Emerita receives national honor for children's theatre work

contact: Jeanne Baron
| WMU News
Photo of Ruth B. .


KALAMAZOO—Dr. Ruth Beall Heinig, professor emerita of communication at Western Michigan University, is among the four artists and organizations that received a 2012 Orlin Corey Medallion Award from the Children's Theatre Foundation of America.

Given out since 1992, the CTFA's Medallion Awards recognize significant contributions to children's theatre. This year, they were presented during the American Alliance for Theatre and Education national conference Aug. 10 in Lexington, Ky.

CTFA was founded in 1958 and advances the artistic and professional interests of theatre for the young in the United States by funding proposals from American theatres, artists, scholars and special projects of national importance to children's theatre.

Ruth B. Heinig

Heinig is an accomplished storyteller and an expert on youth-drama textbooks and enhancing education by incorporating theatre in curriculum and teaching. She has written several textbooks, including "Improvisation With Favorite Tales," which is in its 16th printing, and "Creative Drama for the Classroom Teacher," which Heinig revised three times after penning with WMU Professor Emerita of Theatre Lyda Stillwell and became a classroom staple throughout the 1980s.

A Kalamazoo resident, Heinig has stayed active since retiring from WMU in 1992 after 28 years on the faculty. She has volunteered for a string of local projects, many with public schools and youth programs. In addition, she just completed three years as treasurer of the College of Fellows of the American Theatre, to which she was inducted in 1996, and served until 2009 as CTFA secretary, a position she had held for more than 30 years.

Heinig has often been cited for her professional and volunteer work. She is a past president of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education and has received three awards from this organization alone: the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008, Distinguished Book Award in 1993 (for "Improvisation with Favorite Tales"), and Creative Drama Award in 1992.

Heinig earned a bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University, and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. She was named a 2005 Distinguished Alumna for Valparaiso University.