins the GHS theater faculty.

  • 2003 – Alumna Susan Marshall returns to the Playhouse stage to present the first of what will become yearly benefit concerts with all proceeds going to the GHS Fine Arts Department.

  • 2003 - Misha Mazor is named as one of twenty-five national winners in the Arts Recognition and Talent Search contest in the filmmaking category. Misha spends a week in Miami participating in the event and attending the awards ceremony.

  • 2003 - Germantown wins three regional student Emmy awards for its programming efforts in news, sports and graphics.. Students Patrick Ashcraft and Sean Grigsby attend the gala award ceremony in Washington, DC and accept the awards for the station. Germantown will go on to win many more regional awards over the next few years.

  • 2004 - Jake Defur and six other students win the first-ever national student Emmy award in the sports reporting category. Jake accepts his award from Larry King at a star-studded awards ceremony in Los Angeles.

  • 2004 - A team of Germantown High School students led by Waheed AlQawasmi, Blake Brewer, Bobby Ramsay and Nathan Babian win first place in the Red Eye Film Festival. Over 40 schools from around the Untied States participate in the contest.

  • 2004 - Alumnus Jeff White returns to the PPP to establish a writing project with GHS students that results in the publication and performance of an original children’s play based on Jack and the Beanstalk. Jeff will return over the next two years to oversee the development of two additional children’s plays that are performed throughout local area schools.

  • 2005 - GHS-TV establishes a relationship with a new partner school in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Twenty-five German students visit GHS in January and the same number of American students pay a return visit in June. During both segments of the exchange, the students create television shows that are broadcast throughout their respective communities.

  • 2005 - Former GHS student John Koski is elected the new president of the Germantown Fine Arts Foundation.

  • 2005 - PPP alumnus Scott Genkinger wins an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences for his work as casting director for the ABC television series Desperate Housewives.

  • 2005 – Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Hubert Sauper comes to Germantown to offer Master classes to students and to present to the community his latest film, Darwin’s Nightmare.

  • 2007 - GHS-TV student Shari Drury wins a Student Emmy Award in the Writing category from the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.

  • 2007 - Students and teachers from GHS-TV returns to Germany in the summer for another exchange trip with their sister school in Ludwigshafen.

  • 2007 - Sam Massey is elected the new president of the Germantown Fine Arts Foundation.

  • 2010 - GHS Fine Arts student A.J. Heinz wins the Commercial Appeal Academic All-Stars Award in the Speech and Drama category.

  • 2010 - Germantown High School's production of Parade wins the award for Best Musical at the 1st Annual Orpheum High School Musical Theatre Awards.

  • 2011 - GHS Fine Arts student Paul Hoover wins the Commercial Appeal Academic All-Stars Award in the Speech and Drama Category, becoming the second GHS student to do so.

  • 2011 - PPP alumnus Dr. Ted Horrell is named principal of Germantown High School.

 

Back to the Top

Home - About Us - Box Office - Productions & Events
Playhouse Staff - Thespians - Alumni
Support Opportunities - Links

E-Mail: PoplarPikePlayhouse@gmail.com

Created by Mikhail Mazor
Sponsored by Aristotle Internet Access
2013 Poplar Pike Playhouse