Area High School Musical Director Recognized by the Tony Awards
Area High School musical director Jasmine Bucher recently received an honorable
mention for Excellence in Theatre Education from the Tony Awards and Carnegie
was one of 24 theater educators from across the
the country to receive an honorable mention for the award, which recognizes a
K-12 theater educator in the U.S. who has demonstrated monumental impact on the
lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession.
honored by my peers, former and current students, and the prestigious Tony
Awards is a dream come true,” said Bucher. “I hold a special place in my heart
for the Palmyra theatre program and its community. I strive to infuse that
passion in others by bring the highest quality training and love of theatre to
my students and their community every day.”
Lewis, a 2011 Palmyra Area High School Graduate who coordinated the nomination,
said Bucher is deserving of the Tony Award recognition and welcomed the
opportunity to nominate Bucher.
Jasmine Bucher was chosen by the award selection committee is no surprise to
anyone who has worked with her,” said Lewis. “Since taking over the theatre
program at Palmyra Area High School nearly a decade ago, Jasmine has catapulted
not just the quality of the productions, but the educational opportunities for
the student participants, to new heights.”
A panel of judges comprised of the American Theatre Wing, The
Broadway League, Carnegie Mellon University and other leaders from the theatre
industry selected Bucher from nominees across the nation.
Kara Hess, a member of the musical’s production team and
former student of Bucher’s echoed Lewis’ sentiments.
“Bucher has created a top-notch theater
education program for the students of Palmyra Area High School. She gives them
year-round opportunities to learn and grow as performers,” said Hess. “Her true
and lasting impact, however, lies not within the programs she has created, but
in the lives of students and colleagues she has touched.”
Beginning in the fall of 2010, Bucher has
created a comprehensive theatre education program that includes year-round
curriculum including script reads and analysis; performance, leadership, and
volunteer opportunities; and, competitive experiences. The program is fully
inclusive, incorporating a “no-cut” policy that seeks to find meaningful
involvement for each student.
Under her leadership, the musical program’s
student participation has increased by approximately 40 percent and received 37
Hershey Theatre Apollo Award production and individual nominations with three
wins. Students have participated in competition at the state level through the
Pennsylvania Thespian chapter of the Educational Theatre Association. This past
year, Senior Tori Gaffey qualified for competition at the national level.
She has created a sustainable business model
for the self-funded program that includes creative fundraising initiatives
totalling $10,000+ annually while increasing community and volunteer
Partnering with The Caring Cupboard, a local
food pantry serving the Palmyra and Annville-Cleona School Districts, Bucher
strives to infuse her students with a focus that theatre arts can be used as
mechanism to better the community.
In 2016, Bucher worked to establish Troupe 8430
of the International Thespian Society at Palmyra Area High School. A division
of the Educational Theatre Association, the International Thespian Society has
as its aim the advancement of excellence in educational theatre and the
continuing enrichment of theatre arts and their appreciation worldwide.
In addition to her work at the secondary level,
Bucher established a summer camp for elementary instruction that provides
leadership and training opportunities for middle and high school students.
A 15+ year college instructor and
administrator, Bucher is the Director of Educational Technology at Lebanon
This year’s winner of the Excellence in Theatre
Education award from the Tony Awards was Melody Herzfeld of Parkland, Florida.
Herzfeld, the fourth recipient of the award,
received $10,000 for her theater program, round-trip airfare and hotel
accommodations for her and a guest to New York City and tickets to the 72nd
Annual Tony Awards and Gala held, Sunday, June 10, at Radio City Music Hall in
New York City.