Mort Clark Award
(This award may be presented at an international event)
Community theatre has enriched Frank’s life, created excitement, and provided him with numerous lifelong friends. It has allowed him to be creative in many ways, and he has gained an amazing amount of knowledge about people, the world, and creating incredible entertainment.
2007 Hiroshi Koizumi (Japan)
This award is named in honor of Mort Clark, who began a 30-year career teaching Theatre and Speech at Westchester Community College in 1966. He served as department chair for a number of years and was instrumental in the design of the new theater in the Academic Arts Building. But he is perhaps best remembered for establishing an annual International Theatre Festival, which brought community theatre groups from all over the world to the Valhalla campus for a week of non-stop dramatic performances.
He served as president of the American Community Theatre Association (AACT's predecessor) and later served many years on the AACT Board as the Region II Rep. He was always there to greet new board members and make them feel welcome. He was honored by AACT with the David C. Bryant Outstanding Service Award, the Art Cole Award, and designation as an AACT Fellow. He adjudicated festivals throughout the country.
His passion for community theatre took him all over the world and earned him scores of awards, honorary titles and degrees too numerous to mention. He was a familiar presence at AACT meetings, festivals and conventions for many years. In 1993 Mort traveled to Monaco to be knighted by Princess Caroline on behalf of her father, prince Rainier. He was awarded the Chevalier Medal of Culture at Monaco's Princess Grace Theatre, and was thereafter entitled to be addressed as “Sir Mortimer”--an honor that delighted him thoroughly. Mort retired from Westchester Community College in 1997, and that year he made over 40 trips to teach and work with theatre groups around the world. He continued to travel and work until his death in 2007 at age 78.