In November 2018, at the National Communication Convention in Salt Lake City, UT, Dr. Jay Allison was the recipient of the Performance Studies Division's Distinguished Service Award. This, the division's most prestigious award, recognizes a career-long record of service to the discipline of Performance Studies. Dr. Allison was recognized in for his service in three areas, his dedication to the perpetuation of performance festivals, the editorial services he has provided to the discipline, and to his extraordinary efforts in his recent five-year term of leadership of the division.
Dr. Allison's involvement with performance festivals began in 1980 when he first served as student director of the University of South Florida's "Celebration of Literature," and continues to this day in his service as director of the oldest remaining festival in the nation, the Petit Jean Performance Festival, which he has directed for over a quarter of a century. In the interim, he directed performance festivals in North Carolina, Louisiana, and in Texas. Dr. Allison was also recognized for editorial work provided in service to the discipline. These services began in 1981, when he served as an editorial assistant on the fledgling journal Literature in Performance, under the editorship of his mentor and the journal's founding editor, Dr. Beverly Whitaker Long. His service to the journal continued through its adoption as an NCA sponsored journal, Text and Performance Quarterly. In the years between its founding and the present, he has edited two independent sections of the journal, Performance in Review and Books in Review, and has served as a member of the editorial board since 2000. Dr. Allison also served a four-year term as the Editor-in-Chief of the division's National Review Board, which provides peer-reviews of production work by scholars in the discipline. Finally, Dr. Allison was recognized for his recent term of service in leading the division, particularly his efforts to locate and archive the historical records associated with the governance of the Performance Studies Division of the National Communication Association.