Shining Star Award | AACT

Shining Star Award

Shining Star
Recognizes an individual AACT Member with significant leadership & service on a national level

The AACT Shining Star award recognizes an individual AACT Member who has had a significant impact on the advancement of AACT and its mission through leadership and service on a national level. This new award is open to all ages and years of service, and will complement AACT’s growing national outreach to younger participants, and provides a way of encouraging and recognizing the service of those who may not yet qualify for any of AACT's  more long-term awards.

2024 Honoree

Katy Merriman
Des Moines, Iowa

Photo of Katy MerrimanKaty is Artistic Director of the Des Moines Playhouse, but before her arrival in Iowa in 2013, she appeared as a concert soloist with the Indianapolis Men's Chorus, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, and chorus member with the Indianapolis Opera. She also served as interim managing director for Summer Stock Stage during her time in Indianapolis. Since moving to Des Moines, she has performed in numerous roles on stage with local theatres, and directed many productions for the Des Moines Playhouse. Katy served as an adjudicator for the Monologue Competition at AACT’s 2023 National Festival, and serves as a member of AACT’s Education Committee.

She also is a staunch advocate of the Playhouse’s participation in the Penguin Project, which provides a safe and inspiring theatre experience for young people with special needs. “We are so happy to host young artists and give them the chance to take to the stage,” she says. “There is a place for everyone in the arts.”

Previous Honorees

2023   Kristofer Geddie (Venice, FL)
2021   Seth Sponhouse (Williamsport, Pennsylvania)
2021   Lou Ursone (Stamford, Connecticut)
2020   Chad-Alan Carr (Gettysburg, Penn­sylvania)
2019   Chris Serface (Tacoma, Washington)
2018   Nancy Eppert (Independence, Missouri)
           Sara Phoenix (Tulsa, Oklahoma)
           Kristi Quinn, (Dakota City, Nebraska)

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