Spotlight Award

Spotlight Awards
Presented for local service to community theatre

Announced by AACT, and presented locally, AACT's Spotlight Award allows member theatres across the nation to recognize special local achievement. Any individual, organization or company is eligible. Nominations are accepted for persons of all ages. Awards may be presented anytime through the year that is appropriate. This is a fitting tribute to the hardworking volunteers, staff, and patrons of local community theatre groups--an AACT tradition and service since 2000.

2017 Honorees

photo of John HanlonJohn Hanlon has been a Lincoln [NE] Community Playhouse member since 2010.  His wife, Susan, serves the Playhouse as a box office volunteer, and she encouraged John to lend a helping hand when he retired.  Although he had no previous experience in theatre, John had done carpentry and metal work during his service with the United States Coast Guard, and he knew these skills would be helpful back stage.   John began as a volunteer in set construction, working several afternoons a week, and he soon became a vital part of the Playhouse production team!  In 2012, John was honored with LCP’s Volunteer of the Year Award.  During its 70th season John volunteered over 378 hours designing and building sets, and 68 hours in the front of house ushering and bartending.  John currently serves on the Lincoln Community Playhouse Board of Directors as Vice-President of Buildings and Grounds. 

Photo of Reverend William Dunn Reverend William Dunn, Presiding Vicar over St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, Beaumont, California, became involved with A Repertory Theatre (ART)  in nearby Banning in 2010. When Rev. Dunn arrived at St. Stephen’s Church, he became aware that the lovely stage in the church fellowship hall was not being used. Congregation member Michael Owen informed the Vicar that ART was in need of performance space, and Rev. Dunn was thankful that St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church could provide a place to rehearse and perform. Since that time, he has served the theatre building sets and helping wherever he is needed. “I have been involved with theatre in some capacity all of my life as my mother and my late sister were accomplished actors, and my family helped build one of the finest community theatres on the Gulf Coast. I am not an actor, but a patron, and someone who deeply appreciates the value of theatre. I am especially pleased that ART is encouraging young people to participate in theatre. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church is proud of its partnership with A Repertory Theatre and the theatre’s continuing commitment to support area charities, such as the Cancer Society Relay for Life.”

Nancy WollenburgNancy Wollenburg has served Billings (MT) Studio Theatre as a staff member for over 25 years, first as Box Office Manager, then Office Manager, and currently as Associate Director. She oversees the design and execution of the Theatre’s fundraising, marketing, and advertising campaigns. Nancy also contributes her time as a volunteer, serving on the play reading committee and in every department, doing whatever is needed to get the job done. She will jump in to hem a skirt or mend a pair of pants when the costume department is behind schedule. She will grab a shovel, when the snow crew doesn’t arrive on time, always greeting every patron with a smile.


Photo of Shannon EgbertShannon Egbert has volunteered for SHAPE Performing Arts Centre since 2008, first as a seamstress, then as costume designer taking responsibility for all show costumes. Shannon also served as house manager, organizing the front of house staff and recruiting and supervising volunteers. For the opening season of 2017, Shannon designed costumes for Detachments, which won a 1st Place Award for Overall Design at the IMCOM Annual One Act Festival in Kaiserslautern, Germany. She is a full-time teacher who manages to contribute more than 15 hours weekly to the programs of the SHAPE Performing Arts Centre. She is a passionate advocate of its programs and activities, productions, and the Performing Arts School curriculum.

Photo of Sabrina Switzer-WareingSabrina Switzer-Wareing, of Scottsdale, Arizona, was honored by  A Repertory Theatre Group (ART)  of Banning, California. Sabrina has written and directed many of ART’s productions. Currently, Sabrina is Director of Drama for the Arizona State University, Herberger Academy.  The Academy is designed for gifted students who thrive in a highly engaging learning environment.  Recently, she was named “Theatre Teacher of the Year” at the Arizona Thespian Society Conference. In keeping with ART’s mission, all proceeds from its productions, go to support charitable causes, including college scholarships, Make A Wish Foundation, local food banks and housing programs, and the Seeing Eye Dog program, leaving no funds for theatre operations.  "When ART is in need," says the nomination letter, "Sabrina always comes to the rescue, to help raise funds for whatever it takes for the theatre to survive."


Previous Honorees & Presenting Companies


Bonnie Cahill
Butler Little Theater (BLT)
Butler, PA
John Hanlon
Lincoln Community Playhouse (LCP)
Lincoln, NE


Sue Keenan
Village Theatre Guild
Glen Ellyn, IL

Glenn Fournier
Mansfield Music and Arts Society (MMAS) Black Box Theater
Mansfield, MA

Margie Bankert
Sue and Gary Collar
Ron Lockwood
Butler Little Theatre
Butler, PA


Benjamin Keegan Arnold
Lakeside Community Theatre
The Colony, TX

Sheila Bourque
Kirk Players
Mundelein, IL

Herbert Hemming
Ojai Center for the Arts
Ojai, CA

Beth Marshall
Theatre Arlington
Arlington, TX



Robert "Rob" Babione
Curtain Call Theatre, (CCT)
Montgomery, MN

Jerry Davis
Crittenden Fine Arts Center, West Memphis, AR
ASAP & Carousel Theater Workshops for Seniors, Hot Springs, AR

Claudia Mathes
Albuquerque Theatre Guild
Albuquerque, NM

Melinda Worthington
Newton Community Theatre
Newton, IA



Jim Buckingham
Lincoln County Community Theater Damariscotta, ME
Kevin Frazier-Jones
Sock & Buskin Community Theatre
Sidney, OH
Vivian K. Humphrey
Triboro Youth Theatre, South Attleboro, MA
Aleta Grillot Looker
Cheshire (CT) Community Theatre
Colleen McGonegle
Theatrix Command Costume Support Center
Army Europe Entertainment
Doug Mishler
Reno Little Theater, Reno, NV
Joan Sammons
Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, IA
Sally Skelding
North End Players, Portland, OR


Russ's Market
Lincoln, NE
Rita Ford
Wellesley (MA) Players
Cindy Healy, Tim Blount & Wanda Blount
Newton (IA) Community Theatre
Don Mansfield
Center Stage Jackson, MI
Eeva Stromski
Theatre at the Mount, Gardiner, MA
Frank Milder and Joel Soukkala
County Seat Theater Company, Cloquet, MN
Bill Thorne
Greater Lewisville (TX) Community Theater



Kay Addison
Laurens County Community Theatre, SC
Fred Brockwell
The Upstagers, Del Rio, TX
Karen Reisenauer
Racine Theatre Guild, Racine, WI
Lorraine Tetlus
Manatee Players, Bradenton, FL



Anthony Batchelder, Tulsa, OK
Heller Theatre, Tulsa, OK
Richard Gannon, Downers Grove, IL
Grove Players, Downers Grove, IL
Betty Goettsch, Cedar Falls, IA
Waterloo Community Playhouse
Black Hawk Children's Theatre, Waterloo, IA
Carl G. (Gil) Haase, Schuyler, NE
Nebraska Assn of Community Theatres (NACT), Saint Paul, NE
Manatee Players Guild, Bradenton, FL
Manatee Players, Bradenton, FL
Sandi & Bill Taylor, Longview, TX
Arts View Children's Theatre, Longview, TX
Arthur Volmrich, Lake Placid, NY
Community Theatre Players, Ray Brook, NY


Patricia Beetschen
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
Jean Gold
The Middleburg Players, Inc. Middleburg, VA
George Mangold
Racine Theatre Guild, Inc. Racine, WI
Jess Mark
Tupelo Community Theatre Tupelo, MS
Donald Mummert
Boise Little Theater Boise, ID
André Bruce Ward
Theatre Memphis Memphis, TN
Pat Ward
The Red River Theater Company Ivanhoe, TX
Emily Westbrook Theatre of Northeastern Connecticut, Inc.
Putnam, CT
Jan H. Wolfe
El Paso Playhouse El Paso, TX


City of Willow Park
Weatherford Stage Performers, Weatherford, TX
Jessica Deeb
Community Theatre Players, Ray Brook, NY
Joshua Erichsen
The Players Guild Theatre Canton, OH
Harold Goldman
Des Moines Community Playhouse /Kate Goldman Children's Theatre Des Moines, IA
Barbara & Jim Poythress
Weatherford Stage Performers Weatherford, TX
Julia Woodward
Quincy Music Theatre Quincy, FL
Jon & Angela Wright
Arts View Children's Theatre Longview, TX





Jeffrey Brown
Chattanooga Theatre Centre Chattanooga, TN
Trish Davis
The Hudson Players Hudson, OH
Michael Galloway
Cadillac Footliters Cadillac, MI
Pat & Kim Gilligan
CYT San Diego El Cajon, CA
Lyn Joslyn
The Hudson Players Hudson, OH
Jean Nicholas
Cadillac Footliters Cadillac, MI
Shirley Tuzinowski
Algonac Community Theatre Algonac, MI


Charles & Madeleine Dionne
The Majestic Theatre Manchester, NH
Larry, Debbie, P.J., & Melissa Louie
The Children's Theatre Dover, DE
Harry & Terri Moore
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
CCX Trucking Company
Chanooka Center Stage Theatre Company, Channahon, IL


George Anne Bedford
Art Park Players Deer Park, TX
Daven Edmonds
Muhlenberg Community Theatre, Inc. Greenville, KY
George W. Kinsley, III
Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre, Inc. Langhorne, PA
Garth Stubbolo
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
Carl Tenuta
Pontiac Theatre IV Novi, MI




City of Winfield, Kansas
Winfield Community Theatre, Winfield, KS
B. J. Scott
Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano, CA


Parents Of Desert Stages Theatre
Ensuring Tomorrow Productions, Scottsdale, AZ
Debra Dieckman
Flat River Community Players, Greenville, MI
Sally McFadden
Green Earth Players, Luverne, MN

Stacey Storey
River City Players Cape Girardeau, MO
Russ Williams
Waco Civic Theatre, Waco, TX



Fred & Mary Blish
The Little Theatre of Manchester, CT
Bill Brown
Villa Playhouse Theatre, Springville, UT
Irv Clark
Stage West Community Playhouse, Spring Hill, FL
Betty J. Coleman
Butterfield Stage, Gainesville, TX
Walter Edwards
Fredericksburg Theater Company, Fredericksburg, TX
Wesley College
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
Yvonne Pinkerton
Venice Theatre, Venice, FL
Barbara Polka
The Trinity Players Inc., Weaverville, CA
Chuck Ross
River City Players, Cape Girardeau, MO
Jamie Sanders
Shreveport Little Theatre, Shreveport, LA
Robert D. Sandmaier
Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, Fort Wayne, IN
Patricia Schuman
Fredericksburg Theater Company Fredericksburg, TX
Velvet Sponaugle
The Children's Theatre, Dover, DE
Sig Stock
Stage West Community Playhouse, Spring Hill, FL
Dr. Thomas Vaughan
The Children's Theatre, Dover, DE


Aloha Airlines
Hawaii State Theatre Council Kamuela, HI
Mary Ann Baures
La Crosse Community Theatre La Crosse, WI
Lillian Baxter
Runaway Stage Productions, Elk Grove, CA
Gordon Becker, Creative Financial Planning
Cabrillo Music Theatre, Agoura, CA

Margaret M. Cahill
The Butler Little Theatre, Butler, PA

Robert "Bob" Child
Stage West Community Playhouse, Spring Hill, FL

John Igo
S.T.A.G.E., Inc.,  Bulverde, TX
PJ Searsy
Waxahachie Community Theatre, Waxahachie, TX
Guy Thrift - Minuteman Press
Tapestry Theatre Company Alexandria, VA
Lorraine Wagner
Fort Lauderdale Players, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jeffrey Williams
Theatre at the Mount, Gardner, MA


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