Outstanding Service Award

David C. Bryant Outstanding Service
Recognizes individual members of AACT for significant, valuable, and lasting service to community theatre

2015 Honoree
Victoria Hanrahan
Ansbach, Germany

Victoria HanrahanVictoria has worked for U.S. Army Europe Entertainment for thirty years. She is the longest serving Army Entertainment Branch Director, and epitomizes the U.S. Army Entertainment ideal and mission. Victoria's career has been a sterling example of hard work, perseverance, selfless service, devotion to soldiers and their families, belief in the mission, and a love of the art. She has worked as a one-person operation for much of her career. Despite that challenge, Victoria's consistently innovative and inventive approach has allowed her to operate an extensive and successful theatre program while maintaining the highest level of production and program quality. Currently serving as the Entertainment Director and U.S. Army Garrison at Ansbach Terrace Playhouse, Victoria has received numerous U.S. Army entertainment citations and awards for her work. Her talents, service, belief in the program, and personal integrity have greatly served Army Entertainment, the U.S. Army, and the United States.

2015 Honoree
Lou Vander Have
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Lou Vander HaveLou has volunteered on stage/off stage and in the boardroom for all of the theatres in Grand Rapids for over 50 years. He has been instrumental in helping the theatres create and maintain effective front of house operations and procedures as well as managing and staffing box office personnel. Lou has created show-specific props for many productions and on many occasions has lent specialty props from his legendary Coca Cola collection. He currently serves as the preview house manager for Civic Theatre and Community Circle in Grand Rapids as well as on the Steering Committee for Grand Awards, which has raised over $100,000 in scholarships for local students pursuing degrees in theatre. Lou is a steady force, always supporting and always working for the good of all the community theatres in the Grand Rapids area.

Previous Recipients
1978  Robert E. Gard (Madison, WI)
1979  Art Cole (Midland, TX)
1980  John Wray Young (Shreveport, LA)
1981  Jeanne Adams Wray (Stillwater, OK)
1982  Robert Plumb (Broken Arrow, OK)
1983  Betty Tomlinson (Spokane, WA)
1984  Kay Fliehr (Edina, MN)
1985  Twink Lynch (Topeka, KS)
1987  David Gooder (Downers Grove, IL)
1988  Mort Clark (North White Plains, NY)
1989  Al & Elise King (Clinton, IA)
1990  Bea Miller (Mempis, TN)
1991  Shirley Harbin (Detroit, MI)
1992  L. Newell Tarrant (Raleigh, NC)
1993  Sandra Karnack (Minot, ND)
1994  Charles Chesnut (Chappaqua, NY)
1995  John Wills (Spokane, WA)
1996  John Viars (Des Moines, IA)
1997  JoAnne Nissen (Racine, WI)
1998  Donna Norberg (Minneapolis, MN)
1999  Jerry Paquette (US Army)
2000  Bill Razo (Hobbs, NM)
2001  Jeanne Stein (Los Alamos, NM)
2002  Ginny Winsor (Omaha, NE)
2003  Dawn Enders (La Crosse, WI)
2004  Eleanor Smith (Columbus, OH)
2005  Norm Small (Winter Haven, FL)
2006  Steve Walpert (Fort Gordon, GA)
2007  David Allen (Memphis, TN)
           Nick Credgington (Fort Belvoir, VA)
           Ginger Heath (Charlotte, NC)
2008  Vanita Rae Smith (Honolulu, HI)
2009  Dane Winters (US Army, Heidelberg)
2010  Dwight Martin (Honolulu, HI)
2011  Sherman C. Ward (Alexandria Bay, NY)
2012  Paul Nelson (Olean, NY)
           Ron Paoletti (US Army, Europe)
2013  Christi Thomas (Sidney, OH)
2014   Harriet Friedman (Waltham, MA)
           Dotti Peek (New Palestine, IN)

David C. Bryant

David C. BryantThe David C. Bryant Outstanding Service Award was established in 1978 to honor one of the original founders and the third President (1965-68) of ACTA (later AACT).  Dave was the Artistic Director of the Sheboygan (WI) Community Players from 1957 until his death in 1971.  Under his influence in Sheboygan, according to its 50th anniversary book, "more people were involved onstage, backstage and in the audience.  There was a marked liveliness to the theatrical fare.  Even the printed playbills of the period reflect creativity, individuality and a sense of panache."  Dave instituted the production of a musical every year and was instrumental in the design of their new thrust stage in order to provide "closer visual, auditory and emotional contact with the actors."  His influence in Sheboygan was so powerful that when a new Artistic Director joined the staff in 1981, 10 years after Dave's untimely death, "Dave was all I heard about, even though there were four Directors of Theatre between us."

Essentially a "let-us-never-forget-the-work-of-those-who-have-gone-before-us" award, it is given for "significant and valuable service to community theatre" on a local, regional or national level.  This service may be artistic, business or ethical in nature.  It may be for a local theatre or the field of community theatre in general, but it must be significant and have a lasting impact.



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