Spotlight Award

Spotlight Awards
Presented for local service to community theatre

Announced by AACT, and presented locally, AACT's Spotlight Award allows member theatres across the nation to recognize special local achievement. Any individual, organization or company is eligible. Nominations are accepted for persons of all ages. Awards may be presented anytime through the year that is appropriate. This is a fitting tribute to the hardworking volunteers, staff, and patrons of local community theatre groups--an AACT tradition and service since 2000.

2019 Honorees

Freddie Beth Bayne
Freddie and her husband, Jim, have been supportive patrons and season ticket holders of The Upstagers (Del Rio, Texas)for over 25 years. Freddie became involved with the Board of Directors as a community representative in 2003. She was immediately recruited as Board Secretary, and joined the Reading Committee, which selects the group’s shows for each season. According to the Upstagers’ nomination letter, “Freddie still says she isn’t qualified to be on our Board, since she doesn’t act, sing, dance, build sets, or do tech work, but she knows our community and loves theatre. And as a retired English teacher, she has organizational and writing skills that are indispensable to our group.” Freddie managed the box office for years, and supervised the front of the house for each performance. She organized ticket sales at various businesses in the community—in the process, becoming the “face” of The Upstagers. More recently, Freddie agreed to assist in the administration of The Upstagers’ Facebook page, even though she felt that she was “too old and out of date for all that.” She monitors the page daily, posting news and photos for the group. “I want to thank The Upstagers for letting me do all this,” Freddie said, “and have so much fun over the years! It has meant the world to me.”

Daniel Sheehan
Photo of Dan SheehanDan Sheehan joined The Walpole Footlighters in 1990, and has served as Technical Director for over 20 years.  His many talents include set, sound, and lighting design, as well as stage “gimmicks.”  Dan is the theatre’s go-to guy for almost everything, one who signs his bio as: "Fixer of Things that Break."  When a challenge arises, Dan always finds a clever and practical solution. His creativity and technical expertise have enabled The Walpole Footlighters to stage technically difficulty shows, like Something's Afoot, with 10 "lethal" gimmicks, Flemming, with multiple concealed entrances, and Blithe Spirit, featuring a center stage dancing armchair.  Dan accommodates any of the backstage, last-minute, or on-the-spot needs of the cast and stage crew. The Footlighters depend on Dan to make things right, and help its production teams achieve their artistic vision.

Sharon Burum
Photo of Sharon BurumSharon has served Duncan Little Theatre and the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association for over 25 years.  She first became involved in OCTA when Duncan Little Theatre hosted the 1995 OCTAFest, and has served as president of OCTA three times. Sharon serves Duncan Little Theatre as a volunteer, actor, director, and producer. She directed the OCTAFest advancing show The Dixie Swim Club. Sharon currently serves on the AACT Board of Directors as Member-at-Large. She has served on the Chisholm Trail Arts Council board, the Simmons Center Theater board, and Centennial Art Walk Committee. In 2010 Sharon received the Governor’s Arts Award. She earned a BS in Theatre Arts from Texas Tech University, and a M. Ed. from Cameron University. She studied at the Oklahoma Arts Institute with Ed Sherrin and Michael Toledo. She is currently on staff at Hodgson’s Studio of Music & Drama, and serves as a theatre consultant.

Chuck Tweed
Photo of Chuck TweedMention the name Jewell Box Theatre in Oklahoma City and immediately people think of Chuck Tweed. He has led the theater for 41 years as production director. The sad news is that he has just retired. During Tweed’s tenure, with his passion for excellence, the Jewel Box has boosted its number of season ticket holders from 237 to 2,700 and has started such programs as it annual Gem Awards, a national playwriting competition, and a behind-the-scenes theater boot camp. While working at Jewel Box, Chuck Tweed also co-founded Edmond’s Summerstock Productions and has directed plays at other theaters. He was a founding member of the Oklahoma Community Theatre Association (OCTA). In 2013, Tweed received the extremely prestigious Governor’s Award, recognizing longtime leadership and significant contribution to the arts.

Previous Honorees & Presenting Companies


Sue McCollum
Highlands Little Theatre
Sebring, FL


Reverend William Dunn
A Repertory Theatre (ART)
Banning, CA

Shannon Egbert
SHAPE Performing Arts Centre
Mons, Belgium

John Hanlon
Lincoln Community Playhous
Lincoln, NE

Sabrina Switzer-Wareing
A Repertory Theatre (ART)
Banning, CA

Nancy Wollenburg
Billings Studio Theatre
Billings, MT


Bonnie Cahill
Butler Little Theater (BLT)
Butler, PA
John Hanlon
Lincoln Community Playhouse (LCP)
Lincoln, NE


Sue Keenan
Village Theatre Guild
Glen Ellyn, IL

Glenn Fournier
Mansfield Music and Arts Society (MMAS) Black Box Theater
Mansfield, MA

Margie Bankert
Sue and Gary Collar
Ron Lockwood
Butler Little Theatre
Butler, PA


Benjamin Keegan Arnold
Lakeside Community Theatre
The Colony, TX

Sheila Bourque
Kirk Players
Mundelein, IL

Herbert Hemming
Ojai Center for the Arts
Ojai, CA

Beth Marshall
Theatre Arlington
Arlington, TX


Robert "Rob" Babione
Curtain Call Theatre, (CCT)
Montgomery, MN

Jerry Davis
Crittenden Fine Arts Center, West Memphis, AR
ASAP & Carousel Theater Workshops for Seniors, Hot Springs, AR

Claudia Mathes
Albuquerque Theatre Guild
Albuquerque, NM

Melinda Worthington
Newton Community Theatre
Newton, IA


Jim Buckingham
Lincoln County Community Theater Damariscotta, ME
Kevin Frazier-Jones
Sock & Buskin Community Theatre
Sidney, OH
Vivian K. Humphrey
Triboro Youth Theatre, South Attleboro, MA
Aleta Grillot Looker
Cheshire (CT) Community Theatre
Colleen McGonegle
Theatrix Command Costume Support Center
Army Europe Entertainment
Doug Mishler
Reno Little Theater, Reno, NV
Joan Sammons
Theatre Cedar Rapids, Cedar Rapids, IA
Sally Skelding
North End Players, Portland, OR


Russ's Market
Lincoln, NE
Rita Ford
Wellesley (MA) Players
Cindy Healy, Tim Blount & Wanda Blount
Newton (IA) Community Theatre
Don Mansfield
Center Stage Jackson, MI
Eeva Stromski
Theatre at the Mount, Gardiner, MA
Frank Milder and Joel Soukkala
County Seat Theater Company, Cloquet, MN
Bill Thorne
Greater Lewisville (TX) Community Theater



Kay Addison
Laurens County Community Theatre, SC
Fred Brockwell
The Upstagers, Del Rio, TX
Karen Reisenauer
Racine Theatre Guild, Racine, WI
Lorraine Tetlus
Manatee Players, Bradenton, FL



Anthony Batchelder, Tulsa, OK
Heller Theatre, Tulsa, OK
Richard Gannon, Downers Grove, IL
Grove Players, Downers Grove, IL
Betty Goettsch, Cedar Falls, IA
Waterloo Community Playhouse
Black Hawk Children's Theatre, Waterloo, IA
Carl G. (Gil) Haase, Schuyler, NE
Nebraska Assn of Community Theatres (NACT), Saint Paul, NE
Manatee Players Guild, Bradenton, FL
Manatee Players, Bradenton, FL
Sandi & Bill Taylor, Longview, TX
Arts View Children's Theatre, Longview, TX
Arthur Volmrich, Lake Placid, NY
Community Theatre Players, Ray Brook, NY


Patricia Beetschen
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
Jean Gold
The Middleburg Players, Inc. Middleburg, VA
George Mangold
Racine Theatre Guild, Inc. Racine, WI
Jess Mark
Tupelo Community Theatre Tupelo, MS
Donald Mummert
Boise Little Theater Boise, ID
André Bruce Ward
Theatre Memphis Memphis, TN
Pat Ward
The Red River Theater Company Ivanhoe, TX
Emily Westbrook Theatre of Northeastern Connecticut, Inc.
Putnam, CT
Jan H. Wolfe
El Paso Playhouse El Paso, TX


City of Willow Park
Weatherford Stage Performers, Weatherford, TX
Jessica Deeb
Community Theatre Players, Ray Brook, NY
Joshua Erichsen
The Players Guild Theatre Canton, OH
Harold Goldman
Des Moines Community Playhouse /Kate Goldman Children's Theatre Des Moines, IA
Barbara & Jim Poythress
Weatherford Stage Performers Weatherford, TX
Julia Woodward
Quincy Music Theatre Quincy, FL
Jon & Angela Wright
Arts View Children's Theatre Longview, TX





Jeffrey Brown
Chattanooga Theatre Centre Chattanooga, TN
Trish Davis
The Hudson Players Hudson, OH
Michael Galloway
Cadillac Footliters Cadillac, MI
Pat & Kim Gilligan
CYT San Diego El Cajon, CA
Lyn Joslyn
The Hudson Players Hudson, OH
Jean Nicholas
Cadillac Footliters Cadillac, MI
Shirley Tuzinowski
Algonac Community Theatre Algonac, MI


Charles & Madeleine Dionne
The Majestic Theatre Manchester, NH
Larry, Debbie, P.J., & Melissa Louie
The Children's Theatre Dover, DE
Harry & Terri Moore
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
CCX Trucking Company
Chanooka Center Stage Theatre Company, Channahon, IL


George Anne Bedford
Art Park Players Deer Park, TX
Daven Edmonds
Muhlenberg Community Theatre, Inc. Greenville, KY
George W. Kinsley, III
Neshaminy Valley Music Theatre, Inc. Langhorne, PA
Garth Stubbolo
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
Carl Tenuta
Pontiac Theatre IV Novi, MI




City of Winfield, Kansas
Winfield Community Theatre, Winfield, KS
B. J. Scott
Camino Real Playhouse, San Juan Capistrano, CA


Parents Of Desert Stages Theatre
Ensuring Tomorrow Productions, Scottsdale, AZ
Debra Dieckman
Flat River Community Players, Greenville, MI
Sally McFadden
Green Earth Players, Luverne, MN

Stacey Storey
River City Players Cape Girardeau, MO
Russ Williams
Waco Civic Theatre, Waco, TX



Fred & Mary Blish
The Little Theatre of Manchester, CT
Bill Brown
Villa Playhouse Theatre, Springville, UT
Irv Clark
Stage West Community Playhouse, Spring Hill, FL
Betty J. Coleman
Butterfield Stage, Gainesville, TX
Walter Edwards
Fredericksburg Theater Company, Fredericksburg, TX
Wesley College
The Children's Theatre, Inc. Dover, DE
Yvonne Pinkerton
Venice Theatre, Venice, FL
Barbara Polka
The Trinity Players Inc., Weaverville, CA
Chuck Ross
River City Players, Cape Girardeau, MO
Jamie Sanders
Shreveport Little Theatre, Shreveport, LA
Robert D. Sandmaier
Fort Wayne Civic Theatre, Fort Wayne, IN
Patricia Schuman
Fredericksburg Theater Company Fredericksburg, TX
Velvet Sponaugle
The Children's Theatre, Dover, DE
Sig Stock
Stage West Community Playhouse, Spring Hill, FL
Dr. Thomas Vaughan
The Children's Theatre, Dover, DE


Aloha Airlines
Hawaii State Theatre Council Kamuela, HI
Mary Ann Baures
La Crosse Community Theatre La Crosse, WI
Lillian Baxter
Runaway Stage Productions, Elk Grove, CA
Gordon Becker, Creative Financial Planning
Cabrillo Music Theatre, Agoura, CA

Margaret M. Cahill
The Butler Little Theatre, Butler, PA

Robert "Bob" Child
Stage West Community Playhouse, Spring Hill, FL

John Igo
S.T.A.G.E., Inc.,  Bulverde, TX
PJ Searsy
Waxahachie Community Theatre, Waxahachie, TX
Guy Thrift - Minuteman Press
Tapestry Theatre Company Alexandria, VA
Lorraine Wagner
Fort Lauderdale Players, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jeffrey Williams
Theatre at the Mount, Gardner, MA


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