Robert E. Gard Award

Robert E. Gard Superior Volunteer
Presented to volunteers over 65 who have faithfully served community theatre for over 25 years

2019 Honorees

Photo of  Carl and Jane MooreCarl and Jane Moore (Midland, Texas) are hailed as "amazing volunteers," who participate in many areas at Midland Community Theatre, and embody the essence of the important role volunteers play in community theatre. In fact, theatre brought Carl and Jane together – they met while acting in a 1995 production of I Hate Hamlet - and theatre continues to be a part of the glue that holds their relationship together. Both have a background in teaching theatre, and have filled many roles at Midland Community Theatre including playing roles, both large and small. Their volunteer work at Midland Community Theatre extends well beyond the stage, however. For the past decade, Jane and Carl have volunteered in the box office and worked backstage running props or dressing actors. Carl and Jane’s years of experience and teaching are an invaluable asset to other volunteers. When a new actor is feeling overwhelmed with a role, both Carl and Jane are willing to take time outside a rehearsal to go over a scene or song and provide support and guidance that makes the actor more confident and comfortable in rehearsals.


Previous Recipients
1982  L. K. Boutin* (Des Moines, IA)
1983  Ruth Kenyon Tate*
          (North White Plains, NY)
1984  Emma & Alan* Bowlsby
          (Indianapolis, IN)
1985  Roberta Kendrick* (Minneapolis, MN)
1987  Peggy Greene* (Topeka, KS)
1988  Alice B. Rogers* (Memphis, TN)
          Hilda Greenquist* (Racine, WI)
1989  Mary Peckham* (Omaha, NE)
          Lil Williams* (Ardmore, OK)
1990  Dick Brown* (Des Moines, IA)
1991  Mary Dwyer* (Sheyboygan, WI)
1993  Firth Chew* (Spokane, WA)
1994  John Edmands* (Racine, WI)
1995  Ruth Cole* (Midland, TX)
1996  Holley R. Webster* (Wallingford, PA)
1997  Jean Mitchell* (Grand Rapids, MI)
1998  Dottie Griffith (St. Joseph, MI)
1999  Betsey Reeder (Memphis, TN)
2000  Jane Margison (Riverside, CA)
           Robert Montgomery (Bremerton, WA)
2001  Heddie Kent (Concord, MA)
2002  Paul Sturner* (Tonawanda, NY)
           Isabella Ward (Dover, DE)
2003  Charlotte Hall (Fort Thomas, KY)
          Fred Normand (Rome, NY)
2004  Tom Cowley (Ponca City, OK)
          Jo Pruden (Fort Shafter, HI)
2005  Hal Robinson (Royal Oak, MI)
          Sherman C. Ward, Jr.* (Haddenfield, NJ)
2006  Marge and Ted* Ressler (Dover, DE)
2007  Rosemary Green & Louise Carpenter  (Ocala, FL)
2008  James N. Alexander, III* (Haddon Heights, NJ)
         Peg Brandon (Winter Haven, FL)
         Henry Pope (Walla Walla, WA)

2009  Rae Cohan (Newport Beach, CA)
         Max Polley (Davidson, NC)
         Willa Wye Rockett (Belmont, MA)
2010  Arthur Delo, Jr. (Jersey City, NJ)
          Martha Kovacsi* (Bay City, MI)
          Madge Levinson (Toledo, OH)
2011  Geri Becker (Venice, FL)
           Wayne Pressnall (North Platte, NE)
           Bennett Wood (Memphis, TN)
2012  Don Mansfield (Jackson, MI)
           Judi Schweppe Johnson (Eugene, OR)
           Richard C. Whaley (Annapolis, MD)
2013  John Lynn* (Mundelein, IL)
           Charla Rowe (Fort Washington, MD)
           Richard Sherwin (Tallahasee, FL)
2014 Alvin Blasco (Streator, IL)
         Ron McDaniel (Danville, IL)
         Barbara Tarlin (Wellesley, MA)
2015 Ruth Behrend* (Hartland, WI)
2015 Guy Dillaway (Weston, MA)
2015 Jean Endrizzi (Duluth, MN)
2015 Richard and Elaine Albright (Aurora, IL)
2015 Libby Kafka (Sharon, MA)
2016 Beverly Allen (Helena, MT)
         Barbara Christensen (Hartland, WI)
         Margi Ritscher (Ansbach, Germany)
         Susan Tucker (Concord, MA)
         Dr. Charles "Bud" Vear (Hillsdale, MI)
2017 Sally Barnes (Broken Arrow, Oklahoma)
         Gloria Filean (Des Moines, Iowa)
         Barry Fuller (Memphis, Tennessee)
         Rita Heizer (Billings, Montana)
         Gerri Nichols (Troy, Ohio)
2018 Joseph Connor, Sandy Spring, Maryland
         Kathleen Davis, Evergreen, Colorado
         Pat Heiss, Charlotte, North Carolina
         David Zacharias, Merced, California
         

          *Deceased
20152015 2015

 


Robert E. Gard

This award is named in honor of Robert E. Gard, because of his lifetime commitment to theatre at the grassroots level. He taught playwriting at the University of Kansas and at Cornell, became a fellow of the Rockefeller Foundation, Humanities Division, and remained a fellow, and held numerous Rockefeller Foundation grants for many years. He later helped to found, with Professor Alexander M. Drummond, the New York State Playwriting Project, and helped to establish a statewide training program for New York State playwrights. In 1945 he received an offer to join the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, where he established the Wisconsin Idea Theatre Conference. He remained as director of Arts Development until, at age 70, he retired from all administrative duties. Gard founded the National Community Theatre Center in 1958 and conducted a national survey of the American Community Theatre in 1957-1958 for the Rockefeller Foundation. In 1967 Gard led a team, which surveyed the American Theatre for the National Theatre Conference. In 1967 he received the first large grant made by the National Endowment for the Arts for work with smaller communities.

Gard's list of citations is long: Kansas Theatre Hall of Honor; Pabst award for service to nationality groups; Distinguished Citizen Award from the Governor of Wisconsin; Member of the Finnish national Academy of Sciences and Letters; National Chairman of Fulbright Theatre Committee; Distinguished Service Award, Wisconsin Theatre Association; and many other awards and citations. The Robert E. Gard award was established in 1982, following Gard's offer to fund a "superior volunteer award" to be given annually to one or more persons who have served their theatres faithfully for many years in an unpaid capacity.  ACTA (later AACT) decided to name the award in Professor Gard's honor.

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