Special Recognition | AACT

Special Recognition

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

2021 Honorees

Photo of Stephen PeithmanStephen Peithman (Oakland, California) first became involved in community theatre while a grad student at UC Davis, and continued his involvement as an actor, board president, and director with Sacramento-area theatres. He attended his first AACTFest in the 1990s, when he was editor of Stage Directions Magazine. Stephen served on several AACT committees and for six years and on the AACT Board prior to being elected VP for public relations. He is proudest of his role in the creation and development of AACT’s first website in 1996, and continues to volunteer as webmaster, along with assisting with AACT’s Spotlight Magazine. “Community theatre has given me the opportunity to explore my talents and creativity in ways I never would have imagined,” he explains. “In addition, being part of AACT has broadened my understanding and appreciation of theatre from a national perspective–in particular, the many ways in which we share a common bond. To this day, most of my closest friends are people I met through my community theatre experience, and for that, I am truly thankful.”

Photo of Colleen Stock Colleen Stock (Reston, Virginia) has been actively involved in community theatre for 12 years, including serving as an adjudicator for Washington Area Theatre Community Honors organization, which recognizes artistic and technical excellence in community theatre throughout the greater Washington D.C. metropolitan area. In response to area theatres’ need for funding and recognition during the Covid crisis, Colleen created and helped produce a two-day, 17-hour telethon called Community Theatre Thrives!. The telethon included recorded theatre content from 14 participating community theatres, showcasing the variety of talent that exists in the region. More than 3,000 viewers--some from as far away as Hawaii and Sweden--tuned into the telethon, which raised nearly $24,000 that was shared by the 14 participating theatres. In addition to the funds raised, the telethon helped promote community theatres as an important cultural asset. With that in mind, Colleen is in the process of creating a manual to help other community theatre companies replicate this telethon activity.

Previous Recipients

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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