Distinguished Merit Award
Michael Cochran (Paducah, Kentucky) is in his 39th year with Market House Theatre. He has a Bachelor’s in Theatre from the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, and an M.F.A. in theatre from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He is a past board member of Arts KY and the Kentucky Theatre Association, and currently serves on the AACT Board of Directors. His original play Eternity was selected as one of the winners of AACT NewPlayFest 2018 and was published by Dramatic Publishing. He has worked in a variety of professional theatres and theme parks,as well as in dance, television, and film and has won awards for both design and acting. Michael and his wife April were awarded the City of Paducah Mayor’s Award of Merit and the Chamber of Commerce Summit Award for their 30-plus years of work at MHT.
Amoretta Shultz (Chambersburg, Pennsylvania), currently serving the Chambersburg Community Theatre (CCT) as Vice President, has been instrumental in the creation of a traveling theatre program that takes live performances into area 13 elementary schools. She initiated this in partnership with a local non-profit music school, and together they met with the school district superintendent and elementary school principals to organize and institute the in-school program, which serves the district’s 3,323 elementary students. The program reaches almost 10,000 students of different backgrounds and nations of origin, providing live entertainment while also addressing important social issues. It also serves to draw students into CCT’s regular children’s programming, which is offered free to all. When she isn’t working as an advocate in the community, Amoretta is on stage, performing, or directing, stage managing, and even running lights. Her leadership encourages those who perform and volunteer to give their best effort 100% of the time.
The US Army IMCOM Europe Entertainment Staff has served U.S. soldiers, civilians, and their family members for over 65 years. The staff’s mission, over those many years, has been to provide US Army military communities across Europe the opportunity to participate in and attend quality theatrical productions while they are stationed far from home and serving the nation. The program also serves military civilians and retirees and citizens from host nations. In providing soldiers and their families a home away from home, staff say it is gratifying to see the positive results of their work in their overseas military communities. Staff members honored include: Alan Buxkemper, Stuttgart Entertainment Director; Nate Records, Wiesbaden Entertainment Director; Jerry Brees, Vicenza Entertainment Director; Naythan Rinehart, KMC Onstage Operations Manager; Brett Harwood, SHAPE Entertainment Director; Bob Chung, Ansbach Technical Director; Victoria Hanrahan, Ansbach Entertainment Director; Dane Winters, IMCOM Europe Entertainment Director; Ryan Ragazzi, SHAPE Theatre Specialist.
Photo Back Row (l-r): Alan Buxkemper, Stuttgart Entertainment Director; Quiana Clark-Roland, AACT Executive Director; Nate Records, Wiesbaden Entertainment Director; Jerry Brees, Vicenza Entertainment Director; Naythan Rinehart, KMC Onstage Operations Manager; Brett Harwood, SHAPE Entertainment Director; Bob Chung, Ansbach Technical Director; Front Row (l-r): Victoria Hanrahan, Ansbach Entertainment Director; Dane Winters, IMCOM Europe Entertainment Director; Ryan Ragazzi, SHAPE Theatre Specialist
2022 Tim Higgins (Royal Oak, Michigan)
2006 John Rich (Pullman, WA)