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OPPY Award Winner 2010, Mary Bonnett

Mary received her BFA in Theater Arts and English Literature from Drake University, an Education degree from University of Illinois, Chicago, and her MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, England. Her professional theater career has covered acting, directing, writing and touring with the National Theater of the Deaf.

Mary helped found, develop and head the theater department at Franklin Fine Arts Center. Her students’ studies ranged from Aristophanes to Shakespeare, Albee to Shaw. Under Mary’s tutelage, students won state and national awards, worked in film, commercials, television and even achieved an Emmy. Today, Franklin acting alumni are seen in major motion pictures, television and theater. Mary was part of a team who built a model educational community 30 years ago that still rocks today! She retired recently after 30 years at Franklin.

Mary developed theater curriculum for the CPS and Illinois Board of Education, headed numerous committees and boards including, along with parents, architects, educators and artists, a capital fund campaign to build a visual and performing arts theater and training center for children of Chicago. It remains a dream today.

Among the many honors Mary has received are: Golden Apple two-time finalist, Sun-Times Outstanding Teacher Award, Dr. Margaret Burroughs Award, CTU Women’s Rights Award, Chicago Dramatist Playwright for the 90s. She has completed a new adult novel and is currently working on a children’s novel. As a professional playwright her work has been produced in various theaters and venues around the city.