Edmonds Driftwood Players announces 2023 Scholarship winners

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Edmonds, WA – July 17, 2023 – Following Board approval on June 26, 2023, Edmonds Driftwood Players is proud to announce our two scholarship recipients. 

Ari Lemley is recipient of the Ralph Eaton Technical Scholarship and Elise McFarland is recipient of the Theatre Arts Scholarship. Each will be awarded $500 payable to their school of choice.

The 2023 Theatre Arts Scholarship was generously funded by an anonymous donor to honor and acknowledge the over 20 years of service of EDP’s longtime member, Joanne Branch.

The Ralph Eaton Technical Scholarship honors a long-time member who spent many hours designing and/or building sets and was our volunteer Technical Director for many years.

Ari Lemley
Ari Lemley
is a 2023 graduate of Edmonds Heights K-12 with plans to attend Western Washington University to pursue a BA majoring in Theatre. Ari is no stranger to EDP having attended our Teen Troupe Summer Camp from 2016 to 2019. Ari intends to pursue additional education to further his skills as an actor, director, and teacher. 

His passion is to teach others the joy of theater. “I think it would be very good for the kids to have a queer role model in their lives, especially because theater draws in so many queer kids.”

Throughout, he has demonstrated an ability to lead his peers in work ethic, generosity in acting and off stage, and immense intellectual curiosity. 
Working with Ari has been a pleasure from his first audition. He is charismatic, humble, and able… and an asset to every cast and ensemble in which he is placed. 
--Christopher Puckett, Voice Instructor at Edmonds Heights K-12.

Elise McFarland
Elise McFarland
is entering her 3rd year at University of North Carolina School of the Arts working toward her BFA in Acting. Elise also attended EDP’s 2019 Teen Troupe Summer Camp as well as performing in Mr. Scrooge on EDP’s Mainstage in 2016. 

“There were many times this past year where I doubted my ability as an actor, and consequently my worth as a person. But keeping in mind before I went onstage that what I was doing was not about me, but about connecting to other people and making them feel less alone, ultimately allowed my brain to transform those thoughts into whispers instead of screams.” 
“During a time where the UNCSA community lost a member of our student body to suicide, I experienced a newfound urge within myself to create work that I was proud of, partly because I’d struggled all of first semester with how I felt about myself as an actor and I wanted to change my trajectory, but mostly because the person we lost no longer had the opportunity to share their art with the world.”

Edmonds Driftwood Players is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) non-profit community theatre with the mission to produce live theatre that entertains, enriches, and engages the community. Established in 1958, it is one of the oldest continually operating community theatres in Washington State.


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