E. Frank Bluestein
E. Frank Bluestein is the 1996-1997 Disney National Performing Arts Teacher of the Year and the 1994 Tennessee Teacher of the Year. In October of 1998, USA Today named Mr. Bluestein as one of the top 40 teachers in the United States.
Mr. Bluestein is a past winner of the American Theatre Association's John C. Barner Award, a national award given to one secondary school teacher whose theatre program is judged most exemplary for the year. He has served as an arts advisory panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the College Board Arts Advisory Committee, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Mr. Bluestein is a former president both of the Tennessee Alliance for Arts Education and the Germantown Arts Alliance. He currently serves as executive director for Tennessee Shakespeare Company and managing director of the Tennessee Arts Academy, a nationally recognized statewide teacher training institute located in Nashville, TN. He has twice been named to Memphis Magazine's Who's Who in Memphis poll, and was presented a community service award for his accomplishments in education by the National Conference of Christians and Jews.
Until his retirement in 2013, Mr. Bluestein served for thirty-seven years as the chairman of the Germantown High School Fine Arts Department in Germantown, Tennessee. He was the founder and artistic director of the school's theatre, the Poplar Pike Playhouse, and also served as executive producer for Germantown Community Television (GHS-TV), the school's three million dollar educational television facility. In 1984 he helped the Germantown High School Department of Fine Arts become one of eight secondary schools in the nation to be chosen to receive the prestigious Rockefeller Brothers Fund Arts in Education Award. Graduates from his program include Saturday Night Live star Chris Parnell; film, television and stage actress Missi Pyle; Emmy winning casting director (Desperate Housewives & NYPD Blue) Scott Genkinger; NPR reporter Debbie Elliott; and Blue Man Group actor Wes Day.
During Mr. Bluestein's tenure, Germantown Community Television received over 130 first place Hometown Video USA awards for its programming and was named eleven times by the Alliance for Community Media as the Best Community Access Station in the USA. The studio has been recognized with regional Emmy and Cable Ace Award nominations. Mr. Bluestein also participated in the educational programs of the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and led his team of teachers and scores of students to win two national student Emmys (National Student Television Award of Excellence) for sports (2004) and writing (2007) as well as 33 regional first-place student Emmy awards.
Mr. Bluestein has served as a director of shows at Opryland, USA, and wrote and directed the national touring production of Beale Street Saturday Night starring blues legend Joyce Cobb. In September of 2013, he was inducted into the Educational Theatre Association’s Hall of Fame in Minneapolis. Mr. Bluestein is a frequent speaker and writer on arts related issues.