Special Recognition

Special Recognition
Presented to persons & organizations whose contributions are far-reaching & of a special nature

2018 Honoree
Photo of Fred WiseFred Wise, Newark, OH
Fred has volunteered for the Ohio Community Theatre Association (OCTA) for 25 years. When the organization celebrated their 25th anniversary, Fred was asked to put together a historical timeline. Thus, he began a quest to collect and learn everything he could about OCTA. He interviewed board members, reps, delegates, conference attendees, and member theatres, and continued with building a yearly scrapbook highlighting the organization’s activities. He also used his artistic skills to create Christmas ornaments depicting the annual conference theme for the silent auction. When the 50th anniversary arrived, Fred created a scrapbook of the organization’s first 50 years. Not surprisingly, many theatres and organizations asked Fred for help in putting together their own histories. Sadly, Fred passed away suddenly in 2017 at the age of 85.

Without Fred’s diligent work, knowledge of OCTA’s history would be very little, if not lost all together.

2018 Honorees
Photo of Cheryl & Tom NavoCheryl & Tom Novo, U.S. Army IMCOM Europe Entertainment, Kaiserslautern, Germany
Cheryl and Tom have been active volunteers for 10 years at Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) Onstage, Kaiserslautern and the Hilltop Theater, Baumholder. Both have performed, designed, built sets, and directed award-winning shows. In 2016, when the Baumholder Theater closed and KMC Onstage was slated to be closed, Tom and Cheryl were vital in developing a plan for theatre to continue in the community. In 2017, Cheryl and Tom became volunteer managers and producers of the KMC Onstage Studio Theater. This second, experimental, theatre space will present productions in conjunction with KMC Onstage, and provide additional opportunities for volunteers; more community entertainment; and new, more diverse, and challenging shows. Their dedication is such that Tom and Cheryl postponed their retirement and return to the U.S. so they could continue being part of the KMC Onstage program and volunteer family.

Cheryl and Tom’s overseas military community is a transient one with soldiers and civilians transferring in and out on limited assignments. Their community theatre, KMC Onstage, is a place where they connect with others who love theatre and people who are newly discovering a love for theatre. 

Previous Recipients

1996  A. R. Gurney
1997  International Thespian Society
1998  Studio de Monaco - World Festival of Amateur Theatre
          Dundalk (Ireland) International Maytime Festival
          Toyama (Japan) International Theatre Festival
1999  Stephen Peithman (Davis, CA)
2000  Kurt Majkowski (Eau Claire, WI)
2001  1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery
          (Fort Sill, Lawton, OK)
         Women's Exchange of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL)
2002  Frank Peot (Sun Prairie, WI)
2003  Vilseck Bavarian Arts Guild (Vilseck, Germany)
2004  Patty Duke (Northern ID)
2005  Kathie Maldonado (Hobbs, NM)
2007  Angela L. Ardolino (Miami, FL)
2008  Victoria L. Hanrahan (Ansbach, Germany)
2009  Robert G. Anderson (Starkville, MS)
          John Kollack (Clarkesville, GA)
2010  Dan LaMorte (US Army, Europe)
2011  Ruth Legg* (Geneva, NY)
          L. Ross Rowland* (Muncie, IN)

2012  Merrie Dawkins (Rockingham, NC)
2013  Michael Fenlason (Tucson, AZ)
          Jan Mitchell (Menifee, KY)
2014  Wil Breden (Wellesley, MA)
          Twink Lynch (Topeka, KS)
          Kirk Players (Mundelein, IL)
2015   Dr. Mary Kay Switzer (Banning, CA)
2015   Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre (Grand Forks, ND)
2016  Dr. Tim Ballweber and Ballweber Orthodontics (Helena, Montana)
          Sue Ellen Gerrells (Alabaster, Alabama)
          Rhonda Wilson (Gainesville, Florida)
2017  Chester Eitze (Austin, Texas)
          Installation Management Command – Europe Region Entertainment
          Nathan Records (Kaiserslautern, Germany)
          The Frank Lee Family and
           the Jack K. Ayre & Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation
           (Fort Worth, Texas)

          * Deceased


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