Special Recognition | AACT

Special Recognition

Special Recognition
Presented to persons & organizations whose contributions are far-reaching & of a special nature

2022 Honorees

Photo of Ann DavisAnn Davis (York, Pennsylvania) is a founding member and longtime volunteer at Dreamwrights Center For Community Arts. In her role as Executive Director, guiding both volunteers and staff as they evolve and adapt to the needs of the York community, Ann identified the need to engage with a more diverse group of residents through programming and community events. She believed the world of theatre has the power to benefit and unite the York community. With that in mind, in 2016, DreamWrights embarked on a $2.5M capital campaign— helmed by Ann—which successfully secured commitments for $1,909,635. DreamWrights successfully completed the construction of Phase I in 2017, and then completed the Phase 2 portion of fundraising—again, headed by Ann—and is currently in the construction phase. In addition to paperwork and grant applications, Ann is no stranger to rolling up her sleeves, as well as being a positive and grounding force for both staff and community.

Photo of Mandi TheaterMandi Theater (Buffalo Grove, Illinois) was founded in 2015 and is dedicated to producing the classics of Indian as well as international literature, with the goal of using theatre to connect with people on various social issues. Part of its mission is to educate, inform and entertain its community via material that focuses on social issues and values pertinent to the lives of young people. Another strong focus for Mandi has been the Hindi-speaking senior population, which is comprised largely of immigrants. As a response to the global pandemic, Mandi Theater was among the first to host a “Quarantine Theater Festival.” It invited over 18 different theatre groups to showcase their pre-recorded plays via Mandi Theater’s live-streaming platform, engaging 30,000+ viewers around the globe. The company’s work has received several honors, including the Illinois Theatre Association’s Excellence for Community Theatre Award in 2020, and an Excellence in Performing Arts Award from the Artists Association of North America in 2019.

Previous Recipients

2021  Stephen Peithman (Oakland, California)
          Colleen Stock (Reston, Virginia)
2020   Richard Roberts (Stuttgart, Ger­many)
           Dane Winters (Kaiserslautern, Ger­many)
2019   Valerie Kavanaugh (Averill Park, New York)
           Theatrix (Franken Kaserne, Ansbach, Germany)
2018   Fred Wise (Newark, Ohio)
           Cheryl & Tom Novo
       U.S. Army IMCOM Europe Entertainment
               Kaiserslautern, Germany
2017  Chester Eitze (Austin, Texas)
          Installation Management Command – Europe Region Entertainment
          Nathan Records (Kaiserslautern, Germany)
          The Frank Lee Family and
           the Jack K. Ayre & Frank Ayre Lee Theatre Foundation
           (Fort Worth, Texas)
2016  Dr. Tim Ballweber and Ballweber Orthodontics (Helena, Montana)
          Sue Ellen Gerrells (Alabaster, Alabama)
          Rhonda Wilson (Gainesville, Florida)
2015   Dr. Mary Kay Switzer (Banning, CA)
       Greater Grand Forks Community Theatre (Grand Forks, ND)
2014  Wil Breden (Wellesley, MA)
          Twink Lynch (Topeka, KS)
          Kirk Players (Mundelein, IL)


2013  Michael Fenlason (Tucson, AZ)
          Jan Mitchell (Menifee, KY)
2012  Merrie Dawkins (Rockingham, NC)
2011  Ruth Legg* (Geneva, NY)
          L. Ross Rowland* (Muncie, IN)
2010  Dan LaMorte (US Army, Europe)
2009  Robert G. Anderson (Starkville, MS)
          John Kollack (Clarkesville, GA)
2008  Victoria L. Hanrahan (Ansbach, Germany)
2007  Angela L. Ardolino (Miami, FL)
2005  Kathie Maldonado (Hobbs, NM)
2004  Patty Duke (Northern ID)
2003  Vilseck Bavarian Arts Guild (Vilseck, Germany)
2002  Frank Peot (Sun Prairie, WI)
2001  1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery
          (Fort Sill, Lawton, OK)
      Women's Exchange of Sarasota (Sarasota, FL)
2000  Kurt Majkowski (Eau Claire, WI)
1999  Stephen Peithman (Davis, CA)
1998  Studio de Monaco - World Festival of Amateur Theatre
          Dundalk (Ireland) International Maytime Festival
          Toyama (Japan) International Theatre Festival
1997  International Thespian Society
1996  A. R. Gurney

          * Deceased


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