Helen Duranleau-Brennan has transformed the lives of hundreds of students in the Quad Cities over three decades of teaching theater, speech and language arts. Through her example and curriculum, Helen used theater to not only make her students strong actors, designers, directors or audience members. Rather, she used theater as a way to make you a better person. A kind person. A creative person. And a curious one.
She encouraged her students to seek the next adventure. To go down the unexpected road. To turn the corner when it is full of uncertainty. To press forward and lead a life with creativity and drive and love.
The Helen Duranleau-Brennan Theater Scholarship honors her legacy, and will be awarded to students studying theater in college who have graduated from the three Quad Cities-area schools she taught theater at: Davenport Assumption High School, Davenport North High School, and John F. Kennedy Catholic School.
Helen is a former Thespian troupe director at Assumption High School and North High School in Davenport, Iowa. She served on the board of Iowa Thespians, and eventually, as Iowa Chapter Director. She has also served on the board of the Junior Thespian Festival committee, and as chair for the Advocacy Committee. In this capacity, Helen has attended many Iowa and National Arts Advocacy Days, advocating fiercely for arts funding at the local, state and federal level. She worked on the steering committee for the Iowa Arts Caucus, on the advisory board for the Iowa Arts Alliance, and as a member of the newly formed EdTA Advocacy Leadership Network.
She was inducted into the National Education Theater Association Hall of Fame in 2018.
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