In the Moment: Providence Players of Fairfax Honor Their Student Scholarship Awardees: Miryam Mendelson and Blake Phillips

The_Providence_Players_of_Fairfax_13823Giving back to the community is an important goal for the Providence Players of Fairfax.

The Providence Players (PPF) is known for its work to serve its diverse community, especially with its Theater Community Inclusion Project.

The Theater Community Inclusion Project aims to reach out to all segments of the Providence Players community to provide quality, affordable theater to existing patrons while building new audiences for the future, particularly youth and underserved communities. This includes providing free tickets to organizations that serve underserved young people and their families.

Miryam Mendelson.
Miryam Mendelson.

The Providence Players also celebrate and honor high school students with its Providence Players Student Scholarship program. The program was established in 20111. Annually, the scholarship program provides a means to nurture future theater artists and recognize the contribution graduating high school seniors have made to the arts community.

At the Saturday evening June 4th performance of the PPF current production of Red Herring, the Providence Players Student Scholarship awardees were honored.

This year’s scholarship award winners are both from W.T. Woodson High School in Fairfax;  Miryam Mendelson and Blake Phillips.

PPF scholarships are limited each year. Miryam Mendelson and Blake Phillips will each receive $1,500 scholarships. Scholarships can be awarded to graduating seniors with a demonstrated commitment to theater arts who have been accepted to a U.S. accredited college or university or conservatory program with an intent to further contribute to theater arts.

Blake Phillips.
Blake Phillips.

Providence Players Board President Jayne Victor said, “We are excited to provide an opportunity for young college bound members of our community to pursue their passion in the arts. We are proud to continue promoting the importance of higher education by rewarding our deserving and talented future artists through the PPF scholarship program.”

PPF Board Member John Coscia who coordinates the scholarship program for the community theater troupe said, “It never ceases to amaze me how accomplished and well-rounded these young scholarship award winners are. They have already contributed so much to the arts in their high school and we believe they hold great promise for future theater arts contributions.”

Miryam Mendelson is graduating this month from WT Woodson HS. She received academic letters all 4 years of high school and was nominated for a 2013 Cappie award for her performance in W.T. Woodson’s production of Bye Bye Birdie. Besides Bye Bye Birdie, Miss Mendelson has appeared in school productions of Meet Me In St. Louis, White Christmas, and Pride and Prejudice. In addition to acting, Miryam has done both costuming and choreography for numerous WT Woodson productions. She will be attending the Roosevelt Chicago College of Performing Arts Theater Conservatory in the fall.

Blake Phillips will be graduating this June from WT Woodson HS in Fairfax. He is a member of the National Honor Society, the International Thespian Society, the Math and German Honor Societies, and is an Eagle Scout. Blake appeared in numerous school productions including The Hobbit, Into the Woods, and Pride and Prejudice, and also in the the Providence Players productions of All My Sons and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Mr. Phillips takes great pride in being called a “theater nerd.” He will be attending the College of William and Mary this fall.

John Coscia, Miryam Mendelson, and Blake Phillips.
PPF Board Member John Coscia with Miryam Mendelson and Blake Phillips at the 2016 Student Scholarship award presentation at the James Lee Community Center Theater on Saturday, June 3, 2016. Photo by Jimmy Gertzog, Providence Players of Fairfax.

Note: Eligible graduating seniors must (1) reside within the school boundaries of Annandale, Fairfax, Falls Church, George Mason, J.E.B. Stuart, Marshall, Woodson or Yorktown High School (PPF’s core audience area) OR (2) have been a member of PPF for at least one year. It is not required that applicants to be committed to a theater arts major in college, only that they plan on continuing their involvement and contribution to theater arts in the future.



Red Herring plays through June 18 , 2016 at  Providence Players of Fairfax, performing at the James Lee Community Center – 2855 Annandale Road, in Falls Church, VA. For tickets, purchase them at the door, or online.

Sophia Howes reviews Red Herring on DCMetroTheaterArts.


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