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Amy Patel recognized with state theatre award

MADISON – Amy Patel has been named “Best Theater Teacher in Alabama.”

Patel teaches intermediate/advanced drama and advanced production at James Clemens High School. She directs James Clemens’ plays and musicals and has a lengthy resume in community theatre.

“I’m really honored and humbled by the award, especially because it’s voted on by other theatre directors across the state. They are just incredible people, so even the fact that one of them nominated me is . . . I don’t even know the word for it. All I can think is that I’m honored,” Patel said.

She received a bachelor’s degree in English and Language Arts at the University of Alabama in Huntsville or UAH. She earned a master’s degree in Directing at Chicago College of Performing Arts and Roosevelt University.

Patel served as a Fellow for both “Fund for Teachers” and for Innovation Circle. She is National Board Certified Teacher.

Patel taught theatre for 14 years at Butler High School in Huntsville and then completed a year-long sabbatical to study theatre curriculum and acting/directing methods.

Patel is founding director of James Clemens Theatre. She has taught part-time at UAH, Pinnacle Schools and Hollywood Huntsville studio.

“I’m thankful that being a theatre teacher at James Clemens isn’t a ‘solo gig.’ If I am a great teacher, it’s because I get support from my administrators, teachers and parents at James Clemens. And I’m beyond grateful to my partner Clint Merritt who is beside me in every show. Theatre is very much a ‘team sport,’” Patel said.

Her resume includes directing 75-plus productions. Several shows received recognition at state festivals, International Thespian Festival, along with Southeastern Theatre Conference or SETC in 2016, 2017 and 2020.

In 2013, Patel was named “Alabama State Secondary Theatre Teacher of the Year” by Alabama Conference of Theatre. She was the 2016 “Teacher of the Year” at James Clemens.

She has worked in memorable productions including “The Wiz,” “Booby Trap,” “Peter Pan,” “In the Blood,” “For Colored Girls . . . ,” “Alabama Rain,” “Macbeth,” “Where the Great Ones Run,” “The Laramie Project,” “The Miracle Worker,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Phobiology,” “Metamorphoses,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

Patel directed “Silenced on Barbour Street,” “The Jungle Book” and “The Dentist,” which represented Alabama at SETC.

She earned a Wings Award in Huntsville for “Best Lead Actress” in “Rabbit Hole” and was nominated for “Urinetown: The Musical.”

Amy and husband Sandy, who founded Patel Technologies Corporation, have two sons who attend James Clemens. The Patels were named “Madison Family of the Year” in 2018.

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