Kamps Memorial Award Recipient 2024

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2024 Kamps Memorial Award Recipient Clara Hale

Kamps Memorial Award
2024 Recipient
Clara Hale

Given by Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre

BDHS Graduate Presented BDACT’s Kamps Award

Clara Hale, a 2024 Beaver Dam High School graduate, has been awarded the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre (BDACT) Jerome H. Kamps Memorial Award. Clara explained in her application essay that her passion for theatre was sparked by watching her older sister perform. She also noted that her involvement in theatre has allowed her to build lifelong friendships and develop a deep love for creating and performing in beautiful worlds.

Clara is a gifted actress and vocalist who has grown up on the BDACT stage. Her journey began with the Tell-A-Tale production of Peter Pan in 2015. She has since delivered memorable performances, including her haunting portrayal of Fruma Sarah in Fiddler on the Roof, the clever and stylish Wardrobe in Beauty and the Beast, and the sassy Miss Sandra in All Shook Up on the Beaver Dam High School stage. Clara’s talent has been recognized with several nominations for the prestigious Jerry Awards by the Overture Theatre, and she won the Best Supporting Actress award in 2022.

In addition to acting, Clara has expanded her theatre experience into costume and set design, with a focus on ensuring historical accuracy in productions.

Clara plans to attend UW-Milwaukee to pursue an undergraduate degree in theatrical production.

A committee of theatre representatives evaluated candidates’ essays and their hours committed to BDACT and other theatre experiences. The $500 annual award, named for one of BDACT’s founding members, is presented annually to a graduating senior from Beaver Dam High School, Wayland Academy, or another area high school, who is committed to post-secondary education.

2025 Kamps Memorial Award Presentation at BDACT
BDACT Board President Emily Shier presented the 2024 Jerome H. Kamps Memorial Award to Beaver Dam High School graduate Clara Hale. Clara’s mother Janine joined her for the presentation.
2025 Kamps Memorial Award Presentation at BDACT
2025 Kamps Memorial Award Presentation at BDACT

About Jerome H. Kamps

Jerome H. Kamps

Jerome H. Kamps was a charter member and co-founder of Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre, established in 1964, and a dedicated Beaver Dam High School art teacher for thirty-four years. He was set designer and director of set painting for more than sixty high school plays during his teaching career. From 1964 until just before his death on May 4, 2015, he also designed and directed set painting for many BDACT productions. He particularly encouraged and gave enthusiastic support to young people as he helped them discover and demonstrate their art talents at school and through community projects. Among those projects was a large barn mural, part of a state-wide project sponsored by the Wisconsin Arts Board. One of his favorite BDACT projects was the extraordinary set for Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat, in 1995. Given his example as a dedicated “back-stage worker” who gave his talents and love for the arts unconditionally, the Jerome H. Kamps Memorial Award will especially acknowledge those characteristics.