Biographies

 

Biographies are alphabetized by Last Name. To quickly navigate to the desired biography, click on a red index letter. Then scroll down.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Betty  Adler
Betty Adler
A Quintessential Volunteer -by Roy Riedy

Betty started waiting tables at the Lakeside Playhouse at the opening of the Fourteenth Season with Marian Dunham’s musical Cabaret, in November 1987. During the first three plays of that season she also helped in the Box Office, but essentially, she became an institution as a waitress.

She waited on patrons through the five shows of the Fourteenth Season and, at that time, food was served at the Zenon Ceremonies, she waited the Zenon show as well.

She reprised her efforts during the Fifteenth Season and once again served theater patrons during that season’s five show season.

Betty remained a waitress during the opening show of the Sixteenth Season, Marian Dunham’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown, but she also extended her experiences at HLT by being involved in that production and appearing as a singer and dancer in the show’s chorus. Betty waited the entire season but also appeared in Frank Oberhausen’s March production of My Fair Lady, as Mrs. Higgins’ maid, and a Bystander. At the Fifth Annual Zenon Ceremony, Betty won her first Board of Directors Service Award “for outstanding contributions to the theatre as a volunteer in Gourmet and Box Office.”

During the Seventeenth Season Betty waited for all the shows but one and also served on the Construction Team for Jet Hansen’s Oklahoma, in November, on Peter Pollard’s Stage Crew for Steel Magnolias, in January; on the Set Construction and in the chorus for Frank Oberhausen’s The Music Man; on Set Construction for Tena Conyer’s Little Shop of Horrors and Walter Zelenenki’s August production of The Seven Year Itch. At the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Betty received her second Zenon ”for outstanding contributions to the theatre in the construction of the new wardrobe room, set construction during the season, gourmet and the box office.”

Betty was a waitress during all the shows of the Eighteenth Season and was also involved in all the plays. She worked on Set Construction for Jet Hansen’s Mame in November; Peter Pollard’s They’re Playing Our Song in January; and Frank Oberhausen’s Funny Girl in April. In June she appeared as Mrs. Loomis in Janelou Buck’s Inherit The Wind, and was Miss Keora in Marian Dunham’s August reprise of The Teahouse of the August Moon, and a member of its Set Construction Team. At the Seventh Zenon Awards in early October, Betty was nominated for another Board Service Award.

Once again, Betty worked as a waitress during all of the shows of the Nineteenth Season and was additionally involved in the last three plays of that season: she was part of the Set Construction Team for Frank Oberhausen’s Camelot in April, 1993; she played Elsie in Marian Dunham’s The Philadelphia Story, and also was on her Set Construction Team; and in Jet Hansen’s August Show Boat, Betty played the Landlady and also worked on its Set Construction.

During the Twentieth Season, besides being a waitress for all five shows, Betty worked on Set Construction for Tena Conyer’s Nunsense II and Frank Oberhausen’s South Pacific, and did the Video forTammie Pollard’s Lend Me A Tenor and Marian Dunham’s Meet Me in St. Louis.

Betty waited on tables for all five shows of the Twenty-first Season and in addition she was a member of the Stage Crew for Jim Lanier’s Gypsy; also a Dresser for Tena Conyer’s and Andy Conyer’sSame Time Next Year, and Marian Dunham’s Gigi. At the Tenth Annual Zenon Ceremony, Betty received another Board Service nomination for her work in the Box Office, Gourmet, and Building Maintenance.

Once again, during the Twenty-second Season, Betty waited on tables for all five major plays and also worked on Mac Byron’s “Extra” play, Greater Tuna in December as part of his Stage Crew. ForFrank Oberhausen’s March reprise of Fiddler on the Roof, Betty did the Video and in August, she was a Dresser for Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s The Secret Garden.

In the Twenty-third Season, Betty not only worked in the dining room during all of the plays but also in the Box Office. Besides these two permanent posts she also played Miss Stephanie in Melanie Boulay’s presentation of To Kill a Mockingbird in January, 1997. She was a Dresser for Frank Oberhausen’s La Cage aux folles in April, and was on the Stage Crew of Mac Byron’s George Washington Slept Here in June.

During four of the five productions during the Twenty-third Season, Betty worked as a waitress and as a worker in the Box Office, the fifth play not only included her help in the dining room and Box Office but also saw her on stage in Peter Pollard’s January, 1998, presentation of My Favorite Year in which she played the part of Aunt Sadie.

The Twenty-fifth Season at HLT saw her working in the Box Office for every play and as a waitress for three of them. In the Twenty-sixth Season Betty worked in the Box Office for two of the shows presented that season.

During the Twenty-seventh Season, Betty was involved in Mac Byron’s second “Extra” play A Tuna Christmas, as a member of its Stage Crew, in December, 2000, and Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in April, as a Wardrobe Assistant.

The Twenty-eighth Season was the last time Betty’s name is recorded in the seasons programs. Her name appears in Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s Guys and Dolls and in Peter Pollard’sFoxfire program as one of the House Managers. The last entry is in Joe Willis’ program for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, where it is also listed as being a House Manager.

Betty was associated with 68 plays during her 15 years at the Lakeside Playhouse, she attended 5 Zenon Ceremonies, won 2 Zenons and was nominated for two others. She worked on 3 Christmas programs and was mentioned in 29 HLT Newsletters and 11 local news articles for a total of 117 Citations. A record that proves that Betty was – and remains – one of the few quintessential volunteers that Highlands Little Theatre is proud to call a member. Bravo Betty!

Photo of  Morgan  Anderson
Morgan Anderson
Youngest Gracie Award Winner -By: Roy Riedy

Morgan Anderson, now a freshman at Avon Park High School, is one of the youngest members of Highlands Little Theatre to win a Gracie Award. She received the honor in November, 2000, when she was a seventh grader at Hill-Gustat Middle School for suggesting an ingenious idea to facilitate the waiting process.

Morgan is no stranger to awards, in April, 2002, she was the only student in Highlands County to be accepted into the prestigious All-State Band as a flautist and in March, 2003, she received a superior rating for her flute solo at the Florida Bandmasters Association State Contest.

Besides winning the Gracie Award for her work in October, 2000, at HLT, Morgan’s name has appeared in the program of Tammie Pollard’s August, 2001, musical West Side Story, as a Dining Room server.

Since joining Highlands Little Theatre in the Twenty-sixth Season, Morgan has been mentioned in two HLT Newsletters and two local news articles for a total of five citations. Undoubtably, Morgan is a winner.

Photo of  Victor  Anderson
Victor Anderson
Wonderbar -By: Roy Riedy

Victor Anderson joined HLT four years ago and was seen in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s “Western” musical Paint Your Wagon in June, 1998, as Jack Daniels; a year later in Beverly’s revival of Arsenic and Old Lace he appeared in that play as Officer Brophy. In late 2000, he made a great impression on the members of HLT by refurbishing the bar in Anthony’s Lounge. He did such a good job that he was awarded Board Service Zenon at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 2001, for his work on the Bar renovations and at Special Events.

Victor has been associated with ten plays at HLT since he became a member. Last year he played C.J. Scruggs in Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas which was presented in March, 2001. He was the Chairman of Anthony’s Lounge during the run of Steve McDaniel’s Moon Over Buffalo and continued his work in the Lounge during Frank Oberhausen’s November production of Guys and Dolls and Peter Pollard’s presentation of Foxfire in January, 2002.

Victor was on the Stage Crew of Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March and April of this year, and back in Anthony’s Lounge as its Chairman in June during the run of Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham. During Melanie Boulay’s Peter Pan in August, and Frank Oberhausen’s November production of Man of La Mancha continued at his post at Anthony’s.

Since joining Highlands Little Theatre in 1998, Mr. Anderson has been associated with ten plays at HLT, won a Zenon, been mentioned in 17 HLT Newsletters and 5 local newspaper articles for a total of 33 citations that link his name with the Little Theatre. Thank you for your ongoing efforts at HLT Victor, they have been Wonderbar!

Photo of  Darlene Glaum Arabinko
Darlene Glaum Arabinko

Darlene was still Darlene Glaum when her name appeared for the first time in the playbill for Janelou Buck’s reprise of Mister Roberts, in August, 1989. Darlene was listed as being on the Gourmet Staff and working with Beverages.

She remained on the Beverage Staff throughout the entire Sixteenth Season, and at the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1990, at the end of that season, Darlene was awarded a Board of Directors Service Award, her first Zenon ”for outstanding contributions to the theater through her work in Anthony’s Lounge.”

During the Seventeenth Season her name appears in the programs of the first two shows, Jet Hansen’s Oklahoma, in November, 1990, and Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias, in January, and was still listed as on the Gourmet Staff and working with Beverages.

The next time Darlene’s name appeared, the Nineteenth Season’s program for Nunsense, which was given in November, 1992, her last name had changed, she was now Darlene Arabinko, and her name was listed as still working with the Gourmet Staff, but now with the Salad Bar and Desserts. “Beverages” had changed its name too and was now called “Anthony’s Lounge.” In January, Darlene Arabinko was listed as the Chairman of the Salad Bar/Desserts in the program for Walter Zelenenki’s production of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and was styled that way for the last three productions of the season. At the Eight Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony at the end of the Nineteenth Season, Darlene Arabinko received her second Board Service Zenon ”for contributions to the theatre as chairman of the salad bar sub-committee of the Gourmet Division.”

Darlene’s last season with Highlands Little Theatre was during its Twentieth Season. She worked as Chairman of the Salad Bar/Desserts for the last four shows of that season. The last time her name appeared in a HLT document was in the program for the Ninth Zenon Awards Ceremony, in October, 1994, when it was nominated for her outstanding contributions with the Gourmet Division and the Salad Bar. Mrs. Arabinko died on July 13, 1998, and is remembered with affection by all who knew her.

During her association with the Lakeside Playhouse, Darlene’s name appeared in 17 play programs, 14 HLT Newsletters, and in 2 local news articles. Her name appeared in 3 Zenon Programs and she won 2 Board Service Awards and was nominated for a third, for a total of 36 Citations.

Photo of  Richard  Arabinko
Richard Arabinko
1990 Zenon Winner -By: Roy Riedy

Richard Arabinko’s name first appeared in the August – September, 1986, program of Sue McCollum’s comedy Vanities, as a member of her Set Construction Team. It was the last play of the Twelfth Season at Highlands Little Theatre and the first of 35 plays that he would be involved with during his association with the Lakeside Playhouse.

Dick got busier during the Thirteenth Season and worked with every play. He was on the Set Construction Team for Marian Dunham’s production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forumand also a waiter for that November show. In January he waited tables during Barbara Smith’s comedy You Can’t Taker It With You. In March, he worked on the construction of the set for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Fiddler on the Roof, and had also worked himself into the Chairmanship of the Waiter and Waitress Staff in the dining room. During the Farnsworth and Cardozo production ofThe Fantasticks in June, and Jet Hansen’s August reprise of The Odd Couple, Dick concerned himself with his Gourmet duties.

The Fourteenth Season opened with Dick working with Karen Clark on Marian Dunham’s Lighting Crew for her Zenon winning musical Cabaret. In the June program for Janelou Buck’s California Suite it was noted that “a new committee of Diane Arch, Virginia Peck and Grace Sagona, with the kindly loan by Dick Arabinko of his computer, the patrons (members), angels & guardian angels will be listed so the membership rolls are accurate.” In the August program for Teri Klix’s Damn Yankees, Dick Arabinko was listed as a Lighting Technician and also with the Beverages Staff of the Gourmet Division. At the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony on September 24, 1988, Mr. Arabinko was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon ”for achievement in technical lighting operations, (of) Cabaret andDamn Yankees.”

Dick Arabinko was involved with Beverage Section of Gourmet during all five shows of the Fifteenth Season. By the fourth play, Peter Pollard’s Sweet Charity, in June, 1989, Dick had been elected Vice President of Highlands Little Theatre and also the Chairman of the Beverages Section of Gourmet, as the season ended.

Throughout the Sixteenth Season, Mr. Arabinko remained Chairman of the Beverages Section of Gourmet and was re-elected Vice President of Highlands Little Theatre for a second term in April, 1990. In November, 1989, Dick was a part of Marian Dunham’s Set Design Team for her musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In January he was a member of the Set Design group for Peter Pollard’s comedyOn Golden Pond. At the October, 1990, Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Dick and the Set Design group for On Golden Pond won the Best Set Design for the season.

Dick’s name was also mentioned in all five programs of the Seventeenth Season. He appeared as the Chairman of the Beverages Section of Gourmet in the program for the season opener, Jet Hansen’sOklahoma! in November and also in Peter Pollard’s January program for Steel Magnolias for which he was part of the Set Design Team and also the Set Construction Manager. In the March,1991, program for Frank Oberhausen’s The Music Man, “Beverages” had been renamed “Anthony’s Lounge” and Richard had acquired a Co-Chairman, Jim McCollum. It was noted in the June program for Tena Conyer’s Little Shop of Horrors that Mr. Arabinko was now a member of the Board of Directors of HLT and that Tena Conyer was now the Chairman of Anthony’s Lounge, with Margie Pollard as her Co-Chairman. The last program of the season, Walter Zelenenki’s The Seven Year Itch, simply lists Mr. Arabinko’s name as a member of the Board of Directors. In October, at the Sixth Annual ZenonAwards, Mr. Arabinko was nominated with the Set Design Crew of Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias for another Best Set Design Award.

Once again, Mr. Arabinko was mentioned in all five programs of the Eighteenth Season as a member of the HLT Board of Directors, to which he was elected to a second term in April, 1992. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Mr. Arabinko and Margie Pollard were the presenters of the Board Service Awards.

In the programs of the Nineteenth Season, Mr. Arabinko’s name appeared in the first three programs for that season and then was not seen again until it appeared in the program for Sue McCollum’sGodspell in the Twenty-fourth Season, when his name was acknowledged with Bob Orr’s for supplying the scaffolding used in that production. His name appeared again in Sue McCollum’s April, 2000, program of Bye, Bye, Birdie as a member of Set Construction Team.

Dick Arabinko’s name was last seen in the Twenty-seventh Season in Jim McCollum’s program for his musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as a member of his Set Construction Team.

During Richard Arabinko’s fifteen seasons with Highlands Little Theatre he was involved with 35 plays, 5 Zenon programs and 1 Christmas Program. He was awarded a Zenon for his contribution to the Set Design of Peter Pollard’ On Golden Pond in 1990, nominated for another the following year and mentioned in three other ceremony programs. His name was also mentioned in 35 HLT Newsletters and 6 local news articles for a total of 82 Citations. He was a pioneer in getting the Little Theatre’s Box Office computerized and served as the theater’s Vice President for two terms and on the Board of Directors for two more. HLT is very grateful to Mr. Arabinko for his generosity in sharing his talents and expertise with its grateful members.

Dick Arabinko was involved with Beverage Section of Gourmet during all five shows of the Fifteenth Season. By the fourth play, Peter Pollard’s Sweet Charity, in June, 1989, Dick had been elected Vice President of Highlands Little Theatre and also the Chairman of the Beverages Section of Gourmet, as the season ended.

Throughout the Sixteenth Season, Mr. Arabinko remained Chairman of the Beverages Section of Gourmet and was re-elected Vice President of Highlands Little Theatre for a second term in April, 1990. In November, 1989, Dick was a part of Marian Dunham’s Set Design Team for her musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In January he was a member of the Set Design group for Peter Pollard’s comedy On Golden Pond. At the October, 1990, Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Dick and the Set Design group for On Golden Pond won the Best Set Design for the season.

Dick’s name was also mentioned in all five programs of the Seventeenth Season. He appeared as the Chairman of the Beverages Section of Gourmet in the program for the season opener, Jet Hansen’s Oklahoma! in November and also in Peter Pollard’s January program for Steel Magnolias for which he was part of the Set Design Team and also the Set Construction Manager. In the March,1991, program for Frank Oberhausen’s The Music Man, “Beverages” had been renamed “Anthony’s Lounge” and Richard had acquired a Co-Chairman, Jim McCollum. It was noted in the June program for Tena Conyer’s Little Shop of Horrors that Mr. Arabinko was now a member of the Board of Directors of HLT and that Tena Conyer was now the Chairman of Anthony’s Lounge, with Margie Pollard as her Co-Chairman. The last program of the season, Walter Zelenenki’s The Seven Year Itch, simply lists Mr. Arabinko’s name as a member of the Board of Directors. In October, at the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards, Mr. Arabinko was nominated with the Set Design Crew of Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias for another Best Set Design Award.

Once again, Mr. Arabinko was mentioned in all five programs of the Eighteenth Season as a member of the HLT Board of Directors, to which he was elected to a second term in April, 1992. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Mr. Arabinko and Margie Pollard were the presenters of the Board Service Awards.

In the programs of the Nineteenth Season, Mr. Arabinko’s name appeared in the first three programs for that season and then was not seen again until it appeared in the program for Sue McCollum’s Godspell in the Twenty-fourth Season, when his name was acknowledged with Bob Orr’s for supplying the scaffolding used in that production. His name appeared again in Sue McCollum’s April, 2000, program of Bye, Bye, Birdie as a member of Set Construction Team.

Dick Arabinko’s name was last seen in the Twenty-seventh Season in Jim McCollum’s program for his musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as a member of his Set Construction Team.

During Richard Arabinko’s fifteen seasons with Highlands Little Theatre he was involved with 35 plays, 5 Zenon programs and 1 Christmas Program. He was awarded a Zenon for his contribution to the Set Design of Peter Pollard’s On Golden Pond in 1990, nominated for another the following year and mentioned in three other ceremony programs. His name was also mentioned in 35 HLT Newsletters and 6 local news articles for a total of 82 Citations. He was a pioneer in getting the Little Theatre’s Box Office computerized and served as the theater’s Vice President for two terms and on the Board of Directors for two more. HLT is very grateful to Mr. Arabinko for his generosity in sharing his talents and expertise with its grateful members.

Photo of  Diane  Arch
Diane Arch
Behind the Scenes -By: Roy Riedy

Diane Arch’s name appeared for the first time in the program for Frank Oberhausen’s March, 1988, musical, Carousel. Her name appeared with the names of the Set Construction Team. It also appeared in the program of the following play, Janelou Buck’s June,1988, production of Neil Simon’s California Suite in the form of an announcement: “We are getting with it!! Thanks to the efforts of a new committee of Diane Arch, Virginia Peck and Grace Sagona, with the kindly loan by Dick Arabinko of his computer, the patrons (members), angels & guardian angels will be listed so the membership rolls are accurate. This will allow us to list who’s who, and who’s dues are due! This is a labor of love from which everyone benefits.”

In September at the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Diane received a Board Service Zenon ”for service with the Production Committee, wardrobe maintenance, Membership and Patrons committees, revisions & updating of the mailing list.”

At the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards. In September, 1989, Diane was nominated “for service to the theatre with the Production Committee/Wardrobe Maintenance, Membership, Patrons Committee and Corresponding Secretary.”

The next time Diane’s name appeared in a play program was in November, 1992, the playbill for Tena Conyer’s Nunsense in which she was acknowledged for a service to the play.

During Ms. Arch’s association with Highlands Little Theatre, her name has appeared in three stagebills and three Zenon Ceremonies programs. Her name has been mentioned in twenty-six HLT Newsletters and one local news article for a total of thirty-three Citations.

Photo of  Trina  Aube
Trina Aube
First Time Zenon Winner -By: Roy Riedy

Ms. Aube won a Production/Technical Discretionary Award for her work with Loraine Biron involving the Hair and Makeup of the multi-award revival of the musical Cabaret at the Twentieth Anniversary Zenon Award Ceremonies on October 1, 2005. Congratulations Trina on your notable accomplishment.

Photo of  Robert  Austin
Robert Austin
Doing What Comes Naturally -By: Roy Riedy

Bob Austin was first seen on the Lakeside Playhouse stage as Frank Butler in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Irving Berlin’s song filled musical Annie Get Your Gun in January, 2000, HLT’s second play of its Twenty-sixth Season. The part and his voice won him a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October of that millennium year.

The next season Mr. Austin appeared in Jim McCollum’s rambunctious musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd, a part made famous by Burt Reynolds in the 1982 movie . Once again at Zenon time, Bob was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for keeping the peace in our largest state in the lower forty-eight.

In the Twenty-eighth Season Bob was involved with two plays: he played Sky Masterson in Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s production of Frank Loesser’s Runyunesque musical Guys and Dolls; and was a member of the Stage Crew for Peter Pollard’s play with songs, Foxfire. Once again Bob received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the end of the season Zenon Ceremonies for his portrayal of the melodic gambler, Sky Masterson.

The Twenty-ninth Season at Highlands Little Theatre opened with another musical by the Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill directing team, a revival of Mitch Leigh and Joe Darion’s Broadway hit,Man of La Mancha with Mr. Austin singing the role of Don Quixote. The play was a sensation and broke all records in collecting Zenons as a testimonial to its popularity, including a well deserved Best Actor in a Leading Role for Bob Austin.

Mr. Austin is no stranger to the stage, his career spans some thirty years and is quite diverse. Other state credits include Lenny in Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, Oberon in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Curly in Rogers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!. Bob lives in Sebring with his wife Susan and daughter Jenny and works with the nursing staff at Good Shepherd Hospice.

Since Mr. Austin has joined the Highlands Little Theatre he has been involved in five of its plays, been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role four times and won a Zenon Award in that category at the Eighteenth Zenon Awards in October 2003. His name has been mentioned in nine HLT Newsletters, and in thirty-five local news articles for a total of fifty-three citations. He is living proof to any aspiring actor or actress that there is no such thing as an “Impossible Dream”.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Karen  Bach
Karen Bach
Concerned With Tickets Over A Decade -By: Roy Reidy

Karen Bach has been concerned with Little Theatre Box Office duties since 1992 when she first started her affiliation with HLT. Since that time she has not only been associated with ticket sales for forty-two plays but also been seen on the stage in three of them. Karen was in the chorus of Frank Oberhausen’s 1992 production of Funny Girl; a royal wife in Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s 2001 production of The King and I; and most recently, one of the town people in Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s 2003 production of Brigadoon.

In May, 2000, Ms. Bach was honored with a Gracie Award for her eight years of work in the Lakeside Playhouse’s Box Office, the award coinciding with her new title of Chairperson of the Box Office, a title she still holds

Besides her involvement in forty-two plays and three roles, Karen has been nominated for a Board Service Zenon at the last three Zenon Ceremonies for her Outstanding Achievement as the Chairperson of the HLT Box Office. The nominations became a reality at the 18th Annual Zenon Ceremonies in October, 2003, when Karen received a Board Service Zenon for “Outstanding Achievement as Chairperson of the Box Office. Her name has also appeared in ten local news articles and in sixteen HLT Newsletters for a total of seventy different citations.

The Little Theatre is indeed fortunate to have a dedicated and experienced worker of her caliber in such a necessary and strategic position. Thank you for your years of service Karen, your generous assistance has helped make the Highlands Little Theatre the outstanding organization that it is today.

Photo of  Paige  Bach
Paige Bach
Gracie Award Winner for September, 2005 -By: Roy Reidy

Paige Bach’s name was first seen in connection with theater four years ago when her picture appeared in the News-Sun with six other “pretty posies” as the Curious Flowers that appeared in the Childern’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) production of Alice In Wonderland at the Restoration Center of the Highlands in August, 2001.

Her name was linked to Highlands Little Theatre the following month when her name appeared in the September, HLT Newsletters for special thanks for her help in the kitchen and Box Office during her summer vacation. Paige received thanks again in the October Newsletter for her help in stuffing and mailing the Zenon Ballots for the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards. In the November Newsletter, her name was listed as one of HLT’s new members.

In March, 2002, Paige appeared in her first production at HLT as a member of the Children’s Chorus in Joe Willis’ multi-Zenon winning musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In the February, 2003 HLT Newsletter her name appeared again as a member of the cast of the cast of the musical Brigadoon.

During the Thirty-first season, Miss Bach has worked in four of the five main stage productions. She was a member of the chorus in The Music Man, in Barnum she served as a Music Page Turner and was a House Manager for I Do, I Do and Cabaret. Since Paige has been at HLT she has accumulated 23 citations.

In late August Past President Goldie Garnich nominated Paige at the Board of Director’s Meeting to be the winner of the Gracie Award winner for September, 2005.

Goldie’s nomination included the following tribute: “She has been a real help in Gourmet. She signed up to be the dessert preparer for Sunday matinees; she has been a house manager for the past year and a half, works in the box office and is capable of taking ticket orders. Paige helped clean and get the Lounge ready for reopening; she has done set construction, served meals and desserts during shows, worked the line in Gourmet, and heaven only knows what else. I wish we could clone her with a dozen more. She deserves this award.”

Administrative Assistant, Vanessa Logsdon, had this to add to Paige’s good works: “…, she has helped move tables and chairs from the Pavilion to the theatre and back on several occasions.”

Congratulations Paige on your well deserved honor, we all know that HLT could not function as smoothly as it does without willing volunteers like yourself.

Photo of  Tommy  Bancroft-Curcio
Tommy Bancroft-Curcio
A Good Volunteer -By: Roy Riedy

Tommy Bancroft-Curcio made a big impression on the members of HLT during his short time in Highlands County. He was in Sebring for a short visit with his grandmother, Helen Curcio and during that time was able to win for himself a Gracie Award in November, 2002. The introduction to his Award explains:

“Tommy Bancroft-Curcio has been a great example of what a “good volunteer” offers to an organization. Thank you for all the help you’ve given to HLT working in Gourmet, Wardrobe, Special Events, Lighting, Sound, and last but not least … all the time you’ve spent in Anthony’s Lounge. It’s a good thing for us you decided to leave New York for a while.”

Besides winning the November, 2002, Gracie Award, Tommy’s name appeared in five issues of the HLT Newsletter for a total of 6 Citations.

Come to Sebring anytime Tommy, the sooner, the better.

Photo of  Mary Jane  Banks
Mary Jane Banks
March 2005, Gracie Award Winner -By: Roy Riedy

President Goldie Garnich has this to say about March 2005′s Gracie Winner: “Gracie Award recipient for March (2005) is Mary Jane Banks. Ms. Banks has been a member of the Brushes & Brooms Committee and has not missed one day since the committee was initiated by Al Wiegold almost three years ago. What a gal! What dedication! Congratulation, Janie, you deserve this award. And thank you for being a devoted HLT member.”

During the Thirty-first Season, Ms. Banks’ name has also been listed with the House Managers for The Music Man and The Allergist’s Wife. Welcome Janie, to the Gracie Circle.

Photo of  Charlotte  Bell
Charlotte Bell
Early Costume Designer and Zenon Winner -By: Roy Riedy

Like so many other members of HLT, Charlotte Bell started as a waitress in Gourmet. The first time her name was mentioned in a Lakeside Playhouse program was in the Twelfth Season when Charlotte was working as waitress during Peter Pollard’s April, 1986, production of Arsenic and Old Lace; later, in August, she worked with Props for Sue McCollum’s comedy, Vanities.

Charlotte was involved with five plays during the Thirteenth Season. During the November, 1986, presentation of Marian Dunham’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, she waited on dinner guests; for Barbara Smith’s comedy You Can’t Take It With You, in January, Charlotte concerned herself with Props, was the Production Coordinator, and also worked on Set Construction. During Frank Oberhausen’s March revival of Fiddler on the Roof, she was part of the Props Team; and during the last two shows of the season: Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa’sFantasticks, and Jet Hansen’s revival of The Odd Couple, Charlotte worked again in the dining room. At the Second Zenon Awards Ceremony which was held at the Clubhouse of Sun ‘N Lakes, Charlotte made the presentation of the Third Production/ Technical Award.

The last four plays that Charlotte worked with occurred during the Fourteenth Season. In November she worked on the Costume Design for Marian Dunham’s Zenon winning Cabaret with Leena Violette; in January, 1988, she was in charge of Costumes for Peter Pollard’s reprise of Barefoot in the Park. Charlotte worked on Costumes with Leena Violette and Liz Buell for Frank Oberhausen’s presentation of Carousel in March, and in June, during Janelou Buck’s comedy, California Suite, she returned to the dining room to wait on the dinner guests. At the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, the first to be actually held at the Lakeside Playhouse, Charlotte and Leena Violette were awarded the Best Costuming Zenon for their costumes for Carousel.

While Ms. Bell was with Highlands Little Theatre, she was involved with 11 plays and 2 Zenon Ceremonies. She won a Zenon for Best Costumes of the Season at the Third Zenon Ceremony, sharing the honor with Leena Violette. Charlotte’s name appeared in 5 HLT Newsletters, and 6 local news articles for a total of 24 Citations.

While Ms. Bell was with Highlands Little Theatre, she was involved with 11 plays and 2 Zenon Ceremonies. She won a Zenon for Best Costumes of the Season at the Third Zenon Ceremony, sharing the honor with Leena Violette. Charlotte’s name appeared in 5 HLT Newsletters, and 6 local news articles for a total of 24 Citations.

Photo of  Emily  Bellamy
Emily Bellamy

Emily Bellamy is appearing for the first time at Highlands Little Theatre, is also a member of Bountiful Blessings Church of God (where she is the assistant children’s church director), works at Sun ‘N Lake Elementary as an I.D.E.A clerk. She is the mother of Sherona Edwards (who previously appeared in “Oklahoma!”), and that convinced her to consume the acting bug. She is also the godmother of Tavara and Malia.

Photo of  Joe  Berg
Joe Berg
Hard at work in Gourmet -By: Roy Riedy

Since Joe Berg joined HLT in the Twenty-fourth Season (1997-1998), his name has appeared in the Gourmet Section of twelve of the theater

Photo of  Kay  Berg
Kay Berg
Making a Difference -By: Roy Riedy

Kay Berg’s name was first seen in Gourmet section of the playbill for Tammie Pollard’s musical, West Side Story, in August, 2001, the first of nine programs in which her name has appeared.

In November, 2001, Kay was awarded the Gracie Award for that month “. . . for her hard work and dedication in being there when she was needed in Gourmet and Salad Prep for every show and special event and helped make a difference . . .”

In addition to the nine playbills and the November Gracie Award, Kay’s name has been mentioned in three HLT Newsletters for a total of thirteen citations. Thank you for your dedication Kay, making a difference is what volunteering is all about.

Photo of  RoseMarie  Beringer
RoseMarie Beringer
February 2005 Gracie Award Winner -By: Roy Riedy

RosemMarie Tippins Beringer has been a member of Highlands Little Theatre since the Eighth Season (1981-1982) when she sang with the chorus of Frank Oberhausen’s first presentation of The Sound of Music.

Since her October 1981 debut, RoseMarie has been associated with sixty-five other shows presented by the organization, a number that is very close to half of all the shows presented by HLT.

The March HLT Newsletter’s account of Rosemarie’s award winning states: “This lovely lady answered our call for volunteer help again and again and again . . . house cleaning the theatre, staining walls in Anthony’s Lounge, painted ceiling tiles for the Lounge, and to top it off, she went home, got changed and came back to be a house manager for two evenings. She seems to have an abundance of energy for work and is always cheerful while she’s doing it. We thank you so much and you are so deserving of this month’s Gracie Award.”

Congratulations RoseMarie on the long overdo recognition of your many services to the Highlands Little Theatre, it’s members like you that keep the organization flourishing.

Photo of  Petey  Biron
Petey Biron
Gracie Award for November, 2006 -By: Vanessa Logsdon

November’s winner can only be described as a dream volunteer. She will do anything that is asked of her. She has been seen helping with the youth concessions, as a house manager, and as a messenger and runner from backstage to the front of the house during performances.

She is an asset to any organization, and we are lucky to have her as one of our own. It is appropriate that her “real” name is Grace, as she embodies many of the same attributes as Grace Sagona. Most of you probably know this month’s winner as Petey Biron.

Photo of  Marian  Bishop
Marian Bishop
January (2004) Gracie Award -By: Roy Riedy

Marian Bishop’s name was first seen in a HLT document in the December, 2002, Newsletter when she was welcomed to the HLT family. Since then her name has appeared in two other Newsletters and five play programs.

The first playbill was for Pete Pollard’s January, 2003, revival of Steel Magnolias, Marian’s name accompanied the members of the Gourmet Staff with the Sous Chefs and Line Staff. In the program for Allen Branch’s presentation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, her name was listed with the Soup, Salad, Dessert and Sous Chefs, as it was in the following program of Sue McCollum’s August, 2003, revival of The Fanstasticks.

It was also in August that Marian was included in Goldie Garnich’s big round of applause to the volunteers who came out to help with the mass mailing for the upcoming season’s Program Ads.

During the current Thirtieth Season, Ms. Bishop’s name was seen as a member of the Gourmet Staff in Melanie Boulay’s playbill for her season opener: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and also in Mike Logsdon’s January program for his hilarious presentation of Out of Order.

The following paragraph, acknowledging Marian’s dependability and the theater’s appreciation appeared in the January, 2004, HLT Newsletter:

January (2004) Gracie Award, Marian Bishop The winner of the January (2004) Gracie Award is Marian Bishop. Marian has been a faithful HLT volunteer for the last two years. You have probably seen her working hard in gourmet and as a House Manager. Marian was nominated for the Gracie because she is always conscientious and willing to help around HLT . . . thank you Marian, you have done a wonderful job for HLT!

Keep up the good work Marian, HLT survives and prospers because of members like you.

Photo of  Robert  Black
Robert Black
Gracie Award Winner for December, 2005 and Zenon Winner in 2006 -By: Denise Miriani and Roy Riedy

December Gracie Award recipient Robert Black has been going the extra mile since becoming a member last September, when he added an extra contribution onto his membership dues check and bought a new chair. It continued when he stepped into design and constructed the incredible tree and bush costumes for Hoodwinked.

He was nominated for tending bar every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Anthony’s Lounge during the run of Hoodwinked; for his cleaning and organizing efforts in the Wardrobe department and general areas of the theatre; for his efforts in distributing new scripts for consideration in the upcoming season; and for stepping in to fill the position of choreographer in the upcoming production of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Robert started acting professionally at the age of six and will soon celebrate thirty-six years on stage. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Fine arts in New York. He also holds a BFA in Theatre from the University of South Carolina and has appeared in several national and international tours of major musicals, as well as film and TV roles.

Look for him on stage in the role of Mike Talman in January’s opening of Wait Until Dark. He will also be Assistant Director and Co-costume Designer for the upcoming June play, Drop Dead.

Mr. Black says he is briefly retired here in Sebring to spend time with his family, but we can only hope that he adopts HLT as a permanent theatrical home.

What follows is an update on Robert Black’s activites during the Thirty-second Season.

Robert Black became the Assistant Director, the Set Designer, and the Choreographer for Joe Willis’ musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

Then, in the July, 2006, NHT Newsletter, this notice appeared:

“Robert Black has recently been hospitalized in South Carolina with a severe bout of pneumonia. We are happy to report that he has survived the two weeks of testing, poking and prodding by the medical profession, and will be recuperating under the care of his family in South Carolina. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Robert!”

No further word has been posted about Robert’s health but being in South Carolina did not stop him from winning one of the few Zenons that was not awarded to Grease‘s sweep of the Awards. Robert Black was awarded the Zenon for the Best Set Design for Joe Willis’ production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers in absentia.

Since there is very little information on Robert’s condition we can only hope that he is mending and will soon return to Highlands County to continue his stellar contributions at Highlands Little Theatre. At any rate, Robert Black has made a wonderful contribution to HLT and made a great impression on everyone who has seen his work.

What follows is an update on Robert Black’s activites during the Thirty-second Season.

Robert Black became the Assistant Director, the Set Designer, and the Choreographer for Joe Willis’ musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers.

Then, in the July, 2006, NHT Newsletter, this notice appeared:

“Robert Black has recently been hospitalized in South Carolina with a severe bout of pneumonia. We are happy to report that he has survived the two weeks of testing, poking and prodding by the medical profession, and will be recuperating under the care of his family in South Carolina. Wishing you a speedy recovery, Robert!”

No further word has been posted about Robert’s health but being in South Carolina did not stop him from winning one of the few Zenons that was not awarded to Grease’s sweep of the Awards. Robert Black was awarded the Zenon for the Best Set Design for Joe Willis’ production of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers in absentia.

Since there is very little information on Robert’s condition we can only hope that he is mending and will soon return to Highlands County to continue his stellar contributions at Highlands Little Theatre. At any rate, Robert Black has made a wonderful contribution to HLT and made a great impression on everyone who has seen his work.

Photo of  Brooke  Blackman
Brooke Blackman
Best Actress Award Two Years Running -By: Roy Riedy

Brooke Blackman made her debut at the Lakeside Playhouse as Baby June in Jim Lanier’s production of Gypsy in 1994 when she was a second grader. Two years later and several church and school productions added to her experience she was chosen by Peter Pollard to play Scout in his presentation of the dramatic version of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird in January, 1997. Her acting was exceptional and her pivotal role of the precocious Scout won her a Zenon at the October Awards Ceremonies for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, and also the honor of being one of the youngest actresses at HLT to do so.

In April, 1998, Frank Oberhausen cast Brooke in the part of Annie in his reprise of the popular musical Annie, and Leapin’ Lizards, not only did people enjoy the show but Brooke collected her secondZenon for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the Thirteenth Annual Awards Ceremonies in October, she had won two Zenons in two years, a record hard to beat, and had wrapped Highlands County around her cute little finger.

Brooke was seen next in Melanie Boulay’s memorable Wizard of Oz in November, 1998, as a Munchkin and one of a trio of Monkeys. Even though she didn’t win a Zenon that year she did appear at theZenon Ceremony to present the Best Actor in a Leading Role Award. (Frank Oberhausen)

Brooke’s last appearance on the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse was in April, 1999, when she played Louisa, one of the children of the von Trapp family, in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music.

Most recently Brooke has been seen in the Children’s Academy of Theater, Inc. (CAT) production of Alice in Wonderland in August, 2001, directed by Krista Flores and presented at Restoration Center of Highlands when she played a formidable Duchess.

In all Ms. Blackman has been in 6 plays, attended three Zenon Ceremonies and won two Best Actress in a Leading Role Awards. Her name has appeared in 25 local news articles and in 14 HLT Newsletters for a total of 48 Citations. One can only wonder what she’s going to accomplish once she graduates from high school!

Photo of  Martile  Blackman
Martile Blackman
Actress and Singer -By: Roy Riedy

Martile Blackman appeared on the Lakeside Playhouse stage for the first time in Marian Dunham’s November, 1986, production of Stephen Sondheim’s Roman musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, as Philia, the girl next door. Her next role, the following November, was Sally Bowles in Marian Dunham’s next musical, Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, this time Martile played the girl in the next room. At the Third Annual Zenon Awards, Martile received the Best Actress in a Leading Role Award, for her stellar performance as Sally Bowles, a star had been born.

In June, 1989, of the Fifteenth Season, Peter Pollard directed Martile as Charity Hope Valentine, the girl in the same room, in Cy Coleman and Dorothy Field’s musical, Sweet Charity, a role that nominated her for a Best Actress in a Leading Role for her outstanding performance as Charity Hope Valentine.

In November, 1994, the first play of the Twenty-first Season was the Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim musical, Gypsy, which starred two of Martile’s daughters, Brittany Blackman and Brooke Blackman. Martile is credited in the program as being on the Set Construction Team. The following month, December, 1994, Roy Riedy presented an “Extra” play, the musical review by Kander and Ebb,And the World Goes ‘Round in which Martile sang as an understudy for Lynda Fulcher for one performance.

A reprise of the musical Annie was directed by Frank Oberhausen in April, 1998, and Martile appeared in the production as the gum chewing, nail filing, seam straightening, Lily St Regis, the consort of Rooster, the con-man. The role nominated Martile for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

The last time Mrs. Blackman’s name was seen in a HLT program was in a letter of thanks to Martile and her husband Tim, by the current President, Goldie Garnich, for their generous donation to Highlands Little Theatre. The panegyric appeared in the program of Jet Hansen’s On Golden Pond, which Jet directed in November, 2000.

Almost five years later, in August, 2005, Martile Blackman’s name was again in lights at Highlands Little Theatre. She had been cast by Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom to replay the crucial role of Sally Bowles in their reprise of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, a role that brought Martile her first Zenon eighteen years earlier. The directors’ choice proved to be a flawless decision, for Martile’s Sally was even better, if possible, the second time around. Her perfectness in her role had an inspiring influence on the other actors which contributed to the musical making HLT history by shattering all of the previous Zenon records.

Martile and her husband, Jim and their children received another honor the previous June. By unanimous vote Tim and Martile Blackman and family were proclaimed Life Members of Highlands Little Theatre. This high honor has only been given fourteen times and is considered the highest and most exclusive accolade in the theater’s repertoire of awards. Congratulations to you Martile on your well deserved Zenon and all the Blackmans who have been true friends of Highlands Little Theatre.

The last time Mrs. Blackman’s name was seen in a HLT program was in a letter of thanks to Martile and her husband Tim, by the current President, Goldie Garnich, for their generous donation to Highlands Little Theatre. The panegyric appeared in the program of Jet Hansen’s On Golden Pond, which Jet directed in November, 2000.

Almost five years later, in August, 2005, Martile Blackman’s name was again in lights at Highlands Little Theatre. She had been cast by Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom to replay the crucial role of Sally Bowles in their reprise of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, a role that brought Martile her first Zenon eighteen years earlier. The directors’ choice proved to be a flawless decision, for Martile’s Sally was even better, if possible, the second time around. Her perfectness in her role had an inspiring influence on the other actors which contributed to the musical making HLT history by shattering all of the previous Zenon records.

Martile and her husband, Jim and their children received another honor the previous June. By unanimous vote Tim and Martile Blackman and family were proclaimed Life Members of Highlands Little Theatre. This high honor has only been given fourteen times and is considered the highest and most exclusive accolade in the theater’s repertoire of awards. Congratulations to you Martile on your well deserved Zenon and all the Blackmans who have been true friends of Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Denise  Blondin
Denise Blondin
Vocal Excellence -By: Roy Riedy

Denise was first heard and seen in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof at Highlands Little Theatre in March, 1987, when she debuted at the Lakeside Playhouse in the role of Granma Tzeitel. Her next appearance was the following November in Marian Dunham’s Cabaret, as a member of the chorus. In December she was a HLT Singer in Paul Roberts’ Sound of Christmas, which she followed in March, 1988, as Aunt Nettie in Frank Oberhausen’s musical Carousel. Denise was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress for her role of Nettie Fowler in Carousel at the Third Annual ZenonAwards Ceremony in September, 1988.

In the Fifteenth Season Ms. Blondin played the role of Lady Thiang in The King and I and thrilled audiences with her rendition of the show’s beautiful song “Something Wonderful” in Frank Oberhausen’s April presentation of that memorable musical. In late September of that season, Denise was nominated for and was presented her first Zenon for a Best Performance by an Actress in a supporting Role.

Denise sang the role of Ernestina in Janelou Buck’s musical Hello Dolly in June, 1990, and was nominated again for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role at the Fifth Zenon Awards Ceremony at which she joined Jim Lanier in a medley from Phantom of the Opera and sang “Wishing You Were Here Again.”

During the Seventeenth Season, Denise was involved with three shows. During Frank Oberhausen’s Music Man in March, Denise worked with the Anthony’s Lounge staff. She played Crystal, in Tena Conyer’s hilarious Little Shop of Horrors in June; and returned to join the staff of Anthony’s Lounge during Walter Zelenenki’s August comedy, The Seven Year Itch. Denise was nominated again for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her part as Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors.

The Eighteenth Season saw Ms. Blondin working in Anthony’s Lounge during all five performances at the Lakeside Playhouse and was the Assistant Director of Carol Thurow’s Christmas Program, A Christmas Salute to the 40′s, the second weekend in December.

Denise worked in Anthony’s Lounge during the first two shows of the Nineteenth Season and was last seen on the Playhouse stage as Inez Alvarez “Mamita” in Marian Dunham’s August, 1995, performance of Gigi, a role that nominated her for yet another Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role.

During her seven season association with Highlands Little Theatre, Denice was involved in 16 plays, received a Zenon for her part of Lady Thiang in The King and I, and received nominations for four other roles. She participated in 2 Christmas programs, and was mentioned in 13 Highlands Little Theatre Newsletters and 15 local news articles for a total of 51 Citations.

She will be long remembered for her beautiful voice and the joy it brought to her audiences.

Photo of  Melanie  Boulay
Melanie Boulay
18 years of HLT involvement: 25 roles, 11 Zenons, 7 time director, a consistent toppler of records, most recently honored with both The Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award and the rare Life Member Award -By: Roy Riedy

Melanie Boulay started her career at HLT when she was a 7th grader in the March, 1987 presentation of Fiddler on the Roof as one of the younger villagers of Anatevka. By November of that year, she had transmogrified into Fraulein Fritzie, a headliner at Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub in Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret. In April, 1992, Melanie, now a senior in high school, played the role of Fanny Brice in HLT’s April musical Funny Girl, a role that brought her the first of her eleven Zenons, a Zenon for Best Actress. Between playing “Fritzie” and “Fanny” she played Louise in Carousel, a horse in Man of La Mancha, a songful Siamese in The King and I, a panhandler in Sweet Charity, Molly Brown in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, a servant in My Fair Lady, Ermengarde in Hello Dolly, Gurtie Cummings in Oklahoma!, Claire Booth Luce in Little Shop of Horrors, Pat in The Seven Year Itch, Gloria Upson in Mame, and one of the voices of Sonia in They’re Playing Our Song, besides also having solo appearances in the three intervening Zenon Ceremonies. In November, 1994 she played the part of Louise in the Sondheim musical Gypsy, and the following October collected her second Zenon for Best Supporting Actress for that role.

Melanie’s directing experience started as Frank Oberhausen’s assistant in the historical musical 1776 presented in April of 1995 and in 1996 she again assisted Frank Oberhausen in his presentation ofFiddler On The Roof. In October of 1996 she assisted Jet Hansen in the nostalgic musical Forever Plaid which won a third Zenon for her direction and choreography; in January, 1997 Melanie directed her first show, To Kill A Mockingbird. She followed this success (“Mockingbird” won four Zenons) with her direction of The Wizard of Oz in November, 1998 which swept away nine Zenons at the following Awards Ceremony and tied her with Frank Oberhausen’s 1996 edition of Fiddler on the Roof which until then held the record for the most decorated play. Frank Oberhausen made this honor a three way tie in 2001 when his celebrated production of The King and I also amassed nine Zenons.

Mel was Jet Hansen’s assistant director again for Noises Off, in August, 1999, and the following August she directed the Dickensian musical Oliver! which won a Zenon for her assistant director, Jennifer Westergom, for her directing and choreography. Once again Ms. Boulay assisted Director Jet Hansen with On Golden Pond in November, 2000, which awarded her with her fourth Zenon as Assistant Director. At the 17 Annual Zenon Ceremonies in August of 2002, Melanie won her fifth Zenon for Best Direction of Peter Pan which won a total of eight awards and put the play in second place for winning the most awards presented to a show, second to her first place tie with Frank Oberhausen’s shows.

Since her great success as Louise in Gypsy, Melanie has charmed HLT audiences with her portraits of Gigi in the musical of the same name, Paula in The Goodbye Girl, Tzeitel in HLT’s third edition of Fiddler on the Roof, Grace in Annie II, and Maria in the second presentation of The Sound of Music.

Somehow Melanie has been able to be the Treasurer and Vice President of HLT for one term each and sung solos at Zenon Ceremonies eight more times. At the Fourteenth Zenon Ceremonies she was proposed to, on stage, by her future husband, Tim; and for the past four years they have been the proud parents of a superior baby boy Patrick who now has a brother Riley who was born in November, 2003.

During 2002 Melanie’s name was associated with Anthony’s Lounge. Melanie and Beverly Padgett also directed the fifth edition of the Unity In The Community Productions Sounds Of the Season – A Holiday Music Review, which was presented at South Florida Community College Auditorium in December 2002.

At the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Melanie was awarded two more Zenons, the first for the Best Set Design which she shared with Jennifer Westergom, director of the play that won the award, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and a second Production/Technical Zenon for her work as assistant director, sound assistant and technician, and set coordinator of The Scarlet Pimpernel. This talented lady is not only a winner, she’s also inexhaustible.

In June, 2005, Melanie appeared in her Twenty-fifth role as Agnes in Jet Hansen’s revival of Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones’ unique two person musical, I Do! I Do!. The day before the opening of the play at the June, 2005, HLT General Membership Meeting, she was awarded, by unanimous vote, the enviable distinction of an HLT “Life Member.” This recognition was just a prelude to the many more honors that were showered on her at the 20th Annual Zenon Ceremonies in early October.

Melanie left the October, 2005 Zenons with four more awards. She was awarded, with her co-director Jennifer Westergom, Zenons for the Best Director, Best Play, and Best Set Design of the 31st Season for their revival of the musical Cabaret. That musical now holds the honor of winning the most Zenons of any play presented at the Lakeside Playhouse, 14 out of a possible 15. Melanie’s fourth Zenon at the October ceremonies was the prestigious Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award for her years of outstanding service to Highlands Little Theatre. Ms. Boulay now possesses 11Zenons and is in seventh place in the ranks of the members who have been awarded multiple Zenon Awards.

Congratulations Melanie, you have truly earned each and every one of your eminent honors for the multiple contributions you have made to the vitality and fortunes of Highlands Little Theatre. I’m not alone in thinking that there are many more tributes to come. You’ve proved that you are “Unsinkable” but I also have the distinct impression that you are “Unstoppable.”

Photo of  Dick  Boyce
Dick Boyce
Stage Dad -By: Roy Riedy

Dick Boyce’s name turned up for the first time in the April, 1999 program for the Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) production of the musical fairy tale The Available Left-Footed Princess, in which his then 4th grade daughter Ashley, was playing a member of the “Kingdom Children.”

Exactly a year later he was Stage Manager for Sue McCollum’s musical Bye Bye, Birdie in April, 2000, which included his daughters Ashley and Heather in the cast and his wife Nancy backstage. In August, 2000, his name resurfaced in the HLT program for Melanie Boulay’s handsome production of the musical Oliver! as a member of the Set Construction Team. It should come as no surprise that both of his daughters, Ashley, and Heather, were playing parts as “Fagin’s Boys” in the show. Two months later, in the program for the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards, Dick’s name was included in the list of people who were nominated for Board Service Awards, he was being nominated for his work on Shop Improvements.

The next season, the Twenty-seventh, was involved with two main stage plays. In January, 2001, he was again a member of the Set Construction Team for Frank Oberhausen’s blockbuster musicalThe King and I; and in August his name was numbered among those on the Gourmet Staff as a member of the Kitchen Line Staff. At the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October his name appeared again on the list of those nominated for a Board Service Award, this time for Shop Reorganization and Safety.

By the Twenty-eighth season Dick Boyce was a familiar face both back stage and on it. Dick debuted as one of the Gamblers in Frank Oberhausen’s season opener West Side Story; he was back on the Kitchen Line Staff during Peter Pollard’s excellent Foxfire; he was the Stage Manager of Joe Willis epic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March; he returned to the kitchen duringMike Logsdon’s wacky Move Over Mrs. Markham and Melanie Boulay’s soaring Peter Pan. Dick was awarded his first Zenon at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards in October for the Best Stage Manager of the Season for his excellent job with Joe Willis’ kaleidoscopic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a play that, at the moment, holds the third place in HLT history as being its most decorated show. Most recently Dick has returned to the kitchen to work on the line during Frank Oberhausen’s stunning presentation of The Man of La Mancha. By the Twenty-eighth season Dick Boyce was a familiar face both back stage and on it. He debuted as an actor as one of the Gamblers in Frank Oberhausen’s season opener Guys and Dolls. In March he was the Stage Manager ofJoe Willis’ epic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which earned him his first Zenon at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2002.

Since then Mr. Boyce has been Jennifer Westergom’s Assistant Stage Manager for her Zenon winning musical The Scarlet Pimpernel in March 2004. During the Thirty-first season Dick worked in HLT’s Gourmet Division and as the Chairman of the Shop Committee. At the Twentieth Anniversary Zenon Awards Celebration, he received his second Zenon as Best Stage Manager of the Thirty-first Season for his service as Stage Manager of the record breaking musical Cabaret. Congratulations Dick on a job well done.

Photo of  Heather  Boyce
Heather Boyce
First time Zenon Winner, The Saga of a one-time Munchkin -By: Roy Riedy

first play of the Twenty-fifth Season (1998-1999). She was backstage as an understudy in The Sound of Music II, the third play of that season.  In July, 1999, Heather played the part of Snow White’s Mother in the second production of Krista Flores’ musical play, Snow White, the second presentation of The Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT), which also started in Sebring during HLT’s Twenty-fifth Season. In September, Heather was a member of the Stage Crew for the third CAT production, How to Eat Like A Child and Other Lessons in Not Being a Grownup!

The Twenty-sixth Season (1999-2000) saw Heather in two HLT productions, she was one of the “Sad Girls” in the musical ByeBye Birdie in April, 2000 and a member of Fagin’s Gang in the August reprise of the musical Oliver!

During the Twenty-seventh Season Heather played the title role of Alice in the CAT’s sixth production, Alice in Wonderland and also appeared as a dancing Jet Girl in West Side Story at Highlands Little Theatre. Heather ended that season by being a member of the Chorus at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2001.

The musical Guys and Dolls opened the Twenty-eighth Season at HLT with Heather dancing and singing with The Hot Box Girls and working with Kathy MacNeill on the play’s Choreography. In March, Heather was listed as one of the Lighting Technicians for the musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and in the final play of the season, in August, 2002, she was seen as an Indian in the musical Peter Pan. Heather was nominated with Kathy MacNeill for their Choreography of Guys and Dolls at the Seventeenth Zenon Awards in October, 2002. Heather’s name also appeared in the program of the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards with Mark Elliott as one of the Lighting Technicians for the Ceremony

Heather took part in three plays during HLT’s Thirtieth Season. She was a Lighting Technician for the revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in late October; she appeared as Marie Grosholtz in the March production of The Scarlet Pimpernel and was also the musical’s Choreographer, and she was one of the dancers in the final show of the season Jesus Christ, Superstar. At the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Awards, Heather sang “Every Story is a Love Story” from the Broadway musical Aida, and was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon for her Choreography for The Scarlet Pimpernel.

During the Thirty-first Season, Heather worked on four plays: In January, 2005, she was a member of the Stage Crew of The Tale of The Allergist’s Wife; in March she worked with Jill Lockhart on the Choreography for Barnum; she played the drums for the June presentation of I Do! I Do!; and in August Heather was one of the Kit Kat Girls in the reprise of Cabaret. At the Twentieth Annual Zenon Awards, Heather opened the Second Act of the Ceremonies with Chris Hayes, Ross Anderson, and the Dancers with a Medley from We Will Rock You.

The Thirty-Second Season opened with the musical Hoodwinked for which Heather and Jennifer Westergom furnished the Choreography. In August, Heather was cast as Sandy Dumbrowski in the musical Grease, and it was this role that was responsible for her first Zenon, Best Actress in a Leading Role, at the Twenty-first Zenon Awards in October, 2006.

This Zenon should be the first of many that point to Heather’s interest and participation in HLT, which by my tally includes 18 plays and 6 Zenon Ceremonies, and being mentioned in 29 HLT Newsletters and 42 Local News articles, for a total of 95 citations.

Congratulations Heather for your many and various labors at Highlands Little Theatre, you and your young friends point to a great future and greater achievements at The Lakeside Playhouse, not bad for a one-time Munchkin.

Photo of  Art  Brand
Art Brand
One of Three Potential Directors -By: Roy Riedy

Since October, 1999, The Board of Directors has determined that a member aspiring to become a director at Highlands Little Theatre must fulfill the following requirements: The member must serve as an Assistant Director or Producer of a ticketed (main stage) production; must have production experience in at least five HLT season-ticketed shows in three of the following six areas: Set Design, Stage Manager, Set Construction, Lighting, Sound, and Music Production.

Art Brand became associated with Highlands Little Theatre in Sue McCollum’s Twenty-fourth Season opener, Godspell for which he designed the Sound, that was in October, 1997. Since his initial involvement, Art has been affiliated with 40 other productions presented at the Lakeside Playhouse. After Godspell, Art worked on three other plays in the Twenty-fourth Season: he was part of the Sound team for Peter Pollard’s production of My Favorite Year, a member of the Construction team of Beverly Gillilian’s Paint Your Wagon, and Co-designer of the Sound Design and one of its Technicians for Tammie Pollard’s production of Rumors. At the end of that busy season, Art was rewarded for his work with a Production/Technical Award at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 1998 for his Sound Design for Godspell and Rumors.

Art was responsible too for the Sound Design for Melanie Boulay’s colorful presentation of the Twenty-fifth Season opener, the legendary Wizard of Oz. He performed the same service for the next play of the season, Peter Pollard’s outstanding drama The Miracle Worker. He teamed up with John Lovelette in producing the Sound Design for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Sound of Music and did the microphone placement for Beverly Gillilian’s comedy Arsenic and Old Lace. He rounded out the Twenty-fifth Season by being Jet Hansen’s Stage Manager for his excellent Noises Off. Art received three nominations for Zenons at the Awards Ceremonies in October, 1999: Best Stage Manager for Noises Off; a Production/Technical nomination, withJohn Lovelette, for their Sound Design for The Sound of Music; and a second Production/Technical nomination for his Sound Design/Technician work for The Miracle Worker, which he won, bringing his Zenon count to two awards.

Art was involved with every presentation of the Twenty-sixth Season at the Lakeside Playhouse. The season opened with John Lovelette’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, for which Art did the Sound Design and served as a Lighting Technician with Mark Elliott. Frank Oberhausen presented a reprise of Annie Get Your Gun as the second show of the season, and Art worked on its Sound and also appeared on stage as Buffalo Bill. Sue McCollum’s Bye Bye, Birdie followed and Art did the Sound Design for that show. Mike Logsdon’s Run For Your Wife was the fourth show of the season and Art served as Mike’s Assistant Director and also provided the Sound Design. In late July, 2000, The Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) presented Rumplestiltskin on HLT’s stage and Art received thanks in that program for his help with that project. The final show of the season was Melanie Boulay’s revival of the musicalOliver! and during its run he could be found helping out in Anthony’s Lounge. At Zenon time Art was rewarded for his total involvement in the 26th season by being presented a third Production/Technical Zenon for his Sound Design for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s NestAnnie Get Your GunBye Bye, Birdie; and Run For Your Wife; a fitting reward for a very busy season.

The Twenty-seventh Season at HLT was just as busy for Art as the Twenty-sixth. He participated in another six events that started with Jet Hansen’s production of On Golden Pond for which Art and Thor Knutson supplied the Sound Design. The “Extra” one weekend show, A Tuna Christmas, directed by Mac Byron followed in early December for which Art furnished the Sound Design. During Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The King and I, Jim McCollum’s presentation of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Steve McDaniel’s Moon Over Buffalo, Art worked with the staff of Anthony’s Lounge. Tammie Pollard’s West Side Story brought Art backstage to work as a Sound Technician with Peter Pollard, Thor Knutson, and Joe Willis.

Art worked in Anthony’s Lounge during the first two shows of the Twenty-eighth Season: Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s Guys and Dolls, and Peter Pollard’s Foxfire. He returned to the stage to design the Sound for Joe Willis’ grandiose Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat in March, 2002, and in June worked on the lighting with Mark Elliott for Mike Logsdon’s comedy, Move Over Mrs. Markham. Art worked in Anthony’s Lounge during the run of Melanie Boulay’s delightful Peter Pan and at Zenon time Art was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon at the Seventeenth Annual Awards Ceremonies at the end of the Twenty-eighth Season.

During the Twenty-ninth and Thirtieth Seasons Art was occupied with the Gourmet Division and Anthony’s Lounge but still found time to be the Stage Manager and design the sound forMike Logsdon’s Zenon winning Out Of Order in the Thirtieth Season.

During the Thirty-first and Thirty-Second Season besides his work as a Master Chef he found time to do the Sound Design for three plays: Denise Miriani’s Wait Until Dark; Joe Willis’ Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, and Mac Byron’s Drop Dead.

Since joining HLT ten years ago, Art’s participation at the Lakeside Playhouse includes activities in 41 plays, 1 Christmas program, and 5 Zenon programs. His name has appeared in 38 HLT Newsletters and 32 Local news articles for a total of 117 citations, and Art has been awarded three Zenons in addition to being a member of the Board of Directors during the 2005-2006 Season.

Thank you Art for the countless hours you have spent at HLT both in Gourmet and also bringing your brilliant sound to the audiences of HLT. We look forward to seeing your work as a director.

Photo of  Beverly  Brando Gillilan
Beverly Brando Gillilan
A Woman of Many Faces By: Roy Riedy

“Beverly Brando Gillilan introduced herself to the HLT scene at the start of the Sixteenth Season by working backstage in Marian Dunham’s stormy production of The Unsinkable Molly Brown in November, 1989, the first of 26 plays that she participated in while with the Little Theatre. During that first season with the theater she took part in all five shows: she was involved with costumes and set construction with Molly Brown; was on the stage crew of Peter Pollard’s On Golden Pond; played Mrs. Hopkins in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of My Fair Lady; was part of the stage crew and construction team of Janelou Buck’s Hello Dolly; and was one of the House Managers for Tena Pollard’s revival of Don’t Drink The Water. In May Ms. Brando was elected to the Board of Directors of HLT and at the Fifth Annual Zenon Ceremonies, at the end of the season, she and Phil McClintock were the presenters the Production/Technical Awards.
Beverly’s second year with HLT was just as busy as her first. The Seventeenth Season opened with Jet Hansen’s musical Oklahoma! in which Beverly played Aunt Eller, a role she was born to act. She was rewarded at Zenon time with her first Zenon for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role. At Christmas time Beverly and Marian Dunham were responsible for the choreography for HLT’s Holiday Show, Christmas Dreams. In January, Beverly was part of the stage crew for Peter Pollard’s production of Steel Magnolias, and in March she played the mother of Marian the Librarian, Mrs. Paroo, a part that brought her another nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Awards Ceremonies in October. In June Beverly worked on the set construction of Tena Pollard’s immensely popular Little Shop of Horrors; and in August, now the Treasurer of HLT, she worked on the set construction of Walter Zeleneki’s The Seven Year Itch.
Beverly’s enthusiasm was as vigorous in her third season at HLT as it was during her first two. The opening play of the Eighteenth Season was Mame, directed by Marian Dunham and Beverly was in charge of the make-up. The musical was followed by Neil Simon’s They’re Playing Our Song, directed by Peter Pollard for which Beverly and Jim Violette were the producers. In April Frank Oberhausen presented Funny Girl, Beverly was not involved in this show but in its program she was now listed as the reelected Treasurer of HLT. Marian Dunham celebrated the tenth anniversary of HLT’s residency in the Lakeside Playhouse by re-presenting the first play that was directed in that house by her a decade earlier, Teahouse of the August Moon, which Beverly produced with Marcia Ward. At the Seventh Zenon Awards in October, Ms. Brando was the presenter of Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Bill Farmer), and a nominee with Jim Violette for Best Producer of They’re Playing Our Song.
Beverly married Charles Gillilan during the Nineteenth Season and returned to HLT in the Twentieth Season in time to play the part of Mickey, the cop, in Peter Pollard’s production of The Odd Couple (Female Version) in January, 1994. In June Mrs. Gillilan played the part of Maria in Tammie Pollard’s production of Lend Me A Tenor, a role for which she received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Ninth Zenon Awards Ceremony at the end of the season.
Gypsy, directed by Jim Lanier, which opened the Twenty-first Season was the only show that Beverly was associated with during that season. What she lacked in quantity she made up in quality by giving 110% in the role of Mazeppa in the delightful Sondheim musical. At Zenon time Beverly received a nomination with Denise Miriani and Mr. And Mrs. Fish for their specialty costuming for Gypsy.
Mrs. Gillilan was in two plays during the Twenty-second Season. She played Betty Meeks in Roy Riedy’s production of the Off-Broadway hit The Foreigner in January, and was Tammie Pollard’s producer for her production of Play It Again, Sam, in June. In October Beverly won her second Zenon for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her part as Betty Meeks in The Foreigner and was nominated for another for Best Producer for her work on Play It Again, Sam.
During the Twenty-third Season Beverly was Peter Pollard’s lighting technician for his Best Play production of To Kill a Mockingbird, and the producer of Frank Oberhausen’s flamboyant production of La Cage aux Folles. At Zenon time she was the presenter of the Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Frank C. Oberhausen), and the winner of a third Zenon for her work as producer of La Cage aux Folles.
Beverly directed the Lerner and Loewe musical Paint Your Wagon in June, 1998. The play won a respectable three Zenons at the end-of-the-year ceremonies which included Best Costumes, Best Set, and Best Musical and Choral Direction.
The Twenty-fifth Season was Beverly’s last season of association with HLT. During that time she was involved with three plays. She worked on the set and was a seamstress for Melanie Boulay’s The Wizard of Oz in November; in June she directed a reprise of the comedy Arsenic and Old Lace; and in August worked in Anthony’s Lounge during the production of Jet Hansen’s presentation of Noises Off. At the Fourteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October Beverly received three nominations: a Board Service Award for her outstanding achievement as Newsletter Editor, a second for a Best Lighting Design with Mac Byron for Arsenic and Old Lace, and a third for Best Director of Arsenic and Old Lace.
When Mrs. Gillilan left Sebring and HLT in 2000, she left a legacy of having been involved in 26 plays at the Little Theatre, having attended 9 Zenon Ceremonies and having won three of those awards. She was involved in 1 Christmas program, was editor of the HLT newsletter for several years, been mentioned in 45 local news articles and in 68 HLT Newsletters for the grand total of 149 citations. HLT lost a valuable and versatile asset when Beverly Brando Gillilan left Highlands County. She will be long remembered for her many and varied gifts and abilities.

Photo of  Jeannette  Brown
Jeannette Brown
Faithful And Diligent Volunteer -By: Roy Riedy

Jeannette Brown joined the Highlands Little Theatre in the Twenty-seventh Season when her name was first seen in the playbill for Jet Hansen’s November, 2000, revival of On Golden Pond, as a member of the Gourmet Staff. Since that time Jeannette has been associated with ten other plays, the latest being Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s March, 2002, revival of Brigadoon.

Jeannette was presented a Gracie Award in July, 2002, which carried this introduction: “Congratulations to Jeannette Brown, the Gracie Award winner for July! Jeannette is always willing to lend a helping hand in the Salad Bar/Gourmet area. She has become a faithful volunteer, working diligently every show, every weekend. Jeannette has spent countless hours preparing delicious items for the salad bar and dishing up yummy soup for our patrons. Thank you Jeannette for all of your hard work. It is HLT members like you that make us what we are!”

Besides being mentioned in eleven play programs and receiving a Gracie Award, Jeannette name has been seen in two HLT Newsletters for a total of fourteen citations. Keep up the good work Jeannette.

Photo of  Lois  Brown
Lois Brown

Lois Brown was on the team of makeup artists and hairdressers who attended to the actors in Janelou Buck’s production of her June, 1992, drama, Inherit The Wind. It was with that show that Lois started her long association with HLT which has resulted in her working on 33 shows at the Little Theatre, the last one being a special acknowledgment in the program of Peter Pollard’s reprise of Steel Magnolias, in January, 2003.

Her introduction to HLT in Inherit The Wind was followed in August by working with three other ladies on the make-up for Marian Dunham’s reprise of The Teahouse of the August Moon. In April, 1993,Frank Oberhausen revived Camelot and Lois was on hand to help work on the make-up for the show. In June, 1993 Lois worked alone on the make-up for Marian Dunham’s Philadelphia Story and in August she was in charge of make-up and coiffure for Jet Hansen’s production of Show Boat.

During the Twentieth Season Lois worked on four shows and her effort was rewarded by her first Production/Technical Zenon at the Ninth Annual Awards Ceremony at the end of the season for her outstanding achievement in hair styling and makeup for South PacificThe Odd Couple (Female Version)Lend Me A Tenor, and Meet Me In St. Louis.

Lois worked on every show of the Twenty-first Season and this commitment paid off with her second Production/Technical Zenon at the Tenth Annual Zenon Ceremony for her Hair Styling and Makeup Artistry for the 1994/1995 Season.

History repeated itself again and again at the Eleventh and Twelfth Zenon Ceremonies when she won her third and fourth Production/Technical Zenons for her Makeup for the two preceding seasons.

At the Thirteenth Zenon awards Mrs. Brown was nominated for her Makeup for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Annie. During the following season, the Twenty-fifth, she worked on Melanie Boulay’sWizard of Oz and Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music. Her most recent work has been with the revival of The King and IThe Best Little Whorehouse in TexasWest Side StoryFoxfire,Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Peter Pan.

All told, Lois has worked on 33 plays at HLT, and been associated with 5 Zenon Ceremonies at which she has won four Zenons and been nominated for two. She has also been associated with 1 Christmas show, 1 First Nighter, and her name has been mentioned in 25 HLT Newsletters and in 31 local news articles for a grand total of 95 Citations. Thank you Lois for your unceasing efforts to make Highlands Little Theatre look so good.

Photo of  Janelou  Buck
Janelou Buck
By: Roy Riedy

Ms. Buck was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on December 2, 1920. She was a former radio actress in Detroit, a stage actress for the USO and a Powers model in New York City. At one time in her life she was a fashion show commentator; a director and writer in Minneapolis; and a teacher at the Patricia Stevens School.

Her career in journalism started in 1967 when she became the editor of the Steuben County Courier in Bath, New York. This was followed by positions on the Gulf Beach Journal in Treasure Island, Florida and the Union County Journal in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1974 she came to Sebring to be the editor of The Sebring News.

Her qualifications for the Significant Achievement Award were just as formidable as her journalistic abilities. Not only was she instrumental in the founding of the Highlands Little Theatre in 1974, but she also served as an officer of the organization in one capacity or other from its creation, and served as its secretary for the last eight years of her life. At the time of the Significant Achievement Award presentation, Ms. Buck had directed 14 of the 47 shows presented to that time; she would find time and strength to direct 4 more for a total of 18 before she succumbed to cancer in 1993. Janelou also acted in 8 additional productions directed by others, giving her the enviable record of either having directed or acted in 26 of the 81 shows done by HLT during her lifetime, just 3 plays short of one-third of all its productions.

Her work as a supporter of theater activities was not limited to the Playhouse. In her role as editor of the News-Sun for seventeen years and her chatty column “View from the Square”, HLT activities and events stayed in the news and in the minds of the readers of our county. When it was realized that her illness had numbered her days, the officers of The Little Theatre decided to honor its first recipient and rename “The Significant Achievement Award” as “The Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award”, making the announcement at the 7th Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, on October 3, 1992. Ms. Buck died at the age of 72, the following summer, on July 16, 1993.

Her influence does not stop here either. Recently, the Highlands Little Theatre has inaugurated The Janelou Buck Scholarship Fund in which a scholarship is presented in her name to a student who shows interest in the theatrical arts. As long as there are students who value the theater, her spirit seems destined to be with us for many, many, years to come – a closeness devoutly to be wished.

Photo of  Dave  Buell
Dave Buell
Firecracker and Piano Man -By: Roy Riedy

Dave Buell started out his association with HLT as a member of the Set Construction Team for Peter Pollard’s comedy, On Golden Pond, in January, 1990.

The next season, The Seventeenth, he was a member of the Set Construction Team and the Stage Crew for another Peter Pollard production, his January, 1991, presentation of Steel Magnolias. In March, Dave was on the Set Construction Team of Frank Oberhausen, for his musical, The Music Man. A year later, in April, 1992, he was listed in Frank Oberhausen’s next musical, Funny Girl, as a member of the Stage Crew, Set Construction Team, and also for Special Effects. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony at the end of that season, Mr. Buell was awarded a Production/Technical Zenon ”for outstanding achievement in the development of the pyrotechnics for Funny Girl.”

During HLT’s Nineteenth Season Dave worked on two plays. He was part of Walter Zelenenki’s Set Construction Team for his comedy Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, in January, 1993, and in April he was a member of Frank Oberhausen’s Set Construction Team for his reprise of the musical Camelot; a job he repeated the following season for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of South Pacific. In June, 1994, during Tammie Pollard’s comedy, Lend Me a Tenor, Dave joined Beverly Padgett and Jim Lanier as one of the pianists that entertained in Anthony’s Lounge.

Peter Pollard directed Ain’t Misbehavin’ in January, 1995, and during that show Dave was on the Gourmet Staff as a waiter. In March, Dave made his first and only stage appearance as the Rev. Jonathan Witherspoon, in Frank Oberhausen’s musical 1776, a play for which he also worked as a member of the Set Construction Team. In June of that season, during Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s comedy Same Time Next Year, Dave continued working as a waiter with the Gourmet Staff.

During the Twenty-second Season Dave helped with the Set Design and construction of Roy Riedy’s comedy The Foreigner, he also worked as a waiter on the Gourmet Staff, a job he continued for the remaining three shows.

The Twenty-third Season was the last season Dave worked at Highlands Little Theatre. He worked as a waiter on the Gourmet Staff for the first three shows of the season, Jet Hansen’s Forever Plaid, in November; Melanie Boulay’s To Kill a Mockingbird, in January, 1997; and Frank Oberhausen’s La Cage aux folles, in April, which was the last time his name appeared in a HLT program.

The seven years that Dave Buell was with Highlands Little Theatre he was associated with 18 plays and 2 Zenon Ceremonies, at which one he won a Production/Technical Award. His name was mentioned in 6 HLT Newsletters and in 5 local news articles for a total of 31 Citations. He was a talented volunteer with an explosive touch.

Photo of  Liz  Buell
Liz Buell
Set Artist, and much more -By: Roy Riedy

Liz Buell was associated with 20 plays while she was with HLT. The first show she worked on was Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Fiddler on the Roof as part of his Set Construction Team. The musical opened in March, 1987, as the third show of the Thirteenth Season. In the Fourteenth Season she worked on Frank Oberhausen’s March, 1988, presentation of Carousel in several different jobs: she was the Set Artist with Bob Given and Gwen Givens, she desiged the costumes with Charlotte Bell and Leena Violette, she worked as a seamstress, and she also helped with the set construction. During the June presentation of Janelou Buck’s California Suite, Liz worked as a waitress in Gourmet, one of her few departures from backstage. At the end of the season Zenon Ceremony, Liz was nominated for a Production/Technical Award “for achievement in set art and set construction for Carousel.

The third show of the Fifteenth Season was Frank Oberhausen’s musical The King and I. Liz was part of the Wardrobe Seamstresses on Leena Violette’s costume team. She also worked again with Bob Given on the Set Art and with the Set Construction of the musical. In June, Liz and Bob Given did the Set Art for Peter Pollard’s musical Sweet Charity. At the Fourth Zenon Awards in late September,The King and I won the award for the Best Costumes for the Season. The Zenon was presented to Leena Violette and her team, of which Liz was a member.

Liz worked on three shows during the Sixteenth Season. In January, 1990, she worked on the set of Peter Pollard’s comedy On Golden Pond. In March she was a member of Frank Oberhausen’s Set Design and Set Construction Team for his reprise of the musical My Fair Lady. In June, Liz worked as a waitress during Janelou Buck’s production of Hello Dolly. At the Fifth Awards Ceremony, Liz was nominated for a Best Set Design Zenon for her work on the set of My Fair Lady, and won a Best Costuming Zenon for her work with Leena Violette and Virginia Guercia for the costumes of My Fair Lady.

In January, 1991, Liz and Barbara Holt did the Set Art for Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias and in March she was again on Frank Oberhausen’s Set Design team for his production of The Music Man withBob Given and Larry Wollangk. At the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Liz was nominated for a Best Design Zenon for her work with The Music Man Set Design Team.

During the second weekend in December, 1991, Carol Thurow directed A Christmas Salute to the 1940′s with a set designed by Liz. In January, she did the Set Art with Heather Broedeser for Peter Pollard’s musical They’re Playing Our Song, and in April was on Frank Oberhausen’s Set Design Team for his musical Funny Girl. In June, 1992, Janelou Buck directed the drama Inherit The Wind and Liz was part of its Set Construction Team. In October, Liz received a nomination for Best Set Design for her work on Frank Oberhausen’s Funny Girl.

Walter Zelenenki directed Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, in January, 1993, the second play of the Nineteenth Season and Liz worked with the Set Designers and Set Decorators of that comedy. In April, Frank Oberhausen reprised the musical Camelot and once again, Liz was a member of his Set Design team along with Frank Oberhausen and Larry Wollangk. She also was on the Set Art Team which also included Keith Stillwagon, Barbara Holt and Bob Given. At the end of the year Zenon Ceremonies, Liz received two Zenons: Best Set Design for Camelot, and a Board Service Zenon for “Outstanding contributions to the theater in every area from Gourmet to production, to general maintenance as a volunteer who has accomplished what was needed, when it was needed, without being asked.” Liz now possessed four Zenons and had received nominations for four others.

Liz worked on one play during the Twentieth Season, Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of South Pacific. She was part of Frank Oberhausen’s Set Design Team with Larry Wollangk, and a member of the Set Art artists that included Keith Stillwagon, Barbara Holt, Bob Given and Gwen Givens and Robin Lynne. Peter Pollard’s wonderful revue Ain’t Misbehavin’ was the second show of the Twenty-first Season whose set was designed by Liz and Peter Pollard. In April Liz helped recreate the Philadelphia room that was the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence for Frank Oberhausen’s production of 1776 and also contributed to the Set Art when not acting as a Wardrobe Seamstress for the show. Tena Conyer and Andrew Conyer directed Same Time Next Year in June and Liz worked as a waitress in Gourmet during its run.

The last play Liz work on was Roy Riedy’s comedy, The Foreigner, which opened in January, 1996, for which she worked with the Set Design Team. During her association with HLT she was involved with 20 plays, 1 Christmas program, and 7 Zenon Ceremonies. She was awarded 4 Zenons and was nominated for 4 others. Her name appeared in 24 HLT Newsletters and in 13 local new articles for a total of 65 Citations.

Mrs. Buell died in early March, 1996, at the age of 50. She left a great legacy at Highlands Little Theatre. She is remembered for her cheerful and outgoing spirit and a great desire to be of service. All that knew her were aware that they had lost a very special friend, who is still missed today. Highlands Little Theatre lost a exceptional member and a talented volunteer.

Photo of  William "Mac"  Byron
William "Mac" Byron
A Committed Member and Gracie Award Winner -By: Roy Riedy

The first show that William “Mac” Byron was associated with at the Little Theatre was Janelou Buck’s June, 1992 production of Inherit the Wind, a dramatic presentation of the much publicized “Monkey Trial” of the 1920s. The play was the first of now 53 plays that he has been involved with since joining HLT.. Mac ended his first season at HLT as Sergeant Gregovich in the second presentation of Marian Dunham’s Teahouse of the August Moon which commemorated the tenth year of the organization’s residency in The Lakeside Playhouse.

He was involved with four productions during the Nineteenth Season. He worked with the stage crew of Tena Conyer’s heavenly Nunsense; he was involved with the light design and set construction for Walt Zelenenki’s offbeat Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean; he appeared as Sir Lionel in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Camelot in April; and in June Mac was seen as Uncle Willis Tracy in Marian Dunham’s presentation of The Philadelphia Story.

Mac was rewarded for his hard work by being nominated three times at the end of the season at the Eighth Zenon Ceremonies. One nomination was a Best Supporting Actor Zenon for his part of Uncle Willis in The Philadelphia Story; another a Production/Technical Zenon for his backstage work; and the third, a Best Lighting Design for his electrical contributions to Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.

Mr. Byron was just as busy the Twentieth Season with four more plays. The season opened with the sequel to Tena Conyer’s immensely popular opener of the previous season, Nunsense II, The second coming for which Mac and Producer Margie Pollard made up the two person stage crew. He was the Producer and Stage Manager for the January presentation of Peter Pollard’s production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version). In June he was the Assistant Director of Tammie Pollard’s hilarious Lend Me A Tenor; and in August he was the Motorman of the trolley in Marian Dunham’s musical Meet Me In St. Louis.

Same Time, Next Year was directed by Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer in June of the Twenty-first Season and Mac provided the Sound for the production. In August he was the Assistant Director and Stage Manager for Marian Dunham’s ambitious musical Gigi.

Mac threw himself into the Twenty-second Season with colossal vigor and was involved in no less than five different productions. In November he worked on the Light Design with Frank Oberhausenfor Peter Pollard’s presentation of The Goodbye Girl; the following month he directed an “Extra” one weekend production of the comic Greater Tuna; in January he did the lighting for Roy Riedy’s The Foreigner; in March he worked on the set for Frank Oberhausen’s third presentation of Fiddler on the Roof; and in August co-directed with Marian Dunham, the Tony winning musical, The Secret Garden. His total involvement in the season was recognized at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards with three nominations, two for Best Lighting Designs, and a third for Best Stage Manager.

Melanie Boulay made her directorial debut with her January, 1997, presentation of To Kill A Mockingbird in which Mac played the part of Bob Ewell. He was part of the Stage Crew of Frank Oberhausen’s flamboyant musical La Cage aux folles in April and in May he was elected to the HLT’s Board of Directors. In June he directed the comedy George Washington Slept Here and in October at the Zenon Ceremonies he received three Zenon nominations, one for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, another for Best Lighting Design, and the third for Best Play of the season. In January, 1998 Mac played the part of Leo Silver in Peter Pollard’s production of My Favorite Year.

HLT’s Twenty-sixth Season opened with One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by first time director John Lovelette and Mac was back in action as part of the set construction crew. In February, 2000, he appeared as King Ferdinand in the Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) production of Cinderella, Cinderella presented at Lakeside Playhouse. In April he was a sound technician for Sue McCollum’s production of Bye Bye, Birdie, and in June appeared in the program of Mike Logsdon’s Run For Your Wife, and Melanie Boulay’s Oliver! as the Chairman of the Gourmet Staff. At the FifteenthZenon Ceremonies Mac was nominated for a Zenon for his work as a sound technician on Bye Bye, Birdie.

During the Twenty-seventh Season Mac served up another helping of Tuna at Christmas time when he directed A Tuna Christmas in December as another “Extra” HLT show. In April he appeared as Senator Wingwoah in Jim McCollum’s production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in May he was reelected to the HLT Board of Directors, in June he worked with Mark Elliott as a lighting technician on Steve McDaniel’s Moon Over Buffalo.

Besides his theatrical duties Mac was also involved with the Gourmet Division, either as its Chairman or as a Master Chef for the entire Twenty-seventh season. At Zenon time, Mac received another nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Senator Wingwoah in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

During the Twenty-eighth Season Mac continued to work in the Gourmet Division but found time to appeared as the Doctor in Peter Pollard’s absorbing production of Foxfire in January, and work as a sound technician for Joe Willis’ colorful Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March, a service that brought him a nomination at the October Zenon Ceremonies.

The Twenty-ninth Season saw Mr. Byron as active as ever. He was associated with all five main stage presentations. He served as a Master Chef in Gourmet for all of the plays and was also a sound technician for Allen Branch’s June production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and designed the lighting for Sue McCollum’s August revival of The Fantasticks, for which he received a Zenonnomination at the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2003.

Once again, during the Thirtieth Season, Mac served as a Master Chef for all five of HLT’s shows. He was also seen on stage as the Westminster Hotel Manager in Mike Logsdon’s wonderful January farce, Out Of Order.

Most recently, during the Thirty-first Season, Mac has been associated with the Gourmet Division in his role as a Master Chef for all three shows that have been presented. In January he also found time to work on the set construction and stage crew of Pete Pollard’s Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.

During Mr. Byron’s fourteen years association with Highlands Little Theatre, he has been affiliated with 53 productions at the Lakeside Playhouse and 7 Zenon Ceremonies, he has attended 1 First Nighter program and has seen his name in 63 HLT Newsletters and 62 local news articles for a total of 186 citations. Your commitment to HLT has been outstanding Mac and it is a fine example to follow for all who truly want to be an active member. Congratulations on your well deserved Gracie Award.

Photo of  Lyndsay  Byron Lynch
Lyndsay Byron Lynch
Fourteen years with HLT By: Roy Riedy

Lindsay has spent half of her life at HLT which I’m sure is a record making statistic. She was first seen on the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse in December of 1990 in Marian Dunham and Jim Lanier’s Christmas Dreams, a four performance Christmas show. The following March she was part of the chorus in Frank Oberhausen’s production of The Music Man, and in November she worked on the set construction of Jet Hansen’s musical Mame which was followed in December by another Christmas Special, Carol Thurow’s Christmas Salute to the 40′s, in which she danced.

In January, 1992, Lindsay was listed again as one of the set construction crew for Pete Pollard’s They’re Playing Our Song; in April she was listed on the Production Staff of Frank Oberhausen’s Funny Girl as a Dance Assistant; in June she once again worked on set construction for Janelou Buck’s presentation of Inherit the Wind; she ended the Eighteenth Season as an “Old Woman’s Daughter” in Marian Dunham’s tenth anniversary show of HLT’s presence at The Lakeside Playhouse, backstage Lindsay worked as a wig and make-up person on that milestone show.

Tena Conyer‘s Nunsence opened the Nineteenth Season at HLT and Lindsay was one of the Lighting Technicians for that funny show. In January her picture and credits appeared in the playbill for Walt Zelenenki’s Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, as Sissy-Then, she was now a freshman at SHS and was acting in her first major role at HLT, her behind-the-scenes and chorus work had finally paid off. Frank Oberhausen reprised Camelot in April and Lindsay appeared in it as a member of the Royal Court, and in June during the run of Marian Dunham’s The Philadelphia Story Lindsay could be found in kitchen of HLT as part of its staff; in August, Jet Hansen brought the time honored Show Boat to HLT, and once again, Lindsay was part of the set construction team.

Tena Conyer opened HLT’s Twentieth Season with the second coming of Nunsence and Lindsay was in charge of the Sound for that popular show; it was followed in January by Pete Pollard’s presentation of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version) for which Lindsay worked on the Stage Crew. In April, Frank Oberhausen brought back South Pacific and Lindsay was in the chorus and worked on the set construction of that musical. Lend Me A Tenor was presented in June by Tammie Pollard with Lindsay working in the theater dining room as a waitress; the final show of the season was Marian Dunham’s Meet Me In St. Louis in which Lindsay appeared as Rose and once again got her picture in the program for being in a leading role. In October at the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards Ms. Byron received her first nomination, a Best Supporting Actress Zenon, for her fine acting in Meet Me in St. Louis as Rose.

Lindsay was a dresser and on the Stage Crew for Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s Same Time Next Year in June, 1995; she was the Producer for the next play, Marian Dunham’s bubbling musical Gigi, a duty that nominated her for a Best Producer Zenon at the Tenth Annual Awards Ceremonies.

Lindsay’s father, Mac Byron, served up his first helping of “Tuna” as an “Extra” show in December, 1995, and Lindsay helped present Greater Tuna by being its Sound Technician. In March, 1996, Frank Oberhausen reprised Fiddler on the Roof in which Lindsay appeared as one of the many Anatevkians, an understudy, and Dance Captain, chores that nominated her for another Zenon in October; she followed those duties in August by being the Production Assistant and one of the Light Designers for her father and Marian Dunham’s presentation of The Secret Garden. It had been another busy season for Ms. Byron

In June of the Twenty-third Season, Mac Byron directed George Washington Slept Here and Lindsay acted as his co-producer with Teri Klix, she also was the play’s Sound Technician, Wardrobe Assistant, Make-up Assistant, and helped with its publicity. Tammie Pollard revived A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in August and Lindsay played one of the Geminae with her sister Laura. Lindsay received two nominations at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, one for Producer Assistant in The Secret Garden and a second for Best Producer for the Season for George Washington Slept Here with Teri Klix.

In January of 1998 Lindsay worked with the Wardrobe for Pete Pollard’s production of My Favorite Year; continued in Wardrobe duties during Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Annie in April and Beverly Brando Gillilan’s Paint Your Wagon in June.

In the Twenty-fifth Season Lindsay was Co-Chairperson with Tom Waldron of Anthony’s Lounge during Beverly Brando Gillilan’s run of Arsenic and Old Lace and Jet Hansen’s wonderful Noises Off.

The Twenty-sixth Season was another busy season for Lindsay. Her duties in Anthony’s Lounge kept her occupied during John Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, she did find time to be in the chorus and be a seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Annie Get Your Gun, and play the wicked stepsister Denise, in Krista Flores’ CAT production of Cinderella,Cinderella in February. She also found time to be one of the choreographers and a make-up artist for Sue McCollum’s April offering of Bye Bye, Birdie, and also play one of John Smith’s wives (Barbara) in Mike Logsdon’s great farce Run For Your Wife in June. During Melanie Boulay’s production of Oliver! in August, 2000, Lindsay and her new co-chairperson, Margie Pollard, continued to dispense liquid happiness to their customers in Anthony’s Lounge. Lindsay received a Best Actress in a Supporting Role nomination at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2000, when she was also a nomination for a Production/Technical Award for her Choreography with Laurie Keyes in the musical Bye Bye, Birdie.

The Twenty-Seventh Season at HLT also kept Lindsay busy. She was now the Chairperson of Anthony’s Lounge which kept her occupied during Jet Hansen’s On Golden Pond and Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The King and I. In April she appeared in Jim McCollum’s musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas as Linda Lou, an Angelette, and one of the choreographers of the play. In June, Lindsey was Steve McDaniel’s Production Assistant Director for his lively Moon Over Buffalo and in August she played Glad Hand in Tammie Pollard’s powerful West Side Story. In October at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards, Ms. Byron was nominated for two awards, a Production Technical Award for her work with Jim Preston and Gloria Curtis for the Choreography in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and a Board Service Award for Special Events and the Chairperson of Anthony’s Lounge, which she won.

Lindsay worked in Anthony’s Lounge during Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Guys and Dolls, the opening show of the Twenty-eighth Season, Peter Pollard’s January show, Foxfire, and Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. In June she appeared as Sylvie Hauser in Mike Logsdon’s second British import, Move over Mrs. Markham. In August Lindsay was the Milliner for Melanie Boulay’s wonderful Peter Pan. Most recently, besides her Anthony’s Lounge duties and editing the monthly HLT Newsletter, she was a Wardrobe Seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Man of La Mancha.

Since her work on The Man of La Mancha, Lindsay has been involved in seven more plays. In January, 2003, during the run of Peter Pollard’s revival of Steel Magnolias, she worked as part of the staff of Anthony’s Lounge; the following March, besides her duties at Anthony’s Lounge, she helped with the set construction of Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s revival of the musical Brigadoon. In June, 2003, during the presentation of Allen Branch’s of the mystery/thriller The Hound of the Baskervilles, Lindsay was again concerned with the operations of Anthony’s Lounge as she was duringSue McCollum’s August revival of The Fantasticks.

Most recently, during the 30th Season, Lindsay has been involved in four of HLT’s productions. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; a member of Anthony’s Lounge team during Mike Logsdon’sOut of Order, and a dresser coordinator for Jennifer Westergom’s elaborate March musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. Between those shows Lindsay was wed to Jeffery Lynch. Lindsay Byron Lynch also received the highly regarded Gracie Award for her exceptional volunteerism in March, 2004. In August she was Tammie Pollard’s Co-Director for the rock opera Jesus Christ, Superstar and in October she received her second Zenon at the Awards Ceremonies for her outstanding achievement as Newletter Chairman and Wardrobe Assistant. Lindsay has now been in or involved with 54 of the 137 plays given by HLT, approximately 38% of all main stage productions, a shining example of true involvement.

Mrs. Lynch has been mentioned in 7 Zenon and 2 Christmas programs; she has been referred to in 50 HLT Newsletters and 53 local newspaper articles for a total of 166 citations. She has been the current editor of the HLT Newsletter for more than two years and a force at Highlands Little Theatre for 14 years and has acquired two Zenon for her efforts. She is truly a member who has been indispensable to the theater’s progress. Thank you Lindsay for your investment of untold hours, your talents, and you winning personality, we have all profited from your generous spirit.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Cliff  Calhoun
Cliff Calhoun
A Committed Stage Crew and Gourmet Worker By: Roy Riedy

Cliff Calhoun’s name first appeared in the HLT records in the November, 1994, in the program for Jim Lanier’s presentation of Gypsy, as a member of the Stage Crew and Set Construction team for the Sondheim musical. In June, his name was listed again as a member of the Stage and Set Construction crews for Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s production of Same Time Next Year. Cliff ended HLT’s Twenty-first Season in August as the head of the Stage Crew for Marian Dunham’s presentation of Lerner and Loewe’s Gigi. At the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October, Cliff was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon for his work on the set construction and stage crews of the three shows in which he was involved.

The Twenty-second Season involved Cliff in four productions: Peter Pollard’s The Goodbye Girl; Mac Byron’s Greater Tuna; Frank Oberhausen’s Fiddler on the Roof; and Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s The Secret Garden; for all of which he worked on the Set Construction and/or Stage Crews, and even appeared on stage as an extra in The Secret Garden.

Cliff devoted all his energies to Gourmet during the Twenty-third Season and was listed with Waiting Staff in the programs for George Washington Slept Here, and the reprise of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His contributions were recognized when he received a Board Service Zenon at the Twelfth Annual Awards Ceremony in August,1997.

Throughout the Twenty-fourth Season Cliff worked with the Gourmet Staff during all five plays presented at the Lakeside Playhouse. By the end of the season he was the Assistant Head Waiter for the Gourmet Division and this was noted again at the Thirteenth Annual Awards Ceremony when he was nominated for a Board Service Zenon for his ongoing efforts.
Mr. Calhoun’s name appeared three more times during the Twenty-fifth Season. He was the Assistant Head Waiter for the productions of The Wizard of Oz and The Miracle Worker and served as a member of the Stage Crew for the first presentation of Unity’s Sounds of the Season at Christmas time.
During his four year association with Highlands Little Theatre, Mr. Calhoun was associated with 16 plays, a Christmas Program, and 3 Zenon Ceremonies. He received a Board Service Zenon at the Twelfth Annual Awards Ceremony in August, 1997, and was mentioned in 5 HLT Newsletters and 2 local news articles for a total of 27 Citations.

Photo of  Karen  Cardozo Rosa
Karen Cardozo Rosa
An Amazing Pussycat By: Roy Riedy

Ms. Rosa’s name first appeared in the first program of the 10th Season at HLT in November, 1983. The playbill was for Lionel Bart’s Dickensian musical, Oliver!, directed by Marian Dunham in which Karen was designated as “Back Drop Design & Artist” for the play and thus she started her five year association with Highlands Little Theatre. Symmetrically, Karen also appeared in the last program of HLT’s 10th Season, Bill Manhoff’s two person comedy The Owl and The Pussycat, directed by Peter Pollard. One reviewer, quite correctly called the play “the cat’s pajamas.”

The Eleventh Season at the Lakeside Playhouse opened with James Goldman’s historical comedy, The Lion in Winter, which was interested in the majestic hassles of England’s Henry II. Karen played one of them, Alais, a French Princess. During the second show of the season, Carol Gose’s musical, The Pajama Game, Karen worked with the Gourmet Staff. The Man Who Came to Dinner appeared in April, the third show, in which Karen played Harriet Stanley on stage and was part of the Wardrobe crew behind the scenes. During Marian Dunham’s musical Brigadoon, in June, Karen worked with the waitresses on the Gourmet Staff. The last play of the Eleventh Season was Peter Pollard’s 1960 Tony nominated musical Once Upon a Mattress for which Karen designed the set and was Stage Manager and the Assistant Director.

With the Twelfth Season, HLT began the Zenon Awards, for which actors, plays, and technicians, vied for the equivalent of an Oscar or a Tony at the end of the season. Karen was involved with all five plays of this significant season. During the November offering of Director Frank Oberhausen’s Broadway comic strip hit, Annie, Karen worked as a waitress with the Gourmet Staff. In January, 1986, Barbara Smith directed the Vincent Youmans’ No, No, Nanette, in which Karen was cast as Pauline, the maid. Peter Pollard directed the comedy Arsenic and Old Lace in April during which Karen worked as a waitress and a House Manager. Janelou Buck directed the musical adaptation of Jan de Hartog’s The FourposterI Do, I Do, another two person show, in June, and again Karen worked as a waitress and a House Manager. Karen’s name also appeared in that program as now being a member of the Board of Directors of HLT. The final show of the season was Sue McCollum’s comedyVanities, with a cast of three women of which one, Kathy, was Ms. Cardozo. The looked-forward-to First Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony took place in early October with Karen winning the Award for the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her vacuuming Pauline, in Barbara Smith’s No, No, Nanette.

Karen was also involved in all five shows of the Thirteenth Season. She worked as a waitress in Gourmet during Marian Dunham’s presentation of Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, in November. In January, she was Barbara Smith’s Assistant Director and Producer for the Hart and Kaufman comedy You Can’t Take It With You; and in March she was a Set Artist and Publicist for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Fiddler on the Roof. In June she and Richard Farnsworth co-directed the legendary The Fantasticks and Karen also participated in its Set Art and Publicity. During the last play of the season, Jet Hansen’s The Odd Couple, Karen worked with the Gourmet Staff as a waitress. At the Second Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony Karen took home two awards, one for the Best Costume Design of the Season for her costumes in You Can’t Take It With You, and the second for the Best Lighting Design for the Hart and Kaufman comedy which she shared withFrank Oberhausen. Three prizes in two years, the cat’s meow!

The Fourteenth Season was Karen’s last season with Highlands Little Theatre in which her name was mentioned, in the programs of the first three shows. The opening show, Carousel, was directed byMarian Dunham and Karen’s name appeared as being a member of the Theatre’s Board of Directors for a second term. Karen did the Cover and Poster for the second show, Peter Pollard’s January comedy Barefoot in the Park. Frank Oberhausen’s musical Carousel was the third show of the season and had the distinction of being the first play presented on the new state-of-the-art stage that had been in construction during the previous year. Karen’s name appeared in the Carousel program for the last time, in the section devoted to the Officers and Members of the Board of Directors.

During her five years with HLT, Karen was involved in twenty plays and the recipient of three Zenon Awards in two years, and a member of the Board of Directors for the Theatre for two terms. Her name appeared in four Zenon Programs, thirteen HLT newsletters, one First Nighter list, and twenty-eight local news articles for a total of sixty-six citations. The Little Theatre was indeed fortunate in having her talented and generous advice during those formative and important years.

Photo of  Dorothy  Chaput
Dorothy Chaput
A HLT Volunteer Since 1986 By: Roy Riedy

Dorothy Chaput has been associated with Highlands Little Theatre for over seventeen years. Her name first appeared as a House Manager in the play program for Barbara Smith’s January,1986, musical No, No, Nanette. Since that initial reference, Dorothy’s name has appeared in seventy-eight subsequent playbills, well over half of all HLT productions. Her most recent credit was seen in the play program for Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s March 2003, revival of Brigadoon.
Dorothy was honored with the Gracie Award for March, 2003, with the following testimonial: “The March Gracie Award goes to HLT member Dorothy Chaput. Dorothy is always willing to lend a helping hand in Gourmet and is a faithful House Manager. She fills creamers and sugar sets each week and helps the wait staff serve coffee and deserts for Sunday matinee performances. She hasn’t missed a Sunday performance in two years! Way to go Dorothy…Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to HLT!”
In addition to the reference to Dorothy in the many play programs and her recent Gracie Award, her name has appeared in four Highlands Little Theatre Newsletters for a total of eighty-five citations. Congratulations Dorothy on your long and outstanding record of selfless dedication in helping theater flourish in Highlands County.

Photo of  Gloria  Coffey
Gloria Coffey
Seventeen Years of Public Spirit Finally Recognized By: Roy Riedy and Vanessa Logsdon

Gloria Coffey has been a member of HLT since June, 1990, when she danced her way onto the HLT stage in Janelou Buck‘s production of Jerry Herman’s great hit Hello Dolly!. Since that time, 17 years ago, Gloria has been involved in sixty plays at HLT, five Zenon Ceremonies, three CAT productions, one Christmas program, three First Nighters, and has been mentioned in forty-one HLT Newsletters and thirty-seven local news articles for a total of one hundred and fifty citations.

It is with great pleasure that I quote Vanessa Logsdon‘s tribute when she made known the winners of the March, 2007, Gracie Award: “Whoever termed Batman and Robin the dynamic duo had never met tonight’s pair of winners. Those comic book guys don’t come close to the amount of energy expended by these two. They were destined to be friends. Both like to play with “Dolly’s”. We’ve seen one onstage as a Madame, and the other as a gender confused character in a birdcage, and rumor has it that they recently danced their way through Alaska’s inside passage. Never ones to let grass grow under their feet, tonight’s accolades go to these ladies for their dedication, diligence and exhaustive work on the Scholarship committee. Please join me in a round of applause as the Gracie goes to Gloria Coffey and Lynda Fulcher.

Congratulations Gloria and Lynda, as they say in Chicago, “You Had It Coming.”

Photo of  John  Conway
John Conway
Worker on Stage Crews and in Anthony's Lounge By: Roy Riedy

John’s first job at HLT was as a member of the Stage Crew for Frank Oberhausen’s March, 1991, musical The Music Man. His name appeared for a second time in the June, 1993, program of Marian Dunham’s The Philadelphia Story again as part of the Stage Crew. In August, 1993, Jet Hansen presented Show Boat and once again, John was part of the Stage Crew.
After his tentative start John became a well known face at HLT and was involved with 20 of the 25 shows given the next five seasons.
Jim Lanier’s Gypsy introduced HLT’s Twenty-first Season in November, 1994, and John was a member of his Stage Crew. The following March, Frank Oberhausen presented his historical musical 1776 for which also John crewed. In June, Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer brought Same Time Next Year to the Lakeside Playhouse and in that playbill John’s name is listed as one of the members of the Board of Directors of the Little Theatre. In the August program for Marian Dunham’s Gigi, John’s name, in addition to being listed with the officers, also appears as one of the workers in Anthony’s Lounge. At the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards at the end of the season John and Melanie Boulay were listed as being the presenters of the second Board Service Awards.
John was associated with all five plays in the Twenty-second Season. He worked in Anthony’s Lounge during Peter Pollard’s presentation of The Goodbye Girl in November; in January he was the Assistant Stage Manager for Roy Riedy’s production of The Foreigner; and he was on Frank Oberhausen’s stage crew for the revival of Fiddler on the Roof in March. He returned to Anthony’s Lounge in June during Tammie Pollard’s production of Play It Again, Sam and in August during Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s presentation of The Secret Garden.

In October at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony John received his first Zenon, a Board Service Award, “for building maintenance chairman, new building, Anthony’s Lounge and gourmet.”

John was again associated with five plays during HLT’s Twenty-third Season. During Jet Hansen presentation of the season’s opening show, Forever Plaid, and Melanie Boulay’s January drama, To Kill a Mockingbird, John worked in Anthony’s Lounge . He was a member of the Stage Crew for Frank Oberhausen’s April presentation of La Cage aux Folles. John returned to his duties in Anthony’s Lounge during Mac Byron’s production of George Washington Slept Here in June, and Tammie Pollard’s revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in August.
During the five plays of the Twenty-fourth Season John spent his entire time at HLT working in Anthony’s Lounge. The last program that registers his name is Melanie Boulay’s November, 1998, production of The Wizard of Oz, in which John is recorded as working with the staff of Anthony’s Lounge.
During his time with HLT John was associated with 23 plays and 2 Zenon programs at which he won 1 Board Service Award. His name appeared in 4 HLT Newsletters and 2 local News articles for a total of 31 Citations.

Photo of  Andy  Conyer
Andy Conyer
Actor, Cook, Minister, and Good Guy By: Roy Riedy

Andy became affiliated with Highlands Little Theatre in its Twentieth Season, a busy one for him for he was involved in four of its five presentations. The first was Peter Pollard‘s January, 1994, production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version) in which Andy played the part of Jesus Contazuela, an Iberian dinner guest. He followed that encouraging debut by playing Stewpot inFrank Oberhausen‘s April revival of South Pacific. In Tammie Pollard‘s June production of Lend Me a Tenor, Andy played Max, full of vocal aspirations, and in August he was Marian Dunham‘s Assistant Director for the musical Meet Me in St. Louis. The outcome of the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony at the end of the season was a good barometer to how Andy had performed. He received the Best Actor Zenon for his portrayal of Max in Lend Me a Tenor, and the Best Assistant Director Award for his work on the musical Meet Me in St. Louis, two Zenons in ten months is a very auspicious beginning for a first year member.

During HLT’s Twenty-first Season, Andy was involved with six shows. He was on the Kitchen Staff of Gourmet during Jim Lanier‘s musical Gypsy; wrote and presented a Christmas Story, Mildred, in December, on the Lakeside Playhouse stage in conjunction with Unity in the Community, his parish; he returned to his kitchen duties during Peter Pollard‘s Ain’t Misbehavin’ in January and Frank Oberhausen‘s 1776 in March. In June, 1995, Tena Conyer and Andy co-directed the comedy Same Time Next Year, and in August, Andy worked again in the HLT kitchen during Marian Dunham‘s musical Gigi. At the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1995, Andy had the honor of presenting the Zenon for the Best Actress in a leading role to Beverly Padgett for her outstanding work in the role of Rose in Gypsy.

The Twenty-second Season opened at HLT in November with Andy playing the role of Elliot Garfield in Peter Pollard‘s musical, The Goodbye Girl. The role nominated him for a Zenon at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony for a Best Performance Zenon by an Actor in a Leading Role the following October. During the four remaining plays of the season, Andy continued with his duties with the Kitchen Staff of Gourmet.

Andy was one of the Committee Members of the Fifteenth Firstnighter’s Gala in October, 1996, and listed on the Kitchen team of Gourmet for the opening show of the Twenty-third Season, Jet Hansen‘s nostalgic look at the 50′s, Forever Plaid, and also for the next two productions at HLT, Melanie Boulay‘s To Kill a Mockingbird in January, 1997, and Frank Oberhausen‘s musical, La Cage aux Folles, the following April.

His name reappears in HLT’s program for October, 1997, as a member of the Set Design with Jim McCollum for Sue McCollum‘s production of Godspell, and also as the show’s Creative Consultant. In October, 1998, Andy and Jim McCollum were nominated for the Best Set Design at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony.

Andy’s name appears as one of the guests at the Seventeenth Firstnighter’s Gala in November, 1998, and in December as the Assistant Director of the first Sounds of the Season Christmas Program sponsored as a project by Unity In the Community.

The last time Andy’s name appeared in a HLT program was in the program for the 18th Annual First-Nighter Gala held at the Lakeside Playhouse on Friday, November 5th, 1999, as one of the attendees. On December 1, 2002, Highlands Little Theatre held a Groundbreaking Ceremony to commemorate the start of the new rehearsal hall that will soon be a reality as a part of the Lakeside Playhouse Complex. Andy appeared on the commemorative program as giving the Invocation and the Benediction.

In the nine years that Reverend Conyer has been a member of Highlands Little Theatre he has been associated with 19 plays, 2 Christmas presentations, 3 First-Nighter Galas, and 4 Zenon Ceremonies in which he has received two Zenons and been nominated for two others. As a minister he has held memorial services in the theatre for several members who have made their final bows in addition to being an official at the recent Groundbreaking Ceremony. Andy’s name has appeared in 19 HLT Newsletter, 45 local news articles for a total of total of 92 Citations. Thank you Andy for sharing your many gifts and talents with HLT.

Photo of  Tena  Conyer
Tena Conyer
Activity On Stage and Behind the Scenes By: Roy Riedy

Tena Conyer was the seventh recipient of the coveted Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award which she received at the end of Highland Little Theatre’s 18th Season, in October of 1992. At that time she had been involved, in one capacity or another, in forty-seven HLT productions. Since then she has added thirty-three more shows to her extensive list for a grand total of eighty productions, an unbroken record of participation in every theatrical event at HLT from June, 1983, when her name appeared in the program of Deathtrap as Stage Manager, to November, 1999, as a member of the Playbill Committee for The Wizard of Oz. Her involvement in the various plays balances almost equally between the stage and the kitchen. Forty-two of her efforts involve play production while thirty-eight pertained to duties in the gourmet division that ranged in scope from several spells as Head Waitress, to the co-chairman of Anthony’s Lounge; to a stint as a purchasing agent.

Her unflagging work has earned her an dramatic sixteen Zenon Awards which makes her the fourth biggest winner of that significant prize in HLT history. Seven of them were earned for her work as Best Producer: Carousel (1988); The King and I (1989); My Fair Lady II (1990); Funny Girl (1992); Camelot II (1993); South Pacific II (1994); and Gypsy, (1994). Three Zenons were realized for her effort as Best Stage Manager: Arsenic and Old Lace (1986); Fiddler on the Roof II (1987); and Mister Roberts II (1989). She was awarded Best Director for two of the nine shows she either directed or co-directed: Little Shop of Horrors (1991); and Nunsense (1992), and both of these shows also won a Zenon Award for Best Play. Her final two Zenons were the Significant Achievement Award in 1992, when the award became known as The Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award; and her latest, a Board Service Award that was presented in 1995 which acknowledged her banner work in the Gourmet Division and Anthony’s Lounge. She received a Life Member Plaque in 1987.
Tena has also held ten offices in the administration of Highlands Little Theatre. She was Secretary of the organization for two terms from April 1984 to March 1986; President for another two terms from April 1986 to March 1988, and then again from April 1991 to March 1992, and she has sat on the Board of Directors for five different terms. It was during her first two terms as president that the new stage, as we know it today, rose from its foundations. That work began in February 1987 and was finished in time for the presentation of Carousel in 1988. Another significant and lasting practice was also begun in the earlier part of her presidency, the inauguration of the Zenon Awards in the autumn of 1986, an institution that has now become part and parcel of the HLT theatrical season.
Once again the selection committee that decides who shall be the recipient of the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award has made an unchallengeable choice, for very few members of our organization have been so openhanded and selfless with their time and talents as Tena. Those that have received this meaningful award know better than most of us how much work is involved to be considered and how indicative it is to win.
Thank you Tena for the countless hours of work that eventually brought you this well deserved award and for the sacrifices that you must have made in order to promote the good of the theater. You deserve every recognition that you have for you have earned every honor with hours of selfless service. You guided us though a transitional period of the organization’s growth and it must be as satisfying for you to see the splendid results as it was to receive the recognition for having contributed so much and so often to that flowering. We remain in your debt for your very fine work and good guidance, but you need no proof, for our show continues to go on.

Photo of  Mickie  Cosgriff
Mickie Cosgriff
40 Plays in Eight Years By: Roy Riedy

Since the musical Gigi, directed by Marian L. Dunham, in August,1995, Mickie Cosgriff’s name has appeared in forty Highlands Little Theatre programs as one of its House Managers or a member of the Gourmet Staff, or both, the latest being the August, 2003, production of The Fantastiks, directed by Sue McCollum. Mickie has been involved in every main stage show since she joined the Little Theatre eight years ago, surely some kind of record.

In addition to her name being mentioned in the theatre’s programs, her name has also appeared in nine HLT Newsletter during her years with the Lakeside Playhouse. All of her appearances in the newsletters are in appreciation for her work with Brushes and Brooms, her House Manager work, and her other volunteer work with mass mailings.
Her last citation appeared in the October, 2003, HLT Newsletter that announced that she and Bill LaPeer were the recipients of the September, 2003 Gracie Award. The article went on to say: “. . . two very special members, Mickie Cosgriff and Bill LaPeer have donated countless hours keeping HLT beautiful with the Brushes and Brooms Committee and as House Managers. Mickie and Bill are familiar faces to any HLT member or patron who has attended a show recently. Thank you for your dedication to HLT. Your fellow thespians truly appreciate you!”

The Gracie Award is indeed an indication of many hours spent in the service of the Little Theatre and it is the organization’s way of expressing its gratitude and thanks from an alert and appreciative Board of Directors who speak for all members. Congratulations Mickie.

Photo of  Vivan  Cowell
Vivan Cowell
Actress, Producer, and Makeup Artist By: Roy Riedy

Vivian was associated with 40 plays at Highlands Little Theatre, the first one taking place during HLT’s Seventh Season’s production of the 1919 musical Irene, directed by Janelou Buck and Carol Gose, in November, 1980. Vivian played Mrs. O’Dare, the mother of the eponymous Irene. Three months later she was the Producer of Frank Oberhausen’s second musical, My Fair Lady. In May, 1981, Vivian starred in Judy Sutter’s comedy Subject to Change and was able to claim that she had participated in all of the Seventh Season’s production, which in early 1980 consisted of just three plays.
The Eighth Season brought four shows to the public and Vivian was associated with all of them. In October, 1981, Frank Oberhausen directed The Sound of Music with Vivian as his Producer. In February, 1982, Jim McCollum directed the melodrama, No Mother to Guide Her and Vivian was his Makeup person. In April, Janelou Buck directed Cole Porter’s Anything Goes in which Vivian sang the lead role of Reno Sweeney; and in August, Marian Dunham directed the first show to be presented in HLT’s permanent home, The Teahouse of the August Moon and Vivian was on her Makeup Team.
The new home inaugurated the custom of five plays a year which has prevailed since at the Lakeside Playhouse. Mrs. Cowell worked with three plays during the Ninth Season. In November, she and Judy Sutter were Frank Oberhausen’s Production Managers for his musical Camelot; in January, 1983, Vivian and Marcia Marsella did the Makeup for Peter Pollard’s comedy, Auntie Mame, and in July, she was a member of the Advertising Team for Janelou Buck’s mystery thriller Deathtrap.
The Tenth Season opened with Marian Dunham’s Oliver! and Vivian and Becky Clark were the musical’s Production Managers. Frank Oberhausen directed his first Annie Get Your Gun in February, 1984, with Vivian doing his cast’s Makeup. During Janelou Buck’s March production of Born Yesterday, Vivian concerned herself with the Beverages Section of the Gourmet Staff.
The Eleventh Season opened with Frank Oberhausen directing the historical drama, The Lion in Winter, with Vivian and Judy Sutter as his Makeup Team. Janelou Buck directed the Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman comedy, The Man Who Came To Dinner in April with Vivian and Judy Sutter as her Makeup Team also. The last play of the season was Once Upon A Mattress, directed by Peter Pollard for which Vivian and Colleen Carigan did the Coiffure.
Frank Oberhausen opened the Twelfth Season with the Broadway sensation, Annie, and Vivian was his Production Coordinator. In April, Vivian did the Coiffure and Makeup for Peter Pollard’s comedy Arsenic and Old Lace; and in June she did the Makeup for Janelou Buck’s musical I Do, I Do. At the First Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Vivian won her first Zenon for The Best Producer of the Season for her work on Frank Oberhausen’s Annie.
Marian Dunham opened the Thirteenth Season with her celebrated musical, A Funny Thing Happen on the Way to the Forum, for which Vivian was part of the Choreography Team, and also acted as a Seamstress. Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa co-directed The Fantastiks in June, and Mrs. Cowell worked on Makeup and Coiffure. At the Second Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1987, Vivian won her second Best Producer of the Season Zenon for her work with Marian Dunham’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.
Vivian was not active at the theater in the Fourteenth Season but at the end of the Fifteenth Season she worked with the Beverages Section of the Gourmet Staff during Janelou Buck’s reprise of the comedy Mister Roberts.
The Sixteenth Season saw Vivian back in full swing and participating in all five shows of that season. In November she was the Producer for Marian Dunham’s musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown; in January she worked in Beverages during Peter Pollard’s On Golden Pond and also through the last three shows of the season: Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of My Fair Lady; Janelou Buck’s Hello Dolly; and Tena Conyer’s reprise of Don’t Drink the Water. Vivian was nominated for a Best Producer Zenon at the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards.
Vivian worked with Beverages during the Seventeenth Season’s opening show, Oklahoma!,directed by Jet Hansen. She was Peter Pollard’s Makeup and Coiffure Consultant for his January comedy, Steel Magnolias, and a member of the new Anthony’s Lounge Staff during Frank Oberhausen’s March presentation of The Music Man. Vivian also worked with the Anthony’s Lounge Staff during the last two shows of the season.
Vivian worked in Anthony’s Lounge the first two shows of the Eighteenth Season. In April, she worked in Frank Oberhausen’s Funny Girl, the season’s third show on Makeup with Leslie Mercure. She returned to Anthony’s Lounge during Janelou Buck’s June, Inherit The Wind, and was part of Marian Dunham’s Makeup Team for the reprise of Teahouse of the August Moon in August, 1992, the tenth anniversary of the show and also HLT’s residence in the Lakeside Playhouse.
The Nineteenth Season was Vivian’s last season with Highlands Little Theatre, she worked with the first three shows by being a member of the Staff of Anthony’s Lounge. After that third play, Mrs. Cowell was no longer active at the Lakeside Playhouse.
During Vivian Cowell’s fourteen seasons with Highlands Little Theatre she worked with forty plays, won two Zenons, and was nominated for another, and cited in four Zenon Programs. She attended three First Nighter Galas and was mentioned in thirty-one HLT newsletters and forty-three local news articles for a grand total of one hundred and twenty-one citations. She is still remembered for her wit and unique personality, but most of all for her long and faithful service to Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Jo-Ellen  Crews
Jo-Ellen Crews
Actress By: Roy Riedy

Jo-Ellen Crews’ name appeared for the first time in a HLT playbill for Peter Pollard’s April, 1986, program for Arsenic and Old Lace. Her name was listed with the waitresses of the Gourmet Staff.
The following season, the Thirteenth, Jo-Ellen’s name was listed in the Cast of Characters for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof as playing the role of Fruma-Sarah. At the Second Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony held in October, 1987, at the Sun ‘n Lake Community Center, Jo-Ellen entertained the Zenon crowd with the musical number, “People.”
The Fourteenth Season was Jo-Ellen’s busiest, she was associated with all five plays presented that season. In November, Marian Dunham directed the Kander and Ebb musical, Cabaret, during that show Jo-Ellen worked with the Salad/Dessert Division of Gourmet. In January, 1988, Peter Pollard directed Neil Simon’s comedy, Barefoot in the Park, with Jo-Ellen playing the part of Mrs. Banks. In March, Frank Oberhausen directed the musical, Carousel, in which Jo-Ellen played Mrs. Mullin. In June, Jo-Ellen played Mille Michaels, the visitor from Philadelphia, in Janelou Buck’s comedy, California Suite; and in August, during Teri Klix’s musical, Damn Yankees, Jo-Ellen worked with the Beverages Division of the Gourmet Staff. At the Third Annual Zenon Awards in late September, besides performing “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” from Gypsy and presenting the Third Production/Technical Award with John Lorino, Jo-Ellen received the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Zenon for her part of Mrs. Banks in Barefoot in the Park.
During the opening play of the Fifteenth Season, Richard Oehring’s musical Man of La Mancha, Jo-Ellen worked as a House Manager and also as a member of the Gourmet Staff in Beverages, jobs that she also did during the second show, Tena Conyer’s January comedy, Harvey, and Frank Oberhausen’s April presentation of The King and I. The last time Mrs. Crews’ name was seen in a HLT program was the one for Peter Pollard’s June, 1989, production of Sweet Charity, where Jo-Ellen’s name was listed with the workers of the Beverages section of the Gourmet Staff.
During her association with Highlands Little Theatre, Mrs. Jo-Ellen Crews’ name appeared in the programs of eleven plays, in two Zenon Ceremony programs, and the Eighth First Nighter List . She won a Best Supporting Actress Award at the Third Zenon Ceremony and was mentioned in six HLT Newsletters and fourteen local news articles for a total of thirty-five citations, an impressive sum for a four season affiliation.

Donald Crissman
An Electrical Connection By: Roy Riedy

Donald Crissman’s time at Highlands Little Theatre lasted only a year but during his membership at the Lakeside Playhouse he made valuable contributions in improving the theater’s electrical system. His contributions were so valuable and extensive that he was awarded a Board Service Zenon for his shining contribution in updating the building’s electrical system. Mr. Crissman may no longer be a member of HLT, but he has left a glowing testimony to his contribution as an sparkling volunteer.

Photo of  Evola  Croft
Evola Croft
An Honorary Member of HLT's Box Office By: Roy Riedy

Since June, 2002, Evola Croft has had the word “Honorary” following her name in the Box Office section of the HLT playbills. She well deserves the deferential title for since her name was first seen in the January, 1992, program of Peter Pollard’s production of They’re Playing Our Song, Mrs. Croft’s name has appeared in the Box Office section of the playbills, with the notable exception of two, for 55 consecutive plays, just 10 shows short of all the plays given by Highlands Little Theatre and a tribute to her 11 years of constant and loyal service.

She has been honored with three Zenons. The first was awarded at the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards at the end of the Twentieth Season in October 1994 for Outstanding contribution in box Office Operations. In 1997 she received her second trophy for her Box Office work, and the third at the following Ceremony in 1998. In 1999 she was nominated for the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award.

In all, besides being cited in 55 playbills, Mrs. Croft has attended 5 Zenon Awards Ceremonies and received three of the Zenon Awards for her Box Office work. She has been mentioned in 18 HLT Newsletters and 5 local news articles for a total of 83 enviable Citations. Highlands Little Theatre is grateful and thankful to have you as a member, Evola, and for your selfless contributions.

Photo of  Helen  Curcio
Helen Curcio
Keeping Up Appearances for Eighteen Years By: Roy Riedy

Helen Curcio’s name first appears at the end of the 14th Season, in the September, 1988 HLT Newletter. It was in a request for help from the director of Man of La Mancha, Richard Oehring, who observed that “Helen Curcio has accepted the costuming chairmanship and could use all persons who can sew and construct costumes.” The program of the first production of Man of La Mancha shows that Helen got help from Emmie Hayes, Mary Anne Wells, and Agnes Stohl.
That was sixteen seasons ago and Helen has been plying her needle for HLT ever since. After her first assignment in “La Mancha”, she was one of the wardrobe seamstresses in the 1989 production of The King and I, and part of the costume team for HLT’s 15th Anniversary production of Sweet Charity in June, 1989. Helen was also on the costume team for The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the opening play of the 15th Season, and one of the seamstresses for the March,1990 production of My Fair Lady. At the Zenon Awards Ceremony at the end of that season, she was nominated for her costuming work on “Molly Brown.”
Helen received her first Zenon at the 7th Zenon Awards Ceremony in 1992 for her costuming of the revival of Teahouse of the August Moon and the following year, at the 8th ZenonAwards she was nominated twice for her costumes in The Philadelphia Story and Showboat. During the 20th Season, the diligent Mrs. Curcio designed costumes for the female version of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, South Pacific, and Meet Me In St. Louis.
The last nine years have been Helen’s busiest. She has worked on 50 shows and received 10 more Zenons, crowning her honors with the esteemed Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award in 2001. Her Zenon winning shows include Fiddler on the Roof III in 1996; La Cage Aux Folles (1997); Paint Your Wagon (1998); The Wizard of Oz (1999); Annie Get Your Gun(2000), The King and I (2001); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2002); the second edition of Man of La Mancha (2003) and most recently a Zenon with Denise Miriani for their costumes in The Scarlet Pimpernel. That’s a Zenon a year for nine consecutive years, which has to be an additional record.
A less known activity of Mrs. Curcio is her ongoing training program of her wardrobe personnel. She has made it her business to impart her knowledge to a crew of talented and willing workers who are now exhibiting the “Curcio touch”.
Another key to Helen’s success is the fact that she never stops thinking about what might work in an upcoming show. Every trip she makes also becomes an opportunity to explore new thrift and consignment shops for a garment or accessory that might be the exact thing to add that other dimension to a show that lifts it from the ordinary to the unique.
Highlands Little Theatre is indeed fortunate in having Helen Curcio as a member of its organization. She is not only a talented asset, but an untiring worker whose waking hours are concerned with making the actors and shows look their very best.
Last season, Helen and her assistant, Denise Miriani, further joined Highlands Little Theatre with its sister organization, The Highlands Art League, by orchestrating an exhibit of outstanding costumes that have been used in HLT productions. The show was not only a tremendous promotional idea but also a huge success.
HLT’s Thirty-first Season brought Helen Curcio her twelfth Zenon for her costume work with her assistant, Denise Miriani, on the blockbuster presentation of the musical Cabaret. With a dozen Zenons, Helen is tied in sixth place with Margie Pollard for being a member who has been honored with twelve Zenons.
Mrs Curcio was also involved with costuming three other main stage plays this season: she was the costume designer for Frank Oberhausen’s November 2004, presentation of The Music Man; she worked with Lisa Thomas designing the costumes for Pete Pollard’s January 2005, comedy The Allergist’s Wife; and she was one of a sextet of seamstresses who worked on Kathy MacNeill’s March circus musical, Barnum.
During the 32nd Season, Helen was involved with costuming for all the main stage shows. Bea Walsh and Helen did the Costume Design for Mike McMillian’s Hoodwinked in November; she designed the costumes for Denise Miriani’s Wait Until Dark in January; she collaborated with Robert Black on the Costume Design for Joe Willis’ musical, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in March; she managed the wardrobe with Kristin Taylor for Mac Byron’s Drop Dead in June; and shared the Costume Design with Tammie Pollard for Ms. Pollard’s multi-Zenon winning Grease in August. It was her work on Grease that won Helen her 13th Zenon which tied her with Janet Waldron for sixth place on the roll of those who have won the most Zenons.
Thank you Helen for the untold hours you have spent in giving the shows that you have been associated with a professional gloss that can only be achieved by dedication, effort, and expertise, you have been crucial in keeping up our appearance. I doubt if anyone would dispute the fact that you have earned and deserves every one of the many honors you have achieved, your contribution to Highlands Little Theatre has been invaluable

Photo of  Gloria  Curtis
Gloria Curtis
Actress, House Manager, and Committee Chairperson By: Roy Riedy

Gloria Curtis joined the Highlands Little Theatre in 1999, during its 26th Season. Theater life was not a mystery to Gloria for she appeared in several productions of the Coral Gables Community Theater before moving to Lake Placid and eventually joining HLT. Since she became associated with the Little Theatre, Gloria has been involved in seventeen plays and two Zenon Ceremonies.

During the Twenty-sixth Season (1999-2000) Gloria was seen as Mrs. Ernest Henderson in Frank Oberhausen‘s revival of Annie Get Your Gun and as member of the Adult Chorus in Sue McCollum‘s retro musical Bye, Bye, Birdie.

Gloria was affiliated with all five plays in the Twenty-seventh Season. She was a House Manager during Jet Hansen‘s reprise of On Golden Pond, a Royal Wife in Frank Oberhausen‘s multi-awarded The King and I, and one of the chickens at the Chicken Ranch in Jim McCollum‘s Easter production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. She played the acoustically challenged Ethel in Steve McDaniel‘s delightful Moon Over Buffalo, a role which won her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 16th Annual Zenon Awards the following October, and she worked with make-up and hair design for Tammie Pollard‘s August production of West Side Story.

Ms. Curtis was similarly involved with HLT’s plays and affairs during the Twenty-eighth Season. She played General Cartwright in the season’s opening play, Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill‘s November presentation of Guys and Dolls. She was a House Manager during Peter Pollard‘s January Foxfire, and a makeup artist for Joe Willis‘ epic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March. In June she was a House Manager during Mike Logsdon‘s wonderful farce Move Over Mrs. Markham. In July she worked with the HLT Fourth of July Festivities, and in August she was once again a House Manager during Melanie Boulay‘s soaring production of Peter Pan.

HLT’s Twenty-ninth Season has been Gloria’s busiest and most rewarding. She was Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill‘s Assistant Stage Manager and Prop Mistress for their record breaking production of Man of La Mancha. During Peter Pollard‘s Best Play of the Season, Steel Magnolias, she was once again a House Manager. For Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen‘s reprise of the musical Brigadoon, Gloria served again as their Prop Mistress and also found time to be a House Manager.

In the April, 2003, edition of the HLT Newsletter, it was announced that Ms. Curtis was now the Chairperson of the Election Nominating Committee. In June, Gloria played the role of Mrs. Barrymore in Allen Branch’s directing debut production of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and was also responsible for the show’s props, managing also work as a House Manager which she also did during the final show of the season, Sue McCollum‘s revival of the long running Off-Broadway musical, The Fantastiks.

At the 18th Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2003, Gloria was nominated for two awards: Best Supporting Actress as Mrs. Barrymore in The Hound of the Baskervilles and a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for “Best Props in Man of La ManchaBrigadoon, and Hound of the Baskervilles.” She won her first Zenon when she was declared winner of the Production/Technical Zenon for “Best Props.”

Most recently Gloria was awarded the May, 2004, Gracie Award for her diligent work as the HLT Elections Committee Chairman. She has been responsible for this daunting task for the past two years. Organizing and running the annual HLT elections is not an easy job, but Gloria has executed her duty with her usual grace and charm and richly deserves the recognition of a Gracie.

Congratulations Gloria on your multiple labors at HLT and your well deserved Zenon, I feel confident in saying that it is just the first of many that are in your theatrical future at HLT.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Victor  Damigella
Victor Damigella
This Actor Cooks By: Roy Riedy

Vic Damigella’s name first appears in the Highlands Little Theatre playbill for the musical Oliver! in November of 1983, the Dickensian musical that opened to the second round of HLT First Nighter audiences as a member of the stage construction team. It was the first and last time that his name appeared with the group of names that were responsible for stage construction.
When his name reappeared for the second time in June of 1986 in a playbill of I Do, I Do, it had found the classification in which it was to appear from that time to the present date: “Chairman, Salad Bar and Desserts.” It became certain after that title kept reappearing that Vic had found his niche and vocation in the kitchen of HLT. This turned out to be true for his name appears in that category for seventy more times, and has now appeared unbroken since November of 1994 to the current production of Move Over Mrs. Markham in June of 2002. In the last five HLT programs in which his name appears he has been awarded a fitting title to round out his kitchen career: “Chair-Emeritus.”
To add some variation to his salad days, Vic has also acted in nine different roles at HLT that include Erronius in the first presentation of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in 1986; Mordcha in the March, 1987 performance of Fiddler on the Roof; and his Zenon winning portrayal of Herr Schultz in the November, 1987 musical, Cabaret.
For his unprecedented loyalty and service to his salad and dessert duties, Mr. Damigella has received two Board Service Awards, the first at the First Annual Zenon Presentations in 1986, and the second at the Tenth Annual Zenon Presentations in 1995, which was actually his third Zenon, for he had received the Best Supporting Actor Zenon for his portrayal of the hesitating Herr Schultz in Cabaret at the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in September of 1988.
I know that Vic is proud of these recognitions of his acting ability, his untiring work in the kitchen, and a stint as a Board member in early 1990, but I’m sure his proudest moment at Highlands Little Theatre was on the night of October 3rd, 1998 when he became the thirteenth recipient of the prestigious Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award, the great honor that Highlands Little Theatre bestows on its deserving members. I was at that gathering and I remember the warm and heartfelt applause that greeted the announcement of his name. His peers knew that once again the proper choice had been made.
Above and beyond these official duties which have been noted, appreciated, and acknowledged, Vic has taken on the continuing responsibility of catering, year in and year out, a hot entree for all of those who turn out for the Highlands Little Theatre monthly business meetings. It’s difficult to calculate how much this commitment has cost Vic in time and effort, but the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award is certainly an tangible symbol that HLT has attempted to give Mr. Damigella his just desserts.
Not all the work that Vic has done for HLT is recorded in the theater’s programs. Since 1990 Vic has watched the annual parties that HLT caters for the Sebring Race grow from 350 participants to over 1000 in the year 2000. A Dinner Dance is held in the Playhouse during Race time and usually during the space of a fiscal year the theater kitchen normally provides food for approximately ten weddings, and a dozen special group parties. Despite the time and labor involved in preparing these extra events, Vic claims that no one has a better time than he does.
Thank you Victor Damigella for your outstanding work, both on HLT’s stage and also in its kitchen which must be as familiar to you and the one in your home. We have all benefited by your ongoing efforts. Once again, the Selection Committee of the Significant Achievement Award has made an outstanding choice and be assured that their decision reflects the choice of all of the HLT members who know your work and applaud your accomplishments.

Photo of  Anthony  DeAngelo
Anthony DeAngelo
Lounge Legend By: Roy Riedy

It’s a silent tribute to Anthony DeAngelo that, even though he was only associated with Highlands Little Theatre for five seasons, his name is know to everyone who has been to the Lakeside Playhouse for everyone who goes there has, at one time or another, been to Anthony’s Lounge.
The story of the dedication of that lounge sounds more like it might have been lifted from a Fellini screenplay than an actual happening, but I have it on excellent authority, none less than former President of Highlands Little Theatre, Peter Pollard, the well known director and actor of Playhouse fame, that the story that follows is true, for he saw it occur, fourteen summers ago.
The time is June, 9,1989, and it is opening night for Mr. Pollard’s production of Sweet Charity, a Cy Coleman and Dorothy Fields musical. For several months a sizable room at the back of the theater has been undergoing renovation to change it from a storage space into a long needed and desired cocktail lounge. Since the work was practically done, it had been decided that the remodeled room would be dedicated that evening after the first performance of Mr. Pollard’s show, with a modest but meaningful ceremony on the stage.
The new space was to be called Anthony’s Lounge in honor of Anthony DeAngelo who had ingratiated himself with the membership of HLT by being a noteworthy volunteer and thoroughly good fellow. Anthony first appeared at the Lakeside Playhouse to audition for another musical comedy being held by Mr. Pollard in the summer of 1985, Once Upon a Mattress. His enthusiasm gained him the role of the Third Knight in Mr. Pollard’s production, Anthony’s first and only appearance on the Playhouse’s stage.
What he lacked in “face time” on the stage he more than compensated for by becoming an ever-present personality at the Playhouse. He would be seen supervising and working on set construction, sometimes a member of the stage crews, always as a waiter in the dining room, and apparently busy with some project between productions. The theater had become his home.
It was this combination of factors that brought him back to the stage on June 9, 1989, to accept the accolade and applause of having the new room, “Anthony’s Lounge,” named in his honor, and then, the unthinkable happened, Anthony, the honoree, collapsed. Peter Pollard and Frank Oberhausen attempted CPR to resuscitate him with no results. Anthony had acted in his last scene, he had taken his final bow.
Shortly after his death an impromptu memorial was held at the Lakeside Playhouse by Past President Frank Oberhausen. Anthony’s daughter was in attendance and, in accordance with her father’s wishes, scattered his ashes over Lake Jackson, giving an even deeper significance to the name “Lakeside Theatre.” It cannot be said that our fairly young theater is not without lore, for the story of Anthony’s dramatic exit is one that can take a stand with the best that older and more famous theaters can offer.
During Anthony’s five seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, he was associated with twelve plays and three Zenon Ceremonies. He was awarded a Board Service Zenon at the First Zenon Ceremony for his many contributions to the theater. His name appeared in seventeen HLT newsletters and ten local news items for a total of forty-two theatrical citations. But perhaps, he will be most remembered for his singular personality that prompted those who knew him to name Anthony’s Lounge after him, a tribute that still attests to a very unique man.

Photo of  Grace  Delaet
Grace Delaet
Dedication And Willingness By: Roy Riedy

The first time Grace Delaet’s name appeared in a HLT playbill was with the Gourmet Staff in Tammie Pollard’s program for West Side Story in August, 2001. Since then her name has appeared in eight other playbills, the latest being Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s March, 2003, revival of Brigadoon.
In February, 2002, Grace was awarded the Gracie Award with this announcement: “February’s Gracie Award recipient was Grace DeLaet. Thanks to her dedication and volunteerism in the Salad Prep Area during HLT performances, her willingness in preparing dinner & light snacks at the General Membership meetings, and is now our newest “Bar maid” in Anthony’s Lounge. You can always count on Grace to be there when you need her!”
Besides being mentioned in nine plays and receiving the Gracie Award, Grace’s name has appeared in four Highlands Little Theatre Newsletters for a total of fourteen citations. Thank you for being so “graceful’ Mrs. Delaet.

Photo of  Eddie  DeLoach
Eddie DeLoach
Back Stage Man By: Roy Riedy

Eddie’s name appeared for the first time at HLT in the January, 1991 program for Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias as a Prompter. He was listed among the members of the Stage Crew in the next program, Frank Oberhausen’s March production of The Music Man. Eddie’s name appeared a third time at the beginning of the Eighteenth Season in November, 1991, again as a member of the Stage Crew and the Set Construction Team for Jet Hansen’s production of Mame. From that play on his name remained in HLT playbills for 22 more times.
In January, 1992 he was a member of the Set Construction Team for Peter Pollard’s production of the musical They’re Playing Our Song; and in April, he was a member of Frank Oberhausen’s Stage Crew for his musical Funny Girl. In June, Eddie was a member of Janelou Buck’s Stage Crew for her production of Inherit The Wind, which was followed in August by Marian Dunham’s Teahouse of the August Moon when he repeated his duties as a stage hand.
The Nineteenth Season opened with Tena Conyer’s hugely successful Nunsense for which Eddie served as a Lighting Technician and a member of the Set Construction Team. The second play of the season was Walter Zelenenki’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean for which Eddie served as one of the Stage Managers, part of the Set Design team, and one of the managers of the Set Construction. Frank Oberhausen revived Camelot for his April show and Eddie was one of his Light Technicians. In June, Eddie served as a Lighting Technician for Marian Dunham’s production of The Philadelphia Story. Eddie ended the season by being on Jet Hansen’s Set Construction Team for his musical Show Boat in August, 1993.
Eddie was awarded his first Production/ Technical Zenon at the Eighth Annual Zenon Award Ceremony in October for “set construction and stage crew during the 1992/93 season, lighting technician for Nunsense and the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards Show and fire safety coordination.”
The Twentieth Season opened with Tena Conyer’s second look at convent life, Nunsense II, The Second Coming . . . with Eddie working on set construction, and also one of the Lighting Designers and Lighting Technicians. He provided the Lighting Design for the second play, Peter Pollard’s The Odd Couple (Female Version) and was on the Stage Crew of Frank Oberhausen’s April show, South Pacific. Tammie Pollard directed Lend Me A Tenor in June and Eddie served on her Set Construction Team. For Marian Dunham’s August Meet Me in St. Louis, Eddie worked with the Set Construction Team, the Lighting Design, and the Stage Crew. All this work was rewarded again at the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony when Eddie, Larry Wollangk, and Mike Fuller received a Production/Technical Zenon “for outstanding achievement in set construction for the season.”
David Lanier’s Gypsy opened the Twenty-first Season in November with Eddie, for the first time not a back stage person, but working in Anthony’s Lounge. For Roy Riedy’s weekend revue in December, And the World Goes ’round, Eddie served as his Lighting person, a job he repeated in January for Peter Pollard’s Ain’t Misbehavin’. In March, Frank Oberhausen brought Philadelphia to Sebring in his outstanding musical 1776. For the second time, Eddie was not seen back stage but in the kitchen working with Gourmet. He was backstage though in June working on the Lighting Design for Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s production of Same Time Next Year. Eddie returned to Gourmet and his kitchen duties during Marian Dunham’s August production of Gigi.
Eddie worked with Gourmet during Peter Pollard’s The Goodbye Girl in November, 1996. In April, 1997 he was on the Stage Crew of Frank Oberhausen’s musical La Cage aux Folles, which was the last show that Eddie worked on at Highlands Little Theatre.
All told, Eddie was associated with 25 plays and 3 Zenon Ceremonies during his seven years with HLT. He won 2 Zenons during his affiliation and was mentioned in 13 HLT Newsletters and 10 local news articles for a total of 51 Citations. He is remembered with affection.

Photo of  Doug  Dixon
Doug Dixon
Set Designer By: Roy Riedy

Doug Dixon’s association with HLT has continued for twenty years. His first link with the Lakeside Theatre was in November, 1983 when he was part of the Lighting team for Marian Dunham’s production of the Lionel Bart musical Oliver!. Two years later he was again part of Marian Dunham’s Lights and Special Effects team for her June,1985, production of Lerner and Loewe’s musical Brigadoon.
In January, 1987, he was a member of the Video Production team that taped Director Barbara Smith’s presentation of Kaufman and Hart’s comedy You Can’t Take It With You, a job he repeated two months later for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Harnick and Bock’s immensely successful musical Fiddler on the Roof.
In August, 1991, Doug’s name appeared with Director Walter Zelenenki’s as the designers of the set for Walter’s production of George Axelrod’s comedy, The Seven Year Itch. The collaboration resulted in a nomination for their design at the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1991.
In January, 1993, Walter Zelenenki directed the comedy-drama Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean by Ed Graczyk and Doug was again part of the team that designed the set for the show which received a nomination at the Eighth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1993.
In August, 1995, Doug designed the set for Marian Dunham’s production of Lerner and Loewe’s musical Gigi. In the playbill for the show, the program notes recounted that Doug was currently “a lighting, laser, and fireworks technician at Pleasure Island at Walt Disney World in Orlando. . . Doug holds a degree in Theater from Florida Southern College.” Doug’s set was chosen as the Best Set for the of the 1994 – 1995 Season at the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1995. His long time association with the Lakeside Playhouse had finally paid an enviable dividend.
A year later, Doug designed the set for Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s production of Marsha Norman and Lucy Simon’s The Secret Garden which was presented in August, 1996. The design received a nomination at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1996. The Secret Garden is the last play with which Mr. Dixon has been associated at Highlands Little Theatre.
Most recently, Doug’s name appeared in the HLT Newsletter for April, 2000. In all, Mr. Dixon has been involved with 8 productions at HLT and 4 Zenon Ceremonies. He has received a Zenon for his set design for the musical Gigi, and been nominated for three other Best Set Designs at the Awards Ceremonies. His name has appeared in 2 HLT Newsletters and 5 local news articles for a total of 19 Citations.

Nancy Dixon
Versatile Lady By: Roy Riedy

Nancy’s name was first mentioned in HLT’s Thirteenth Season’s program for the reprise of Frank Oberhausen’s musical Fiddler on the Roof, in March, 1987; her name appeared with the names of his Set Construction Team. Two plays later, in Jet Hansen’s program for The Odd Couple, Nancy’s name not only appeared again with the Set Construction Team, and also with Tena Conyer’s name for Costumes, with the Props Team, with the Advertising people, and also as one of the House Managers for the play. At the Second Zenon Awards Ceremony, Nancy received a Board Service Award for her many contributions to the theater for that season.
Nancy worked on four of the five shows of the Fourteenth Season. In November, during Marian Dunham’s musical Cabaret, she served as a House Manager. She was Peter Pollard’s Producer and Production Coordinator for his January presentation of Barefoot in the Park, and also the Chairman of the Box Office. Nancy worked with the Gourmet Staff during Frank Oberhausen’s March production of Carousel and in August, during Teri Klix’s musical Damn Yankees, she worked with Gourmet’s Beverages Staff.
Ms. Dixon concerned herself with all the plays of the Fifteenth Season. She worked with Gourmet in Beverages during Richard Oehring’s Man of La Mancha in November; in January, 1989, her name appeared again with those working in Beverages during Tena Conyer’s production of Harvey, and remained on the Beverages roster for the last three shows of the season.
During the Sixteenth Season Nancy was a faithful and abiding member of Gourmet’s Beverages Division for all five shows of the season.
Nancy’s last season with Highlands Little Theatre was the Eighteenth, in which she associated herself with three shows during which she remained a dependable worker in the Beverages section of the Gourmet Staff. During the last show that Nancy was associated with, Frank Oberhausen’s The Music Man, presented in March, 1991, Beverages of Gourmet took on a new name, from then on it was known as Anthony’s Lounge in honor of the late Anthony DeAngelo.
During Nancy’s five seasons with HLT she was associated with nineteen plays and one Zenon Awards Ceremony at which she receive a Board Service Award. Her name has been mentioned in seven HLT newsletter and four local news items for a total of thirty-two citations.
She was indeed a member who tried to help in every area that she saw a need.

Photo of  Margaret  Donahue
Margaret Donahue
Twelve Good Seasons By: Roy Riedy

I’m sure that nobody knows more about salads than Margaret Donahue who worked with the Lakeside Playhouse’s Salad Bar for twelve seasons faithfully and continuously while the Highlands Little Theatre presented fifty-eight plays on its stage.
Margaret tossed her first salad during Marian Dunham’s musical Cabaret in November, 1987, and continued her work until Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music in April, 1999, fifty-eight plays later. During this time she missed only one play, Mr. Frank Oberhausen’s third edition of Fiddler on the Roof, in April, 1996.
When she retired in 1999, Mrs. Donahue had worked with the Gourmet Staff for more than half of all the main stage productions given by HLT.
Her work was first acknowledged in September, 1989, at the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards when she was awarded a Board of Director’s Service Zenon for “service to the theatre in Gourmet Salad Bar preparation and for Special Events.” This award was reiterated in the Tenth Annual Zenon program, when all Zenon winners appeared in that program’s index. In October, 1997, Mrs. Donahue was nominated again for a Board Service Award for her work during the 1996 – 1997 Season, and again at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, held at the Lakeside Playhouse in October, 1998.
During Margaret’s twelve seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, she worked continuously for 57 plays with one exception, from November, 1987, to April, 1999. She was mentioned in four ZenonAwards Programs and was awarded a Board Service Zenon for her work with Gourmet in 1989. Her name was mentioned in nine HLT Newsletters and three local news articles for a total of seventy-three Citations.
Thank you Margaret Donahue for your faithful and continuous service that oiled the machinery of the Little Theatre and kept it running so smoothly. You were an exceptional volunteer and the theater has benefitted by your generosity.

Photo of  Marty  Dudeck
Marty Dudeck
Godspell Percussionist By: Roy Riedy

Marty Dudeck was recruited by Director Sue McCollum to be a member of her Godspell Band in October,1997. Along with keyboardist Vealda Lambright and guitarist Jaime Farnham, the trio provided the spirited accompaniment for the theatrical event Godspell, inspired by the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and were awarded a Production/Technical Zenon at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Ceremony in October, 1998, for their musical contribution. Mr. Dudeck was involved in only one play at HLT, Sue McCollum’s 1997 Godspell. His credits also include three HLT Newsletter accounts, two articles in local newspapers, and one Zenon Ceremony for a total of seven Citations.

Photo of  Marian  Dunham
Marian Dunham
Teacher, Actress, Director By: Roy Riedy

Marian Dunham was first seen in a Highlands Little Theatre production as an Austrian nun, Sister Margaretta, in the 1981 production of The Sound of Music. It became something of a habit for her to portray mystical women of all stripes, for in later HLT productions she played the part of the Mother Superior in Nunsense I and II, with authority, and at the other end of the spiritual spectrum, Morgan Le Fey, with appropriate malevolence, in the 1993 edition of Camelot. She avoided type casting by showing audiences she could also play less supernatural parts when she played the adventurous Mame Dennis in the musical Mame, and the world weary Vera Charles in the 1983 HLT hit, Auntie Mame, not to mention the horrific Miss Hannigan in the 1985 Annie. In all, her career at the Little Theatre included twenty different acting roles.
Nor did Ms. Dunham limit her theatrical contributions to acting. She directed 11 plays for the Lakeside Playhouse and co-directed two others, claiming a Best Play Zenon for two of them. In August of 1982 Marian made her directorial debut when she presented John Patrick’s The Teahouse of the August Moon, the last play of the Eighth Season for HLT and the first to be presented in the organization’s new home, The Lakeside Playhouse. Ten years later, at the end of the Eighteenth Season, in August of 1992, the play was presented again by the same director and with several of the original cast reappearing in their original roles. This time it won Best Play for Ms. Dunham plus the additional satisfactions of Best Set Design and the much prized Best Director Zenon, in all, the revival won a total of six awards. This Best Play Zenon was her second award in that category for Marian, she won her first for Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret, in 1988, another play multiple winning show that won a total of five Zenons.
Marian has also excelled in other areas of stagecraft, namely costume design. She won her first Zenon at the first Zenon Awards Ceremonies in 1986 for her work on the costume designs for the award winning musical Annie. Program Covers and Poster Design have been another area of interest and she has contributed designs for four different productions. On several occasions, when she was not actually contributing to a production on the stage, Marian could have been found working in the Gourmet Department at the salad bar or in Anthony’s Lounge.
In conjunction with her theater work at Highlands Little Theatre, Ms. Dunham maintained a theatrical program at the Sebring Middle School where she was employed as a teacher for the gifted. Many of the young actors that eventually became familiar faces on the HLT stage had their first taste of show business in Dunham productions like Peter Pan, and You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.
Thank you Marian Dunham for the multiple contributions you have made to the growth of Highlands Little Theatre. Your participation in over half of all the productions that have been put on by the organization that you helped to shape is a impressive legacy. Your selfless gifts of time, energy, and talent have made our association the outstanding cultural force that it finds itself today. Everyone that claims an affiliation with HLT’s Lakeside Playhouse owes a debt to the generous trail blazing that you epitomize. Your five Zenons are a small reward for your very big contribution.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  David  Eakin
David Eakin
328 Citations By: Roy Riedy

328 Citations is a very impressive number and an indication of how involved Mr. Eakin had been with Highlands Little Theatre the 20 years he had been a member. He left Sebring and HLT in late 1997 for Orlando where he found acting jobs that actually paid a salary. During his association with the Little Theatre, David had been associated with over 60 plays, well over half of the productions that had been offered by the theater, at the time of his departure.
David began his long affiliation with HLT in 1977 when he was first seen as Duane Wilson in Mary Chase’s famous comedy Harvey, directed by Delores Masonick. The Little Theatre was just starting its fourth season and Harvey was its tenth production. The play was presented at Sebring High School for four performances and marked the beginning of a long and exceptional relationship between David and drama in Highlands County.
At this time only three plays were presented each season and David appeared, besides Harvey, in the other two as well. The following May, Here’s Charlie, A Salute to the Roarin’ 20′s was directed byJanelou Buck and presented at the Pier Civic Center, which four years later was to become HLT’s permanent home and renamed The Lakeside Playhouse. The “Salute” ran for two performances with David playing the part of Al, a gangster. Other familiar names that are still appearing at HLT appeared in that cast list along with David’s Al. Beverly Padgett played Beverly, the singer; Tammie Pollard was billed as Lila, the singer; Judy Sutter was a flapper and a bathing beauty, and inevitably, Frank Oberhausen was part of the Production Staff. The third and final production of HLT’s Seventh Season was Woody Allen’s comedy Don’t Drink the Water, directed by Sue Vos with David playing Alex Magee.
The Fifth HLT Season presented four plays and David was involved with three of them. In November, 1978, he was in charge of publicity for the melodrama, Dirty Work At The Crossroads, directed byJanelou Buck. The following March he played Doc in Janelou Buck’s production of Mister Roberts; and in August he played Jesse Kiplinger in Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite, again directed by Janelou Buck.
The Sixth Season, another season of four performances opened with the musical South Pacific in November, 1979, directed by Frank Oberhausen with David playing the role of Lieutenant Brackett. In March, 1980, David directed Jack Sharkey’s nightmare comedy, Who’s On First. In June Janelou Buck directed the thriller Laura, with David again handling publicity. Teri Klix directed My Three Angels in September with David playing Jules.
David was involved with two plays of the Seventh Season, he played Colonel Pickering in Frank Oberhausen’s first production of My Fair Lady in February, and supplied the special effects for Judy Sutter’s comedy Subject to Change in May.
In the Eighth Season David was in charge of publicity for Jim McCollum’s melodrama, No Mother to Guide Her, in February, 1982. In April he played a reporter and a Chinaman in Janelou Buck’s production of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes; and in August he was in charge of the Sound for the first production in HLT’s permanent home, The Lakeside Playhouse, Marian Dunham’s The Teahouse of the August Moon.
David participated in all five productions of the Ninth Season. In November, 1982 he played King Pellinore in Frank Oberhausen’s first Camelot; in January he did the Sound for Peter Pollard’s comedy, Auntie Mame; and in April he was in charge of Publicity for Carol Gose’s Guys and Dolls. David played the part of Sidney Bruhl in Janelou Buck’s production of Ira Levin’s Deathtrap in June; and played Lt. Williams in Teri Klix’s comedy Heaven Can Wait in September.
David was also associated with all five productions of the Tenth Season. In November, 1983, he worked with the Sound and Publicity teams for Marian Dunham’s musical Oliver!; in February, he did the same two jobs for Frank Oberhausen’s musical Annie Get Your Gun. Janelou Buck directed Born Yesterday in March with David playing the part of Harry Brock. In April Mr. Eakin was elected to the HLT Board of Directors for the first time and in June he did the Publicity for Carol Gose’s musical Can-Can. The Tenth Season ended with Peter Pollard’s production of Bill Manhoff’s comedy The Owl and the Pussycat, for which David worked on the Sound and Lighting team.
The Lion In Winter, directed by Frank Oberhausen was the opening show of the Eleventh Season in November,1984, and David and Janelou Buck, HLT royalty, played the leads: Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. The historical drama was followed in January by Carol Gose’s musical, Pajama Game, with David handling the Publicity. In April, 1985, David had fun playing Sheridan Whiteside in Janelou Buck’s production of Moss Hart and George F. Kaufman’s comedy The Man Who Came To Dinner. In June he worked on Publicity for Marian Dunham’s musical Brigadoon.
The Twelfth Season opened in November, 1985, with Frank Oberhausen’s musical Annie, the first contender of five plays for the first Zenon Awards that would be awarded at the end of the season, David was part of the Annie Publicity Team. In August, 1985, the last play of the Twelfth Season, Vanities, was directed by Sue McCollum, for which David furnished the Sound Effects.
Marian Dunham opened the Thirteenth Season with A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with David playing Senex. At the Second Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, David served as the Master of Ceremonies for HLT’s answer to the Tonys.
Marian Dunham also opened the Fourteenth Season with Kander and Ebb’s musical Cabaret for which David furnished the Sound and Sound Effects. In June of that season Janelou Buck directed Neil Simon’s California Suite with David playing the visitor from Philadelphia, Marvin Michaels. In August, Teri Klix (Mrs. David Eakin) directed Damn Yankees with David, once again, in charge of Sound Effects. At the Third Zenon Awards, David was nominated for the Best Actor award for his role in California Suite as Marvin Michaels.
During the next season David worked on Publicity for Frank Oberhausen’s musical The King and I, in April, and in the same month he was re-elected to the Board of Directors. In June he did the Sound for Peter Pollard’s production of Sweet Charity and in August he played the Captain in Janelou Buck’s second presentation of Mister Roberts, a role that nominated him for a Best Actor Zenon at the Awards Ceremony the following month.
The musical, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, directed by Marian Dunham, opened the Sixteenth Season, and David did the Video for the show. In January he played the part of Norman Thayer, Jr. in On Golden Pond, directed by Peter Pollard, the role won him his first Zenon for Best Actor at the Zenon Ceremonies at the end of the season. In March he reprised his role as Colonel Pickering that he had played nine years earlier in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of My Fair Lady, yet another role that nominated him for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the end-of-the-year Zenon Awards. In June Janelou Buck directed the musical Hello Dolly and David was her Sound person. In August. David played Walter Hollander in Tena Conyer’s revival of Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink The Water, another play he had been in twelve years earlier.
Jet Hansen opened the Seventeenth Season in November,1990, with Oklahoma! with David playing Ike Skidmore. It was followed in January by Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias, David’s name appeared again as a member of the HLT Board of Directors, his second time in that post. In March, 1991, Frank Oberhausen directed the musical The Music Man with David playing Mayor Shinn. In June, Tena Conyer brought The Little Shop of Horrors to the Lakeside Playhouse stage and David and Janelou Buck provided the Publicity and in August Walter Zelenenki directed The Seven Year Itch, and the program now listed David as the Vice President of Highlands Little Theatre. At the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony David was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his part as Mayor Shinn in The Music Man.
The Eighteenth Season opened with Jet Hansen directing the big musical hit Mame. David is listed in its program as the Vice President of HLT. David and Janelou Buck did the Publicity for the second show of the season, Peter Pollard’s They’re Playing Our Song. Funny Girl was the third show and David was duly noted as the Vice President in its program. In June, Janelou Buck directed Inherit the Wind with David in the role of Henry Drummond, another role that nominated him for a Best Actor Zenon at the Zenon Awards at the end of the season. The season ended with Marian Dunham’s reprise of the show that was the first to be held in The Lakeside Playhouse ten years earlier, The Teahouse of the August Moon.
In April, 1993, the third show of the Nineteenth Season was Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of the musical Camelot. David was again in the cast playing the role of King Pellinore for which he won his second Zenon in October for the Best Supporting Actor. In June David played the part of Seth Lord in Marian Dunham’s production of The Philadelphia Story; and in August, Captain Andy in Jet Hansen’s Show Boat, another role for which he received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
In June, 1994 David played Saunders in Tammie Pollard’s production of Lend Me A Tenor, a role that gave him his third Zenon for the Best Supporting Actor of the season at the Awards Ceremony in October. The last show of the Twentieth Season was Marian Dunham’s Meet Me in St. Louis in which David played Grandpa Prophater.
David was associated with one play in the Twenty-first Season, the June production of Same Time Next Year, directed by Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer in which David was acknowledged for his help with the production in the program notes.
In the program for the Tenth Zenon Awards, the names of previous winners were listed and David’s name appeared three times: once for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading role in the 1989-90 season for playing the role of Norman in On Golden Pond, and twice in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role category for his 1992-93 season role of King Pellinore in Camelot, and the 1993-94 season for his role as Saunders in Lend Me A Tenor.
The Twenty-third Season was the last time David was seen acting in the Lakeside Playhouse. He played the role of Uncle Stanley in Mac Byron’s June, 1997, production of Moss Hart and George F. Kaufman’s comedy George Washington Slept Here. However, it was not the last time his name appeared in a playbill. In the Twenty-fourth Season Frank Oberhausen reprised his very successful Annie, and in the program notes David Eakin’s name is mentioned for special thanks.
During David’s twenty year association with HLT he was affiliated with 61 plays, 9 Zenon Ceremonies in which he received three Zenons and was nominated for six others. His name appeared in 191 news articles and 67 HLT Newsletters for a epic total of 328 Citations. David Eakin has left an indelible mark on Highlands Little Theatre and it thanks you for those twenty years of grand theater.

Photo of  Holly  Elliot
Holly Elliot
HLT's Thirty-sixth President becomes HLT's Ninth Life Member By: Roy Riedy

The first of the one hundred and fifty-seven times that Holly Elliott’s name has appeared in relation to Highlands Little Theatre occurred in the HLT Newsletter of March, 1999, when its readers were told that “Holly Elliott is providing art work for the set (of The Sound of Music).” Since that first appearance in print Mrs. Elliott has been associated with twenty-four more plays at the Lakeside Playhouse, a CAT production, a Fourth of July Patriotic Review, and four Zenon Ceremonies. Her name has appeared in fifty-four more theater newsletters and in seventy-four local newspaper articles. After her initial art work on the set of Frank Oberhausen’s The Sound of Music, Holly was a member of the Stage Crew of Jet Hansen’s August, 1999 production of Noises Off.
Holly and her husband Mark were spotlighted by President Beverly Padgett in her message in the November, 1999 HLT Newsletter for spearheading a massive cleanup of HLT. Beverly enthused: “Anyone who has walked through our doors has seen the first results of their commitment to this project. The creative talents of Holly, along with assistance from Mark and Lee Geiger, has created a totally new atmosphere for our theater entrance. What a super job!!!”
The first play of the 26th Season was John H. Lovelette’s production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Holly’s name appeared on the program with that of Mark Manley for the Set Art and also for her being responsible for the video. The next play was Frank Oberhausen’s Annie Get Your Gun and Holly was again credited in the program for the Set Art. A month later the Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) presented an audience participation play for children and adults on the Lakeside Playhouse stage, Cinderella, Cinderella, and Holly’s name appeared in the program, along with Mark Elliott and Gerry Garnich as the Lighting and Sound Crew.
Bye, Bye Birdie was directed by Sue McCollum in April and Holly’s name appeared once again, this time with Jack VanDam and Ron Keyes as responsible for the Art Design. In June, Mike Logsdon’s program for his production of Run For Your Wife, listed the officers for 2000-2001 and Holly Elliott was listed as being elected to the Board of Directors.
The last play of the 26th Season was Melanie Boulay’s Oliver! and once again Holly’s name appeared on the program as being responsible for the video. At the Fifteenth Zenon Ceremonies in early October, Holly was nominated with Mark Manley for a Production/ Technical Award for their Set Art for One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, which they won; she was also nominated with Ron Keyes and Jack VanDam for their Set Art for Bye, Bye Birdie; and a third time for her video of Annie Get Your Gun. At the end of her first complete season at HLT, Holly had won her first Zenon and was a member of the Board of Directors. Her hard work was recognized and being rewarded.
In the 27th Season Holly shared credit with Frank Oberhausen for the Set Design of his record breaking January production of The King and I, and was also credited with doing the video. She was a Spot Light operator for Jim McCollum’s Easter production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; and did the Set Art and the videography for Steve McDaniel’s Moon Over Buffalo in June; in August she again collaborated with another VanDam, this time Steve, on the Set Art for West Side Story. At the Sixteenth Zenon Ceremonies she and Frank Oberhausen were awarded Zenons for the Best Scene Design for The King and I, and a second pair were awarded to Holly and Steve VanDam for their Set Art for West Side Story. Holly now had three Zenons that testified to her artistic talent.
The 28th Season opened with Frank Oberhausen’s Guys and Dolls and Holly and her husband, Mark were the co-producers of the musical. Holly collaborated with Bob Given and Mr. Oberhausen on the Set Design, and once again she did the videography. In March Holly and Jack VanDam joined forces again to do the Set Art for Joe Willis’ biblical epic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. The June program of Mike Logsdon’s farce, Move Over Mrs. Markham announced that Holly Elliott had been elected President of Highlands Little Theatre for the 2002-2003 period and the August, 2002 program of Melanie Boulay’s record tying Peter Pan, lists Holly, Steve and Jack VanDam, and Jennifer Westergon responsible for the Set Art.
In early September, 2002, President Elliott engaged the services of Paul Giroux, Snob Hollow Designs, to apply his expertise to the Website of Highlands Little Theatre, since then the site has become an invaluable ongoing record of the activities at HLT. At the Seventeenth Zenon Ceremonies in October, 2002, Holly Elliott was nominated for a Production/ Technical Zenon for her videography of Guys and Dolls and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Holly was even busier during the Twenty-ninth season, she and Bob Given were responsible for the Set Art of Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s reprise of Man of La Mancha in November, 2002.
Also in early November, President Elliott recognized the work being done by the Florida Heartland Heritage Foundation by presenting a collection of significant clippings about the Foundations efforts at their groundbreaking ceremony in Lake Placid.
A month later, on Sunday, December 1, 2002, Holly had the opportunity to lead an even more meaningful groundbreaking ceremony for Highlands Little Theatre on the occasion of the first shovelful of dirt being taken from the site of where The Doctors Thakkar Pavilion now stands.
In January, 2003, Holly Elliott’s name appeared in the program of Director Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolia’s program as a member of the Set Construction Team.
In April of the Twenty-ninth Season, President Elliott was elected to a second term as President of Highlands Little Theatre. In Director Allen Branch’s program for his June presentation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Holly Elliott’s name appeared as being on the teams that produced the Set Design and Set Art. In October the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony were Administered by President Elliott and she was also awarded a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon Award for her Set Art work on Man of La Mancha and The Hound of the Baskervilles, boosting her Zenon total to four.
During the Thirtieth Season Holly worked on the Set Decoration of Mike Logsdon’s wonderful farce Out of Order; was on the Production Team of the Fourth of July Patriotic Review; worked on the Set Decorations of Tammie Pollard’s powerful Jesus Christ Superstar; and was nominated, with Bob Given for a Production/Technical Discretionary Award for their work on Out of Order and Lost in Yonkers. Towards the end of her administration she also had the pleasure of seeing the new Thakkar Pavilion and Rehearsal Hall become a reality.
It was at the election of HLT’s next President, Tommy Curcio, in May, 2004, that retiring President Elliott had the gratification and honor of becoming the ninth member in the exclusive circle of HLT’sLife Members, another indication of the appreciation she has gained for her outstanding success as a two term president of Highlands Little Theatre. At the moment, Holly remains on the Board of Directors in the capacity of Past President helping to guide the organization to even greater triumphs.

Photo of  Mark  Elliot
Mark Elliot
A Well-Qualified Potential Director By: Roy Riedy

Mark Elliott’s name first surfaced at HLT during its Twenty-fifth Season in the April, 1999 program of Frank Oberhausen’s The Sound of Music in which he was mentioned twice: as part of the stage crew, and a member of the set construction team. His name reappeared in Jet Hansen’s August show, Noises Off , again as a member of the set construction team. Since that time he has been connected with 24 other plays at the Lakeside Playhouse, 5 Zenon Ceremonies, 1 Gala, 61 newspaper articles, and 54 HLT Newsletters for a total of 146 citations.
The Twenty-sixth Season records Mark participating in 5 shows and the concluding Zenon Ceremonies. He and Allen Branch were the lighting technicians for John H. Lovelette’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Mark and his wife, Holly Elliott, received a special acknowledgment in the program of Frank Oberhausen’s Annie Get Your Gun; again Mark, Holly and Gerry Garnich are listed as responsible for the lighting and sound of Krista Flores’ CAT production of Cinderella, Cinderella; Mark and Kim Moore were the lighting technicians for Sue McCollum’s Bye Bye Birdie; Mark was the co-producer with Margie Pollard, and lighting technician of Melanie Boulay’s Oliver!; and the recipient of his first Zenon at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards for his contribution to the theater’s building improvements.
During the Twenty-seventh Season Mark participated in 4 shows and was awarded his second Zenon at the end of the season ceremonies. Mark and Director Frank Oberhausen created the Lighting Design for Mr. Oberhausen’s January production of The King and I, Mr. Elliot was also the lighting technician for this record breaking show. In April he contributed to the lighting design and was the lighting technician for Jim McCollum’s southwestern fantasy The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In the June, 2001 production of Steve McDaniel’s northeastern comedy Moon Over Buffalo, Mr. Elliott not only served as the Technical Assistant Director, but also did the lighting design and technical work with Mac Byron, and the set design with his wife, Holly Elliott, and Allen Branch.
In August Mark was listed as the Lighting Designer and Technician for Tammie Pollard’s demanding musical West Side Story, a play whose set he also helped Tammie and Pete Pollard to design. All this hard work was rewarded in October at the close of the Twenty-seventh Season, at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards, when Mr. Elliott was awarded his second Zenon for Best Lighting Design with Frank Oberhausen for the prize winning illumination of The King and I.
The Twenty-eighth Season at Highlands Little Theatre provided more firsts for Mark. He made his first stage appearance as a gambler in Frank Oberhausen’s November, 2001 production of Guys and Dolls, and in April he was elected to the Board of Directors of HLT. Mark also worked behind the scenes of Guys and Dolls. He is credited with being its co-producer with his wife Holly; and designed the set with Frank Oberhausen and Bob Given. Mark also designed the lighting with Mr. Oberhausen and somehow managed to also serve as the lighting technician of the show.
In March, 2002, Mark and Thor Knutson provided the Lighting Design for Joe Willis’ chromatic Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; in June he provided the lighting with Allen Branch for Mike Logsdon’s farce Move Over Mrs. Markham; and in August he was on the stage crew of Melanie Boulay’s soaring Peter Pan. Once again his long hours at the Lakeside Playhouse were reward at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies when Mark was awarded his third Zenon for his and Thor Knutson’s Best Lighting Design for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Three Zenons in three years – Mr. Elliott is a consistent fellow.
The Twenty-ninth season, opened with Frank Oberhausen’s moving reprise of Man of La Mancha, for which Mark designed, with Mr. Oberhausen, the lighting for the play and worked with Jean Brown as the lighting technician. Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias followed in January for which Mark was the Assistant Director, provided the Light Design, and worked on the Set Construction. Mark provided the same services for Allen Branch’s June production of the summer chiller, The Hound of the Baskervilles. The 18th Annual Zenon Awards held in October, 2003, were co-directed by Mr. Elliott and Jennifer Westergom. Mark designed the Lighting with Thor Knutson and also acted as one of the Light and Sound Technicians for this event.
During the 30th Season Mark provided the Lighting Design and worked on the Set Construction for Mike Logsdon’s Zenon winning comedy Out Of Order. In the 31st Season Mark worked as Co-Director, Lighting designer, Lighting technician and a member of the Set Construction team for Frank Oberhausen’s season opener, The Music Man. Most recently, during the 33rd Season, Mr. Elliott was the Assistant Director of Allen Branch’s WWII comedy No Time for Sergeants in March, 2007, and in June, he was the Assistant Director of Frank Oberhausen’s stunning production of My Fair Lady for which he and Frank did the Lighting Design. Mark was also the Lighting Technician and worked as part of the Construction Team for My Fair Lady.
Mr. Elliott has more than met the requirements asked by the HLT Board of Directors. He has served as an Assistant Director for two plays, No Time for Sergeants and My Fair Lady, and been the Co-Director for The Music Man. Mark has worked as a Producer three times, for Oliver!, Guys and Dolls, and The Hound of the Baskervilles.
His participation with production includes three experiences with Set Design: West Side Story, Moon Over Buffalo, and Guys and Dolls. His Set Construction participation involves 9 different plays; and he has created 13 different Light Designs, and worked as a Lighting Technician for 11 different shows. Mr. Elliott is certainly qualified to direct a show for he has left his unique “Mark” on multiple HLT events. HLT looks forward to that day when he will direct a play of his own choosing.

Photo of  Stan  Epling II
Stan Epling II
A Zenon for a Back Stage Man named Stan By: Roy Riedy

Stan Epling II is a well known Stage Crew and Production man at HLT. His name made its first appearance seven years ago in the April, 1999 program for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s much loved musical, The Sound of Music. Stan was a member of the Stage Crew, for The Sound of Music which was followed by crew work for Mr. Oberhausen’s revivals of The King and I and Guys and Dolls, and the Tammie Pollard’s musical West Side Story.
Stan’s first Stage Manager stint was for Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas which earned him a Zenon nomination at the Sixteenth Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October, 2001 and again at the Seventeenth Ceremonies, the following year, for his management of Peter Pollard’s Foxfire.
Mr. Epling is a second generation HLT member and after six years of technical experience, courtesy of the US Navy, he joined HLT with his valuable sound experience. His son Dustin also works as a Stage Crew member which adds another generation of Epling HLT volunteerism to the family name. Stan and Dustin were both backstage for the revival of The Music Man in the Thirty-first Season as members of its Stage Crew.
Most recently, during the Thirty-second Season, Stan concentrated on Lighting Design and as a Lighing Technician for four of the five main stage productions and the “Extra” Revue presented in late April, Broadway in Concert.
It was his work on Light Design with Tammie Pollard for her Zenon winning musical Grease that brought him his first Zenon at the Twenty-first Award Ceremonies in early October, 2006. Congratulations Stan Epling II on your well deserved honor. HLT is beginning to see the light.
GRACIE AWARD WINNER FOR DECEMBER, 2006 by Vanessa Logsdon
December’s honoree has been actively involved at HLT for several years, as stage crew, stage manager, and sound and light tech to name a few roles. This year, he not only worked every rental and special event for the first six months, he also took on dual committee chair responsibilities. As sound chair, he reorganized the storage and handling of sound equipment, and filled in as light chair while Thor Knutson was away. During the now infamous Grease matinee lightening strike, he was on call to lend his expertise to get us back up to standard for the evening performance. For those of you who haven’t figured it out yet, the Gracie Award goes to Stan Epling, II.

Photo of  Ruth Anne  Esseltine
Ruth Anne Esseltine
Accompanist Extraordinaire By: Roy Riedy

Ruth Ann was born in Michigan where she graduated from Central Michigan University with a major in music. She moved to Sebring in 1996 via Tennessee where she had became involved with theater and had played for several shows. Her name was first mentioned in relation to HLT in its July, 2000, Newsletter which told its readers that Mrs. Esseltine had volunteered her talent as pianist for the upcoming August production of Melanie Boulay’s musical Oliver!
Her accompaniment for Oliver! won her a nomination for a Production/Technical Award at The Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October of 2000.
In the March 2002 issue of the HLT Newsletter, Melanie Boulay announced that Ruth Ann Esseltine, as well as Judy Vekasy, would be the accompanists for her August production of the musical Peter Pan. The July HLT Newsletter confirmed and clarified Ruth’s job description by noting that “Ruth Ann Esseltine is our accompanist and Judy Vekasy is conducting the orchestra.”
The August, 2002, production of Peter Pan was an unqualified success and won eight Zenons which placed the show in second place in the HLT pantheon of most decorated shows to date. One of those eight Zenons went to Ruth Ann Esseltine for her musical contribution to the delightful show.
As of November, 2002, Ruth as been associated with two musicals at Highlands Little Theatre, been nominated for an award at two Zenon Ceremonies and won one Zenon. She has been mentioned in 7 HLT Newsletters and 10 local newspaper articles for a total of 21 citations.
Highlands Little Theatre is indeed fortunate to have talented Ruth Ann Esseltine as one of its members for accompanists are very rare and even rarer are accompanists that volunteer. Thank you Ruth Ann for your musical contributions.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Bill  Farmer
Bill Farmer
Actor By: Roy Riedy

Bill Farmer started acting at HLT when he appeared as Vittorio Vidal in Peter Pollard’s presentation of Sweet Charity in June, 1989. His debut coincided with the fifteenth anniversary of the Little Theatre’s first production, Pure as the Driven Snow, 60 shows earlier. Bill also appeared as Schlemmer in the following show, Janelou Buck’s reprise of Mister Roberts, in August, the last show of the Fifteenth Season. At the Fourth Zenon Awards in late September, Bill and Jessica Lewia entertained the Ceremony audience with “Lets Do It,” from Cole Porter’s Paris.
In the Sixteenth Season Bill worked on the Stage Crew of Peter Pollard’s January, 1990, production of On Golden Pond. In March, he appeared as Henry Higgins in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of that famous musical, My Fair Lady and in June, he was part of the Stage Crew for Janelou Buck’s musical, Hello Dolly. In August he was a member of the Stage Crew for Tena Conyer’s reprise of Don’t Drink The Water. At the Fifth annual Zenon Ceremony in October, Bill received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, and also presented the Best Stage Manager Award with Tena Conyer.
Oklahoma! directed by Jet Hansen opened the Seventeenth Season with Mr. Farmer singing the role of Curley. In January, 1991, Bill was a member of the Stage Crew of Peter Pollard’s comedy Steel Magnolias, and in August he played Tom MacKenzie, in Walter Zelenenki’s production of The Seven Year Itch. At the Sixth Zenon Awards in October, Bill received two nominations: one for a Best Actor in a Leading Role for Curley in Oklahoma!, and the other for a Best Actor in a Supporting role for Tom in The Seven Year Itch.
Bill played Ito in Jet Hansen’s November season opener, the musical Mame. In June, he was part of the Simian Transport Team for Janelou Buck’s drama, Inherit the Wind; and in August he played Captain McLean in Marian Dunham’s revival of Teahouse of the August Moon. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1992, Bill was nominated for two Best Actors in a Supporting Roles Zenons: one for his wonderful Ito in Mame, and the second for his role of Captain McLean in The Teahouse of the August Moon, which gave him his first Zenon. He and his wife, Mitzi, also made the presentation for the Best Set Design for the season.
Bill worked on only one play in the Nineteenth Season, Walter Zelenenki’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, for which he did the Video. The next time was seen at the Lakeside Playhouse was in Frank Oberhausen’s stunning March, 1995, production of the musical 1776 in which he played Thomas Jefferson, a part that won him another nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role at the Tenth Annual Zenons in October, 1995.
Most recently, Mr. Farmer’s name was seen in the January, 1999, Stagebill for Peter Pollard’s production of The Miracle Worker, in which he is acknowledged for his help with that production.
Since Bill joined Highlands Little Theatre in the Fifteenth Season he has been involved with 15 plays and 5 Zenon Ceremonies. He has received one Zenons for his acting and been nominated for seven others. His name has been seen in 18 HLT Newsletters and 20 local news articles for a total of 58 Citations. We all look forward to Mr. Farmer’s next performance with the hope that it will be soon.

Photo of  Jamie  Farnham
Jamie Farnham
Godspell Guitarist By: Roy Riedy

Jamie Farnham and his guitar were recruited by Director Sue McCollum to be members of her Godspell Band in October, 1997. Along with keyboardist Vealda Lambright and percussionist Marty Dudeck, the trio provided the spirited accompaniment for the theatrical event Godspell, inspired by the Gospel according to St. Matthew, and were awarded a Production/Technical Zenon at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Ceremony in October, 1998, for their musical contribution. Mr. Farnham was involved with only one play at HLT, Mrs. McCollum’s 1997 Godspell. His credits include two HLT Newsletter accounts, two articles in local newspapers, and one Zenon Ceremony for a total of six Citations. Jamie plans to be a Civil Engineer.

Photo of  Scott  Featheringill
Scott Featheringill
A Great Puppeteer By: Roy Riedy

Scott Featheringill’s name surfaced for the first time in the HLT program for Tena Conyer’s August, 1990, revival of Woody Allen’s comedy, Don’t Drink The Water; Scott was part of the Sound Team for that production.
The following season, HLT’s Seventeenth, Scott was involved with three productions, a Christmas Program, and an Awards Ceremony. Jet Hansen’s Oklahoma! opened the season and Scott was listed as a member of the musical’s chorus. In December, Scott was the Sound man for Marian Dunham’s weekend production of Christmas Dreams. Frank Oberhausen directed The Music Man in March and Scott was a member of the show’s chorus and also on the Stage Crew and Set Construction Team. In June, Tena Conyer directed Little Shop of Horrors, which became the hit of the year. Scott was the puppeteer of Audrey II, a man-eating vegetable – the “Horror” of the Little Shop of Horrors, which he manipulated with maniacal and intense inventiveness. His ingenuity won him and the “voice” of Audry II, Jim Lanier, a Zenon for Best Performance by an Actor in a Support Role at the Sixth Annual Awards Ceremony the following October.
The musical, Mame, directed by Jet Hansen opened the Eighteenth Season at Highlands Little Theatre and Scott worked behind the scenes as a member of the Set Construction Team, and also on stage where he played a Doorman in the play. Carol Thurow directed A Christmas Salute to the 40′s for a weekend in December for which Scott worked as her Sound Director. In January, Peter Pollard directed the musical They’re Playing Our Song for which Scott furnished the voice of Phil the Engineer.
Funny Girl, directed by Frank Oberhausen, opened on April 3, 1992, at the Lakeside Playhouse and Scott played a Workman in the play and backstage was a member of the Stage Crew and Set Construction Team. During Janelou Buck’s drama Inherit The Wind, Scott worked with the members of Anthony’s Lounge, and in August he was part of the Stage Crew for Marian Dunham’s revival of The Teahouse of the August Moon, also appearing on stage as Mr. Seiko. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Scott received his second Zenon, a Production/Technical Award “for outstanding achievement as sound technician for Mame, They’re Playing Our Song, Funny Girl, and Teahouse of the August Moon.
Scott worked in Anthony’s Lounge during Tena Conyer’s zany Nunsense in November, 1992, and was on Walter Zelenenki’s Sound Team for his production of Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean in January, 1993. After a hiatus of a year and a half he reappeared as one of Marian Dunham’s Sound Technicians for her musical, Meet Me in St. Louis in August, 1994. The last time Scott’s name appeared in an HLT program was in the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony Program where his two awards were recapitulated.
During Scott’s four years with HLT he worked on 12 plays, 2 Christmas programs, and attended 2 Zenon Ceremonies to receive two awards. His name appeared in 11 HLT Newsletters and 10 local news articles for a total of 38 Citations. He is remembered as a great puppeteer.

Photo of  Paul  Ferrell
Paul Ferrell
Dedicated Actor By: Roy Riedy

Paul Ferrell’s name appears for the first time in an HLT playbill when he was billed as “Tenorio, A Muleteer” in Richard Oehring’s November,1988, production of Man of La Mancha. The following January he was on the Stage Crew of Director Tena Conyer’s Harvey and again in April for Frank Oberhausen’s first presentation of The King and I, and a third time in June for Peter Pollard’s Sweet Charity. Paul returned to the stage in August as Stefanowski in Janelou Buck’s tenth anniversary reprise of the durable comedy, Mister Roberts. And so ended Paul Ferrell’s first season at Highlands Little Theatre.
Marian Dunham’s musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown opened the Sixteenth Season at HLT and Paul was in the cast as Molly’s brother, Patrick Tobin. In March he played Jamie, the 4th Cockney, and Zoltan Karpathy in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of My Fair Lady, and was on the Stage Crew of Janelou Buck’s June production of Hello Dolly.
Jet Hansen’s Oklahoma! opened the Seventeenth Season and Paul scared the audience in his role of the troubled Jud Fry, a role that brought him a nomination at the Zenon Awards that year for a Best Actor in a Supporting Role. At Christmas time he was the producer of Jim Lanier’s Christmas Dreams, a four day “extra” show.
The Eighteenth Season opened with Jet Hansen’s Mame and Marian Dunham playing the lady with the trumpet, Paul was part of the Stage Crew. Carol Thurow’s A Christmas Salute to the 40′s followed for a weekend in December and Paul sang in the chorus. Funny Girl was directed by Frank Oberhausen in April and Paul was again on the Stage Crew. In June, Janelou Buck presented Inherit The Wind with Paul playing the Rev. Jeremiah Brown calling down the wrath of God on all evolutionists. Paul received another nomination for Best Supporting Actor for this role at the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards the following October.
In January,1994, Paul was seen again, this time in Peter H. Pollard’s production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version) in which Paul played Manolo Costazuela, a linguistically challenged Latin suitor, another role that won him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards the following October. In June he was part of the Stage Crew for Tammie Pollard’s delightful Lend Me a Tenor.
The Twenty-first Season opened with Jim Lanier’s well received Gypsy with Paul playing the part of Mr. Goldstone; he followed this appearance by working on the Production Staff of Roy Riedy’s “Extra” Christmas time weekend offering of Kander and Ebb’s evening of songs And the World Goes ‘Round. In January, 1995, he was on the Stage Crew of Pete Pollard’s “Fats” Waller musical Ain’t Misbehavin’; and in March in Frank Oberhausen’s handsome production of 1776, Paul became Benjamin Franklin in this production and his perfect impersonation won him his first Zenon as Best Supporting Actor at the Tenth Annual Zenons in October.
Same Time Next Year was Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s production in June and Paul did the Video for that show. In August during Marian Dunham’s Gigi, Paul was found working in Anthony’s Lounge.
Paul worked in Anthony’s Lounge during Peter Pollard’s The Goodbye Girl, the Twenty-second Season’s opener and was backstage as the Stage Crew in Roy Riedy’s Off Broadway comedy, The Foreigner. He returned to Anthony’s Lounge during Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof, but was sighted on stage again when he presented The Best Female Actress in a Supporting Role award at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October of 1996.
Paul worked in Anthony’s Lounge during Jet Hansen’s Forever Plaid; Melanie Boulay’s To Kill a Mockingbird; and Frank Oberhausen’s La Cage aux Folles. He returned to the stage as Sam in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s Paint Your Wagon, and was part of the Stage Crew for Melanie Boulay’s famous The Wizard of Oz and Unity in the Community’s Project Sounds of the Season. Frank Oberhausen cast Paul as Herr Zeller in his reprise of The Sound of Music in April, 1999, and he was part of Jet Hansen’s Stage Crew in his rib tickling comedy Noises Off.
During the Twenty-sixth Season Paul was associated with two plays. He played Scanlon in John Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and received a Zenon nomination at the end of the year ceremonies for his fine job, and was part of the Stage Crew for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun.
Paul was associated with six plays the Twenty-seventh Season. He was part of the Kitchen Staff during Jet Hansen’s revival of On Golden Pond; part of Mac Byron’s Stage Crew for his Tuna Christmas; did brilliant acting as the Kralahome in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The King and I, for which he again received a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role; he returned to the Kitchen Staff during Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Steve McDaniel’s production of Moon Over Buffalo; and Tammie Pollard’s run of West Side Story.
Last season Mr. Ferrell was seen in Frank Oberhausen’s Guys and Dolls as one of the gamblers; on the Kitchen Line during Pete Pollard’s Foxfire. He played Asher, one of Joseph’s brothers, and the Pharaoh’s butler in Joe Willis’ dazzling Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat which nominated him yet again for a Zenon for Best Supporting Actor; and finished out the season on the Kitchen Line during Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham, and Melanie Boulay’s Peter Pan. In October, at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony Paul received his second Zenon, a Board Service Award, for his outstanding achievement as a General Service Volunteer.
This season Paul has already been seen in Frank Oberhausen’s inspiring production of Man of La Mancha, as Pedro, the head muleteer. Fourteen years ago Mr. Ferrell was first seen on the stage of Highlands Little Theatre in the very same play, but since then he has been promoted, for Frank made him the head muleteer this time around.
Statistically Paul has been in 44 plays at HLT since he joined HLT, 14 years ago. He has been nominated for Zenons 6 times at Awards Ceremonies and won twice. He has been in three Christmas programs, 1 Firstnighter program, 41 local newspaper articles, and been mentioned in 27 HLT Newsletters, for a grand total of 123 citations. We all thank you Paul for your many years of dedicated service to HLT.

Photo of  Tracy, Bethany, Moriah, Jonathan, Daniel  Finney
Tracy, Bethany, Moriah, Jonathan, Daniel Finney
The Finney Five - The April, 2007 Gracie Award By: Vanessa Logsdon & Roy Riedy

Vanessa Logsdon, HLT’s Administrative Assistant introduced the General Membership to the current Gracie Award winners with this introduction: “We’ve given Gracie Awards to couples and co-chairs before, but this may be the first time we’ve given one to a group. Although fairly new members, they have taken the word “involvement” to heart. In the brief time they have been participating, they have helped clean, vacuum, lug props, empty trash, sell candy, seat patrons, wash tables, and rearrange furniture. Not only do they participate in scheduled workdays, but also they frequently show up just to see if anything needs to be done. And then do it, whatever it may be. They have incredible physical strength, unflagging enthusiasm, and boundless energy. If you haven’t had the chance to meet them yet, please make a point of introducing yourself. You won’t be disappointed. They operate as a team, so it was impossible to single out one member for the award. The Gracie Award this month goes to: The Finney Five, Tracy, Bethany, Daniel, Jonathan, and Moriah Finney.”
The first hint of the Finney invasion was the mention of Bethany Finney’s name in a News-Sun article in July, 2006, when Bethany was listed as one of the 36 teenagers and adults who made up the cast of “Cracker Boy,” a play about the young life of Florida pioneer hero Jacob Summerland. The play was the closing event of the inaugural Florida Outdoor Summer Camp held in late June at the Lake Placid Center of South Florida Community College (SFCC).
In the September, 2006, HLT New Letter, the entire Finney Family was listed as new members of Highlands Little Theatre as of September 10, 2006.
The following quote written by News-Sun correspondent Sue Ann Carpenter last December about HLT’s Showstopper production of “A modern-Day Christmas Carol” is also an excellent introduction of the Finney Family: Tracy Finney’s four children are all in the play and said, “I’m a prop mom; in charge of the props. The adults have helped, but the kids have really done it all on this modern Dickens story. It shows off each person’s skill and talent. They’ve not only learned technical aspects like blocking, but also discipline. And they’ve become better at interacting.” “This is the first play for Daniel Finney, 11. “The best part is I get to scare my sisters. It was kind of hard acting, but I liked it. And I made new friends.” Kaitlin Finney, 13, said, “I get to be myself because I’m sort of like the character. It’s lots of fun to act and get to know others.” “Jonathan Finney, 9 , said, “I had to remember to speak loud, and have learned a lot about acting. My favorite line is when I say ‘stupid parents’ because I’m not allowed to say that at home.” “Moriah Finney, 6, is in the chorus. “We sing ‘Jingle Bells,’ ‘Deck the Halls’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas.’ And for the ‘First Noel’ song, a group of us get to use sign language.” With enthusiasm like this it is no wonder the first weekend show of the Highlands Youth Committee “Showstoppers,” was a sell-out and a great success.
Congratulations to the Fab Finney Five. You are exactly what makes HLT so fablulous too.

Photo of  Clell  Ford
Clell Ford
A Singing Actor and Cook By: Roy Riedy

Clell Ford has been associated with 20 plays at HLT since first working on lighting for Mac Byron’s comedy George Washington Slept Here in June of 1997. His second experience with HLT was working on the construction of the set for Tammie Pollard’s revival of the Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum in August of that year.
At the Zenon Ceremonies that closed the Twenty-third Season he gave the Awards audience a preview of what to expect soon by singing “All For The Best” with Clell Ford from Godspell, the opening show of the upcoming season in which he played the part of Jesus, a part that won him a nomination for Best Actor at the ensuing Zenon Ceremonies.
The Twenty-fifth Season opened with Melanie Boulay’s memorable production of The Wizard of Oz and Clell was the sound technician and “Voice” for the show which earned him a Production/TechnicalZenon at the end of the season for Best Sound Technician and “Voice”. In April, 1999, Clell played Captain Georg von Trapp in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Rogers and Hammerstein’s hit musical The Sound of Music and in August he was part of the stage crew for Jet Hansen’s production of Michael Frayn’s manic comedy Noises Off.
In the Twenty-sixth Season Clell played Charley Davenport in Frank Oberhausen’s January, 2000, revival of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun, a part that earned him yet another nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the season’s Zenon Ceremony in October. In July he received special thanks for his work on the CAT production of Rumplestiltskin, and in August he played the part of the Beadle, Mr. Bumble in Melanie Boulay’s revival of the Dickensian musical Oliver!, another role that earned him a nomination for a Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the October Zenons Awards.
The Twenty-seventh Season at HLT was a busy one for Clell who devoted his labors for the entire season to gourmet work in the kitchen during all five major presentations: Jet Hansen’s reprise of On Golden Pond; Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The King and I; Jim McCollum’s musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Steve McDaniel’s comedy Moon Over Buffalo; and Tammie Pollard’s venturesome West Side Story. He did, however, appear on the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies as a member of the chorus.
The Twenty-eighth Season was a bit more varied for Clell. He appeared as Benny Southstreet in Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s opening show Guys and Dolls. He returned to the Kitchen Line Staff during Pete Pollard’s presentation of Foxfire, and reappeared on the stage as Issachar in Joe Willis’ Best Play winning production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Easter time. Clell was back on the Kitchen Line Staff during Mike Logsdon’s hilarious Move Over Mrs. Markham and Melanie Boulay’s soaring Peter Pan. At the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies Clell joined Joe Willis and Phil Attinger and chorus in entertaining the Zenon audience with medley from Jesus Christ Superstar.
Most recently Mr. Ford has been seen in the Oberhausen and MacNeill production of Man of LaMancha, the opening play of the Twenty-ninth Season. In all Clell has been associated with 20 productions at Highlands Little Theatre, attended 5 Zenon ceremonies, been awarded a Zenon for his Sound work for The Wizard of Oz; been cited in 25 local news articles and 15 HLT Newsletters for a total of 65 well deserved citations for his many roles and services that have contributed to the prosperity of our outstanding organization, Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Toni  Ford
Toni Ford
Seven Seasons of Song By: Roy Riedy

It was in HLT’s hundredth play’s program, La Cage aux Folles, that Toni Ford’s name first appeared in April, 1997, the Little Theater’s twenty-third season. She was named as being a Costume Assistant for the Frank Oberhausen’s dressy musical with the French name.

Since that first appearance, Toni’s name has appeared in thirteen other play programs, five Zenon programs, fifteen HLT Newsletters, and forty local news articles for a total of seventy-four citations.

Toni appeared on stage in the final show of the twenty-third season, Tammie Pollard’s revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum as the forceful Roman wife, Domina, a role that won her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the 12th Annual Zenon Ceremonies.

During the next season, the twenty-fourth, Toni was in two more shows: Sue McCollum’s Godspell in October, 1997, in which she was a member of the ensemble; and Tammie Pollard’s Rumors in August, 1998, for which she worked on its costumes, and once again she received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Godspell at the end-of-the-year Zenon Ceremonies.

Toni worked on four of the five shows given in the Twenty-fifth season. In November she was a Winkie and a Citizen of Oz in Melanie Boulay’s immensely popular Wizard of Oz; in January she was a costume coordinator for Peter Pollard’s powerful drama, The Miracle Worker; in April she sang the role of Elsa in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music; and in August she designed the costumes for Jet Hansen’s sidesplitting Noises Off. Again at Zenon time, Toni received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her role of Elsa in The Sound of Music.

During the Twenty-sixth Season Toni was associated with two shows. She was a member of the Construction Team for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Annie Get Your Gun; and sang the role of Nancy in Melanie Boulay’s revival of the Dickensian musical, Oliver!. Once again at the Zenon Ceremonies Toni received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her memorable role of Nancy in Oliver!

The Twenty-seventh Season saw Toni as Lady Thiang in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Rogers and Hammerstein’s wonderful The King and I. For the fifth time in a row, Toni received a Best Supporting Actress for her singing and acting in the role of Lady Thiang.

Toni appeared as one of the wives on stage and a seamstress backstage in Joe Willis’ biblical epic and multi- Zenon winning Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the March production of the Twenty-eighth Season.

In the Twenty-ninth Season Toni appeared in two musicals both directed by the team of Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill. In November she sang the role of Aldonza/Dulcinea in the revival of the moving Man of La Mancha, and in March, 2003, she played Meg Brockie in Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon. At the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards at the close of the Twenty-ninth Season, Toni was rewarded for her many years of stage work by receiving the Zenon for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her stellar performance as Aldonza/Dulcinea in the November revival of Man of La Mancha.

Congratulations Toni, you are an inspiration to all aspiring actors and actresses for the perseverence you have shown in following your very “Possible Dream.”

Photo of  Betty  Francisco
Betty Francisco
Betty Francisco - Makeup and Coiffure By: Roy Riedy

Betty Francisco and Lorraine Smith were responsible for the makeup and coiffure for Frank Oberhausen’s lavish costume musical The King and I, in April, 1989. In June, she and Laurie were joined by Pat Catron to perform their miracles on the cast of Peter Pollard’s Sweet Charity. Betty and Laurie were aided by Melanie Boulay in August to transform Janelou Buck’s cast of Mister Roberts into weather-beaten sailors. Betty was rewarded for her outstanding achievement in creative makeup and hair design at the the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony with a Production/Technical Award in late September, 1989.
During the Sixteenth Season Betty worked on three more plays. In January she was responsible for the makeup and coiffure for Peter Pollard’s production of On Golden Pond. In March, 1990, Betty did the makeup for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of My Fair Lady in March, and Janelou Buck’s Hello Dolly, in June.
Betty did the makeup for Steel Magnolias, in January, 1991, directed by Peter Pollard;. and the following year she was a member of a much larger team that did the makeup and coiffure for Janelou Buck’s drama, Inherit The Wind, in June, 1992.
During Betty Francisco’s four seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, she worked on 8 plays and was rewarded with one Zenon at the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards in 1989. Betty was mentioned in 15 HLT Newsletters and in 1 local news article for a total of 26 Citations. Thank you Betty for making us look so good.

Photo of  Wendy  Franklin
Wendy Franklin
Wendy Franklin - A Brilliant Presence By: Roy Riedy

Wendy Franklin’s name first appeared in the Little Theatre records in the January, 2000, Newsletter of the Highlands Little Theatre which stated that newcomer Wendy Franklin had been selected by Director Frank Oberhausen to play the title role of Annie Oakley in the January, 2000, reprise of the much loved Irving Berlin musical, Annie Get Your Gun.
The role of Annie Oakley was Wendy’s debut at Highlands Little Theatre but not her first time in a stage role. Just before appearing in Highlands County, Ms. Franklin appeared as Denise Sanders in the Hardee County Players’ production of Smoke on the Mountain. Wendy, a native of Hialeah, Florida and a graduate of Florida State University, has been teaching in Polk County since 1998.
Wendy played the role of Annie with vigor and vitality and made the role of Annie Oakley her own. The reviews of her performance were unanimous and unstinting in their praise of her singing and acting ability and it was hoped that she would soon be seen again on the Lakeside Playhouse stage. The critics were correct in lavishing praise on this new star, for in October of 2000, Ms. Franklin was awarded a Zenon as the Best Actress in a Leading Role in the Twenty-sixth Season.
Happily, Ms. Franklin returned in the Twenty-seventh season to play the role of the star-crossed lover, Tuptim, in the Frank Oberhausen revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s great musical, The King and I, again to great applause and acclaim.
Since Wendy has been associated with Highlands Little Theatre, she has appeared in two musicals, been nominated for awards at two Zenon Ceremonies, and won a Best Actress Zenon. Her name has been mentioned in five HLT Newsletters and fourteen local newspaper articles. It is the wish of all who have see this talented young lady act and sing that they will see her on the HLT stage again soon.

Photo of  Christopher  Friend
Christopher Friend
October, 2005 Gracie Award Winner By: Roy Riedy

Christopher Friend has been involved in five plays and one Zenon event since he joined HLT seven years ago. He made his first appearance on the Lakeside Playhouse stage as a Lollipop Guide in Melanie Angus Boulay’s memorable November 1998, presentation of The Wizard of Oz. Christopher’s second appearance was in August 2000, when he was seen as one of Fagin’s Boys in Melanie Angus Boulay’s reprisal of Lional Bart’s musical, Oliver!
During the Thirty-first season Chris was involved with three of HLT’s offerings: in November 2004, he appeared as Winthrop, in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Meredith Willson’s famous musical The Music Man; in January, 2005, he was a member of the Set Construction Crew for Peter Pollard’s comedy, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; and in March, 2005, he was a third of the Set Art Team for Kathy MacNeill’s challenging circus musical, Barnum. Chris ended the season with the honor of being chosen to open the Twentieth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony by welcoming the audience to that milestone event. His involvement with theater extends beyond the walls of HLT, Chris has also been involved in theatrical productions at the Sebring Middle School.
Christopher Friend’s dedication to Highlands Little Theatre was recognized in a tangible way by HLT’s Board of Directors in October 2005, when he was awarded the Gracie Award for the month of October.
Past President Goldie Garnich, who nominated Chris for the October Gracie, had this to say about the young recipient: “He has been an enormous help at the theater; in gourmet, house managing, painting, moving furniture, set construction, vacuuming and general housecleaning of the theater for events. He is actually the right-hand man to Vanessa Logston, our Administrative Assistant.
Christopher Friend just loves the theater and expressed his desire to attend Florida State University for drama when the time comes. Break a Leg, Chris, We’re all behind you.”
Congratulations Chris for your resolute labors at HLT, you have taken the correct path to fulfill your college goals. Everyone at the Little Theatre looks forward to watch your star ascend.

Photo of  Lynda  Fulcher
Lynda Fulcher
A Voice That Thrills By: Roy Riedy

Lynda Fulcher joined Highlands Little Theatre in its Fifteenth Season and was first seen and heard singing the opening number at the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards “Believe in Yourself.” The following June she played the title role in Janelou Buck’s production of Hello Dolly and received encouraging reviews. In March, 1991, she appeared as a member of the chorus in Frank Oberhausen’s production of The Music Man. In April of the following year she played Jenny in another Oberhausen musical, Funny Girl.
In November, 1992, Tena Pollard’s Nunsense opened the Nineteenth Season with Lynda playing one for the quintet of Little Sisters of Hoboken, Sister Mary Robert Anne. Lynda returned to the stage in August of that year as Julie in Jet Hansen’s production of the classic musical Show Boat; her fine performance in that role won her a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Zenon Awards in October.
The Twentieth Season at HLT opened with a second edition of the successful opener of the previous year, Nunsense II, The Second Coming… The play was directed once again by Tena Pollard and the cast remained the same with Lynda again playing the popular nun, Sister Mary Robert Anne. Once again, at the Zenon Awards at the end of the season, Lynda was nominated for Best Actress in A Supporting Role for her portrayal of Sister Mary Robert Anne in Nunsense II. Lynda appeared as a member of the cast of an “Extra” show given at Christmas time, and the World Goes ‘Round, a review of the music of Kander and Ebb, directed by Roy Riedy.
After a four year hiatus Lynda reappeared at the Lakeside Playhouse as Dolly in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Annie Get Your Gun in January 2000, a role that brought her a Zenon for Best Supporting Actress at the Awards Ceremonies the following October. Lynda’s Zenon was one of eight that the revival received.
Lynda participated in another Christmas “Extra” in December, 2000, when she played three different characters in Mac Byron’s production of A Tuna Christmas, the second of a trilogy of “Tuna” plays that Mr. Byron plans to bring to Highlands Little Theatre. The following April Lynda played Miss Mona, a part first made famous by Dolly Parton in the movie version of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in the stage version directed by Jim McCollum. Lynda received a nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role at Zenon time for her excellent performance. Early in May Ms. Fulcher was elected to the Board of Directors of Highlands Little Theatre, a position she held for the following year.
The Twenty-eighth Season opened with Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s revival of the musical Guys and Dolls with Lynda playing the part of Sarah Brown, another role that brought her a nomination at the Zenon Ceremonies for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.
Since Lynda joined HLT in the Sixteenth Season she has been in or associated with 27 productions at the Little Theatre; she has won a Zenon for Best Actress in a Leading Role, served a year as a member of the Board of Directors, participate in 9 Zenon Ceremonies, attended 1 First Nighter, been mentioned in 43 local newspaper articles and in 29 Newsletters for a total of 108 citations. She has thrilled audiences with her wonderful voice and acting ability and has been a great asset in making Highlands Little Theatre the polished and professional organization it is today.
The following tribute by Vanessa Logsdon was give to the dual winners of the coveted Gracie Award for March, 2007.
Whoever termed Batman and Robin the dynamic duo had never met tonight’s pair of winners. Those comic book guys don’t come close to the amount of energy expended by these two. They were destined to be friends. Both like to play with “Dolly’s”. We’ve seen one onstage as a Madame, and the other as a gender confused character in a birdcage, and rumor has it that they recently danced their way through Alaska’s inside passage. Never ones to let grass grow under their feet, tonight’s accolades go to these ladies for their dedication, diligence and exhaustive work on the Scholarship committee. Please join me in a round of applause as the Gracie goes to GLORIA COFFEY AND LYNDA FULCHER.

Mike Fuller
Set Builder and Designer, Building Maintainer, and Chef By: Roy Riedy

Mike Fuller made his first appearance, not backstage, but in the kitchen of The Lakeside Playhouse in November, 1991, during the production of Jet Hansen’s musical, Mame, which opened HLT’s Eighteenth Season . His second appearance was a month later when he was a part of the Stage Crew for Carol Thurow’s Christmas Salute to the 1940′s, given the weekend of December 13, 1991. In January, 1992, he returned to his kitchen duties during the production of Peter Pollard’s musical, They’re Playing Our Song. In April, Frank Oberhausen directed the musical Funny Girl and Mike was listed as one of the members of the Set Construction Team and also as a member of the Kitchen staff. In June he was a part of Janelou Buck’s Stage Crew for her production of Inherit The Wind, and also listed as working in the kitchen. For the last show of the season, Marian Dunham’s famous revival of Teahouse of the August Moon, Mike helped with the construction of the set and then returned to the theatre kitchen for the duration of the show. At the Seventh Annual Awards Ceremony in October, Mike received two nominations: a Production/Technical nomination for “outstanding achievement in set construction and stage crew for Teahouse of the August Moon and Funny Girl;” and a Board Service nomination “for his outstanding contributions to the theatre in gourmet and building maintenance” which he won.
Mike worked on all the shows of the Nineteenth Season. In November, Tena Conyer brought Nunsense to HLT and he helped construct the set before putting on his apron for his kitchen obligations. In January, Walter Zelenenki directed Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean for which Mike wore many hats. He was the play’s Co-Stage Manager with Eddie DeLoach, he helped design the set for the play, he and Eddie were the Set Construction Managers and he still found time to work in the kitchen during the run of the play.
The program for the Walter Zelenenki play had this to say about Mike: “Mike Fuller (Stage Co-Manager) Mike, who has a strong aversion to appearing on stage, has been generous in lending his much-appreciated talents behind the scenes. He is responsible for many of the great prime ribs served at HLT, and has been working hard in Gourmet for several years. Mike built the set for Jimmy Dean and lent his construction talents to the award-winning set for Teahouse of the August Moon. He is Chairman of Building Maintenance at HLT and is responsible for many of the much-needed improvements at the theater.”
Frank Oberhausen brought Camelot back to the Playhouse stage in April and Mike was a member of his Stage Crew. A job that did not seem to interfere with his production of prime ribs in the kitchen. In June, Mike helped Marian Dunham with her set for The Philadelphia Story and was a member of her Stage Crew and still managed to work in the kitchen during the show’s duration. Mike performed the same assistance for Jet Hansen’s presentation of Show Boat in August. At the Eighth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Mike received a Production/ Technical Zenon for “set construction and stage crew during the 1992/93 season.”
Nunsense II, The Second Coming . . . directed by Tena Conyer opened HLT’s Twentieth Season . Again Mike helped with the set construction of the play before returning to his post in the theatre’s kitchen. Mike is not listed on the Production Staff of Peter Pollard’s program for The Odd Couple (Female Version) but his name is found on the Gourmet Staff as part of the Kitchen crew. Frank Oberhausen reprised South Pacific in April and Mike’s name is shown as helping with the Set Construction and on the Stage Crew and, as usual, working in the kitchen. In June he worked on the Set Construction for Tammie Pollard’s Lend Me A Tenor, and in August designed the set with Marian Dunham for her production of Meet Me in St. Louis, during both shows he did his customary kitchen work. At the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards, Mike won his third Zenon with Larry Wollangk and Eddie DeLoach for “outstanding achievement in set construction for the season.”
The Twenty-first Season at HLT was also a busy one for Mike. He worked on the set construction of Jim Lanier’s Gypsy in November; he was Roy Riedy’s Stage Manager for And the World Goes Round; he worked again on set construction for Frank Oberhausen’s 1776; Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s Same Time Next Year, and Marian Dunham’s Gigi, and still kept the roast beef cooking in the theatre’s kitchen. All this activity earned Mr. Fuller two nominations at the Tenth Annual Awards Ceremony. Mike was nominated for a Board Service Zenon for “Gourmet and Building Maintenance; and a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for “set construction for the 94/95 season.”
The Twenty-second Season was Mike’s last season with Highlands Little Theatre. He worked with the Gourmet Staff during Peter Pollard’s season opener, The Goodbye Girl, and he was Mac Byron’s Stage Manager for his December, “Extra” show, Greater Tuna. In January, Mike worked on the set of Roy Riedy’s production of The Foreigner. The comedy opened on Friday, January 19, 1996, and on the following Friday, January 26, Mike suffered a fatal heart attack and died.
His sudden and unexpected death was a great shock to his friends at the theatre and on February 6, 1996, a memorial service was held in the Lakeside Playhouse conducted by Rev. Andrew C. Conyer to honor Mike’s departure from this world. The service was crowded with his friends, a fitting tribute to Mike who had done so much to make their organization so vital to their lives and our county.
During his time with HLT, Mike worked with twenty-four plays, one Christmas show and two “Extra” plays and was honored at four Zenon Ceremonies at which he received three Zenons and four other nominations. His name appeared in fourteen HLT Newsletters and seven local news articles for a total of fifty Citations. All that knew him recognize that he was a great and enduring asset for Highlands Little Theatre.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Gerry  Garnich
Gerry Garnich
Another hardworking member By: Roy Riedy

Gerry Garnich was first seen on the stage of Highlands Little Theatre in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s time honored comedy Arsenic and Old Lace as both The Rev. Dr. Harper and Police Lieutenant Rooney, in June, 1999.
His name surfaced in the playbill for John Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in a note from the President, Beverly Padgett, congratulating him on his Gracie Award and thanking him and his wife Goldie Garnich for their generous gift of new couches for Anthony’s Lounge.
In February his name appeared in the program of Cinderella, Cinderella, a CAT offering that was presented at the Lakeside Playhouse, for working on the Sound and Lighting of the show. In April, Gerry was one of the Shriners in Sue McCollum’s retro musical, Bye Bye, Birdie. In late July, his name appeared in another CAT program, Rumplestiltskin, thanking him for his help and interest. At the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Gerry was nominated and won a Board Service Award for Budget Overview, the standing Committee of which he has served as Chair for the past four years. He has also Chaired the Building Operations Committee.
In the Twenty-seventh Season Gerry’s name appears as one of the guests in the Nineteenth Annual First Nighter’s Commemorative Program and also in the program of the evening’s play, Jet Hansen’s revival of On Golden Pond, as one of the House Managers. In December Gerry played several parts in Mac Byron’s “Extra” Christmas Show, A Tuna Christmas. The following month, January 2001, Frank Oberhausen presented his block-busting show The King and I and once again Gerry’s name is listed among the House Managers as it did in the program for Jim McCollum’s musical, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in April. Gerry played Richard in Steve McDaniel’s comedy Moon Over Buffalo that opened in June. During Tammie Pollard’s powerful West Side Story, Gerry could be found in the company of the Soup, Salad, Dessert & Sous Chefs in HLT’s kitchen. Gerry has worked as a bartender in Anthony’s Lounge during Sunday shows for the past few seasons.
Gerry was part of the Twentieth Annual First-Nighters Gala at the beginning of the Twenty-eighth Season in November, 2001, and he appeared in that evening’s show, Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Guys and Dolls playing one of the Gamblers. During the next four presentations at HLT: Peter Pollard’s Foxfire; Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham, and Melanie Boulay’s Peter Pan, Gerry could be found in the lobby as a House Manager. He and his wife, Goldie, were seen on the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse on the night of the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards when they presented a special award to departing Eric Prugh and wishing him well in his humanitarian adventure in Africa. Gerry’s name has appeared in the program for Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s production of Man of La Mancha for once again managing the house. Gerry also served for three seasons as the one-man vacuum cleaner on Saturday and Sunday mornings during the run of the shows.
Most recently Gerry has appeared in HLT’s last nine playbills as either a member of the Anthony Lounge staff, or as a House Manager. At the 19th Annual Zenon Ceremonies he was awarded a Zenonfor his outstanding achievement as HLT’s Budget Committee Chairman.
Since Gerry has been associated with Highlands Little Theatre he has been mentioned in 26 playbills and 3 Zenon programs. He has now won 2 Zenons, participated in 2 First Nighter Galas, been cited in 31 HLT Newsletters, and 23 local news articles for a total of 85 citations. Thank you Gerry for your many efforts to keep making Highlands Little Theatre look as good physically and fiscally as it does today.

Photo of  Goldie  Garnich
Goldie Garnich
Past President, Life Member, and 24 Carat Asset By: Roy Riedy

Goldie Garnich was elected the 35th President of Highlands Little Theatre in April 2000, during its 26th Season, and reelected for a second term the following year. Her time in office was a time of renewal for the theater during which the Lakeside Playhouse was restored to mint condition and many needed improvements were made and state-of-the-art equipment installed. Her tenure was so appreciated that she was made a Life Member of the organization in April, 2002, at the end of her incumbency by a grateful membership. She is now a member of the Board of Directors by virtue of being a Past President.
Besides guiding the organization for the two years of her presidency she has found time to participate in 6 shows in which she played a Baroness and a nun in Frank Oberhausen’s 1999 Sound of Music; the toxic Martha Brewster in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s Arsenic and Old Lace; a chorus member of the 1999 Sounds of the Season; the Fairy Godmother in the February, 2000 Krista Flores CAT production of Cinderella, Cinderella; was a member of the adult chorus in Sue McCollum’s Bye Bye Birdie; played two female roles and a male one in Mac Byron’s “Extra” A Tuna Christmas; and worked on the wardrobe with Lisa Thomas for Mike Logsdon’s summer delight, Move Over Mrs. Markham.
Goldie has participated in three Zenon Ceremonies by presenting the Best Play award at two of them and with her husband, Gerry, giving a special presentation to Eric Prugh at the SeventeenthZenon Awards. She has managed to accumulate 88 citations since joining HLT in 1999 that include : 30 newspaper articles, 34 HLT Newsletters, 19 play programs and her name is on the attendance rolls of two Firstnighter Galas.
And now in the 29th Season, Mrs. Garnich is still very much with us. In addition to being on the Board of Directors, she is the chairperson of the Gourmet Division of HLT. She is a member of the Heartland Cultural Alliance (HCA) and in April, 2002 she was elected Vice President of that organization of which HLT is a member. Since May, 2000, Goldie has been the HLT representative for Sebring’s Downtown Merchants & Professional Association (DMPA).
And there is more, Goldie is still the chairperson of HLT’s Advertising Committee, a job she assumed earlier this year; she is still chairing the Special Events Committee, a job she’s had since 1999; and for the past three years is still co-chairman, with Dee McDonald of the Program Committee, the committee that solicits, negotiates, and develops advertisements for the seasonal play programs. She continues to manage the computer end of membership listing, and is a member of HLT’s new Building Committee. She has also been sighted more than once tending bar in Anthony’s Lounge and has been known to act as a cocktail waitress when needed.
Goldie Garnich has performed wonders during her two terms as president of Highlands Little Theatre and is still performing them. Thank you Goldie for using your inexhaustible supply of energy and many talents in promoting the Little’Theatre’s image and cause in Highlands County, you are truly a 24 carat asset.
Goldie’s most recent honor was awarded to her at the General Membership Meeting on August 3, 2006; it was accompanied by this tribute by Vanessa Logsdon, the theatre’s administrator:
“This month’s Gracie Winner has given so much to our organization that we can’t say thank you often enough. She has the energy of 10 people, and many wonder where they can buy whatever fuels her. In the past you have seen her in the kitchen, cleaning restrooms, painting floors, and helping to serve Sunday desserts, to name a few. However, she has never even been nominated before, because Board members are ineligible. So, for doing what you do, and doing what you did on the Fourth of July, this month’s long overdue Gracie Award goes to Goldie Garnich.”

Photo of  June  Gates
June Gates
Gracie Winner By: Roy Riedy

June Gates was recruited by Helen Curcio as part of the Sun ‘n Lakes sewing group that was responsible for producing many of the costumes of last season’s extravaganzas, Jennifer Westergom’s The Scarlet Pimpernel and Tammie Pollard’s dynamic Jesus Christ, Superstar. In the current Thirty-first Season, June has done sewing for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Music Man.

Nor has June limited herself to sewing, she has also been a great help in HLT’s salad prep. In the short time since she has joined Highlands Little Theatre, her name has already appeared in three play programs, a HLT Newsletter, and also been seen in three local news articles.

Thank you June for your vigorous volunteering, you have what HLT needs, skills, and the eagerness to help. HLT is grateful to you for your selflessness.

Photo of  Lee  Geiger
Lee Geiger
The Man Behind the Scenes By: Roy Riedy

Lee Geiger arrived at HLT in time to get a role in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s June, 1998 production of Paint Your Wagon as Dutchie, a hard drinking miner, a part that brought him a nomination at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony for a Best Actor in a Supporting Role.
In the Twenty-fifth Season, Lee worked on the Set Construction crew for Melanie Boulay’s remarkable The Wizard of Oz in November and in January on Peter Pollard’s brilliant The Miracle Worker in which he also played The Doctor. In April he was part of the Set Construction crew that worked on Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music, in which Lee also played the part of Franz the Butler. In July he was again part of Beverly Brando Gillilans’s Set Construction team for her edition of Arsenic and Old Lace and in August Lee was on the Kitchen Staff during Jet Hansen’s production of Noises Off.
John Lovelette opened HLT’s Twenty-sixth Season with his production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Lee played the role of Cheswick and as one would suspect also was part of the Stage Construction crew. Lee’s name appeared in Frank Oberhausen’s program for his January production of Annie Get Your Gun as one of the members of HLT’s Board of Directors and again in Sue McCollum’s program for her Bye Bye, Birdie in April of 2000. In June, Lee was back on the Kitchen Staff during Mike Logsdon’s wonderful Run For Your Wife, and in August he worked on the Set Construction for Melanie Boulay’s Oliver! At the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, Lee was rewarded with a Board Service Zenon for his ongoing work in Building Maintenance.
During the Twenty-seventh Season at HLT, Lee worked on Jet Hansen’s set for On Golden Pond and Frank Oberhausen’s for his reprise of The King and I, as he did for Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. During Steve McDaniel’s run of Moon Over Buffalo, and Tammie Pollard’s West Side Story, Lee returned to his duties on the kitchen line.
Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s Guys and Dolls opened HLT’s Twenty-eighth Season and Lee was part of the crew that built that set; Lee was on the Kitchen Staff during Peter Pollard’s Foxfire and Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, but returned to Set Construction for Mike Logsdon’s marvelous Move Over Mrs. Markham, and then went back to the kitchen during Melanie Boulay’s soaring Peter Pan.
Most recently Lee has worked on and acted in Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s exceptional Man of La Mancha, in which he appeared as the Captain of the Inquisition.
Since joining Highlands Little Theatre, Lee has been associated with 22 plays, he has received a Zenon and a Gracie Award. He has been a member of the Board of Directors and mentioned in 27 HLT Newsletters and 21 local news articles. He was spotlighted in the program of Man of La Mancha in which it was revealed that besides his busy schedule at the Little Theatre he still finds time to be a driver for the VA, transporting veterans to their appointments at either West Palm or Bay Pines facilities. I would like to join the directors of Man of La Mancha and all of the other directors, whom you have assisted Lee, and thank you too for a job well done! (43)

Lee passed away in 2011, and will be sorely missed.

Photo of  John  Gill
John Gill
A Versatile Volunteer By: Roy Riedy

John arrived at Highlands Little Theatre with the new millennium. His name first appeared in the January, 2000 HLT Newsletter. Since then he has been mentioned in seven other Newsletters and eleven play programs that include Annie Get Your Gun, The King and I, Guys and Dolls, and Brigadoon, which credit him with Set Construction, House Management, and several different activities in the Gourmet Division.
John received the Gracie Award in May, 2001, in appreciation for his welcome help in so many areas of necessary theatrical activities.
Besides his playbill and newsletter credits, John has been mentioned in seven local news articles for a total of twenty-seven citations. John has wasted no time in becoming a household word at Highlands Little Theatre and we thank him for his involvement.

Photo of  Nancy  Gill
Nancy Gill
Hard Work and Dedication By: Roy Riedy

When Nancy Gill and her husband John Gill received the Gracie Award in May, 2001, the dedication read: We are pleased to announce the recipient of the Gracie Award for May is Nancy and John Gill. Thank you, Nancy for your hard work and dedication in the Gourmet Division, as well as being a House Manager, along with your help in wardrobe, serving Sunday desserts. John for your hard work and dedication in cooking those great dinners as well as serving Sunday desserts.
Besides receiving the Gracie Award, Nancy has been mentioned in eleven play programs since she joined the Little Theatre and has seen her name appear in six HLT Newsletters and four local news articles for a total of twenty-two citations.
Thank you Nancy for your total involvement in the activities of Highlands Little Theatre, we couldn’t do without volunteers like you and your husband.

Photo of  Carl  Gillilan
Carl Gillilan
Actor, Singer, Musician By: Roy Riedy

Carl’s name first appeared in the program for Jim Lanier’s production of Gypsy in November, 1994, as a Spotlight Operator. Since that initial citation, his name has appeared in 9 other HLT programs. The following January, he was listed in Peter Pollard’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ program as one of the Stage Managers and two months later he appeared in Frank Oberhausen’s musical 1776 in the duel roles of the Painter and the Courier, roles that introduced his beautiful voice to HLT audiences.
In January of the following season Carl appeared in a non-singing role as the devious Reverend David M. Lee in Roy Riedy’s production of the Off-Broadway prize winning comedy, The Foreigner. He appeared again, two months later, as a villager in Frank Oberhausen’s Best Play production of Fiddler on the Roof in March, 1996. Tammie Pollard’s Play It Again, Sam was staged in June and Carl played the part of Dick Christie in the Woody Allen comedy. At the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards, at the end of the season, Carl was nominated for a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Dick in Play It Again, Sam.
At the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards held in October, 1997, Carl and Clell Ford gave the audience a preview of things to come when they sang “All For The Best,” from the upcoming production of Godspell.
Godspell, directed by Sue McCollum the following November, was the first show of HLT’s Twenty-fourth Season. Carl played the duel role of John/Judas and received a nomination for his part at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Ceremony the following October. In June of that season he was the Choral Director of Beverly Brando Gillilan’s musical Paint Your Wagon, a contribution that won him his first Production/Technical Zenon at the season’s close.
Carl worked on one play in the Twenty-fifth season, the June production of Arsenic and Old Lace, directed by Beverly Brando Gillilan, with the Set Construction Team.
Carl was last seen on the Lakeside Playhouse stage in Sue McCollum’s April, 2000, production of Bye Bye, Birdie, in which he starred as Albert Peterson. Carl received a nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the part of Albert at the October, 2000, Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony.
All told, Mr. Gillilan has been associated with 10 plays at HLT, he has been involved in 4 Zenon Ceremonies, has received a Zenon for his Music and Choral Direction and taken part in one Christmas show. He has been mentioned in 20 local news articles and 15 HLT Newsletters for a total of 50 Citations. HLT audiences await the next appearance of this gifted actor and musician.

Photo of  Bob  Given
Bob Given
Bob Given - Part of Our Great Design By: Roy Riedy

Bob Given’s association with the Little Theatre goes all the was back to HLT’s Seventh Season and play # 21 in November, 1980, when he collaborated on the Set Design of the musical Irene withFrank Oberhausen, Larry Wollangk, and Carol Gose. His name appeared a second time in January, 1983, when he was acknowledged for his aid with Peter Pollard’s presentation of the comedy Auntie Mame. In November, 1985, he was credited on the Production Page of Frank Oberhausen’s first presentation of the musical hit Annie with Larry Wollangk and Frank Oberhausen as the team responsible for the show’s Set Design. In April, 1986, Bob Given and Amy Meredith were credited with the Set Dressing for Peter Pollard’s presentation of Arsenic and Old Lace. Bob and Frank Oberhausen were responsible for the Set Design of Janelou Buck’s June, 1986, production of I Do, I Do; and the opening play of the Thirteenth Season, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum with Mr. Larry Wollangk, in November, 1986. The same trio were credited with the Set Design for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Fiddler on the Roof in March, 1987. At the Zenon Ceremonies at the end of the 13th season Bob Given, along with Frank Oberhausen, and Larry Wollangk, received his first Zenon for Best Set Design for Fiddler on the Roof. At the same ceremony Bob Given also received his 2nd Zenon, a Production/Technical Award.
Marian Dunham opened the Fourteenth Season with the musical comedy Cabaret with the Set Designed by Bob, Larry Wollangk, and David Warehime. In January, 1988, Bob was the Set Artist for Peter Pollard’s comedy Barefoot in the Park; and in March, 1988, he joined Frank Oberhausen in designing the Set for Frank’s production of Carousel, for which he received his third Zenon the following September with Mr. Oberhausen and Larry Wollangk.
Bob worked with Frank Oberhausen again in November, 1988, on the Set Design for Richard Oehring’s Man of LaMancha; and on the Set Art of The King and I, the following April, directed by Frank Oberhausen. In June, Bob and Liz Buell created the Set Design for Peter Pollard’s Sweet Charity, and its Set Art with Steve Van Dam. Both Man of LaMancha and Sweet Charity received Best Set nominations at the following September Zenon Awards.
Hello Dolly was directed by Janelou Buck in June, 1990 and Bob was part of her Set Construction crew. In March, 1991, Bob was a member of Frank Oberhausen’s Set Design team for his production of The Music Man which received a nomination for Best Set Design the following October at the Sixth Annual Zenon Ceremony. In April, 1993, Mr. Oberhausen reprised Camelot for which Bob was part of the Set Art Crew, a job he also did for Mr. Oberhausen’s revival of South Pacific, in April, 1994.
During HLT’s Twenty-first Season, Bob worked on two plays. Peter Pollard’s Ain’t Misbehavin’ in January, 1995, as part of the Set Construction team; and on Frank Oberhausen’s April production of 1776 as a member of the Set Art artists. The next March Frank Oberhausen reprised Fiddler on the Roof and Bob was part of the Set Design team that won the Best Set of the Season, giving Bob his fourth Zenon for his contribution to the winning design.
Bob worked on four productions during the Twenty-third Season. In January he designed the tree for Melanie Boulay’s To Kill a Mockingbird; in April he worked with the Set Design team on Frank Oberhausen’s production of La Cage aux Folles; in June during Mac Byron’s George Washington Slept Here, he worked with the kitchen staff of Gourmet; and in August he worked with the Set Design team for Tammie Pollard’s reprise of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. At the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Bob was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon for his Set Decoration for To Kill a Mockingbird.
During the next three Seasons, The Twenty-fourth through the Twenty-sixth, Bob worked on all 15 productions presented in that period. In the Twenty-seventh Season he worked on four plays. In November he was a member of the Set Construction team for Jet Hansen’s revival of On Golden Pond; he worked with the kitchen staff during the next three plays, Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The King and I; Jim McCollum’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; and Steve McDaniel’s Moon over Buffalo.
Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Guys and Dolls opened the Twenty-eighth Season at HLT and Bob was a member of the Set Design team for the play which received a nomination for Best Set Design at the October Zenon Ceremony. Most recently Mr. Given has again worked with Frank Oberhausen and Larry Wollangk on Mr. Oberhausen’s revival of Man of LaMancha in November, 2002, the first play of the Twenty-ninth Season, which at the 18th Zenon Ceremony in October, 2003, brought him his fifth Zenon.
In all, Mr. Given has been associated with 46 plays and 7 Zenon Ceremonies since he joined HLT twenty-four years ago. He has been awarded five Production/Technical Zenons for his designs; his name has appeared in 14 HLT Newsletters and 24 local new articles for a total of 93 Citations. Mr. Given has made a valuable contribution to Highlands Little Theatre’s overall blueprint and for this we at HLT are most grateful. Thank you Bob for your many long, but profitable hours.

Photo of  Bob & Gwen  Given
Bob & Gwen Given
A Gracie and a Zenon in less than 4 months By: Roy Riedy

Nothing reveals the worth of HLT volunteers Bob and Gwen Given better than this announcement written by Vanessa Logsdon and read by President Boulay at the June 1st HLT Membership Meeting.
“Over a year ago, we were having serious problems getting enough help in the kitchen. June’s Gracie winners not only answered that call for help, but committed themselves to every dinner show since. Every Friday and Saturday afternoon, they would come in and start by pumping gallons of salad dressing into tiny serving cups, then prep the salad ingredients, plate the salads, and hours later finish up by plating the desserts. Not content to “just” provide help, they also organized the whole process, including color illustrations, so that anyone at any time would be able to walk in and understand what needed to be done. Yes, they always had help, sometimes literally pulled in at the last minute, but it was their consistent presence and leadership that ensured there would be no problems with the salad or dessert portion of the dinner service. And, like the troupers they are, while we try using outside catering, they have stepped right up and agreed to coordinate the dessert prep for the Sunday afternoon shows. While one of them may have actually coerced the other one into this role, I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award than Bob and Gwen Given.”
Congratulations are certainly in order for these loyal “troopers,” Gwen and Bob Given, the entire membership applauds you.
And indeed there was more truth than poetry in those final words about the entire membership applauding the Givens. On Saturday evening, October 7, 2006, everyone in HLT’s Lakeside Playhouse was applauding Gwen and Bob when presenters Lisa Thomas and Jennifer Westergom told the 21st Zenon audience that the Givens were the recipients of a Board Service Zenonfor “their tireless work in Gourmet.”
The award is the sixth Zenon to be received by Bob and puts him in thirteenth place as a Zenon winner. The award is the first Zenon to be received by Gwen, a well deserved and overdue tribute for Mr. Given’s “stage widow.” Congratulations Bob and Gwen, you are truly “troopers” with a capital “T”.

Photo of  Carol  Gose
Carol Gose
An Important Pioneer By: Roy Riedy

Carol Gose’s HLT credentials are formidable. She has been connected with the Little Theatre since its first show, Pure As The Driven Show, and 37 others during her two decades plus association with the theatrical group. She attended the first First Nighter Gala in November,1982, which signaled the beginning of the first full season at HLT’s permanent home, The Lakeside Playhouse. She has been mentioned in 83 news articles, and in 33 HLT Newsletter. She has directed or co-directed 4 musicals, been involved in 4 Zenon Ceremonies and received a Zenon at the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies for her choreography in the musical Hello Dolly. In a way, Carol’s contribution to the growth of HLT is not reflected in Zenons received, for it must be remembered that the bulk of Ms. Gose’s work at HLT was done before the Zenon Awards were introduced in 1986.
Carol was involved in 11 of the 16 plays presented in the first five years of HLT’s existence. More often than not her name was associated with the design and decoration of the set, the stage crew, make-up, choreography, and the play’s program. In the fifth season she acted as the secretary of the organization and began to appear on stage. In Dirty Work at the Crossroads in November, 1978, she did the soft shoe with Mike Leach in what was called an “Oleo act” that took place between the main acts of the show. In May of 1979, Carol appeared as Fruma Sarah in HLT’s first musical, Fiddler on the Roof, which was presented in the then brand new auditorium at SFCC. Her second role was in the last play of HLT’s first five years, Plaza Suite in which she appeared as Norma Hubley in Act Three of Neil Simon’s triptych of plays.
Ms. Gose was even busier in the second five years of HLT early history, for she was associated with 18 of the 21 plays produced during that period. She designed the program covers for 15 of these 18 plays and many of their posters. Carol appeared in HLT’s second musical South Pacific as one of the nurses in the chorus. In September, 1980, she worked with the wardrobe of the comedy, My Three Angels, the first Dinner Theatre put on by HLT at the Sebring Civic Center. In November, she co-directed, with Janelou Buck, the musical Irene, the third musical that was done by HLT. In February, 1981 she appeared in HLT’s fourth musical, My Fair Lady, as Lady Boxington, and in May produced the second Dinner Show, Subject to Change again at the Civic Center. The fifth musical, The Sound of Music, was also held at the SFCC auditorium, Carol, now a member of the Board of Directors, was responsible for the set design, complete with Tyrolean Alps.
In February, 1982, the melodrama, No Mother to Guide Her, the third Dinner Show, was held in what was then called The City Pier which foreshadowed things to come for two shows later, the “Pier” had become the Lakeside Playhouse and the permanent home of HLT. Carol did the set design for the melodrama. Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, HLT’s sixth musical and fourth dinner show was held at the Sebring Civic Center, the show was choreographed by Ms. Gose. In August, 1982, Marian Dunham directed Teahouse of the August Moon, the fifth dinner show and the first show to officially be performed in the permanent home of the wandering players. Like the Israelites, HLT had reached their Promised Land. Once again Carol designed and executed the backdrops for the show.
The musical Camelot inaugurated the HLT’s Ninth Season in November, 1982. The show was the seventh musical to be given by the Little Theatre and the first to be presented at the Lakeside Playhouse, the Gourmet Division was in place and Dinner Theatre had arrived in Sebring. Auntie Mame followed Camelot which was followed by Guys and Dolls, directed by Carol. After the Lakeside Playhouse became HLT’s home Carol devoted more time to the Gourmet Division in which she worked as a waitress and in the beverage division. The last play of the Ninth Season was the comedy Heaven Can Wait in which Carol appeared as Julia Farnsworth. In June, 1984, Carol directed Cole Porter’s Can Can, HLT’s 11th musical and the 29th show with which she had been associated.
The drama, The Lion in Winter, ushered in the beginning of HLT’s third five year period, during the run of this show, Carol worked as a waitress in the Gourmet Division. In February, 1985 Ms. Gose directed her fourth and last play at HLT, the musical Pajama Game, not only did she direct the show but she designed the set, worked on its construction, and did the choreography, and still found time to work at the salad bar during its three week run. Her show was followed by the well known comedy The Man Who Came To Dinner, for which Carol acted as a House Manager and also worked at the salad bar. The musical Brigadoon followed and Carol again worked as a waitress in the Gourmet Division. The last play of this season was Once Upon a Mattress to which Carol contributed the Set Art and Choreography.
At the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in September, 1988, Ms. Gose was nominated for the highly prized Significant Achievement Award. Her last contribution to the Third Five Year Period of HLT history was in August, 1989 when she designed the program cover for the reprise of the popular comedy, Mister Roberts.
Carol was involved in three plays during the Fourth Five Year period of HLT (1989-1994).
She was the choreographer for the musical Hello Dolly in June, 1990 and at the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October was awarded her first Zenon for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography for her stunning work in Hello Dolly. In the summer of 1992 she did the Set Design for the courtroom drama Inherit the Wind and received a nomination at the Seventh Zenon Ceremonies for Best Set Design. Her last effort for Highlands Little Theatre before moving from Sebring was the choreography she did for the pioneering and classic musical Show Boat in August, 1993, directed by Jet Hansen.
Carol’s involvement and devotion to and for HLT’s history and growth is best told by the statistics she accumulated during her association with the organization. She was twice an officer of HLT, was associated with four Zenon Ceremonies, received a Zenon for her choreography, worked in some capacity with thirty-eight of the theatre’s dramatic presentations, was cited in thirty-three HLT Newsletters and eighty-three local news articles for a total of one hundred and fifty-nine citations, an outstanding number for an outstanding member.

Photo of  Paul  Goyette
Paul Goyette
Early Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

Paul’s first appearance in a HLT program was at the very end of the Twelfth Season, in the August, 1986, program for Sue McCollum’s three woman comedy, Vanities, in which he was named as being on the Stage Crew and a member of the Set Construction Team.
Paul did participate in all five shows of the Thirteenth Season. In November, he was a member of the Set Construction Team, of Marian Dunham’s production A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Paul played one of the Proteans in the play and worked in the Salad/Dessert division of the Gourmet Staff during the show’s run. In January, he played Tony Kirby in Barbara Smith’s comedy, You Can’t Take It With You, and was a member of its Set Construction Team. Frank Oberhausen reprised Fiddler on the Roof in March in which Paul played the Constable besides being a member of the Set Construction Team and working in Gourmet with the Salad/Dessert section.
For Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa’s June Fantastiks, Paul worked with the Set Construction Team and during the show worked in Gourmet with Salads and Desserts. Paul was an Understudy for Jet Hansen’s August presentation of the comedy The Odd Couple and also a member of the Set Construction Team and the Stage Crew. In early October, at the Second Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Paul was the recipient of a Board Service Award for his many services to the theater during the Thirteenth Season.
During the Fourteenth Season, Paul was associated with four of the five shows. He was a member of the Stage Crew for Peter Pollard’s January, 1988, presentation of Barefoot in the Park, and also made the Video Tape of the show. In March, he was member of Frank Oberhausen’s Set Construction Team for his musical, Carousel; in June, during Janelou Buck’s comedy, California Suite, Paul worked as a waiter with the Gourmet Staff. Teri Klix’s Damn Yankees, presented in August, brought Paul back to the stage as Smokey, a member of the Yankee team.
Paul was associated with all five shows of the Fifteenth Season. He worked on the Set Construction Team and Stage Crew for Richard Oehring’s Man of La Mancha, and also waited tables for Gourmet; he was on Tena Conyer’s Set Construction Team and Stage Crew for her comedy Harvey, and also the Script Supervisor for the play and waited tables for Gourmet. Paul played The Interpreter in Frank Oberhausen’s April presentation of the musical The King and I, besides being a member of the Set Construction Team and waiting on tables for the Gourmet Staff. Paul was a member of Peter Pollard’s Stage Crew for his June musical Sweet Charity; and in August he played Wiley in Janelou Buck’s reprise of Mister Roberts as well as being a member of the Set Construction Team and seemingly, an eternal waiter for Gourmet.
Paul was last seen on the Lakeside Playhouse stage in the Sixteenth Season’s first show, Marian Dunham’s musical comedy, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, in the part of Michael Tobin. The last time his name was seen in a HLT program was the second show of the Sixteenth Season, Peter Pollard’s comedy On Golden Pond, when he was listed as the Assistant Director and Stage Manager of the show and also a member of the Set Construction Team and not surprising, a waiter for Gourmet.
During Paul’s five seasons with Highlands Little Theatre he was associated with seventeen plays, one Zenon Ceremony, and one First Nighter Gala. He received a Board Service Zenon at the Second Annual Zenon Awards for his many services to the theatre during the Thirteenth Season, and nominated for a Best Stage Manager Award for his work with On Golden Pond in the Sixteenth Season. He was listed in three Zenon Programs, ten HLT newsletters, and twelve local news items for a total of forty-three citations. Paul was an ideal volunteer, always available to help when and where help was needed.

Photo of  Joe  Grecko
Joe Grecko
Volunteer Spirit By: Roy Riedy

The first play program that Joe Grecko’s name appeared in was Frank Oberhausen’s January, 2001, reprise of The King and I. Since then his name has appeared in seven more playbills, the latest being Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s March, 2003, revival of Brigadoon.
Joe and his wife Leah received their Gracie Award in May, 2002, which bore this dedication: “Leah and Joe Greko . What a pair! Ever since they became members of HLT, they joined right in. Leah has worked in Wardrobe on several shows, both are House Managers, and both work in Gourmet. Joe has also been seen working backstage on set construction. They are both deserving of this award and we thank them for their volunteer spirit, loyalty and dedication to HLT. Thank you, Leah and Joe.”
Besides being mentioned in the play programs and the Gracie Award dedication, Joe’s name has appeared in four HLT Newsletters and four local news articles for a total of seventeen citations.
Thank you Joe for your interest in and support of Highlands Little Theatre, the organization would not exist without volunteers like you and your wife.

Photo of  Leah  Grecko
Leah Grecko
Leah Grecko - Into Wardrobe, House Managment and Gourmet By: Roy Riedy

The first play program Leah Grecko’s name appeared in was Frank Oberhausen’s January, 2001, reprise of The King and I. Since then Leah’s name has appeared in eight more playbills, the latest being Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s March, 2003, revival of Brigadoon.
Leah and her husband Joe received their Gracie Award in May, 2002, which bore this dedication: “Leah and Joe Grecko . What a pair! Ever since they became members of HLT, they joined right in. Leah has worked in Wardrobe on several shows, both are House Managers, and both work in Gourmet. Joe has also been seen working backstage on set construction. They are both deserving of this award and we thank them for their volunteer spirit, loyalty and dedication to HLT. Thank you, Leah and Joe.”
Besides being mentioned in the play programs and the Gracie Award dedication, Leah’s name has appeared in seven HLT Newsletters and six local news articles for a total of twenty-three citations.
Thank you Leah for your interest in and support of Highlands Little Theatre, the organization would not exist without volunteers like you and your husband.

Photo of  Mary  Guaraldi
Mary Guaraldi
Mary Guaraldi - Actress, Costumer, and Waitress By: Roy Riedy

Mary Guaraldi debuted as Veta Louise Simmons at Highlands Little Theatre in January, 1989, in Tena Conyer’s reprise of Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize play, Harvey. She was not a first-time performer though. She began acting in college and was involved in Little Theater work in California and Massachusetts before moving to Sebring. In April of 1989 she was a Wardrobe Seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s original production of The King and I and she worked with Leena Violette on Costumes for Janelou Buck’s reprise of Mister Roberts in August, 1989. At the Fourth Zenon Awards in late September Mary was nominated for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her role as Veta Louise Simmons in Harvey, and won her first Zenon as a member of the Costuming team for The King and I.
Marian Dunham’s The Unsinkable Molly Brown opened the Sixteenth Season at HLT with Mary again concerned with the play’s costumes and also in the cast as Mrs. McGlone. In January, Peter Pollard directed On Golden Pond and chose Mary for the part of Ethel Thayer. Janelou Buck directed Hello Dolly in June with Leena Violette and Mary responsible for the Costume Design for the musical; and in August, Tena Conyer directed a reprise of Don’t Drink the Water and Mary, once again, worked with Leena Violette with the costumes. At the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Mary received three nominations, one for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her Mrs. McGlone; a Best Costuming Award for her work with Leena Violette on Hello Dolly, and the third, a Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for her part of Ethel in On Golden Pond.
The musical Oklahoma! opened the Seventeenth Season at the Little Theatre and Mary and Leena Violette were in charge of its Costumes. In March, 1991, Frank Oberhausen directed The Music Man and Mary and Leena Violette were again in charge of the Costumes. During Tena Conyer’s presentation of Little Shop of Horrors in June, Mary worked as a waitress with the Gourmet Staff. Walter Zelenenki directed The Seven Year Itch in August with Mary in charge of the Wardrobe. At Zenon time, Mary’s name appeared three times as a nominee for a Best Costuming Zenon, her name was nominated with Leena Violette’s for Oklahoma! and again the pair were nominated for The Music Man; Mary’s name appeared alone as the nominee for The Seven Year Itch. The Zenon went to Mary and Leena Violette for their Costumes in Oklahoma! It was Mary’s second Zenon.
Jet Hansen opened the Eighteenth Season of the Lakeside Playhouse with the musical Mame with Mary as one of his Wardrobe Seamstresses. In January, 1992, Peter Pollard presented They’re Playing Our Song and Mary again worked in the dining room with the Gourmet waiting staff. Funny Girl was directed by Frank Oberhausen in April with Mary playing the part of Mrs. Winston on stage, and backstage as a Wardrobe Seamstress. In June, Janelou Buck directed Inherit The Wind in which Mary played Mrs. Brady. The last play of the season was Marian Dunham’s reprise of The Teahouse of the August Moon, and once again Mary worked with the Gourmet Staff. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards in early October, Mary received two Costuming nominations: she was on the team that was nominated for Mame, and she and Leena Violette were nominated for their work for Funny Girl.
The hilarious comedy, directed by Tena Conyer, Nunsense, ushered in the Nineteenth Season. Mary worked with the Gourmet Team in the dining room during the show. In January, Walter Zelenenki directed the comedy Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, and once again, during the run of the show Mary worked with the Gourmet Staff. Mary was backstage with the Wardrobe Seamstresses for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Camelot in April, and in June, during Marian Dunham’s The Philadelphia Story, she was back in the dining room with the Gourmet Staff. Mary was the Wardrobe Seamstress for Jet Hansen’s August production of Show Boat. At the Eighth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in early October, she received a nomination for Best Costuming for her work with Helen Curcio and Leena Violette for Show Boat.
During the Twentieth Season Mary worked with Gourmet during three shows and was a Wardrobe Seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of South Pacific in April, 1994, and Marian Dunham’s Meet Me in St. Louis in August.
The Twenty-first Season was Mary’s last season with HLT. She worked as a Wardrobe Assistant in four of the six shows present that season: Jim Lanier’s Gypsy in November; Roy Riedy’s And the World Goes ‘Round in December; Frank Oberhausen’s 1776 in March, and Marian Dunham’s Gigi, in August. At the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Gypsy, 1776, and Gigi, were all nominated for Best Costuming.
During her 6 years with Highlands Little Theatre, Mary was associated with 29 plays and 6 Zenon Ceremonies. She received 2 Zenons for her Costuming and was nominated for 9 other awards. Her name appeared in 15 HLT Newsletters and in 13 local news articles for a total of 63 Citations. Highlands Little Theatre is indebted to her for sharing her many abilities with its members, there is nothing like working with a professional to improve one’s abilities, and Mary did that for the Little Theatre.

Photo of  Virginia  Guercia
Virginia Guercia
Virginia Guercia - A Ten Season Member By: Roy Riedy

Virginia Guercia’s name first appears as a House Manager in the program for Barbara Smith’s production of No, No, Nanette, which was presented at the Lakeside Playhouse in January – February, 1986; and again, as a House Manager, in June of that year, in the program of Janelou Buck’s production of I Do, I Do. She was also listed in a third program of the Twelfth Season, Vanities, directed by Sue McCollum and presented in August – September of 1986.
Virginia participated as a House Manager in four of the five plays during the Thirteenth Season: A Funny thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, directed by Marian Dunham in November, 1986;Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Fiddler on the Roof in March – April, 1987; The Fantastiks, Co-directed by Dick Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa in June, 1987; and The Odd Couple, reprised by Jet Hansen in August – September.
The Fourteenth Season was a reprise of the Thirteenth, Virginia served as a House Manager for four shows: Peter Pollard’s Barefoot in the Park in January, 1988; Frank Oberhausen’s Carousel in April; California Suite, directed by Janelou Buck in June; and Damn Yankees, directed by Teri Klix in August.
The Fifteenth Season was a little different than the previous ones, it was the occasion of Virginia’s first appearance on the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse, which was a chorus part in Richard Oehring’s production of Man of La Mancha. Virginia was a House Manager for the remaining four plays of the season: Tena Conyer’s Harvey in January; Frank Oberhausen’s King and I in April; Peter Pollard’s Sweet Charity in June; and Janelou Buck’s reprise of Mister Roberts in August – September, 1989.
Virginia got more theatrically diversified during the Sixteenth Season. Her name appeared with those responsible for the Costumes of Marian Dunham’s November opener, The Unsinkable Molly Brown; in which she played the part of the Countess Ethanotous and even found time to be a House Manager. For Peter Pollard’s January, On Golden Pond, Virginia was a House Manager. In March, 1990, Virginia collaborated with Leena Violette on the Costumes of Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of My Fair Lady and also played the Queen of Transylvania, in the play and also served as a House Manager, which she also did the final two shows of the season: Janelou Buck’s Hello Dolly in June, and Tena Conyer’s Don’t Drink the Water in August. In October, Virginia received her first Zenon at the Fifth Annual Awards Ceremony with Leena Violette and Liz Buell, for their work on the costumes of My Fair Lady.
During the Seventeenth Season Virginia was involved with Set Construction and acted as House Manager during all five of the season’s plays.
Virginia worked on Set Construction and as a House Manager during the first two plays of the Eighteenth Season, for the third, Frank Oberhausen’s Funny Girl, she played the role of an Actress. She returned to be a House Manager during Marian Dunham’s The Teahouse of the August Moon.
During the Nineteenth Season, Virginia, now Mrs. Wilbur Young, worked as a House Manager during all five shows, which she continued doing during the Twentieth and Twenty-first Season.
During her ten seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, Virginia was associated with 43 plays, she was mentioned in two Zenon programs and received a Best Costuming Zenon during the Sixteenth Season. Her name was mentioned in 13 HLT Newsletters, and 3 local news articles for a total of 61 Citations. She was a very familiar face at HLT for ten consecutive seasons.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Barbara Ann "Bobbie" Haege
Barbara Ann "Bobbie" Haege
Dedication And Conscientious Efforts By: Roy Riedy

Bobbie Haege’s name was first associated with Highlands Little Theatre eleven years ago when her name appeared in the playbill of Peter Pollard’s production of They’re Playing Our Song. Bobbie’s name was one of five that were credited as working with the costumes of that play. Since that time her name has appeared in the programs of twelve other plays. The last play was the January, 2003, reprise of Steel Magnolias, again directed by Mr. Pollard. Mrs. Haege was working on the costumes for this production when she passed away a few days before Christmas.
Bobbie received her Gracie Award in January, 2002, which was accompanied by this tribute: “January’s Gracie Award recipient was Bobbie Haege for her dedication and conscientious efforts in locating props, costumes, materials and items for the theater in her daily wardrobe travels. She has helped in the Wardrobe Department spending countless hours – cleaning, straightening up, washing, ironing, sewing. She as been there in a crisis before a show and even during it. Thanks for being there for us Bobbie! Keep up the good work.”
In addition to her credits in the thirteen playbills and her Gracie Award, Bobbie was mentioned in two Zenon programs in which she was nominated for Best Costuming Awards in 1992, for They’re Playing Our Song and again in 2002, for Foxfire. Her name also appeared in one First Nighter program, eleven HLT Newsletters, and twenty-one local news articles for a grand total of forty-eight citations. Her many contributions to HLT will be greatly missed.

Photo of  Amanda  Hall
Amanda Hall
Growing up at HLT By: Roy Riedy

Amanda Hall has done a lot of work at Highlands Little Theatre since she joined four years ago in early 1998. Since then she has been involved in fourteen events and acted or sang in thirteen of them.
Audiences caught their first glimpse of Amanda, then a fifth grader, in Frank Oberhausen’s acclaimed reprise of Annie in April, 1998, in which the budding star played an orphan named Kate. In November of the same year she appeared as one of a trio known as the Lullaby League in Melanie Boulay’s record tying production of The Wizard of Oz. The show is tied with two Frank Oberhausen shows, his 1996 Fiddler on the Roof, and his 2001 The King and I as one if the three most decorated shows in HLT history, shows that have been awarded an astonishing nine Zenons each.
At Christmas time Amanda appeared in the second “Project of Unity In The Community,” their annual Sounds of The Season at HLT in which she tap danced and sang The Most Wonderful Day of the Year to a very appreciative audience.
The following month, January, 1999, Peter Pollard’s production of The Miracle Worker opened at The Lakeside Playhouse with Amanda playing one of the blind girls that Helen Keller meets when she attends the Perkins School in Boston, Massachusetts. In April, Amanda got her very own picture in the program of Frank Oberhausen’s revival of the great Rogers and Hammerstein success The Sound of Music in which she played Brigitta, one of the younger von Trapp children.
In January, 2000 Amanda appeared again in another Frank Oberhausen revival, this time Irving Berlin’s great hit, Annie Get Your Gun playing the part of Jessie. She was now a seventh grade honor student at Hill-Gustat Middle School and also a cheerleader and member of the chorus, participating in dance and gymnastics.
Her first big role occurred in August of 2000, when she played the gender bending role of Oliver Twist in Melanie Boulay’s revival of Lionel Bart’s Dickensian musical Oliver! Amanda was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies in October for her outstanding performance.
A year later in August, 2001, Amanda, now a rising freshman in high school, played the part of a member of the Jet Gang in Tammie Pollard’s courageous production of the Bernstein/Sondheim classic West Side Story, a play that won four awards at the Zenon Ceremonies that closed that season and in which Amanda sang as a member of the chorus.
Frank Oberhausen opened the Twenty-eighth Season with Frank Loesser’s carefree Guys and Dolls, and Amanda appeared in it as one of the six dancing Hot Box Girls; the following play was Peter Pollard’s production of Foxfire in which Amanda worked on its set construction.
Her biggest part to date came in August of 2002, when she played Peter Pan in Melanie Boulay’s soaring production of the same name. Amanda was nominated for and receive the Best Actress in a Leading Role Zenon for her flawless interpretation of frequent flyer Peter at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies at which she sang “Bring on Tomorrow” from Fame as part of the entertainment of the evening.
In all, Ms. Hall has participated in eleven plays and three Zenon Ceremonies at HLT. She has been mentioned in a dozen HLT Newsletters and almost three dozen news articles in the local papers for a very impressive 60 citations. We can only guess at the wonders to come.

Photo of  Ken  Hall
Ken Hall
Tireless Volunteer, who has earned a Gracie and now Two Zenons By: Roy Riedy

Goldie Garnich had this to say of Ken’s generous help at HLT and the basis for his May Gracie Award recognition: “He volunteered for almost everything for several months, from various maintenance (putting in the cigarette disposal containers), to helping wardrobe, to prepping and painting the Pavilion floor for the dedication, to putting the lounge chairs together, helping to get the lounge ready for its opening, moving furniture for special events, working in gourmet, and all this while working on several shows as well. I know there’s more, but he is a dedicated and loyal HLT member and volunteer.”
Ken’s name first surfaced in a January, 2003 News-Sun article about an up-coming combined forces production of The Journey of Sir Douglas Fir, which would include SFCC’s Community Orchestra and Music Department, CAT, and HLT actors in which Mr. Hall would take the part of the narrator. The following month in the February 2003, HLT Newsletter, Directors Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen listed Ken as the actor who would play the role of Mr. Lundie, in their March reprise of the musical Brigadoon.
In the June, 2003 HLT Newsletter, Sue McCollum announced the cast of her August revival of The Fantastiks with Ken playing the part of Henry (the actor). Later in June, Ken Hall’s name appeared in Allen Branch’s program for The Hound of the Baskervilles as a member of his Set Construction Team.
In September, 2003, Mr. Hall’s name was included in a News-Sun article as one of the actors who was nominated for a Zenon Award in early October. Ken was selected for his portrayal of Mr. Lundie in the Kathy MacNeill-Frank Oberhausen revival of Brigadoon.
HLT’s Thirtieth Season opened with Melanie Boulay’s wonderful musical revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in late October 2003, Ken’s name appeared in the program for the revue as a member of the Set Construction team.
The HLT Newsletter for January, 2004 included the announcement that Ken would play the dual roles of St. Cyr and the Prince of Wales in Jennifer Westergom’s March production of the musical The Scarlet Pimpernel. The first Saturday in January saw Ken leading backstage tours of HLT during the Sebring Arts and Heritage Festival. At the Fourth of July Patriotic Review, Ken read excerpts from the Declaration of Independence. He also served as a lighting technician for Tammie Pollard’s Jesus Christ, Superstar in August and the Zenon Ceremonies in October.
The Thirty-first Season opened with Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Music Man with Ken Hall playing the part of Mayor Shinn. Also in November, Ken played the part of the Florida Indian chief Osceola in Cracker Round-up, a shortened version of the story of Florida presented by the Florida Heartland Heritage Foundation, to publicize the projected drama to be presented in the amphitheater scheduled for 2006 construction in Lake Placid. In January Ken’s name appeared in Peter Pollard’s program for The Allergist’s Wife, as a member of the Set Construction Team, in March for Set Construction on the musical Barnum, and in August as one of the four Master Set Builders of the set for the revival of the Zenon winning Cabaret. In October at the Twentieth Anniversary of the Annual Zenon Awards, Ken won his first Zenon, a Board Service Award for his outstanding achievement in Gourmet and general maintenance, with the added comment that “he was always there when needed.”
Ken hasn’t been idle since he received his first Zenon at the end of the Thirty-first Season, his theatrical activites in the Thirty-second Season have included: one of the Set Constuction Crew Chiefs for Denise Miriani’s January, 2006, presentation of Wait Until Dark; Set Construction Chief for Joe Willis’ March musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and the role of Mr. Perkins, one of the musical’s townspeople.
In April Ken worked on the Set Construction for Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s “Extra” revue, Broadway in Concert; in June he worked on Mac Byron’s set for Drop Dead and played two roles in the play; and finally, on the Fourth of July, Ken participated in HLT’s Fund Raising Patrotic Revue, directed by Kristin Taylor, not only as part of the production crew but also in a stirring performance of Aaron Copeland’s Lincoln Portrait.
In October, Ken was recognized for his theatrical labors when he received his second Zenon, a Production/Technical Award, for his work as the Construction Foreman for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Drop Dead.
Congratulations on your latest Zenon, Ken, and thanks for the countless hours you have devoted to HLT as a volunteer making the Little Theatre the outstanding organization it has become by the attention it gets from generous people like you.

Photo of  Warren  Hall
Warren Hall
Twenty-four Consecutive Shows By: Roy Riedy

Warren Hall’s name appeared for the first time in the January, 1999, Highlands Little Theatre playbill of Peter Pollard’s outstanding production of The Miracle Worker as a member of the Gourmet Staff. Since that initial appearance, his name has reappeared as a member of the Kitchen Staff in an unbroken sequence for the following twenty-three main stage productions, his last sighting appearing in the latest Lakeside Playhouse production, Sue McCollum’s August, 2003, revival of The Fantastiks.
Besides his two dozen credits in the playbills, Mr. Hall has been mentioned in two HLT Newsletters: In January, 2000, he was commended by President Beverly Padgett for being one of the 45 “Christmas Elves” that volunteered to help with two special Yuletide dinners; and in the July, 2003, Newsletter, the following congratulations appeared: June Gracie Award: Warren Hall
Congratulations to Mr. Warren Hall, the Gracie Award Winner for June 2003. Warren, father of Highlands Little Theatre youngster Amanda Hall, has donated countless hours “behind the scenes” at the theater. Most often he is seen diligently working in the Gourmet Department serving up meals for our patrons. Thank you, Warren, for your long-term dedication to HLT. We truly appreciate all of your dedication to making HLT the best it can be, and we hope to see your smiling face for many years to come!
Mr. Warren Hall is one of the reasons why Highlands Little Theatre has merited its outstanding reputation as one of our county’s great assets. Thank you Warren for defining and being an example of what a good volunteer can do and accomplish.

Photo of  Jenna  Hansen
Jenna Hansen
A Zenon winner in her second play By: Roy Riedy

Jenna Hansen’s name appeared for the first time in the HLT Newsletter for June, 2001 when she was announced as being selected as one of Shark girls in an article by the director of the upcoming musical West Side Story, Tammie Pollard. By the time the program for West Side Story had been printed, Jenna was photographed as a member of the rival gang the Jets, but still listed as a Shark. Perhaps, if more members of this variation on the Romeo and Juliet story were as conciliatory as she appeared in the program, tragedy might have been avoided between the Sharks and the Jets.
At the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October of 2001, Jenna’s name appeared again as one of the members of the chorus that participated in that evening entertainment.
Jenna’s second part at The Lakeside Playhouse was that of Wendy Darling in Melanie Boulay’s soaring presentation of the musical version of J.M. Barrie’s much loved children’s play, Peter Pan. Her fine performance was rewarded with a Zenon for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, one of the eight Zenons that Peter Pan accumulated that season, and in doing so, the musical gained the added distinction of being the second most decorated show in HLT history.
To date, Jenna has gained 20 citations at Highlands Little Theatre, her name has been in two play and Zenon programs, five HLT Newsletters, and in eleven news articles by local papers.
Congratulations Jenna on your wonderful and speedy success. Your talent foreshadows an outstanding career at Highlands Little Theatre and your next appearance is looked forward to with pleasure and anticipation.

Photo of  Jet  Hansen
Jet Hansen
Nineteenth Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award Winner By: Roy Riedy

Jet Hansen had to go without recognition for his behind the scenes work on the first three plays that he was involved with at HLT. In all cases: South Pacific, in November,1979; Camelot, in November, 1982, both directed by Frank Oberhausen; and a third show, Guys and Dolls, directed by Carol Gose in April of 1983; Jet was asked to lend a hand after the play programs had been printed, leaving him uncredited and officially unappreciated, but as we have come to know, things did change.
His name did eventually appear for the first time in the program of the first production of Annie Get Your Gun, in February, 1984 as Mr. Schuyler Adams near the bottom of the list. Two plays later, in the June,1984 production of Carol Gose’s Can-Can, Jet’s name headed the cast list as the Bailiff, and again, two months later, he was listed as the Stage Manager of Peter Pollard’s carefree The Owl and the Pussycat; Jet had caught the theatrical bug and caught it good. Besides these appearances in early Playhouse programs, his name has appeared in HLT Newsletters, later programs, and newspaper articles no less than 249 more times.
Mr. Hansen’s first effort at directing was in August of 1987 when he served as Tina Conyer’s co-director of The Odd Couple. The play won a Best Supporting Zenon for Susan Spiegel for her part as Gwendolyn Pigeon at the Second Zenon Awards Ceremonies.
The Third and Fourth Zenon presentations were hosted by Mr. Hansen and it was at the Fourth, in October, 1989, that he received his first Best Actor in a Leading Role Zenon for his brilliant portrayal of Elwood P. Dowd in Mary Chase’s Pulitzer Prize comedy, Harvey.
Mr. Hansen directed the precedent setting musical Oklahoma! as the first play of the Seventeenth Season in November, 1990 . His work was well received and won a Best Supporting Actress Zenon for Beverly Brando who played the role of Aunt Eller and a Best Costume Zenons for Leena Violette and Mary Guaraldi.
The following November, Mr. Hansen opened the Eighteenth Season with another musical, Jerry Herman’s smash hit Mame. This play too won two Zenons, a Best Supporting Actress Award for Denise Miriani’s hilarious Agnes Gooch; and a Best Stage Manager Zenon for Margie Pollard.
Another precedent setting musical was Mr. Hansen’s choice for the end of the Nineteenth Season in August, 1993, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein’s celebrated Show Boat. Besides the entertainment value of these plays, Mr. Hansen’s choices were giving HLT’s audiences a short course in good American Theater.
In October, 1996, Jet kicked off HLT’s Twenty-third season with the retro-musical Forever Plaid, a play that contained over two dozen pop songs from the 1950s and ’60s. The nostalgic show won 2 Production and Technical Zenons: one for Lois Prettyman’s music and choral direction, and the other for Melanie Angus Boulay’s assistance and choreography.
In November of 1998, Mr. Hansen was Melanie Boulay’s Stage Manager for her phenomenally successful production of The Wizard of Oz that captured 9 Zenons, one of which was won by Mr. Hansen for Best Stage Manager. Michael Frayn’s Noises Off was Jet’s choice for his sixth directorial endeavor in August, 1999, the other bookend of the season that started with The Wizard of Oz.
Mr. Hansen’s latest directing effort opened HLT’s Twenty-seventh Season in November, 2000, with a sparkling production of Ernest Thompson’s On Golden Pond, a play that won another Zenon award for his Assistant Director Melanie Boulay.
In the Twenty-eighth Season Mr. Hansen served once again as Melanie Boulay’s Stage Manager for her hugely successful production of Peter Pan. At the close of the season, Mr. Hansen was named as one of the nominees for the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards.
Jet spent the entire Twenty-ninth Season working in HLT’s kitchen as a Master Chef during the theater’s five play presentations. Again at the season’s concluding Zenon Award Ceremonies, he was once again named as one of the nominees for the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award.
During the Thirtieth Season, besides his Master Chef duties, Jet acted as the stage manager for Jennifer Westergom’s Zenon winning presentation of the lavish costume musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. He culminated the season by being nominated for and winning the greatly esteemed Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award becoming its nineteenth recipient which brought his Zenon winning score to three.
In all, Mr. Hansen has appeared or worked in over 42 shows at Highlands Little Theatre. He has emceed six of the Zenon Awards Ceremonies and has worked in all of the theater’s production areas including stage managing, sound, and lighting. As busy as this may sound, he has also found time to perform more magic in the kitchen of the theater where he can be found cooking on Friday show nights.
Thank you Jet for your many and varied contributions to HLT. It’s you and members like you that have made Highlands Little Theatre the dramatic success it has become.

Photo of  Zenon & Marilyn  Hansen
Zenon & Marilyn Hansen
Generous Friends of HLT By: Roy Riedy

Who were Zenon and Marilyn Hansen? The Zenon Ceremonies rests on their Foundation.
One hundred and forty-seven members of HLT have been honored with one or more Lucite pyramids known as a “Zenon”. How did the award get its name? This piece hopes to shed some light on the origin and naming of the coveted honor, which is now in its seventeenth year of existence.
Everyone involved with the Lakeside Playhouse benefited when Zenon Hansen, the retired CEO of Mack Trucks, and his wife Marilyn move to Sebring in 1980. The Highlands Little Theatre was just six years old at that time and was a functioning but struggling enterprise. It lacked a permanent home and depended on the various schools and clubs in the county to provide a venue for its productions and for this reason dinner performances were infrequent to the point of nonexistent. But like other six year olds, the group didn’t seem to consider this a hindrance, and made do with what was available. It’s greatest asset was its youthful vigor and its determination to grow up and be somebody and this made all the difference between success and failure. Zenon Hansen, a pioneer himself, must have appreciated the theatre’s resolution and fortitude, for he strengthened the youthful organization with his help at a time when help was most appreciated and needed.
Marilyn and Zenon Hansen became the fledgling theatre’s benefactors, and participated in many “firsts” at Highlands Little Theatre. In November of 1982 they received the first life-time patron plaque from HLT for their interest and support of the organization. The plaque was presented at the premiere of the musical Camelot, the show that inaugurated the Ninth Season for HLT. The Ninth Season was also the first of the continuing Firstnighter evenings that traditionally opened the new theatrical season and that November also marked the first five play season, a practice that has been maintained to this day.
Four years later on Saturday, October 4, 1986, the first Zenon Awards Ceremony took place at the Sebring Elks Club. The ceremony, very much like the Hollywood Oscar Ceremonies and the Broadway Tony Awards, reflects the best of the theatrical season and awards the outstanding plays, actors, and crews for their achievement. The presentation of the first award was made to Zenon and Marilyn Hansen in recognition of the contributions that they had made in support of the Highlands Little Theatre. The award read ZENON # 1, and as President Tena Pollard Conyer stated prophetically, as she presented the award to the generous couple, “We will hereafter, with great pride, respect and affection, refer to the award as the Zenon.” It has retained that name ever since.
Zenon Hansen died in October of 1990 and his wife Marilyn in June of 1995, but their interest in Highlands Little Theatre’s annual tributes has continued. It has been assumed and assured by the Hansen Foundation, which now underwrites the Zenon presentations.
We shall always be indebted to the munificence of Zenon and Marilyn Hansen and their enthusiastic interest in Highlands Little Theatre’s growth. By their support they have helped make our organization shine with a professional sparkle that would not have been as bright if it had not been for their generous assistance and attention. Zenon and Marilyn, we at Highlands Little Theatre salute you!

Photo of  Art  Harriman
Art Harriman
A Soon To Be Director By: Roy Riedy

Mr. Harriman moved with his family to Highlands County in February, 2002, after being named Service Coordinator for the American Red Cross. He is a former Polk County resident where he was an ESOL teacher in the Polk County school system.
Art arrived in Sebring just in time to play a role that seemed to be made for him and a whole generation of Sebring children will think of him when they hear the name of Smee or remember Melanie Boulay’s soaring production of Peter Pan, a production that now stands in fifth place as the most awarded show (8 Zenons) in HLT history. Mr. Harriman was the recipient of one of those eight Zenons for his portrayal of Smee.
Art is no newcomer to the stage, he started acting when he was six. He studied Theater Arts and Design Education in college and brings a wealth of experience with him to the Lakeside Playhouse stage.
Since his debut at the Lakeside Playhouse as Smee in Peter Pan, Mr. Harriman has been associatied with twenty-three other main stage productions at HLT. His second appearance was as the Padre in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Man of LaMancha in November, 2002, the first show of the 29th Season. In January, 2003, Art was a member of the Stage Crew of Pete Pollard’s reprise of Steel Magnolias. In March, he played the role of Jeff in Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s revival of Brigadoon. He was seen as Dr. Watson in Allen Branch’s June presentation of The Hound of the Baskervilles, and appeared as Hucklebee in Sue McCollum’s reprise of The Fantastiks, the following August.
During the 30th Season Art was once again involved in all five main stage productions. He was a dresser for Melanie Boulay’s season opener, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; he played the role of George Pigden in Mike Logsdon’s Zenon winning comedy, Out Of Order; he appeared as Elton in Jennifer Westergom’s lavish Scarlet Pimpernel; he played Louie in Pete Pollard’s Lost In Yonkers; and ended the season as King Herod in Tammie Pollard’s stunning Jesus Christ, Superstar in August, 2004.
During the 31st Season, besides being a member of HLT’s Board of Directors, Art was associated with four of the five main stage productions. He played Marcellus Washburn in Frank Oberhausen’s opening play of the season, The Music Man. He acted as Pete Pollard’s Assistant Director for his presentation of The Allergist’s Wife in January, 2005. Art was Kathy MacNeill’s Co-Producer for her circus musical Barnum in March, and was a Cabaret man in Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s smash hit Cabaret, in August, 2005.
Art was associated with four more plays during the 32nd Season. He played Friar Tuck in Mike McMillian’s season opener, Hoodwinked. He assumed the much darker role of Carlino for Denise Miriani’s suspenseful Wait Until Dark in January, 2006. In March he played Mr. Bixby in Joe Willis’ happy musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. In June Art played Victor La Pewe in Mac Byron’s droll Drop Dead, and in August, he was Tammie Pollard’s Assistant Music Director for her wonderful and Zenon grabbing production of Grease.
So far in the 33rd Season, Art has been involved in three plays: In January, he was the Assistant Director of Patty Young’s The Cemetery Club; he played Sergeant King in Allen Branch’s March comedy, No Time for Sergeants, and most recently he was seen in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of My Fair Lady as the dustman, Alfred P. Doolittle, which brings his total of plays acted in at HLT to seventeen.
Art has also satisfied the directive of the BOD by serving as an Assistant Director for Pete Pollard’s The Allergist’s Wife, and Patty Young’s The Cemetery Club; also as a Producer for Kathy MacNeill’s Barnum. He did Set Construction for Allen Branch’s No Time For Sergeants; and worked with the Music Production of Tammie Pollard’s Grease; and on the Sound for her production of Jesus Christ, Superstar. These stints on and backstage have given the experienced Mr. Harriman an extra dimension of stage craft and acting and more than qualifies him for directing a play of his choosing when that time arrives. Audiences of HLT await that moment with much anticipation.

Photo of  Millee  Havlock
Millee Havlock
A Familiar Face in Gourmet for 10 Seasons By: Roy Riedy

Millee Havlock’s name appeared for the first time with the Gourmet Staff as a member of the Salad Bar/Dessert section, in August, 1991, in Walter Zelenenki’s playbill for his comedy, The Seven Year Itch, the last show of the Seventeenth Season.
In the program of Peter Pollard’s musical, They’re Playing Our Song, in January, 1992, her name began appearing in the section that listed the staff of Anthony’s Lounge where it remained for the next three plays of the Eighteenth Season, and all of the Nineteenth. At the end of the Nineteenth Season, at the Eighth Annual Zenon Award Ceremony, Millee was awarded a Board Service Zenon (with Jeanne Stafford) “for outstanding contributions to the theater as head waitresses for the Gourmet Division.”
Millee continued to work in Anthony’s Lounge the entire Twentieth Season and was nominated at the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards “for outstanding contributions with the Gourmet Division as a Head Waitress.” At the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards, Millee and Frank Oberhausen were the presenters for a Board Service Award for the Twenty-first Season.
Ms. Havlock continued to serve in Gourmet for 33 more consecutive plays until her retirement in April, 2001, when her name was last seen in the program of Jim McCollum’s musical, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, for a total of 49 playbills in which her name had been printed.
During her association with the Lakeside Playhouse, besides her duties through 49 plays, Millee had been involved with 3 Zenon Ceremonies; she has won 1 Board Service Zenon and been nominated for another. Her name has been seen in 1 Christmas Program, 1 First-Nighter Gala, 3 HLT Newsletters, and 2 local news article for a total of 59 Citations. Indeed, a wonderful record of a devoted and faithful volunteer.

Photo of  Christopher  Hayes
Christopher Hayes
Superstar By: Roy Riedy

Chris Hayes’ name was first seen by Highlands Little Theatre members in the theatre’s June, 2004, newsletter when his name appeared as the actor chosen to play Jesus in Tammie Pollard’s August, 2004, production of Webber and Rice’s incomparable musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar.
The program for the August show provided the following information about the young actor: Chris, now a Sebring resident, studied voice at Columbus State University in Georgia as a bass/baritone as well as piano, guitar, and percussion. He has a degree in Deaf Studies and American Sign Language from the University of Arizona and is an advocate for deaf causes and deaf education reform. In his spare time Chris enjoys homebrewing and photography. His parents live in Georgia, and he has a sister living in Utah.
Still, the most extraordinary fact about this talented singer and actor is that he has never acted before. His lack of experience did not prove to be an liability for at the Nineteenth ZenonCeremonies held in early October, 2004, he won the highly valued honor of being awarded the Best Leading Actor of the Thirtieth Season.
For the first time in Zenon history, this award was offered to two leading actors, Christopher Hayes and Jerry Pollard another fact that confirms the strength and ability of the two leading men.
Mr. Hayes had done in five months what many HLT members still labor to achieve, win a Zenon, a tangible sign of excellence. Congratulations Chris, in less than a half a year you validated that you were a Superstar.
During the Thirty-first season Chris was involved in four of the five main stage presentations. In Frank Oberhausen’s November, 2004 revival of The Music Man, Mr. Hayes directed the featured quartet and played the part of Jacey Squires; in Peter Pollard’s January, 2005, production of The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, he played the small but effective part of the doorman Mohammed. In March, Chris played the title role, Phineas Taylor Barnum in Kathy MacNeill’s production of the musical Barnum and finished off the season in Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s Zenon-seizing revival of the musical Cabaret in the role of Clifford Bradshaw.
Just before the opening of Cabaret, Mr. Hayes was awarded the August 2005, Gracie Award for his responsibility as one of the co-chairpersons of Anthony’s Lounge.
At the 20th Zenon Awards at the end of the 31st Season, Chris received three important nominations: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his role of Clifford Bradshaw in Cabaret; Best Actor in a Leading Role for his role of P.T. Barnum in Barnum; and a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for his musical direction of the Barbershop Quartet in The Music Man, not a bad start for a fellow who was just completing his first full year at HLT.
During the Thirty-second season Chris worked on four more shows, three main stage and one “extra” revue. Mr. Hayes was an understudy for the character of Mike Talman in Denise Miriani’s January, 2006, chiller, Wait Until Dark; in March he played the part of Caleb Pontipee, one of the seven brothers, in the musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers directed by Joe Willis; and in April Chris was one of the singers in the “extra” revue Broadway In Concert which was directed by Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom.
Chris played the leading role of Danny Zuko in Tammie Pollard’s August presentation of the musical Grease, and was awarded his second Zenon, Best Actor in a Leading Role, for his extraordinary singing and acting in the tremendously successful play.
Congratulations Chris on your many successes, you have certainly left your mark on the past three seasons at HLT and I have no doubt that we will find more marks happening in the years to come. You are a wonderful asset and the Little Theatre is all the better for you being a member. Thanks for coming to Highlands County and becoming a member of Highlands Little Theater.

Photo of  Emmie  Hayes
Emmie Hayes
A Lady Who Is The Ticket By: Roy Riedy

March, 1988 was a big month in the history of Highlands Little Theatre. The musical Carousel was the first play to be presented on the theater’s newly constructed stage, and Emmie Hayes’ name appears for the first time in the Carousel program’s Box Office section. Since that time, with only two exceptions, Emmie’s name has appeared in that section in every play program to this date, a total of seventy-three plays. Like Helen Hayes who was called Broadway’s First Lady of the Theater, Emmie Hayes could be called, with no theatrical stretch of the imagination, Highlands Little Theatre’s First Lady of the Lobby, a title she certainly has earned and deserves.
The theater and the Box Office have both made many improvements since that March in 1988 when Emmie made her first appearance. Ticketing has become computerized, the Box Office has been modernized, and shows are selling out, a mixed blessing for Ms. Hayes and her staff who have the delicate job of keeping ticketless patrons happy.
The value of her work did not take long to be recognized for the year following her joining HLT, at the Fourth Annual Zenon Presentations in 1989, Emmie received her first Zenon, a Board Service Award for her steady and outstanding work.
The smell of the greasepaint has only been strong enough four times to lure Emmie out of her Box Office since she has joined HLT. In November of 1989, her name appeared as a singer and dancer in the Meridith Willson musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown; in August of 1992 she was one of the villagers of Tobiki in The Teahouse of the August Moon; in August of 1994 she was back in America as a member of the chorus and dancers in Meet Me In St. Louis, and most recently, in June of 1998, if you looked closely you would have found her disguised as a miner in the Lerner and Loewe musical Paint Your Wagon.
A year later in October of 1999, Emmie was again on stage, this time not in a play but at the Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies, where she became the fourteenth deserving recipient of the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award for her dozen years of loyal and cheerfully rendered assistance that she has so abundantly provided for the Box Office of Highlands Little Theatre.
Like so many of the other winners of the Significant Achievement Award, Emmie Hayes has concentrated her time and energy on one phase of the many facets that go into making our theater a success. Like her co-workers and co-winners, in doing so she has perfected her operation into a smooth running and productive department that has benefited and supported the theater’s entire fabric. It is not a coincidence that our playhouse has taken on a professional sheen that is commented on by so many of our patrons, for that patina has been supplied by the squad of serious, dedicated, and self-made professionals that have created the atmosphere for that glow to shine.
Congratulations and thanks Emmie for your years of loyal service. You and the other winners of the Significant Achievement Award have made a great and lasting contribution to the running and presence of Highlands Little Theatre and the award that you have won is well named, for your work has certainly been a Significant Achievement.

Photo of  Michelle  Herchick
Michelle Herchick

Michelle first joined Highlands Little Theatre in early 2010, and has been behind the scenes here and is thankful for the experiences that have been learned, as well as the friends made. She has been involved in Box Office, Set Construction, Lights, Sound (Harvey, Murder in Black and White, Doubt, Love Songs and Letters to Loved Ones), House Managing, and Stage Managing. Her latest accomplishment has been the recipient of the July 2011 Gracie Award. If you saw Nunsense in March 2011, you might have caught a glimpse of her as Sister Annie Nonymous, the videotaping nun. Michelle has been Program Chair for the playbills since late 2010. Her last major feat was Assistant Stage Manager for Stage Right during Pete Pollard’s revival of Auntie Mame in January 2013. Michelle is also currently serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors for the 2012 – 2014 term.

Photo of  Anne P. Hill
Anne P. Hill
April 2004 Gracie Award Winner By: Roy Riedy

Anne Hill’s name was first seen in HLT documents in the November, 2001, newsletter when her name was listed with the new members that were welcomed to Highlands Little Theatre that month. The following June her name appeared for a second time in the playbill of Mike Logsdon’s British import, Move Over Mrs. Markham, as the play’s Dialect Coach.
Since then Anne’s name has appeared in three more programs: in Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s November, 2002, musical, Man of La Mancha, as the play’s Assistant Director; in Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s March, 2003, musical, Brigadoon, as the play’s Dialect Coach; and in August, 2003, as the Dialect and Deportment Coach for Alan Branch’s summer chiller, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Ms. Hill was nominated for a Zenon at the 18th Awards Ceremonies for her dialect work at HLT.
At the April, 2004, membership meeting Anne was awarded a Gracie Award by President Holly Elliott in recognition of her ongoing work with a contest for seventh-graders co-sponsored by the News-Sun and HLT. The now two-year-old contest focuses on one of the plays being produced at HLT each season. President Elliott also commended Ms. Hill’s work as one of the organization’s tireless volunteers for the past two years.
Since joining Highlands Little Theatre in 2001, Ms. Hill has been involved in four plays, one Zenon Ceremony, and been mentioned in six Highlands Little Theatre Newsletters and eleven local news articles for a total of twenty-two recognitions.
Congratulations Anne for your unique contributions to HLT, may your association with Highlands Little Theatre be a long and productive one.

Photo of  Heidi  Hoffman
Heidi Hoffman
A Bright New Member and Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

Heidi Hoffman’s name appeared for the first time in Highlands Little Theatre’s program for Director Mike McMillian’s medieval musical Hoodwinked in November, 2005 as one of the Lighting Technicians for his play about Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Two plays later, in March, 2006 her name appeared again in Director Joe Willis’s program for his rollicking musical Seven Brides For Seven Brothers in the same category as Lighting Technician.
In June, Mac Byron directed the comedy Drop Dead and once again Heidi appeared as the Lighting Technician for his production.
The Thirty-second Season closed with Tammie Pollard’s musical bouquet to the high school students of the 50′s with her outstanding production of Grease with Heidi as her Lighting Technician.
Heidi’s work on four of the five plays offered at the Lakeside Playhouse this year were recognized and rewarded at the Twenty-first Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony on Saturday, October 7, 2006 when she received her first Production/Technical Zenon for her work on the majority of the season’s plays.
Congratulations Heidi on your swift attainment of your first Zenon, your future at HLT looks like it is going to be very bright.

Photo of  Barbara  Holt
Barbara Holt
A Presence Behind the Hits By: Roy Riedy

Barbara Holt has been involved with 32 plays since joining Highlands Little Theatre in 1987. Her name on the Set Construction team of Peter Pollard’s January,1988, production of Barefoot in the Park marks the first time her name appeared in HLT’s records. In April it appeared again as part of the Set Construction team of Frank Oberhausen’s production of Carousel. In June she was listed with the Gourmet Staff as an Expediter during Janelou Buck’s production of California Suite. The following April, in the program for Frank Oberhausen’s first presentation of The King and I, Barbara was again listed as part of the Set Construction team.
During the next five year period, 1989-1994, Barbara was associated with ten plays. In the Sixteenth Season she worked on the Set Construction for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of My Fair Lady, and during Janelou Buck’s June production of Hello Dolly she was a member of the kitchen staff. The next season she worked on the Set Art with Liz Buell and the Set Construction team for Peter Pollard’s January, 1991 production of Steel Magnolias. In March of that year she not only worked on the Set Construction for Frank Oberhausen’s presentation of The Music Man but also taped the video of the production with Will Dodson. Peter Pollard presented Neil Simon’s They’re Playing Our Song in January of the next season while Barbara worked, once again, with the kitchen staff during the run of the show.
Frank Oberhausen’s Funny Girl followed in April with Barbara back on stage as his lighting technician, for which she received a nomination for a Production/Technical Zenon “for outstanding achievement,” and also a member of the Set Construction team. Frank Oberhausen presented a reprise of Camelot the following April and Barbara joined the team of Keith Stillwagon, Liz Buell, and Bob Given as a member of the Stage Art artists and was also a worker on the Set Construction team. During the last season of this five year period, Barbara worked on three plays. In April she wore three hats during the production of Frank Oberhausen’s revival of South Pacific. She worked with the Set Art artists, the Set Construction team, and served as the play’s Lighting Technician. In June she rejoined the kitchen staff during Tammie Pollard’s production of Ken Ludwig’s Lend Me A Tenor and also in August during Marian Dunham’s production of Meet Me in St. Louis.
Barbara was associated with all five plays of the Twenty-first Season. Jim Lanier’s Gypsy opened the season in November and Barbara was his Lighting Technician. In January, she worked with Eddie DeLoach as the Lighting Technicians for Peter Pollard’s production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ and in April she was the co-producer with Margie Pollard and also one of the Lighting Technicians with Darrel Smith, for Frank Oberhausen’s 1776. During Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s production of Same Time Next Year, and Marian Dunham’s presentation of Gigi, Barbara returned to her duties with the kitchen staff. At the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony held on October 7, 1995, Mrs. Holt received her first Production/Technical Zenon “as lighting technician for Gypsy, Ain’t Misbehavin’ and1776.”
The next season was equally as busy and even more rewarding for Barbara. During the season she worked on five more plays and was presented with two Zenons at it ending. The Twenty-second Season opened with Peter Pollard production of The Goodbye Girl during which Barbara worked again with the kitchen staff, as she did during the duration of Roy Riedy’s production of The Foreigner. For Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Fiddler on the Roof, Barbara teamed up again with Margie Pollard as a Producer of the show, and once again Barbara also acted as the Lighting Technician and also helped with the Set Construction. She returned to the kitchen staff during the runs of Tammie Pollard’s Play It Again, Sam in June, and Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s production of The Secret Garden in August. In October, Barbara was awarded two Zenons, one for Best Lighting Design with Frank Oberhausen for Fiddler on the Roof, and the second for Best Producer with Margie Pollard also for Fiddler on the Roof, the only show at HLT to ever receive eleven Zenons.
During the Twenty-Third Season Barbara worked with the kitchen staff during three shows: Jet Hansen’s Forever Plaid, Melanie Boulay’s To Kill a Mockingbird, and Frank Oberhausen’s La Cage aux Folles. During the Twenty-fourth Season Barbara was associated with three more shows. She was the lighting technician with Kim Moore for Sue McCollum’s production of Godspell; she worked on the Set construction for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Annie and Beverly Brando Gillilan’s production of Paint Your Wagon. In October at the Zenon Ceremony Barbara was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon for her work as a Lighting Technician for Godspell. In the Twenty-fifth Season Barbara worked with the Set Construction Crew for Peter Pollard’s January, 1999, The Miracle Worker.
Most recently Barbara’s name has appeared in an article that appeared in the playbill of John Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest expressing appreciation for many member’s volunteer work which included her efforts in helping clean up the theater. In all Mrs. Holt has been associated with 32 plays and 4 Zenon Ceremonies. She has been awarded 3 Zenons and been nominate for 2 others and attended 2 First Nighter Galas. Barbara has been mentioned in 22 HLT Newsletters and in 6 local news articles for a total of 66 Citations. She has been a real presence behind many hit shows at Highlands Little Theatre and the Theatre is grateful for her generous offering of time to make those hits as good as they became.

Dorothy Horman
August, 2007 Gracie Award Winner By: Vanessa Logsdon and Roy Riedy

Karen Bach nominated and presented the Gracie Award to one of her many dedicated co-volunteers. At the August 2007 General Membership meeting, she said, “What can be said about our August Gracie winner? She is helpful, courteous, happy and friendly to our patrons. She learns quickly and can always be counted on when she is asked to go the ‘extra mile’. Recently she was asked to take on additional responsibilities when the chair was going to be out of town. She accepted the challenge without a moment of hesitation. She is involved as a House Manager and as a ticket agent in the Box Office. Leaving the Box Office in her capable hands allowed everyone to breath easy feeling comfortable and secure. She is my co-worker, my friend, and I like to call her Brainiac because she is a whiz with numbers. What else can be said, except that she is a wonderful asset to our theatre? Dorothy Horman, this one’s for you!”
Congratulations Dorothy, this Gracie should prove you how valuable you are.

Photo of  Marti Falin Houghton
Marti Falin Houghton
67 Consecutive Plays By: Roy Riedy

The first time Marti Falin Houghton’s name appeared in a Highlands Little Theatre document was over thirteen years ago in the April, 27, 1990, HLT Newsletter for her assistance as a House Manager for that season’s special musical concerts
Two months later her name appeared again in the June, 1990, Highlands Little Theatre playbill of Janelou Buck’s lively production of Hello Dolly as one of the regular House Managers. Since that initial playbill appearance, her name has reappeared as a House Manager in an unbroken sequence for the succeeding sixty-five stage productions, her last two credits in the HLT playbills, Allen Branch’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, and Sue McCollum’s recent revival of The Fantastiks, list her name as part of the Gourmet Staff.
Besides her sixty-seven citations in the playbills, Ms. Houghton has been mentioned in seven HLT Newsletters: In the April,1991, newsletter, Marti was mentioned as Beth Norman’s “Assistant House Manager;” in the November, 1994, Marti, now called the “Co-Chairman” of the House Managers, was commended by Chairman Beth Norman for her exceptional assistance. In the January, 2003, Newsletter, Marti was cited as being a member of the “Brushes and Brooms” Committee, a group of devoted members who work on Saturday and Sunday during a show’s run to see that the theater is ready for the next performance. In August,2003, the HLT Newsletter applauded Marti and other volunteers who came out to help with the mass mailing for the upcoming season’s Program Ads. Most recently Marti’s name appeared in The Little Theatre’s September, 2003, Newsletter that announce that she had won the August Gracie Award:
“Marti was nominated for the prestigious HLT Gracie Award because of her tireless efforts volunteering in the Gourmet Division and as a House Manager. Kudos to you, Marti, for your dedication to Highlands Little Theatre. We truly appreciate you and all of the hours you have spent “behind the scenes’ at HLT!”
In all Marti has been mentioned in sixty-seven play programs, seven newsletters, and in the program for the 1998 Christmas program, Sounds of the Season, for a grand total of seventy-five citations. Thank you Marti for your outstanding contribution as a volunteer for over a dozen uninterrupted years.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Johnathan  Janhke
Johnathan Janhke
Teenage Gracie Winner By: Roy Riedy

Johnathan Jahnke’s name was first seen in the HLT play program for the January, 2003, presentation of Peter Pollard’s production of Steel Magnolias. His name was listed as a member of the set construction team for that Zenon winning Best Play of the Twenty-ninth Season.

Johnathan’s name resurfaced in the HLT Newsletter for February, 2003, when it appeared as a new general member of the organization and a second time in that publication as having been selected as one of the townspeople in Kathy MacNeil’s March, 2003, production of Brigadoon.

In March, 2004, Johnathan was again listed in a play program as a member of the set construction team for Jennifer Westergom’s opulent production of The Scarlet Pimpernel. Three months later his name appeared again in the play program of Peter Pollard’s impressive production of Neil Simon’s Lost In Yonkers as a member of the play’s production team manning the post of a technical assistant to the light designer, Frank Oberhausen.

Most recently, Johnathan appeared in the October, 2004, edition of the HLT Newsletter, where he was proclaimed the winner of the September, 2004, Gracie Award for his backstage contributions at the Lakeside Playhouse.

Since joining HLT in 2003, Johnathan has been mentioned in the programs of four main stage productions, two HLT Newsletters, and two local news articles for a total of eight citations.

Photo of  Mike  Jarvis
Mike Jarvis
February, 2006 Gracie Award Winner By: Roy Riedy

The Highlands Little Theatre Board of Directors selected Mike Jarvis as the recipient of the February, 2006 Gracie Award for his generous services to the theatre since early 2004 when he installed of the ceramic tile in the new restrooms and the carpeting and tile in the reconstructed Anthony’s Lounge.

In 2005, Mr. Jarvis became the Building Maintenance Chairperson, a position which he has run single-handedly.

Most recently, Mike feeling so strongly about Chris Friend’s involvement in HLT, he sponsored the adolescent enthusiast to become the youngest Lifetime Patron in HLT’s annals.

Congratulations Mike for your ongoing effort and support in making HLT the remarkable institution that conciencious and thoughtful volunteers like you have helped make it become.

Photo of  Margaret  Jefferson
Margaret Jefferson
Long Time House Manager & Box Office Worker By: Roy Riedy

Margaret “Peg” Jefferson has been a House Manager at Highlands Little Theatre since August, 1990, when she made her first appearance in the Lakeside Playhouse lobby for Tena Conyer’s reprise of Woody Allen’s comedy Don’t Drink The Water. Mrs. Jefferson has continued in that duty to the present day and is now greeting guests for the current production of Kathy Brand and Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Brigadoon, her fifty-eighth role as a House Manager.

In November, 1992, during the run of another Tena Conyer hit, Nunsense, Peg took on another volunteer position, that of working in the HLT Box Office. She has continued in this job for the past eleven years, which means that she has been selling tickets for the past forty-six shows.

In March, 2001, her efforts were recognized by a Gracie Award for her loyal and dependable service to Highlands Little Theatre.

In addition to her participation and credits in fifty-eight play programs, Mrs. Jefferson has been mentioned as attending the Nineteenth First Nighter Gala and her name has appeared in three HLT Newsletters for a total of sixty-two citations.

Thank you Mrs. Jefferson for your long and faithful service that has promoted live theater in Highlands County, we wouldn’t be as good as we are without outstanding volunteers like you.

Photo of  Thomas  Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Sometime House Manager Who Turned Into A Full Time Box Office Worker By: Roy Riedy

Doctor Thomas Jefferson started out as a House Manager at Highlands Little Theatre in August, 1990, at the same time as his wife, Margaret Jefferson, when Tena Conyer was directing Woody Allen’s comedy Don’t Drink The Water.

Two years later in November, 1992, he changed job descriptions and began working in the Lakeside Playhouse Box Office; he has been there for the past eleven years and at this time has sold tickets for forty-eight plays.

Between his career as being a House Manager and his later full time job in the Box Office, Tom appeared in Janelou Buck’s June, 1992 production of Inherit the Wind, in which he played one of the jurors.

In addition to his participation and credits in fifty-five playbills, Tom’s name appeared as one of the guests of the Nineteenth First Nighter Gala, and his name has appeared in seven HLT Newsletters for a grand total of sixty-three Citations.

Thank you Dr. Jefferson for your many hours of service in promoting theater in Highlands County, you have helped make us the prominent organization that we find ourselves today.

Photo of  Gary  Johnson
Gary Johnson
Actor and Singer By: Roy Riedy

Gary Johnson is no stranger to the Zenon Ceremonies. In October, 2001, he was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his part of Tony in Tammie Pollard’s challenging musical, West Side Story, at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies.

Two years later he shared the nomination for Best Set Design with Director Pete Pollard which enhanced Mr. Pollard’s reprise of Steel Magnolias.

The third time proved to be the charm when at the Nineteenth Zenon Ceremonies Gary won the award for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his part as Chauvlin in the March, 2004, musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. The same evening he electrified the gala audience when he sang the well known song “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera.

Besides his obvious singing and acting abilities, Mr. Johnson has worked back stage on set construction for Melanie Boulay’s 2002 presentation of Peter Pan, and Pete Pollard’s revival of Steel Magnolias in 2003 as Set Construction Manager.

In all, he has been associated with five plays and three Zenons Ceremonies at the Lakeside Playhouse. His name has appeared in eleven HLT Newsletters and twenty-three local news articles for a total of forty-three citations.

Congratulations Gary on your well deserved and long overdue award. I know I’m not alone in looking forward to seeing you soon on the stage of Highlands Little Theatre, doing what you do so well.

Photo of  Doug  Jones
Doug Jones
Actor and Set Builder By: Roy Riedy

Since Doug Jones joined HLT in 1998, he has been associated with 15 different plays at the Little Theatre. His first appearance was in June, 1998, when he appeared as Jake Whippany, in Beverly Brando Gillilian’s production of Lerner and Loewe’s musical Paint Your Wagon.

The June musical was followed by Tammie Pollard’s presentation of Neil Simon’s comedy Rumors in August, and Doug’s name appeared in that program as one of the members of the set construction team; with two plays he had established a pattern of his work at HLT that would continue to reoccur.

Melanie Boulay opened the Twenty-fifth Season at HLT with her memorable production of The Wizard of Oz in November, 1998, and once again Doug’s name was listed not only with those who contributed to the set construction, but also as one of the designers of the set. He was involved with four other events during the Twenty-fifth Season: in December he was part of the cast of the first production of the Unity sponsored Sounds of the Season; in January, he worked on the set construction for Pete Pollard’s production of The Miracle Worker; in April he was involved in the set construction for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Sound of Music; and in June his name appears in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s program for her revival of Arsenic and Old Lace as being on her set construction team. In October, at the Fourteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies, he and Larry Wollangk received a Zenon for Best Set Design for their attractive design for The Wizard of Oz.

In January, 2000, Doug worked on the set for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of the great Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun; and in April, 2001, his name appeared with that of Denise Miriani’s as being responsible for the Speciality Props for Jim McCollum’s musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Doug’s name appeared in every program of the Twenty-eighth Season. He was a member of the Kitchen Line Staff during Frank Oberhausen and Kathy Brand’s reprise of Guys and Dolls and Pete Pollard’s Foxfire; Doug played Napthali in Joe Willis’ biblical extravaganza Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Easter time; and in June he was the set construction crew chief and a lighting technician for Mike Logsdon’s production of Move Over Mrs. Markham; in August he worked with the construction crew on Melanie Boulay’s production of Peter Pan. At the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October, he received a nomination for a Production/Technical Zenon for his lighting work on Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham.

Most recently Mr. Jones has been seen in Frank Oberhausen and Kathy Brand’s November revival of the Man of LaMancha as one of the muleteers and in on the Kitchen Line Staff during Pete Pollard’s production of Steel Magnolias. Doug has also attended two First Nighters, three Zenon Ceremonies, been cited in 15 local news articles, and 11 HLT Newsletters for a total of 47 citations.

In July, 2004, Doug was awarded the Gracie Award for his hard work and dedication to HLT and long hours of volunteer hours backstage and on-stage.

Thank you for your valuable contributions to Highlands Little Theatre, Doug, you have “set” an excellent example of what an active member can do.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Ruth  Kaylor
Ruth Kaylor
Her salad days extended into her 90's By: Roy Riedy

Mrs. Ruth Kaylor started her association with Highlands Little Theatre with the first production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, directed by Marian Dunham, in November,1986, the first play of the Twelfth Season. Ruth’s name appeared with the Gourmet Staff in the Salad Bar/Desserts section and reappeared there in stage bills for 60 other productions during the next 13 years. It was last seen in the program for the second production of The Sound of Music, directed by Frank Oberhausen, in April, 1999, Ruth was now 92. Befittingly it appeared on the page devoted to the Gourmet Staff. Her name follows Vic Damigella, the Chairman of the Salad Bar/Desserts, along with her long time “bar” friends Margaret Donahue and Pauline Bailey, who also put a special spin on the phrase “salad days” by extending them into the following millennium.

In the 1992 production of The Teahouse of the August Moon, directed by Marian Dunham, Ruth broke the cake of custom by making her one and only stage appearance as a villager in John Patrick’s comedy on the Lakeside Playhouse stage, but you had to look close to notice her. Vanity was not one of Ruth’s flaws, and apparently neither was stamina nor endurance.

At the Ninth Annual Awards Ceremony in October, 1994, after 8 years of faithful service she received a Board Service Zenon ”for outstanding contributions with the Gourmet Division.”

Ruth died in 2001 at the grand age of 95, her salad days ultimately over.

Lynn Kerr
An Early Costumer By: Roy Riedy

Lynn Kerr’s name was first seen in the November,1980, program of the musical Irene, directed by Janelou Buck and Carol Gose for the opening performance of the Seventh Season. Lynn’s name appeared with the Seamstresses for the show.

In the Eighth Season, her name appeared in the programs of three productions. She was listed again as a seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s The Sound of Music in November, 1981; as one of the Costume Designers for the melodrama No Mother to Guide Her, directed by Jim McCollum in February, 1982; and again as a seamstress for Marian Dunham’s original production The Teahouse of the August Moon, in August, 1982.

Frank Oberhausen’s Camelot opened the Ninth Season in November, and Lynn appeared in that program once more as a seamstress, as she did in Carol Gose’s April production of Guys and Dolls.

During the Tenth Season Lynn worked with Costumes for three shows: Marian Dunham’s November musical Oliver!; Frank Oberhausen’s February, Annie Get Your Gun; and Carol Gose’s Can-Can in June.

Lynn was also concerned with costumes for three shows in the Eleventh Season; Carol Gose’s February, 1985, Pajama Game; Marian Dunham’s June production of Brigadoon; and Peter Pollard’s delightful Once Upon a Mattress in August.

Frank Oberhausen’s Annie opened the Twelfth Season and Lynn was his Wardrobe Consultant. Mrs. Kerr and Leena Violette also did the costumes for Sue McCollum’s August comedy, Vanities. At the First Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1986, Lynn won a Best Costume Design Zenon for her work on Frank Oberhausen’s Zenon winning musical Annie.

The Thirteenth Season was Mrs. Kerr’s last season with Highlands Little Theatre and she worked on only one show, Marian Dunham’s November, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, not surprisingly with Costumes.

During Lynn Kerr’s seven seasons with Highlands Little Theatre she worked with fifteen plays; her name appeared in seven HLT newsletters and in five local new items for a total of 28 citations. Her work was recognized and rewarded with the first Zenon Award for Best Costumes of the Season at the first possible opportunity, the First Zenon Awards Ceremony.

Bruce Klein
Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

Bruce Klein stayed with Highlands Little Theatre just long enough to win a Zenon before he departed. He was on Peter Pollard’s Set Design Team for his production of On Golden Pond when his name was first seen in a Highlands Little Theatre program in January,1990. He received his first Zenon at the Fifth Annual Zenon Ceremony, the following October, when the Design Team that included Richard Arabinko, Harold Thomsen, and Peter Pollard, was awarded a Zenon for the Best Set Design for the Sixteenth Season.

Besides the programs for On Golden Pond and the Fifth Annual Zenon Ceremony in October, 1990, Mr. Klein was mentioned in 4 HLT Newsletters for a total of 6 Citations.

Photo of  Thor  Knutson
Thor Knutson
Unique Member, An Acting Technician By: Roy Riedy

Thor Knutson has been with HLT less than nine years and in that time has been awarded six Zenons, an indisputable indication of his value and versatility. When he first came to the Lakeside Playhouse in the winter of 1995, he concerned himself with the technical side of stagecraft, sound and lighting. He proved to be so good at these jobs that he was awarded his first Zenon the following August at the Eleventh Zenon Award Ceremonies in 1996 for his Sound Design for The Foreigner, in January, 1996; the much decorated third edition of Fiddler on the Roof in April, and the final show of the Twenty-third season, The Secret Garden, in August, 1996. Rarely, if ever, has a new member won a Zenon in just eight months.

Thor worked on every show of the Twenty-third Season. He was a Sound Technician for the season opener, the retro musical Forever Plaid, in October; was responsible for the Sound Design of the January drama, To Kill a Mockingbird; was a Sound Technician again for the dressy La Cage aux Folles; did the Sound Design for the summer comedy, George Washington Slept Here; and in August did the Sound Design and was the Sound Technician for the reprise of the Sondheim musical, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. For these efforts Thor was nominated for a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for “Sound for the 1996/1997 season” at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October.

Thor worked on three shows during HLT’s Twenty-fourth Season. In October he designed the lighting for Godspell; he designed both lighting and sound for the June musical, Paint Your Wagon; and in August he designed the lighting and performed his first stage managing stint for the Neil Simon comedy, Rumors. His efforts did not go unrewarded and Mr. Knutson received his second award, a Board Service Zenon for his work on the Production Committee and for his feats in sound at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October,1998.

Melanie Boulay’s The Wizard of Oz opened the Twenty-fifth Season at Highlands Little Theatre and Thor was its Assistant Director and in charge of Special Effects. A month later Unity of Sebring presented its first holiday musical review, Sounds of the Season at the SFCC Auditorium, and Thor was on the Sound Design production team and one of its technicians.

At the Fourteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony on October 2, 1999, Mr. Knutson received his third Production/Technical Zenon for his Assistant Direction and Special Effects for The Wizard of Oz, one of the nine Zenons this popular show received that tied it with Frank Oberhausen’s 1996 Fiddler on the Roof as the two most decorated plays presented at HLT.

Thor worked on two shows in the 26th Season, the CAT presentation of Rumplestiltskin in July, and Melanie Boulay’s production of the musical Oliver! in August for which he provided the Lighting and Sound Design and received a nomination for that work at the October Zenon Ceremonies.

Mr. Knutson started the 27th Season by providing the Sound Design for the comedy On Golden Pond. He then supplied the Light Design for Mac Byron’s Extra Event A Tuna Christmas. In January he showed the Lakeside Playhouse audiences another facet of his abilities when he played the King of Siam in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The King and I, a play for which he also furnished the Sound Design. He symmetrically finished the season by working on the rest of the shows supplying the Sound and Lighting Design for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Sound Design for Moon Over Buffalo and West Side Story. Mr. Knutson was presented with a fourth Zenon at the Fifteenth Zenon Ceremonies for Best Actor for his inspired interpretation of the King of Siam.

Thor worked on three of the five shows presented in the 28th Season. He did the Sound Design for Guys and Dolls in November; the Lighting Design for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March; and was the Stage Manager for Melanie Boulay’s delightful Peter Pan in August. He culminated this season with a fifth Zenon in October with the Best Lighting award for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a show that now holds the fifth place slot for The Most Decorated Show with 7 Zenons.

During the Twenty-ninth Season, Thor was the Sound Designer and Technician for Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s Man of La Mancha. In the Thirtieth Season he made a cameo appearance in Melanie Boulay’s musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and was also responsible for the play’s Lighting Design and created the Lighting Design for Jennifer Westergom’s Zenon winning musical The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Most recently, during the Thirty-first Season, Thor did the Lighting Design for Pete Pollard’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife in January, 2005; he was the Lighting Designer and Technician for Jet Hansen’s reprise of the musical I Do! I Do! in June; and the Lighting Designer for Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s record breaking revival of Cabaret in August which brought him his sixth Zenon at the Twentieth Anniversary Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 2005.

Congratulations Thor for your outstanding work and your meteoric rise to Zenon fame which is just another gauge that underscores your generosity in sharing your fabled abilities.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Jonathan  Lambright
Jonathan Lambright
Actor and Technician By: Roy Riedy

Jonathan Lambright has been associated with Highlands Little Theatre since February, 2000, when he appeared as the Prince in the Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) directed by Krista Flores at the Lakeside Playhouse. Two months later he was a member of the orchestra for Sue McCollum’s production of the musical, Bye, Bye, Birdie. In July, 2000, Jonathan played the title role in the CAT production of the musical play for children, Rumplestiltskin, also directed by Krista Flores.

In the Twenty-eighth Season (2001-2002) Jonathan worked in two musicals presented by Highlands Little Theatre: Joe Willis’ biblical extravaganza Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in which he played Judah, one of Joseph’s many brothers, and Pharaoh’s unfortunate baker; and the pirate Cecco in Melanie Boulay’s soaring musical, Peter Pan.

During the Twenty-ninth Season (2002-2003) Jonathan was associated with the videography of the season’s shows and he was acknowledged at the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards at the end of the season for these efforts when he won, with his father, Wayne Lambright, a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for their video recording during the season.

Since he began his association with Highlands Little Theatre, Jonathan has been involved with six productions, he has participated in two Zenon Ceremonies, been mentioned in nineteen local news items and two HLT Newsletters for a total of twenty-nine citations.

Thank you Jonathan for you continuing efforts at Highlands Little Theatre, both artistic and technical.

Photo of  Vealda  Lambright
Vealda Lambright
Music Ma'am By: Roy Riedy

Vealda Lambright has been involved with Highlands Little Theatre since she was recruited by Sue McCollum for her October, 1997, production of Godspell in which Vealda played the keyboard and won a Zenon the following October at the Awards Ceremonies for her contribution to the music of Godspell.

Mrs. Lambright is a fourth generation native Floridian, and credits most of her musical ability from piano lessons beginning at the age of 12 and membership in Middle School and High School bands. In Highlands County Vealda has accompanied various choirs at The First Baptist Church in Avon Park and the Highlands Children Chorus of 1995-96. Vealda is a substitute teacher in Highlands County and lives in Avon Park with her husband Wayne and their three sons.

In July, 2000, she was the musical accompanist for the CAT production of the musical play for children Rumplestiltskin which was directed by Krista Flores and presented at The Little Theatre as part of the Summer Theatre Production Camp 2000.

In August, 2001, Vealda and her husband Wayne received special acknowledgements for their help in the production of Tammie Pollard’s West Side Story. In January, 2002, both the Lambrights were credited in the playbill of Pete Pollard’s production of Foxfire for their scripted music recording for that play.

In March, 2002, Vealda was credited in the playbill of Joe Willis’ wonderful Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as being the Producer/Musical Coordinator/Rehearsal Pianist for his extravaganza, and in a separate paragraph entitled “About the Music” the program had this to say about the Lambright’s total dedication: “Wayne and Vealda Lambright, with help from their three sons, Jonathan, Ryan, and Jeremiah, produced most of the musical sound track for this show. They worked on it most weekends and evenings from mid-December to early March. The computer-generated sound track blends the sound of individual instruments into an entire orchestra . . .” Sebring’s HLT had now truly entered the high tech arena.

In the Twenty-ninth Season, Mrs. Lambright was the Producer of Sue McCollum’s revival of the long running Off-Broadway musical success, The Fantasticks. She was acknowledged for her work by being nominated at the season’s end for a Best Producer nomination.

The Thirtieth Season brought more honors to the Lambrights. Vealda and her husband were nominated and won a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for their musical coordination of the musicals The Scarlet Pimpernel and Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Since 1997, Vealda has been involved in 8 plays, 4 Zenon Ceremonies, and been mentioned in 20 HLT Newsletters and 20 local newspaper articles for a total of 52 citations.

Thank you for the music Ma’am.

Photo of  Wayne  Lambright
Wayne Lambright
A fine mix of technical and artistic talents By: Roy Riedy

Wayne Lambright’s name was connected with HLT in its July, 2000, Newsletter that noted that he would be playing the part of Mr. Brownlow in the upcoming production of Oliver! to be presented the next month by Director Melanie Boulay.

Wayne is a state-certified residential real estate appraiser working for the Polk County Property Appraiser as Land Analyst/Sales verification Specialist. He is married to Vealda Lambright who is also a member of Highlands Little Theatre as are his three sons, Jonathan, Ryan, and Jeremiah who have all participated in productions of the Children’s Academy of Theater (CAT) and worked behind the scenes and on the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse.

Mr. Lambright’s second stage appearance was in April, 2001, in Jim McCollum’s musical Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in which he played Chip Brewster and was also a member of the chorus. Wayne received a nomination at the Zenon Awards the following October for his work in producing the music for the McCollum show. His third role was in August when he appeared in Tammie Pollard’s venturous West Side Story as Lt. Shrank.

Wayne got even busier in the Twenty-eighth Season. In November, 2001, he worked on the set construction of Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Guys and Dolls; in January he and his wife, Vealda, did the scripted music recording for Pete Pollard’s rural drama, Foxfire; in March he played Simon, one of Joseph’s many brothers, in Joe Willis’ extravaganza Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, and worked countless hours as Music Coordinator with his wife Vealda Lambright, who shared that job.

In August, 2002, Wayne was responsible for the videography of Melanie Boulay’s smash musical hit Peter Pan, and in October his hard work yielded Wayne his first Zenon and a second one for his wife Vealda Lambright at the 17th Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies”.

Mr. Lambright was involved with four of the five plays presented in the Twenty-ninth Season at Highlands Little Theatre. He and Phil Attinger were the Sound Technicians for Pete Pollard’sSteel Magnolias in January, 2003.

He was the Videographer for Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s production of Brigadoon in March, and also, with his son Jonathan, for Allen Branch’s production of The Hound of the Baskervilles in June. In August, Wayne appeared on stage as Bellomy, one of the fathers in Sue McCollum’s revival of the musical The Fantastiks.

In October, at The 18th Annual Zenon Awards, Mr. Lambright was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his part as Bellomy in The Fantastics. He won his second Zenon, with his son, Jonathan, for their work as videographers for the 18th Season. Mr. Lambright’s contributions to HLT are truly a modern mix of the artistic and technical, another undeniable sign of things to come.

During the 30th Season Wayne was the Videographer for Melanie Boulay’s Off- Broadway revue, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and played the role of Coupeau in Jennifer Westergom’s dressy Scarlet Pimpernel. He participated in the Fourth of July Patriotic Review and played Pontius Pilate in Tammie Pollard’s outstanding presentation of Jesus Christ, Superstar and also worked on the musical coordination of that show and The Scarlet Pimpernel which earned him a third Zenon at the 19th Annual Zenon Awards. HLT is indeed favored with a powerful resource in the gifted and talented Mr. Lambright.

In the 31st Season Wayne worked on Frank Oberhausen’s November, 2004, production of The Music Man as a member of the chorus and as the show’s video editor. In January, 2005, he played the Allergist, Dr. V. Ira Taub, in Peter Pollard’s presentation of Charles Busch’s The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. Wayne was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the 20th Zenons for his portrayal of the wisdom seeking doctor. He was also nominated for a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon at that Zenon Ceremony for his Musical Orchestration and Recording of Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s record breaking production of Cabaret #2.

The 32nd Season found Wayne working as Musical Director, Videographer, and Musical Production for Mike McMillian’s Hoodwinked; Joe Willis’ Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Mac Byron’s Drop Dead; and Tammie Pollard’s Zenon winning Grease. His labors in these fields nominated him for a Production/Technical Zenon which he won at the 21st Zenon Awards in October, 2006, making him one of the ten HLT members who now possess four Zenons, four Zenons that represent untold hours of technical and artistic labors which have given our theatrical endeavors their professional sheen. Thank you Wayne for sharing your many gifts with a grateful Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  JIm  Lanier
JIm Lanier
Recipient of Eight Zenons By: Roy Riedy

The first time that Jim Lanier’s name was connected with Highlands Little Theatre was in September of 1989 when it appeared in a News-Sun article that published the cast of the upcoming musical,The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the following November. It briefly stated that Jim Lanier would play the French prince. With that short announcement Mr. Lanier’s career was launched at HLT, and the rest, as writers are so fond of saying, is history.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown was the first of twenty-one plays that Jim would be associated with at the Lakeside Playhouse. He went on to play five more wonderful roles: The Chef in the August, 1990 presentation of Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water, a part that won him his first Best Supporting Actor Zenon. He also won a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon at this Fifth Annual Awards Ceremony for his outstanding achievement as the vocal director in that season’s musical play Hello Dolly.

In June of 1991 he was heard but not seen as the voice of Audrey II, a part that earned him his second Best Supporting Actor Zenon, in the hugely popular and successful Little Shop of Horrors. Beside his second Zenon as Best Supporting Actor, Jim also won a second Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon at the Sixth Zenon Presentations for his outstanding achievement as music director of Oklahoma, the choral director of The Music Man, music director and assistant director of Little Shop of Horrors, and director of the fourth of July musical review.

In January, 1992 he co-starred with Patty Dumont as Vernon Gersch in Neil Simon’s musical They’re Playing Our Song; and in April of that year he was the Vocal director of Jule Styne and Bob Merrill’sFunny Girl and was seen on stage as Mr. Renaldi. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Ceremonies Jim was rewarded for his outstanding achievement as music director for Mame and Funny Girl, and received his first Board Service Zenon for his outstanding contributions to the theatre for his work in the after show piano bar in Anthony’s Lounge. He received his fourth Production/Technical discretionaryZenon at the Eighth Annual Zenon Ceremonies for his work as assistant director of Nunsense and as the music and vocal director of Nunsense and Camelot.

In March of 1994 Jim played the one time Ezio Pinza role of Emile de Becque in Rogers and Hammerstein’s big hit South Pacific, and in November of the same year directed Stephen Sondheim’s famous musical GypsyGypsy became a big winner at the Zenons at the end of the season. Not only did it win Best Director for Jim, but it also gave Beverly Padgett the Best Actress Zenon for her role as Rose; Best Supporting Actress Zenon to Melanie Angus for her portrayal of Gypsy Rose Lee; Best Stage Manager to Janet Waldron; Best Producers to Tena Conyer and Marge Pollard; and Best Lighting Design to Frank Oberhausen - six Zenons in all.

With his eight Zenons as shining proof, Jim Lanier is tied in eighth place with Gordy Mattson and Tammie Pollard as outstanding members of Highlands Little Theatre who have reached a high plateau of honor and recognition.

Thank you Jim for the countless hours of work that went into gaining these awards. We too, your audience, are also winners for having been present to see you in your award winning roles and to listen to your beautiful music, we have enjoyed your work and are grateful to you for sharing your many talents with us.

 

Jim recently appeared on stage in the May 2012 showing of “Doubt”.

Photo of  Pamela  Lanier
Pamela Lanier
Gypsy's Musical Director By: Roy Riedy

Pamela Lanier was Jim Lanier’s Musical Director for his Zenon winning production of Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim’s popular musical Gypsy, presented in November, 1994, as the opening show of HLT’s Twenty-first Season.

The play, based on the life of Gypsy Rose Lee, was the big winner at the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1995, and accumulated 8 Zenons which included: a Best Director Zenon for Mr. Jim Lanier; Best Actress for Beverly Padgett, as Rose; Best Supporting Actress for Melanie Boulay, as Gypsy; Best Producers for Tena Conyer and Margie Pollard; Best Stage Manager for Janet Waldron; Best Lighting Design for Frank Oberhausen, Best Lighting Technician for Barbara Holt, and last, but certainly not least, the Best Music Director and Conductor award went to Pamela Lanier.

This was the only play that Mrs. Lanier was involved with at Highlands Little Theatre. The theater records show that Pam, besides her work on Gypsy and her attendance at the Tenth Zenon Ceremony, has attended two First Nighter Galas, been mentioned in two HLT Newsletters and three local news articles for a total of nine Citations.

Photo of  Bill  LaPeer
Bill LaPeer
A Team Player By: Roy Riedy

Bill LaPeer was welcomed as a new member of Highlands Little Theatre in its November, 2001 Newsletter. Since that initial welcome Bill has been singled out in five other HLT Newsletters in appreciation for his work with the Brushes and Brooms Team that sees to it that the Playhouse is in spotless shape during the runs of the season’s shows. Mr. LaPeer has been involved in other volunteer work that included the thankless but necessary task of stuffing Zenon ballots for mass mailing.

The October, 2003, Newsletter contained the announcement that Mr. LaPeer and Mickie Cosgriff were the recipients of the September, 2003 Gracie Award. The article went on to say:
“. . . two very special members, Mickie Cosgriff and Bill LaPeer have donated countless hours keeping HLT beautiful with the Brushes and Brooms Committee and as House Managers. Mickie and Bill are familiar faces to any HLT member or patron who has attended a show recently. Thank you for your dedication to HLT. Your fellow thespians truly appreciate you!”

The Gracie Award is indeed an indication of many hours spent in the service of the Little Theatre and it is the organization’s way of expressing its gratitude and thanks from an alert and appreciative Board of Directors. Congratulations Bill.

Photo of  Ellen  Lemos
Ellen Lemos
Funny Lady with Two Zenons By: Roy Riedy

Ellen arrived in Sebring in June, 2001, and things at Highlands Little Theatre haven’t been the same since. She has played five different roles and each one inevitably lead her on to theZenon she received at the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies for Best Supporting Actress on October 9, 2004.

She was almost shielded from view by musical instruments in her first part as a band member of the Salvation Army in Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill‘s 2001 reprise of Guys and Dolls. However, she was hard to miss in Joe Willis‘ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the spring of 2002 when she emoted the loss of her favorite brother-in-law, Joseph.

She was indisputably noticed as Olive Harriet Smythe, dog lover and successful writer, in Mike Logsdon‘s June, 2002, production of Move Over Mrs. Markham, when she moved the audience to uncontrollable laughter.

Ellen established her versatility in Melanie Boulay‘s Thirtieth Season opening play, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, when she protrayed twelve different characters, displayed her faultless timing, and proved that she could sing.

All these appearances where only prologs to her portrayal of Nurse Foster in Mike Logsdon‘s January, 2004, farce, Out Of Order. This British import allowed Ms. Lemos to elevate stage business to a fine art which delighted her audience. Her hip massaging, knee bending movements seemed to spring spontaneously from her depths whenever they were triggered and the clamorous roars of approval only enkindled her to greater themes and variations. The Zenon she received for this glee was the only logical consequence and reward for her talent and its promise.

Besides the five plays in which she has participated, Ellen has been involved in three Zenon Ceremonies; and her name has been seen in fourteen HLT Newsletters and thirty-seven local news items for a total of fifty-nine citations.

What follows is an update of what Ellen has been doing at HLT since her first Zenon award at the end of the Thirtieth Season.

During the Thirty-first Season Ellen appeared in Frank Oberhausen‘s November, 2004 revival of The Music Man as Alma Hix, a walk-on part that left a lasting impression with the audience. There is no such thing as a small part when Ellen is playing one, only short ones.

During the run of Cabaret II in August, 2006, Ellen joined Jackie Scheil’s staff in Anthony’s Lounge and more laughs began to be heard from that section of the Lakeside Playhouse too. At the 20th Zenon Awards, Ellen received a nomination for a Board Service Award for her outstanding achievements in Anthony’s Lounge. Ellen was also a presenter at this Zenon Ceremony and delivered the award for the Best Actor in a Supporting Role to Pete Pollard for his role of Herr Schultz in Cabaret II.

The Thirty-second Season opened with Mike McMillian’s medieval laugh-riot Hoodwinked with Ellen playing the role of a dangerously corsetted nursemaid Grundela. Needless to say, she made her presence felt in the play. During the run of Hoodwinked, Ellen found time to wait on and amuse the customers of Anthony’s Lounge which had by then become her personal stage.

Ellen could be found dispensing drinks and laughter in Anthony’s Lounge during the presentation of the four remaining main stage productions of the Thirty-second Season and was also seen and heard on the main stage for Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s ”extra” revue in April, Broadway in Concert, as one of its singers and actors.

In October at the 21st Annual Zenon Awards, Ellen received her second award, a Board Service Zenon, which she shared with Jackie Scheil ”for their endless efforts running Anthony’s Lounge.”

Congratulations Ellen on your artistic and lounge achievements, I’m sure that this second Zenon you just received is still just the tip of a much larger pyramid.

 

Photo of  Jessica  Lewia
Jessica Lewia
A Talented Actress By: Roy Riedy

Jessica was still a Sebring High School student when she appeared in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof in March, 1987, as a villager of Anatevka, the play’s famous setting which she also had a part in building. She was the Stage Manager of the following play, Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa’s June production of The Fantasticks. In August she appeared as Cecily Pigeon in Jet Hansen’s reprise of Neil Simon’s well known comedy, The Odd Couple.

In the Fourteenth Season, Jessica was the Lighting and Sound Technician for Peter Pollard’s, January, 1988, production of another Neil Simon comedy, Barefoot in the Park. At the Third Annual ZenonAwards Ceremony in late September, 1988, Jessica was a member of the Stage Crew for the Ceremony which was made up of Sebring High School Thespians.

During the Fifteenth Season Jessica was involved in four HLT productions. In January, 1989, Jessica played the part of Myrtle Mae Simmons in Tena Conyer’s production of the Mary Chase classic comedy, Harvey. During Frank Oberhausen’s production of the musical The King and I, Jessica worked as a waitress in the dining room. She was a Lighting Technician during Peter Pollard’s musical Sweet Charity, and she did the Lights for Janelou Buck’s reprise of Mister Roberts in August, 1989. Jessica received her first Production/Technical Award for her outstanding achievement in technical lighting operation for the season at the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in late September.

Jessica worked on three HLT productions during the Sixteenth Season. She was a Lighting Technician for Marian Dunham’s musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown. In January, 1990, during Peter Pollard’s comedy, On Golden Pond, Miss Lewia was a waitress for Gourmet, and in August, she was a Lighting Technician for Tena Conyer’s comedy, Don’t Drink the Water.

Jet Hansen opened the Seventeenth Season at HLT with the musical Oklahoma! in which Jessica played the role of Ado Annie. At Christmas time she and Frank Oberhausen did the Lighting for Marian Dunham’s Christmas Dreams, and in January, 1991, during Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias, Jessica once again waited on tables in the dining room. At the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Jessica was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part of Ado Annie in Jet Hansen’s Oklahoma!

During her five seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, Jessica was associated with 13 plays, three Zenon Ceremonies and 1 Christmas Program. She won a Production/Technical Award for her outstanding achievement in technical lighting operation at the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards and was nominated for another award at the Sixth Annual Ceremony. Miss Lewia was mentioned in 7 HLT Newsletters and 6 local news articles for a total of 31 Citations.

She was a talented volunteer and a natural actress. Come back any time Jessica.

Photo of  Mike  Logsdon
Mike Logsdon
Successful Importer of British Farce By: Roy Riedy

Mike Logsdon has been associated with thirty-five plays since he came to Highlands Little Theatre in June, 1996. That summer he worked as a house manager during the run of Tammie Pollard’s production of Play It Again Sam. Since that June, over seven years ago, Mike has been involved in 34 more plays, directed two of them, assisted the director in a fourth, produce one, and acted in six others. He has been elected to be the Vice President of HLT twice, been the Co- Emcee of four Zenon Ceremonies, been nominated for awards at six Zenon Ceremonies and has been the recipient of awards at three of them. Behind the scenes he has worked as a house manager, on the kitchen staff, and helped construct several more sets. He has been cited in 64 newspaper articles and 50 newsletters, and still finds time to teach science at Sebring High School.

Mike got his first taste of directing at HLT when he assisted Tammie Pollard in her direction of the second edition of the wonderful Stephen Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum in August, 1997, a play that he also worked on as a Lighting Technician. At the Twelfth Zenon Awards Ceremonies the following October, Mike was nominated for his contributions to the musical.

Mr. Logsdon was Peter Pollard’s Producer for his January, 1998 production of the little known musical My Favorite Year. In June of that year he appeared on HLT’s stage for the first time in the part of Reubin Sloan in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s robust production of Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. In August he played the part of analyst Ernie Cusak in Tammie Pollard’s jocular production of Neil Simon’s comedy Rumors. Mike was awarded his first Zenon, Best Supporting Actor of the year, for his exceptional acting as Ernie at the Thirteenth Zenon Ceremonies.

Mike was seen on the Lakeside Playhouse’s stage twice the following season. In June, 1999, he appeared in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s production of Joseph Kesselring’s classic comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace, as Teddy Brewster who was convinced that Panama was in the basement and Cuba someplace upstairs. Mike was an Emcee at the Zenon Ceremonies that season, a season that saw him nominated again for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.

The Twenty-sixth Season opened with first time director John Lovelette’s excellent production of Ken Kesey’s celebrated novel One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. Mike played Ruckly, one of the several odd birds that populate the play’s nest of cracked characters. In June he directed the zany British import, Run For Your Wife, a play that was awarded 4 Zenons at the 15th Zenon Ceremonies, at which he presided again as an Emcee. His farce captured Best Actor for Jerry Pollard as the wild-eyed John Smith; Best Supporting Actor for Rush Loughry for his laid-back turn as Stanley Gardner; and two Zenons for Mike Logsdon, Best Director, and the much desired Zenon, Best Play. Mike had acquired a Zenon for each full season he had been associated with Highlands Little Theatre, certainly some sort of record.

Mac Byron served up another helping of Tuna on the weekend of December 8th, 2000 as an HLT “Extra Event” and Mike was one of the 8 actors who played several parts in this second part of a trilogy that Mac is intent on bringing to the Lakeside Playhouse. This installment was A Tuna Christmas in which Mike played three of the 21 characters from Tuna, the third smallest town in Texas. In March of 2001 Mike was elected to the first of two terms as Vice President of HLT, and in August he and Dee McDonald Emceed the Sixteenth Zenon Ceremonies.

The 28th Season opened with Frank Oberhausen’s version of the musical Guys and Dolls in which Mike played Big Jule. In March he worked on the set of the hugely successful Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, directed by first time director Joe Wilkes; in June he directed his second British Farce, the well received Move Over Mrs. Markham; and in October, he was a nominee for another Best Director award at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies.

Most recently, Mike became the recipient of the Gracie Award for October, 2003 for his dedication to HLT and his volunteering in many areas of theater work .

Thank you for your “top drawer” farces, Mike, your guidance as Vice President of our organization, your culinary activity in the kitchen, and the many other services you have given Highlands Little Theatre. We are a better group for having you as one of our members as this recent honor of a Gracie Award so accurately accentuates.

Photo of  Vanessa  Logsdon
Vanessa Logsdon
A Valuable Asset By: Roy Riedy

Vanessa Logsdon’s name appears for the first time in the Box Office section of the playbill for Sue McCollum’s HLT production of Bye Bye, Birdie in April, 2000. In the next program, her husband Mike’s June production of Run For Your Wife, her name is listed again in the Box Office section. The next play was Melanie Boulay’s Oliver! and Vanessa again appeared listed once more in the Box Office section, a pattern seemed to be developing.

In the Twenty-seventh Season her name occurred repeatedly with the Box Office personnel throughout the season and the same holds true for the Twenty-eighth Season.

At the Zenon Ceremony at the end of the Twenty-eighth Season Vanessa was the recipient of her first Zenon for Outstanding Achievement in Box Office, Scholarship Committee, and House Management.

Vanessa’s name was again listed in the Box Office section of the program for Frank Oberhausen’s opening show of the Twenty-ninth Season, his inspirational Man of La Mancha and has appeared in the Box Office section for the next nine shows. Her name also appeared in the program for the 2004 Fourth of July Patriotic Review and at the 19th Zenon Ceremonies was awarded a second Zenon for her outstanding achievement with the HLT Box Office Committee and Special Events.

Since April, 2000, when Vanessa’s name first appeared associated with Highlands Little Theatre, her name can be found in 22 play programs, 8 local newspaper articles,19 HLT Newsletters, 1 Fourth of July Review, and 3 Zenon programs for a total of 53 citations that connect her with Highlands Little Theatre. Thank you Vanessa for your help with the worthwhile projects that you have affiliated yourself with at HLT, you are a valuable asset to our theater.

Photo of  Rush  Loughry
Rush Loughry
A Natural By: Roy Riedy

Rush Loughry first appeared on the HLT stage in Tammie Pollard’s June, 1996, production of Woody Allen’s comedy, Play it again, Sam. It was a bit more than a walk-on part, “ride-on” would be more accurate, for he was cast as Biker #1. His second appearance was in the duel roles of Mr. Gilmer and Boo Radley in Melanie Boulay’s directorial debut in January, 1997, To Kill a Mockingbird . Frank Oberhausen presented the dressy La Cage aux folles as the next play and Mr. Loughry played the “maid” Jacob in this Tony winning musical interpretation of the funny French movie. The tireless Mr. Loughry also appeared in the following play of the season, Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s well known comedy, George Washington Slept Here, directed by Mac Byron. Rush played the naive and likable Newton Fuller who discovers the value of a guaranteed title. Rush ended his busy season by being one of the Proteans in Tammie Pollard’s Zenon winning production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Rush Loughry and Tammie Pollard were the Masters of Ceremonies for the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies. Rush was nominated for three Zenons at that Ceremony: Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his part as the Prosecutor in To Kill a Mockingbird and also as Jacob in La Cage aux folles; and Best Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Newton in George Washington Slept Here.

Mr. Loughry was in only one play during the Twenty-fourth Season, Peter Pollard’s production of My Favorite Year, in which he played King Kaiser, a Sid Caesar type of comedian. The role won him another nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Zenon Ceremonies that ended the season at which he and Tammie once again officiated as Masters of Ceremonies.

Rush reappeared on the Little Theater stage in June, 2000, in Mike Logsdon’s Zenon winning comedy, Run For Your Wife, as the idle and serpentine Stanley Gardner, confidant of the two timing cabby John Smith, also flawlessly played by Jerry Pollard. The two actors were born for their parts and this was confirmed when they both won Zenons for their work, Best Supporting Actor for Rush, and Best Actor in a Leading role for Jerry. Their scenes together have already become “Great moments at HLT.”

The last show in which Mr. Loughry performed before he was accepted at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC was Jet Hansen’s revival of On Golden Pond in November, 2000. Rush played the role of Charlie and turned the bit part into a aria. Just another indication of the even greater things that can be expected from Mr. Loughry when he finishes his training in NYC.

Rush acted in 8 plays while he was with HLT, was associated with 3 Zenon Ceremonies, won a Zenon for Best Supporting Actor as Stanley Gardner in Mike Logsdon’s Zenon winning comedy Run For Your Wife, was mentioned in 33 news articles in local papers, and 25 HLT Newsletters for a total of 69 citations. Your work at HLT will long be remembered Rush, and your return is anxiously awaited.

Photo of  John  Lovelette
John Lovelette
An Organization's Dream By: Roy Riedy

John Lovelette arrived at HLT seven years ago in time to be in the great Zenon winning production of Frank Oberhausen’s second revival of Fiddler on the Roof in March of 1996, in which he played one of the residents of Anatevka. Two plays later he play Captain Albert Lennox in Marian Dunham and Mac Byron’s venturesome musical The Secret Garden.

Jet Hansen opened HLT’s Twenty-third Season with the retro-musical Forever Plaid for which John worked as a member of the stage crew. The musical was followed by Melanie Boulay’s touching To Kill a Mockingbird and again John was part of the stage crew and had the walk-on part of Link Deas. In April Frank Oberhausen changed the theatrical mood by presenting his flamboyant production ofLa Cage aux folles and John had his first experience with being part of the production staff by serving as Mr. Oberhausen’s Assistant Director. Mac Byron’s comedy George Washington Slept Here followed and John served as Assistant Director for Mr. Byron too. During the run of the final play of the season, Tammie Pollard’s revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, John worked with the Kitchen Staff of the Gourmet Division of the theater. At the Twelfth Zenon Awards Ceremonies John was nominated for a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for his two Assistant Director efforts during the season.

The Twenty-fourth Season at HLT was just as busy for John as the previous one; again he participated in all five main stage events. The season opened with Sue McCollum’s virtuous Godspell and John could again be found working with the kitchen staff. He was the stage manager for the second play, Peter Pollard’s musical My Favorite Year, a job he managed so well that he was awarded his first Zenon for Best Stage Manager at the end-of-the-year Awards Ceremonies. For the third play, Frank Oberhausen’s revival his earlier success Annie, John served as the production’s Assistant Director. John worked in the kitchen during Beverly Brando Gillilan’s Paint Your Wagon, but reappeared on the stage to play the part of Ken Gorman in Tammie Pollard’s production of Neil Simon’s comedy, Rumors. It was during this season that John was elected to the Board of Directors of HLT.

Melanie Boulay’s The Wizard of Oz opened HLT’s Twenty-fifth Season in November, 1998 and John worked in the kitchen with the Gourmet staff during the duration of the play. In January, 1999, Peter Pollard’s successful Miracle Worker opened with Frank Oberhausen and John providing the Lighting Design and serving as the technicians. Frank Oberhausen reprised The Sound of Music for the third show of the season and John Lovelette was his Producer and Assistant Director. During the run of Beverly Brando Gillilan’s revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, John once again worked with the kitchen staff. At the Fourteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, John received three nominations: Best Producer for The Sound of Music; a Production/Technical Zenon for his work as Assistant Director of The Sound of Music; and a Best Lighting Design with Frank Oberhausen for their work on The Miracle Worker, which they won. It was John’s second Zenon in as many years.

Mr. Lovelette’s three years of theatrical apprenticeship at the Lakeside Playhouse resulted in his production of the play One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, based on the novel by Ken Kesey, which he directed for the opening of HLT’s Twenty-sixth Season. It’s success can be measured by the four Zenons it won at the Awards Ceremonies which included: Best Producer, Best Lighting, Set, and Sound Design. John continued to work in the theater’s kitchen the entire season and still found time to handle his duties as Vice President of the organization and to collaborate with Director Frank Oberhausen on the Lighting Design for his revival of the hit musical Annie Get Your Gun.

During the Twenty-seventh Season John worked on the set of Jet Hansen’s reprise of On Golden Pond in November, 2000, and Frank Oberhausen’s triumphant remounting of The King and I in January, 2001. During the April presentation of Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, he worked in Anthony’s Lounge, and during Tammie Pollard’s musical West Side Story he worked with the Master and Sous Chefs in the theater’s kitchen.

John spent the entire Twenty-eighth Season with the exception of helping work on the set of Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Guys and Dolls, working as a chef in the kitchen of the Lakeside Playhouse.

Most recently John’s name appears in the playbill for Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s revival of Man of LaMancha, presented in November, 2002, again in the section devoted to those that work in the Gourmet Division.

All told, John has been associated with 31 plays and 4 Zenon Ceremonies, 1 Christmas Show and 1 First Nighter, since he joined HLT in 1996. He has been on the Board of Directors and Vice President of the organization and been recognized with two Zenons for his many stage activities. His name has been mentioned in 27 HLT Newsletters and 26 local news articles for an impressive total of 90 citations.

John Lovelette is the type of member that every organization dreams of having have as a worker and Highlands Little Theatre is a better organization for having his name on its rolls.

Photo of  Teri  Lovelette
Teri Lovelette
Busy Behind the Scenes By: Roy Riedy

Teri Lovelette began her association with HLT with Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer production of Same Time Next Year in June, 1995. A year later her name appeared in the program of Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s August, 1996, presentation of The Secret Garden as a member of the staff of Anthony’s Lounge. Forever Plaid was presented in October, 1996 by Jet Hansen and Teri’s name was again listed as part of the staff of Anthony’s Lounge, as it did in the programs of Melanie Boulay’s production of To Kill A Mockingbird, Frank Oberhausen’s La Cage aux Folles, Mac Byron’s George Washington Slept Here, and Tammie Pollard’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, in August of 1997. In May, 1997, Mrs. Lovelette became the Secretary of HLT, a position she held for three years. Teri made her first appearance on the HLT stage as a presenter at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 1997.

Sue McCollum’s Godspell opened the Twenty-fourth Season in October, 1997. Teri spent the entire season working in Anthony’s Lounge during the presentation of all five plays and still found time to be Frank Oberhausen’s Prop person for his revival of Annie, a task for which she received a Production/Technical nomination at the Thirteenth Zenon Ceremonies in October, 1998.

Besides her duties as Secretary of HLT and a member of the staff of Anthony’s Lounge during the Twenty-fifth Season, Teri participated in the first presentation of Sounds of the Season in December, 1998, and worked on the set of Frank Oberhausen’s April,1999, reprise of The Sound of Music.’

John Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest opened the Twenty-sixth Season and Teri served as her husband’s Assistant. The next play of the season was Frank Oberhausens revival of Annie Get Your Gun which was produced by Teri. During Sue McCollum’s Bye Bye, Birdie, Mike Logsdon’s Run For Your Wife, and Melanie Boulay’s Oliver!, Teri was back working with the staff of Anthony’s Lounge. At the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October, 2000, Teri and Sue McCollum were awarded Zenons for Best Producers of John Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. The award was Teri’s first Zenon.

The Twenty-seventh Season of HLT opened with Jet Hansen’s revival of On Golden Pond, for which Teri worked on the Set Construction. During the next two plays, Frank Oberhausen’s lavish reprise of The King and I, and Jim McCollum’s bow to Southwestern recreation, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Teri again worked with the staff of Anthony’s Lounge.

During Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Guys and Dolls which opened HLT’s Twenty-eighth Season, Teri worked with the Kitchen Line Staff of the Gourmet Division, a duty she continued during Peter Pollard’s Foxfire, Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham.

Since joining HLT in 1995, Terri has been associated with 28 plays and 1 Christmas program at Highlands Little Theatre. She has been involved with 3 Zenon Ceremonies and received a Zenon with Sue McCollum for Best Producers of John Lovelette’s robust presentation of One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest. She has been the Secretary of HLT for three consecutive terms. Teri has attended 1 First Nighter Gala and had her name mentioned in 19 HLT Newsletters and 13 local news articles for a total of 65 citations.

The members of Highlands Little Theatre applaud Teri’s participation in these many events and are grateful to her for her selfless spirit which has been a great benefit to the growth of theater in Highlands County and an outstanding example to all.

Photo of  Jeffery  Lynch
Jeffery Lynch
December, 2004, Gracie Award Winner By: Roy Riedy

The December, 2004, Gracie Award was awarded to Jeffery Lynch who has spent many hours working backstage as a crew member. Last November he worked on Melanie Boulay’s musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and last spring on Jennifer Westergom’s Zenon winning Scarlet Pimpernel. In addition to his behind the scenes work, he has volunteered his services in Anthony’s Lounge as a bartender and assisted in repairing the air conditioners when they failed during the run of this season’s The Music Man. It is said that he also gets coerced into folding newsletters each month for his wife is the HLT newsletter editor, Lindsay Lynch.

Since Jeffery joined Highlands Little Theatre in the Thirtieth Season he has been associated with two plays and been mentioned in eight HLT Newsletters and three local news articles for a total of thirteen citations.

Thank you, Jeffery, for all of your good works. You are truly appreciated and we hope to see you around HLT for many years to come.

 

Lifting the bar

By: Vanessa Logsdon & Roy Riedy

The June 2007, Gracie winner was announced at the June Membership meeting by Administrative Assistant Vanessa Logsdon who told the audience, “June – as usual, when help is needed, someone steps up to answer the call. During the run of My Fair Lady, there was a shortage of lounge staff, and most who did work did not know how to set up, break down, or even make some of the drinks. That’s where this person jumped in to help. Without being asked, he showed up for extra shifts and made sure our patrons were satisfied and our volunteers were supported.

Due to an emergency, one night the scheduled person couldn’t make it at the last minute. Thanks to our winner, the lounge was opened on time and staffed for the entire shift. No one was the wiser about how close we came to not having the bar open that night. With much gratitude, the June Gracie goes to Jeff Lynch. Congratulations Jeff, you’re the kind of member that HLT likes to have – bar none.”

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Kathy  MacNeill
Kathy MacNeill
Six Busy Years By: Roy Riedy

Kathy MacNeill was first seen on the stage at Highlands Little Theatre in October, 1997 as a member of Sue McCollum’s ensemble players in her earnest presentation of Godspell. Since her debut Kathy has been associated with 22 other plays at the Lakeside Playhouse.

Her appearance in Godspell was followed in April, 1998, in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Annie in which Kathy played a Hooverite named Mary and was one of the lovely singing Boylan Sisters, Ronnie. In June she was the Music Director for Beverly Brando Gillilan’s Paint Your Wagon, in which she also appeared as Sarah Woodling and a Barmaid. In August she was seen as Claire Ganz in Tammie Pollard’s presentation of Neil Simon’s comedy Rumors. At the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Kathy sang “You Can Always Count on Me” from City of Angels, and received nominations in two categories: Best Actress in a Leading Role for her part as Claire Ganz in Rumors; and a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her ensemble role in Godspell.

In HLT’s Twenty-fifth Season, Kathy was involved in six stage events: she was a Seamstress and a Prop Assistant, and did Make-up for Melanie Boulay’s still remembered Wizard of Oz; she sang in Unity’s Community Project Sounds of the Season at Christmas time; was a waitress during the run of Peter Pollard’s The Miracle Worker; in April she was the Music Director, Choreographer, and Accompanist for Frank Oberhausen’s return of The Sound of Music; she returned to waiting tables during Beverly Brando Gillilan’s Arsenic and Old Lace; and in August Kathy was the Producer and played Belinda Blair/Falvia Brent in Jet Hansen’s resounding Noises Off. At the Fourteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October Kathy sang “Hold on to Your Hero” and received three nominations for her work during the Twenty-fifth Season, a Best Producer Zenon for Noises Off, and two Production/Technical Zenon nominations, one for her Make-up in The Wizard of Oz, and a second for her Musical Direction, Accompaniment and Choreography in The Sound of Music.

The Twenty-sixth Season opened with John Lovelette’s production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Kathy was heard but not seen as one of the voices heard on tape. Kathy was Frank Oberhausen’s Assistant Director and Sound person for his revival of Annie Get Your Gun in January, 2000. In April, she played the part of Rose Alverez in Sue McCollum’s 50′s musical Bye Bye, Birdie. At the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October she sang “I’ll Cover You” from Rent and received nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her part of rose Alverez in Bye Bye, Birdie; a Production/Technical nomination for Assistant Director, Make-up, Sound Design, and Sound Technician of Annie Get Your Gun.

During the Twenty-seventh Season Kathy was associated with four different plays: she was a House Manager during Jet Hansen’s On Golden Pond; she was Frank Oberhausen’s Assistant Director and Choreographer, Make-up Designer, and Sound Technician for The King and I; she was a House Manager again during Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Steve McDaniel’s Moon Over Buffalo. At the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony she and Peter Pollard presented the Best Stage Manager Zenon, and she was nominated and won her first Zenon a Production/TechnicalZenon for her many duties for Annie Get Your Gun.

In the Twenty-eigth season Kathy was the Co-Director of Guys and Dolls with Frank Oberhausen; she worked as a House Manager during Peter Pollard’s Foxfire, Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham and Melanie Boulay’s Peter Pan. At Zenon time in October she performed “Where You Are” from The Kiss of the Spiderwoman with her husband Darin MacNeill and was nominated for a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for her work with Heather Boyce on the Choreography of Guys and Dolls.

Most recently Kathy and Frank Oberhausen Co-Directed Man of La Mancha, in which Kathy also worked on the Make-up. In March, 2003, she and Frank Oberhausen also co-directed a revival of the musical Brigadoon.

At the Zenon Ceremonies in October, 2003, Kathy received her second Zenon Award for her co-direction of the musical Man of La Mancha with Frank Oberhausen.

In all, Kathy has been associated with 23 plays, 5 Zenon Ceremonies and 1 Christmas program since she joined Highlands Little Theatre. She has been mentioned in 57 local newspaper articles, and 38 HLT Newsletter for a total of 147 citations. Her innate talent and hard work has promoted her to a notable force at Highlands Little Theatre. Thank you Kathy for your outstanding contributions to theater in Highlands County.

Photo of  Mark  Manley
Mark Manley
A Zenon for Best Set Art By: Roy Riedy

The first time Mark Manley’s name appeared in an HLT document was in the April, 1997, in the program for La Cage aux Folles. He was listed as a member of the Production Staff as part of the Set Construction Crew. In August of the same year, he was one of a quartet who were responsible for the Set Art of the Sondheim revival A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum.

The Twenty-fourth Season opened with Sue McCollum’s heartfelt production of Godspell and Mark was listed as one of the contributors to the Set Art, a pattern of his work that continued to unfold. The next play of the season was Peter Pollard’s presentation of My Favorite Year in which Mark performed duties as Flssr Pvlanger (sic) and also worked on Set Costruction (sic), two jobs with which I have no familiarity. A revival of the popular musical Annie by Frank Oberhausen followed My Favorite Year, and once again Mark was listed with the Set Construction Crew and also as a contributor to the Set Design. Beverly Gillilan’s Paint Your Wagon appeared next and Mark was again part of Set Construction Crew, a position he also held in Melanie Boulay’s The Wizard of Oz and Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music.

HLT’s Twenty-sixth Season opened with John Lovelette’s memorable production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest for which Mark Manley and Holly Elliott collaborated on the Set Art. Their joint effort paid off with a Zenon at the end of the season. For the next show , Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Annie Get Your Gun, Mark was billed in the program as the “Sign Writer.” In October at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies Mark and Holly Elliott collected their Zenons for the Best Set Art of the Season for their work on the set of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

In April, 2001, Mark worked on the Set Art of Jim McCollum’s production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas with Janet King; and in November, 2001, for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Guys and Dolls, he was billed again as producing the Signs. At the end of the Twenty-eighth Season Mark was nominated for a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for his Set Art for Guys and Dolls.

Since 1997 Mr. Manley has been involved in 12 Plays at HLT and 4 Zenon Ceremonies; his name has appeared in 7 HLT Newsletters and 9 local newspaper for a total of 32 citations. Mark’s talent and professionalism has enhanced every show he has been associated with and for this the members of Highlands Little Theatre are most grateful.

Photo of  Peg  Markowitz
Peg Markowitz
Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

During Peg Markowitz’s brief association with Highlands Little Theatre, she won a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Zenon for her part of Marion Hollander in Tena Conyer’s reprise of Woody Allen’s durable comedy Don’t Drink the Water, presented at the Lakeside Playhouse in August, 1990.

Before moving to Sebring in 1989, Mrs. Markowitz was involved with community theatre for many years in Rochester, Minnesota, were she taught French and Spanish.

Besides being mentioned in the program for Don’t Drink the Water and the Fifth, Sixth, and Tenth Annual Zenon Ceremony programs, Mrs. Markowitz’s name has been mentioned in four HLT Newsletters and six local new articles for a total of fourteen citations.

Photo of  Chris  Martin
Chris Martin
The First To Jump Up And Help By: Roy Riedy

Chris Martin is the recipient of the Gracie Award for March, 2006.  He is an oblivious choice for he hasn’t stopped working at Highlands Little Theatre since he joined the cast of Mike McMillian’s November, 2005 production of Hoodwinked as Bernie, a henchman, and Bruce, a spruce. Familiar with wood, he was also a member of the show’s set construction crew.

In January, Chris’ name appeared in Denise Miriani’s program for her winter chiller Wait Until Dark as the show’s Assistant Stage Manager and again as a member of its set construction crew.

In March, 2006 Chris was cast as one of the seven brothers in Joe Willis’ highly entertaining musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. He played Frank, the “F” brother whose mother, desperate for a biblical name, actually named him Frankincense, because that name was in the Bible and also because he smelled so sweet.

Administrative Assistant Vanessa Logsdon has commented on Chris’ helpfulness at the Lakeside Playhouse: “he is always the first to jump up and help out when something has to be moved, fixed, or carted to the dumpster.” Obviously she feels that he is sweet too.

In just six months Chris has proved that he is the kind of member HLT wants and needs.  Since joining the organization he has worked on three plays, acted in two of them, been mentioned in five HLT Newsletters and six local news articles; not bad at all for a guy who was once a bush.

Congratulation Chris on being selected as March’s Gracie winner, you’ve earned it and it’s not difficult to predict that this honor is just the first of many more.

Photo of  Dustin  Martz
Dustin Martz
Local Boy Proves He Is A Winner By: Roy Riedy

Dustin Martz, a Sebring native, was introduced in the June 2005, HLT Newsletter when the monthly paper announced his upcoming stage debut as the Emcee in Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s revival of Kander and Ebb’s musical, Cabaret.

Dustin has been involved with many church theatrical productions in makeup design and as a performer. He is a co-owner of the Shag Chic Hair Salon in Sebring.

Dustin won his first Zenon at the Twentieth Anniversary Zenon Awards Ceremony in early October for his significant role as The Emcee of Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub in the late 1920′s. His Zenon was one of the fourteen Awards that the musical amassed. This coup now holds the record at HLT for the most Zenons ever awarded to a show and promises to be a ranking that will maintain its superiority for many years to come. Congratulations Dustin on your swift and successful beginning at Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Carole  Mattson
Carole Mattson
A Very Remarkable Member By: Roy Riedy

Carole Mattson has been a working member of HLT for ten years now. Her name appeared for the first time in the program of Frank Oberhausen’s second production of Camelot in April, 1993, as one of the members of the Set Construction Crew. At the opening of the next Season, the Twentieth, her name appeared with the same job description in Tena Conyer’s program for Nunsense II, The second coming . . . Carole worked on all the plays that season and in the second play program, Peter Pollard’s gender bending comedy, The Odd Couple (Female Version), Carole was listed as part of Kitchen Staff and there she stayed for the rest of the season (indeed, her whole time with HLT) that included Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of South Pacific, Tammie Pollard’s hilarious Lend Me A Tenor, andMarian Dunham’s presentation of Meet Me In St. Louis.

During the five plays of the Twenty-first Season Carole remained as part of the Kitchen Staff and was rewarded for this faithful service with her first Board Service Zenon at the Tenth Annual Awards Ceremony in October, 1995, that she shared with her husband, Gordy Mattson, for their contributions to Gourmet and Building Maintenance.

The Twenty-second Season was as full as the previous one and Carole was found again in the kitchen during the five performances given that year. At the close of the season, her commitment was honored by a Board Service Zenon nomination for Carole and her husband for their work in Gourmet and Shop at the Eleventh Annual Awards Ceremony.

The Twenty-third Season is a replay of the past two. Carole continued at her work in Gourmet during the five show season and at the closing Awards Ceremonies she and her husband were awarded a second Board Service Zenon for their unbroken contributions to Gourmet and Building Maintenance during that year.

The same scenario unfolded the Twenty-fourth Season. Carole worked in the kitchen during the season’s five productions and at the end of the theatrical year was again nominated, with her husband, for their work in Gourmet, but this time they were also nominated for their contribution to Set Construction for the season.

Mrs. Mattson has continued to work with Gourmet which includes the latest show, the reprise of Steel Magnolias by Peter Pollard, in January and February of 2003, without missing any of the 21 shows that intervened, a silent but telling tribute to her dedication and altruism.

For the record, Carole has been associated with 48 plays, well over a third of all given by Highlands Little Theatre, and 4 Zenon Ceremonies at which she has been nominated for five awards and been honored with two. Besides her kitchen work she has been a constant companion and helper with her husband’s maintenance projects at the theater. Mrs. Mattson’s name has been mentioned in 12 HLT Newsletters and 5 local news articles for a total of 69 Citations. She is the perfect model of what a member can and should be. Carole Mattson, HLT salutes you!

And now, bringing this biography up to date, Carole has been awarded the Gracie Award for April, 2003, for her work with the Friday night Gourmet “A-Team.” The award carried this genuine observation: “Thank you Carole, you have a special gift, a wonderful attitude, and smile, which is truly contagious!”

Photo of  Gordy  Mattson
Gordy Mattson
The Actor, The Designer, The Carpenter, The Cook and His Wife By: Roy Riedy

It was indeed a fortunate day for Highlands Little Theatre when a dedicated Gordy Mattson first appeared on the set of Don’t Drink the Water in the summer of 1990 working with the construction crew of that Woody Allen comedy. Since that time he has left his hammer marks on forty-one other plays. As a result of this long and steady trail of sawdust, Gordy has won eight Zenons at five of the fourteen Annual Awards Ceremonies, a unique honor that he shares with Jim Lanier and Tammie Pollard, who are also the recipients of eight well earned and deserved Zenons.

Gordy has won three Best Set Designs three years in a row. The first award was in 1996 for Highland Little Theatre’s third edition of Fiddler on the Roof; a show that swept the awards in every category that season. The next year he received another Best Set Design for Harper Lee’s moving drama, To Kill a Mockingbird. In 1998 he did it a third time for the set design of Lerner and Loewe’s western musical Paint Your Wagon. He received his first of two Discretionary Awards for his set construction and carpentry during the 1992/93 season, and again for the 1995/95 season. He has received two Board Service Awards for Gourmet and Building Maintenance for the 1994/95 season and the 1996/97 season.

In 1995 he played his first role on the stage that he had helped build sixteen sets. He assumed the role of Colonel Thomas McKean in the patriotic 1776, a part he played so well he was nominated for a Zenon for a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role. In 1996 he received that award of Best Supporting Actor Award for his part as the resourceful Froggy LeSueur in Off Broadway Award winning hit comedy The Foreigner, which proved to all that the designer, carpenter and cook also had the ingredients to be an excellent and convincing actor.

Since January, 1994 Gordy’s name has also appeared over two dozen times in the Gourmet Section of the theater’s playbills which almost always also have the name of his wife, Carole, who has shared Gordy’s Board Service Award for Gourmet and Building Maintenance in 1995 at the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony and again in 1997 at the Twelfth Annual Presentations. I doubt if one Mattson can be found in the playhouse with out finding the other one somewhere in the building, they are unquestionably a dedicated, devoted, and invaluable team.

Since the 26th Season began in October, 1999, Gordy has been involved in four plays: He worked on the set construction of John H. Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that opened in November of 1999 and the January 2000 presentation of Frank C. Oberhausen’s Annie Get Your Gun. In June of 2000 playgoers saw the set he had designed and helped build for Mike Logsdon’s Run for Your Wife; and most recently, in the 28th Season, he has worked on the set construction of Melanie Boulay’s Peter Pan.

Thank you Gordy and Carole, for the untold hours you have spent at Highlands Little Theatre, doing the many things that you saw had to be done. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to fairly evaluate your contribution and those of the other hard working and benevolent members who have truly made the Lakeside Playhouse the show place that it has become. All of us involved in the theater are genuinely in your debt for your ongoing contributions to the many areas of our well-developed and growing organization that you have so selflessly and memorably contributed. We would never have arrived at this state of excellence without your ongoing and significant help.

Photo of  Larry  McCandless
Larry McCandless
Any Dream Will Do By: Roy Riedy

Some things are just meant to be. Last year, Larry McCandless saw an ad for “Joseph” auditions and decided to give it a try, and the rest, as is often said, “Is history.”

Not only did the then unknown Larry McCandless get the part of Joseph in Joe Willis’ production of Webber and Rice’s biblical extravaganza Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, he also received the Zenon for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards in early October of this year.

Larry’s Zenon was one of seven that the colorful musical was awarded that exciting evening, a number that made it the third most decorated play at HLT to date. The other Zenons included: Best Play; Best Set Design for Messrs. Wilkes, Wollangk, and McCollum; Best Stage Manager for Dick Boyce; Best Lighting Design for Mark Elliott and Thor Knutson; Best Costuming Design for Denise Miriani and Helen Curcio; and Best Musical Coordination for Vealda and Wayne Lambright.

Even though Larry had appeared on the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse for the first time, he was no stranger to leading roles. He has played Matt in The Fantasticks, Pseudolus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Frank in Show Boat, and Tony in West Side Story. He is a self-taught guitar player and has been involved in various choral groups and choirs for over twenty years.

We can only hope that Mr. McCandless will keep reading the HLT audition notices and return to the Little Theatre for another triumph soon. Actually, that wish is not as implausible as it may seem, for Larry has taught us “Any Dream Will Do.”

Photo of  Phil  McClintock
Phil McClintock
An exemplary member By: Roy Riedy

Phil’s first part at HLT was the role of Dr. Carrasco in Dick Oehring’s production of Man of La Mancha in November, 1988, the first play of the Fifteenth Season. In December he was a caroler in Paul Roberts and Denise Blondin’s Christmas Show, The Sound of Christmas. Four months later he played the part of The Kralahome in Frank Oberhausen’s The King and I. In June, 1989, the Fifteenth Anniversary of the founding of HLT, Phil worked as a House Manager during Peter Pollard’s Neil Simon musical, Sweet Charity. Janelou Buck directed a reprise of Mister Roberts in August, 1989, in which Phil played the part of Doc. Phil had been with the Little Theatre less than a year and had already played three large parts. At the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards held in late September, Phil received a nomination for his role as The Kralahome in The King and I.

The following season, The Sixteenth, opened with Marian Dunham’s musical The Unsinkable Molly Brown, once again Pill worked as a House manager during the run of the show. In January, 1990, Peter Pollard brought On Golden Pond to HLT, and Phil’s name appeared on the program as a member of the Set Construction Crew. My Fair Lady was reprised by Frank Oberhausen for the April show and Phil was his Assistant Director and also played the part of Harry, the third Cockney. In June, Janelou Buck directed the musical Hello Dolly and chose Phil to play the key role of Horace Vandegelder. That season’s last play was Tena Pollard’s revival of Woody Allen’s comedy Don’t Drink The Water. Phil served as a House Manager during the play’s duration. The Fifth Annual Zenon Awards were held the first week in October and Phil received his second Zenon nomination for his role of Horace in Hello Dolly.

HLT’s Seventeenth Season opened with Jet Hansen’s production of the musical Oklahoma! with Phil playing the role of Ali Hakim. It was followed in January by Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias with Phil as his Assistant Director and Stage Manager. In March Frank Oberhausen directed The Music Man with Phil playing the role of Oliver Hix. In the June program for Tena Conyer’s Little Shop of Horrors, Phil’s name appeared as a newly elected Director on the HLT governing board and also as one of the lighting technicians of Walter Zelenenki’s comedy, The Seven Year Itch, with Phil and Frank Oberhausen supplying the Lighting Design. At the October Zenons Phil received two nominations, one for a Best Supporting Role as Ali Hakim in Oklahoma! and the second for Best Stage Manager for his work with Steel Magnolias.

The Eighteenth Season opened in November with Jet Hansen’s production of Mame and Phil playing Lindsay Woolsey. In December he was member of the chorus in Carol Thurow’s Christmas program A Christmas Salute to the 40′s. In January, 1992, he was the Lighting Designer for Pete Pollard’s They’re Playing Our Song; and in April he was content to just be a member of the Board of Directors. In June, he worked on the Set Construction Crew for Janelou Buck’s courtroom drama, Inherit the Wind, and in August he was back on stage as Colonel Purdy, III, in Marian Dunham’s reprise of The Teahouse of the August Moon.

November, 1992, brought in the Nineteenth Season at HLT and Tena Pollard’s Nunsense ushered it in while Phil acted as a House Manager, as he was during Walter Zelenenki’s January comedy-dramaCome Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. In April Phil played Sir Dinadan in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Camelot and in June, during Marian Dunham’s Philadelphia Story Phil began his long relationship with the Gourmet Staff as a member of the Kitchen Staff. In August Jet Hansen presented Show Boat and Phil returned to his station with the Kitchen Staff of Gourmet.

During the five shows of the Twentieth Season, Phil was on constant duty in HLT’s kitchen and/or Anthony’s Lounge. He stayed at these posts during the first two shows of the Twenty-first Season but returned to the stage in March, 1995, to play Richard Henry Lee in Frank Oberhausen’s stellar production of 1776. In June he returned to his kitchen and lounge duties during Tena Conyer andAndy Conyer’s comedy Same Time Next Year, and Marian Dunham’s August musical, Gigi. At the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Phil won his first Zenon, a Board Service Award, for his work for Gourmet and Anthony’s Lounge.

Phil was either in the kitchen or the lounge during the five plays of the Twenty-first Season as he was during the Twenty-second, a loyalty and fidelity that rewarded him with a nomination for another Board Service Zenon at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Ceremony in October, 1997.

The Twenty-third Season was Phil’s last season with HLT. His name appeared it the season’s first three playbills, Sue McCollum’s Godspell, in November; Peter Pollard’s My Favorite Year, in January; and Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Annie in April, 1998. In all three programs Phil’s name was associated with Gourmet and Anthony’s Lounge. Annie opened on April 3rd, and Phil died on April 4th. A memorial service was held for him on April 26 at the Highlands Little Theatre, a place that had become his second home.

During his ten years with HLT Phil was associated with 49 plays, just 4 short of half of all the plays the theater had done up to that time. He had been mentioned in 6 Zenon programs, received one Board Service Zenon and had been nominated for five other awards. He was seen in two Christmas Programs and was mentioned in 31 HLT Newsletters and also 31 local news articles for a total of 119 Citations. His contribution to the theatre is impossible to evaluate, but it is known that Highlands Little Theatre and its members lost a great asset when they lost Phil.

Photo of  Audra  McCollum
Audra McCollum
The Zenons Very First Winner of Best Actress in a Leading Role By: Roy Riedy

Audra was a third grader when she started acting at Highlands Little Theatre in 1981, the theater’s Eighth Season. She played Gretl, the youngest of the Von Trapp children in Frank Oberhausen’s first presentation of Rogers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. Exactly two years later she appeared as part of the London crowd in Marian Dunham’s Zenon winning production of Lionel Bart’s musical adaptation of Oliver Twist, Oliver!; and the following February in Frank Oberhausen’s original production of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun, where Audra appeared as Nellie, one of Annie Oakley younger siblings.

In the Twelfth Season (1985-1986), now a seventh grader, Audra played Little Orphan Annie in Frank Oberhausen’s November, 1985, production of the Broadway musical Annie. The role catapulted the Middle School girl into Zenon fame when she was named Best Actress in a Leading Role at the First Annual Zenon Award Ceremony at the end of that watershed season.

Despite the pressures that beset a full time student Audra found time to work with several other shows. During that famous Twelfth Season she worked on set construction and as a waitress on the Gourmet Staff during Janelou Buck’s June production of I Do, I Do; and Sue McCollum’s Vanities in August.

During the Thirteenth Season she was associated with four other plays at the Lakeside Playhouse in the same capacity. Fittingly, Audra appeared on stage at the Second Annual Zenon Ceremony at the season’s end to present the Best Actor Award for that season.

The Fourteenth Season’s programs are the last to show Ms. McCollum’s name when she worked as a waitress with Gourmet or as a House Manager. Her name did reappear in the Tenth Annual Zenon Ceremony Program when it was listed in that program’s index of former Zenon winners, and quite properly her name came at the head of the list for the catalog of former Highlands Little Theatre leading ladies.

Since Audra was first seen as a member of the Trapp Family in 1981, she has been associated with thirteen plays at Highlands Little Theatre and two Zenon Ceremonies. She was the recipient of the first Best Actress in a Leading Role for her outstanding singing and acting in the role of Annie in the musical of the same name. She has returned to the Playhouse for two First Nighter Galas and been mentioned in seven HLT newsletters and twelve local news article for a total of thirty-seven citations. She has become a legend in her own time.

Photo of  Jim  McCollum
Jim McCollum
Prominent Pioneering Effort By: Roy Riedy

Jim McCollum’s name appears in the very first play program published by Highlands Little Theatre. The play was Pure As The Driven Snow (A Working Girl’s Secret), a melodrama by Paul Loomis. It was presented for just three days, July 25-27, 1974 and was directed by Libby Sapp, produced by Bob McCarthy, and starred Kathy Gerber as Purity Dean and James McCollum as Eric Z. Pickens.

In the “About the Cast” section of this first program, readers were told that Jim “started his theatrical career as a ‘raindrop’ in his first grade play. Realizing that a career as a ‘raindrop’ would be rather limited, Jim became a very good attorney. He has had limited theatrical experience in Fort Lauderdale before moving to Sebring where he lives.”

A second play was presented in November of 1974, Dear Phoebe, the first of eighteen to be directed by Janelou Buck and Jim’s name appears again, this time as one of the House Managers. The third and final play of the First Season appeared for another three day run in March of 1975. “A Play of Suspense in Two Acts,” Night Watch, was directed by Lynn Macneill and counted among its cast members, Jim McCollum as Sam Hoke. Mr. McCollum had now contributed his time and talent to the entire First Season of HLT, but his support did not end there, it has continued for the entire life of HLT and has earned him the fifth Significant Achievement Award, a well deserved acknowledgment of his unselfish commitment and dedication..

The Second Season started with Neil Simon’s Come Blow Your Horn, a first effort for director Frank Oberhausen who chose Jim McCollum as his stage manager. This June comedy was followed in October by another melodrama Deadwood Dick, directed by Janelou Buck with Jim in the role of Chet Pussy, a bartender. Jim returned to the stage in October of the Third Season in Agatha Christie’sTen Little Indians as Anthony Marston, and in the following February worked in Noel Coward’s Blithe Spirit as a special effects person and on the stage crew in September of 1977 for Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple for a total of eight plays in HLT’s first five years.

But Mr. McCollum’s contribution does not stop there. In April of 1982 he was elected president of Highlands Little Theatre with an agenda that included finding the theater a permanent home. This dream was realized in May, 1982, when HLT signed a thirty year lease with the city of Sebring for the use of its building known as The City Pier. The culmination of his long range planning occurred six years later, in April of 1988, when the musical Carousel became the first play to be presented on the magnificent new stage of The Lakeside Playhouse. HLT had come of age and Highlands County had a theatrical facility that was the pride of Highlands County and the envy of much larger counties.

Other innovations that originated during Mr. McCollum’s presidency were the adoption of its first “Season” of plays, the sale of “season tickets, the recognition of the first Lifetime Patrons, the provision for annual advertising contracts for the playbill, and the construction of “Phase I” of the Lakeside Playhouse. Mr. McCollum was recognized for these many contributions by being made a Life Member by his peers in 1983.

Once again Mr. McCollum is involved in the expansion of the physical plant of HLT, this time in promoting the fund raising for the imminent construction of the projected rehearsal pavilion.

In the 27th season Jim directed the musical comedy The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; in the 28th season he received a second Zenon for his contribution to the set design of the Webber and Rice musical, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, directed by Joe Willis.

The 29th Season saw the HLT Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Drs. Thakkar Pavilion in December, 2002. The Ceremony was conducted by Jim in his capacity as the Chairman of the Building Committee. In August of the 29th Season Jim designed the set for his wife Sue‘s production of her revival of The Fantasticks.

Most recently, at the Twentieth Anniversary Zenon Ceremonies, Jim received his third Zenon, a Board Service Award for his outstanding achievement as Chairman of the By-Laws Committee, acting as a community liaison and in particular his persistent pursuit of major financial contributions to the theatre.

Thank you Jim McCollum for your invaluable guidance during those crucial and formative years in the organization and building of the HLT. Your leadership has helped make our splendid association the vital force and community asset that it finds itself today. Highlands Little Theatre will be forever in your debt for giving it that power and strength.


Gracie Winner for February, 2007, James F. McCollum, submitted by Vanessa Logsdon and Roy Riedy

HLT’s February General Membership meeting took place on February 1, 2007 when Administrative Assistant Vanessa Logsdon revealed the February winner of the Gracie Award with this tribute to the winner:
“Many things have been said about this month’s recipient, and some of it has actually been complimentary. While occasionally accused of being curmudgeonly, this “character” has dedicated his whole heart and all of his many talents to HLT since its inception. It is safe to say that this organization would not be nearly as successful if it weren’t for this man’s contributions. For all of these gifts, including chairing three committees, but mainly for spearheading the capital campaign to complete the Pavilion, this month’s Gracie Award goes to James F.’Guido’ McCollum.”

Congratulations Jim on your well-deserved honor.

Jim passed away in 2010. He will be greatly missed.

Photo of  Sue  McCollum
Sue McCollum
Thirty Years of Involvement Crowned with the Honor of Life Member By: Roy Riedy

Sue McCollum was one of the “45 stagestruck participants” that attended an organizational meeting of HLT at the Sebring Art Center, on April 11, 1974, almost thirty-one years ago. Her name appeared in the article that reported on that historic meeting and noted that she was named to the Planning Committee with “other persons of theater experience.”

During her first five years with HLT Sue was involved in 9 of its 16 shows. In Pure As The Driven Snow, the first show put on by HLT in July of 1974, she made her debut as Imogene Pickens. In the playbill of that show the audience was told that she portrayed Sabrina in Sabrina Fair; Lorraine Sheldon in The Man Who Came To Dinner, and the Conjur Woman in Dark of the Moon while attending Livingston State University in Alabama.

Sue also acted in the second HLT production Dear Phoebe, and was on the Production Staff in charge of advertising. The first play of the second season, Come Blow Your Horn, found her back on the stage as Mrs. Baker and in the second show of the second season, Deadwood Dick, she was in charge of make-up, the third show, Barefoot in the Park, found her involved in advertising again.

Sue was in charge of publicity in two of the three third season plays, Ten Little Indians, and Blythe SpiritHarvey opened the fourth season and it’s advertising and publicity was deftly handled by the seasoned Mrs. McCollum. The fifth season brought HLT’s first musical to Highlands County, Fiddler on the Roof, and Sue was once again involved in advertising. She had contributed to every season of the first five years, either acting, or in make-up, advertising and publicity, and as this wasn’t enough, from January 1975 to April, 1976 she officiated as the group’s third President.

During the Second Five Years of HLT (1979-1984) the organization presented 21 shows and Sue was involved in 16 of them which included: South PacificMy Fair LadyThe Sound of MusicNo Mother to Guide HerAnything GoesTeahouse of the August MoonCamelotAuntie MameGuys and DollsDeathtrapHeaven Can WaitOliver!Annie Get Your GunBorn YesterdayCan Can, andThe Owl and the Pussycat. HLT had now put on 37 shows and the active Mrs. McCollum had been involved in 25 of them.

The Third Five Years (1984-1989) presented 25 more shows and the tireless Sue was involved in 24 of them: The Lion in Winter, Pajama Game, The Man Who Came To Dinner, Brigadoon, Once Upon a Mattress, Annie, No, No, Nannette, Arsenic and Old Lace, I Do, I Do; Vanities; Forum, You Can’t Take It With You; Fiddler #2; The Fantastics; The Odd Couple #2; Cabaret, Barefoot in the Park #2; Carousel, Damn Yankees, Man of La Mancha; Harvey #2; The King and I, Sweet Charity, and Mr. Roberts #2. At this point out of the 62 shows presented by HLT, Sue had something to do with 49 of them.

During the Fourth 5 years of HLT’s existence (1989-1994) Sue was involved in 13 of the 25 plays: The Unsinkable Molly Brown; On Golden Pond #1; My Fair Lady #2; Hello Dolly; Don’t Drink the Water #2; Oklahoma!; Steel Magnolias; The Music Man; Little Shop of Horrors; Funny Girll; Nunsense, Nunsense II; and Meet Me In St. Louis. Sue won her first Zenon as Best Supporting Actress in Nunsenseas the well meaning, but still not quite ready for final vows novice, Sister Leo.

At the 14th Zenon Ceremony in October of 1999, Sue was presented her second Zenon for her many efforts on the Scholarship Committee. It was during this Fifth 5 years period (1994-1999) that she was involved in 6 regular presentations: Play It Again Sam; The Secret Garden; Forever Plaid; Godspell; Rumors; and The Wizard of Oz; plus two “extra” shows: The CAT production of The Left Footed Princess, and Sounds of the Season, Christmas, 1998, which brought her participation in theatrical presentations to 70.

The 26th year involved Sue in 5 “regular” shows: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; Annie Get Your Gun #2; Bye, Bye Birdie; Run For Your Wife; and Oliver!, and the “CAT” production ofRumplestiltskin for a total of 76 shows in all. It was at the end of this year that Sue added two more Zenons to her collection for a total of 4. She received one for her production work on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; and the other, the most coveted of all Zenons, when she was named the 15th recipient of The Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award for her 26 years of selfless service to HLT.

During the 27th Season (2000-2001) she was involved in 5 more HLT shows: On Golden Pond # 2; The King and I #2; The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; Moon Over Buffalo; and West Side Storywhich raised her participation level in shows at HLT to a glorious 81. It was also her pleasant duty at the 16th Zenon Ceremonies to present the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award to that season’s winner, Helen Curcio.

The 28th Season (2001-2002) saw Sue working in Anthony’s Lounge during Guys and Dolls #2 and Foxfire; the Production Assistant of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat; working again in Anthony’s Lounge during the runs of Move Over Mrs. Markham and Peter Pan.

Sue directed her fourth play during the 29th Season (2002-2003), a revival of the longest running Off-Broadway musical, The Fantasticks, in August, 2003. Her other three productions includedVanities (1986); Godspell (1997); and Bye, Bye, Birdie (2000). Earlier in the season she had either worked as a sous chef in the Gourmet Division or as part of the staff of Anthony’s Lounge for the four earlier shows.

During the 30th Season (2003-2004) Sue worked with the staff of Anthony’s Lounge during all five main stage shows and was involved in the Patriotic Review given at the Lakeside Playhouse on the Fourth of July.

In November, 2004, at the first Membership meeting of the 31st Season, Mrs. McCollum was unanimously voted by the membership to join the ranks of HLT’s most exclusive club, Life Members. Sue became the tenth person in the theater’s 30 years of existence to attain this splendid honor. Her name now appears with the names of Tena Conyer, Holly Elliott, Goldie Garnich, Jim McCollum, Frank Oberhausen, Beverly Padgett, Peter Pollard, Judy Sutter, and Larry Wollangk, as proof of her many contributions to HLT.

So far in the 31st Season, Sue’s name has appeared in the program of Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Music Man, as a member of the staff of what remains of Anthony’s Lounge. She has now worked in or with 96 HLT productions, which amount to 70% of all the presentations made at Highlands Little Theatre.

Congratulations Sue on your latest honor which is an emblem of the uncountable hours of effort you have devoted to HLT and also to your contagious excitement which has done so much to make the organization the outstanding treasure it has become in Highlands County. You are one of its jewels and you certainly deserve this gem of an award in your crown which you so assiduously have earned.

Photo of  Patrick  McConnell
Patrick McConnell
Actor, Waiter, Backstage Man, and Drama Student By: Roy Riedy

Patrick didn’t waste any time getting his picture in HLT’s programs. His image smiled at readers at his debut performance in Peter Pollard’s January, 1992, musical They’re Playing Our Song. At that time he was a sophomore at Sebring High School, and subsequently he has been associated with 32 other productions at Highlands Little Theatre.

His next show was two months later, Frank Oberhausen’s Funny Girl, in which he played a Workman. It was also the first time his name appeared with the Gourmet Staff at the very end of the list for Waiters. In June, Patrick appeared in Janelou Buck’s presentation of Inherit The Wind as a Reuter’s Man. In the August program for Marian Dunham’s reprise of Teahouse of the August Moon, his name was on the second line of the Waiters list with an attached title of “Assistant Head Waiter.” At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards, Patrick entertained the Ceremony audience by singing “Look Around” from the Will Rogers Follies. It had been a full Eighteenth Season for young Patrick.

The Nineteenth Season was even busier. He was involved with all of the shows of this season. Tena Conyer’s Nunsense opened the season in November with Patrick listed on the Gourmet Staff as Assistant Head Waiter and also in January for Walter Zelenenki’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. In April he found time to be a member of King Arthur’s Court in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Camelot while still serving as Assistant Head Waiter on the Gourmet Staff. Patrick played the part of Edward in Marian Dunham’s The Philadelphia Story in June and also served as Assistant Head Waiter in HLT’s dining room. He played Jake in Jet Hansen’s musical Show Boat and also did his dining room duties as well in August. All this double casting paid off at the Eighth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony when Mr. McConnell was awarded his first Board Service Zenon ”for outstanding contributions to the theater as assistant head waiter with the Gourmet Division.

The Twentieth Season at HLT was a revival of the Nineteenth. Again Patrick was involved in all five shows including the Zenon Ceremony. He remained Assistant Head Waiter for the Gourmet Staff during Tena Conyer’s second look at New Jersey convent life, Nunsense II; he was the Lighting Technician for Peter Pollard’s January comedy The Odd Couple (Female Version); in April he played a Radio Operator in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of South Pacific; and in June he was Tammie Pollard’s Stage Manager for her comedy Lend Me A Tenor. In August, Patrick played the part of John Truitt inMarian Dunham’s musical Meet me in St. Louis.

In October Patrick was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of John in Meet Me in St. Louis and with Marissa Martinez presented the award for Best Lighting Design after he sang “Somewhere” from West Side Story. Patrick does not lack energy or enthusiasm.

Patrick worked in Anthony’s Lounge for three of the four plays presented during HLT’s Twenty-first Season. During the fourth play, Gigi, directed by Marian Dunham, he returned backstage as one ofGigi‘s Lighting Technicians.

During the Twenty-second Season Patrick was involved with every play and the Zenon Ceremony. He played the part of Billy in Peter Pollard’s musical, The Goodbye Girl, and also worked in Anthony’s Lounge where he worked again during the January production of Roy Riedy’s comedy, The Foreigner.

Patrick, now a sophomore at SFCC and majoring in Musical Theater/Music Education, played the part of Motel in Frank Oberhausen’s March reprise of Fiddler on the Roof and again found time to also work in Anthony’s Lounge. In June, Patrick was Tammie Pollard’s Assistant Stage Manager for her production of Play it again, Sam, and in August he played Dr. Neville Craven in Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s musical The Secret Garden, and again finding time to work on the Set Construction Team and also help out at Anthony’s Lounge.

At the Season’s concluding Zenon Ceremony, Patrick served as one of the Stage Managers, sang “Stars” for the audience; received two Best Performance by an Actor in a supporting Role nominations: one for his role as Motel in Fiddler on the Roof, and the other for playing Dr Crave in The Secret Garden. It was another very full season.

HLT’s Twenty-third Season, if possible, was an even more challenging one for Patrick. Again he was involved in all five plays and the Zenon Ceremony. Jet Hansen opened the season in November with a nostalgic bow to the music of the 1950′s, Forever Plaid, with Patrick playing Francis, one of the singers in the featured quartet. He followed that demanding role by being Melanie Boulay’s Production Assistant in her January presentation of To Kill a Mockingbird. In April he was cast as Albin in Frank Oberhausen’s flashy La Cage aux folles, a wide-ranging role; and in June he was Mac Byron’s Costume Designer for his production of the comedy George Washington Slept Here. The last play of the season was Tammie Pollard’s reprise of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, in which Patrick was seen as one of the Proteans. At the concluding Zenon Ceremony, Patrick received two nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: one for Francis in Forever Plaid and the other for Albin in La Cage aux folles.

During the Twenty-fourth Season, Patrick participated in four shows. He worked in Anthony’s Lounge during Sue McCollum’s October Godspell and also in January during Peter Pollard’s production of My Favorite Year and Frank Oberhausen’s April reprise of Annie. He was a part of Tammie Pollard’s Costuming Team for her production of Neil Simon’s Rumors in August.

Patrick’s name was not seen again in HLT playbills until the second play of the Twenty- ninth Season when it appeared in the program for Steel Magnolias, directed by Peter Pollard., in the Box Office section as one of the workers.

Besides the 33 plays with which Patrick has been associated over the eleven years he has been with HLT, he has also been mentioned in 6 Zenon programs and is the recipient of 1 Board Service Zenon and nominated for 5 others in various categories. His name has been mentioned in 21 HLT Newsletters and 29 local news articles for a total of 89 Citations, and I have a strong feeling that we’ve only seen the tip of Patrick’s formidable iceberg.

Photo of  Steven  McDaniel
Steven McDaniel
True Grit By: Roy Riedy
Photo of  Mike  McElroy
Mike McElroy
Hard Work and Dedication By: Roy Riedy

Michael McElroy’s name was first seen at HLT in the play program for Joe Willis’ spectacular production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March, 2002, as one of the play’s “crafters.” In October of that year he received a Board Service Zenon nomination for “Outstanding Achievement in Building Maintenance.” In December, 2002, Mike received a Gracie Award with this dedication: “Thank you for all of your hard work and dedication as Chair of the Maintenance Committee and for volunteering as a House Manager.”

Besides these contributions and honors, Mike’s name has appeared in nine HLT newsletters and one local news article for a total of thirteen citations.

Thank you Mike for your rapid and complete involvement in caring for Highlands Little Theatre’s infrastructure.

Photo of  Beverly  McIlvaine
Beverly McIlvaine
Dedicated House Manager and Gourmet Volunteer By: Roy Riedy

Beverly McIlvaine’s name first appeared in the Highlands Little Theatre Newsletter for September, 2002, at the end of its Twenty-eighth Season, when she and her husband, Linden, were welcomed to HLT as new members. Her name has been seen twice more in the Newsletters: In August, 2003, Beverly and Linden, with other volunteers, were thanked by Goldie Garnich for their help with the mass mailing of the upcoming season’s Program Ads; and in December, 2003, the newsletter announced that Beverly was the recipient of the November HLT Gracie Award for “her hard work and dedication to the theatre . . . in Gourmet and as a House Manager.”

Mrs. McIlvaine has also been associated with four plays presented by the Little Theatre in 2003: Steel MagnoliasHound of the BaskervillesThe Fantasticks, and most recently, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.

Since joining Highlands Little Theatre, Beverly’s name has been mentioned in three HLT Newsletters and four play programs for a total of seven citations. Congratulations Beverly on your ongoing commitment to Arts in Highlands County and the Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Mike  McMillian
Mike McMillian
The Complete Story By: Roy Riedy

I discovered when I started rewriting the range of Mike McMillian’s activities at HLT to include his recent Zenon Award that I had inadvertently left out an important portion of Mike’s early work at the Little Theatre, the following paragraphs should set straight that error.

Mike’s association with Highlands Little Theatre started with his working on the set construction of Director Frank Oberhausen’s My Fair Lady in March,1990, the third play of HLT’s Sixteenth Season. In the April, 1990 HLT Newsletter his name appeared as having been selected as a waiter in the June, 1990, presentation of Director Janelou Buck’s musical Hello Dolly and in August, 1990 Mike’s name appeared in the Production Staff section of the program of Tena Pollard’s presentation of Woody Allan’s comedy Don’t Drink The Water. Mike ended the Sixteenth Season with his name appearing in the October issue of HLT’s Newsletter, where he was listed with the names of several other new members of that season.

Director Jet Hansen opened the Seventeenth Season with Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s masterpiece, Oklahoma! Its program listed Mike as the “Dream Curley” in the list of its Cast of Characters and on the Production page Mike’s name appeared as part of the set construction crew.

The third show of the Seventeenth Season was Meredith Willson’s celebrated The Music Man directed by Frank Oberhausen, and again Mike’s name appeared as part of the set construction crew. In June, Mike was listed once again as being involved in set construction for Tena Pollard’s multi-Zenon winning musical Little Shop of Horrors. This was the last show that Mike was involved in at HLT until he returned eight years later at the beginning of the Twenty-sixth Season in November, 1999, to work with the set construction team of John Lovelette’s outstanding production of Ken Kesey’sOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Since his return to the Lakeside Playhouse and his work with “Cuckoo” Mike’s name has appeared in every one of the following HLT play programs as either an actor, on a production staff, or as a Master Chef. His name has also appeared in the last four Zenon programs as either a stage manager, a nominee, or as a Zenon winner.

Mike acted in the reprise of Annie Get Your Gun as Mac, in January, 2000; he was a Royal Guard in the January, 2001 edition of The King and I, and a Gambler in the 2002 production of Guys and Dolls. In August, 2002, he was a member of the “fly crew” for Melanie Boulay’s soaring presentation of Peter Pan. He ended the Twenty-eighth Season by serving as the Stage Manager of the SeventeenthZenon Ceremonies.

Mike started his directing career at HLT when he was given the opportunity by Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill to be their Co-Assistant Director with Anne Phillips Hill for the Oberhausen-MacNeill reprise of Man of La Mancha in November, 2002.

In January, 2003, Mike worked as a Light Technician and a member of the set construction team for Director Pete Pollard’s revival of Steel Magnolias. In February he was honored with a Gracie Award. The award statement read: “Thank you Mike for all of your hard work at set construction and HLT Scholarship Committeee Fundraisers. Mike donates a lot of time to the theatre . . . especially since he drives all the way from Venus every time! We really appreciate all you do for HLT.”

Mike was listed as a Master Chef in the program for Brigadoon in March, 2003, and in April the HLT Newsletter reported that Mike has successfully completed the Certified Food Managers Course the previous month

In the June, 2003 program for Director Allen Branch’s debut production of The Hound of the Baskervilles. Mike’s name appeared as the play’s Stage Manager. At the following October ZenonCelebration, Mike received an nomination as Best Stage Manager for The Hound of the Baskervilles.

The Thirtieth Season opened with Melanie Boulay’s delightful revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change for which Mike was the co-producer with Jean Brown, he was also a member of a Set Design Trio, a member of the Video Production Team, and headed the Set Construction Team.

In the December, 2003 HLT Newsletter, an article announced that Mike has become “HLT’s Newest qualified director,” armed with these credentials, Mike submitted the musical show Hoodwinked as a possible play for the upcoming season. This request became a reality in May, 2005, when both local papers announced that Hoodwinked would be the opening play of the Thirty-second Season at HLT in November, 2006.

In January, 2004, Mike was the Set Construction Manager with Larry Wollangk for Mike Logsdon’s Zenon winning comedy Out of Order. At the following show, Jennifer Westergom’s The Scarlet Pimpernel, Mike served with Mark Elliott as the big winning musical’s Light Technicians. In August, Mike was seen as one of the apostles in Tammie Pollard’s brilliant presentation of Jesus Christ, Superstar. He ended the season by receiving three nominations at the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies which included Best Producer for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change; and two Production/Technical Discretionary Awards, one for video work, and the other for lighting.

Mike wore five hats in the opening show of the Thirty-first Season, The Music Man, again directed by Frank Oberhausen. Mike performed the duties of Co-Assistant Director with Holly Elliott, was responsible for the Sound Design with Peter Pollard, served as a Sound Technician with Tommy Curcio, and also made an appearance on stage as a citizen of the River City; he could also be seen in the kitchen as a Master Chef of the Gourmet Division earlier on several evenings.

In August, 2005 Mike was the Assistant Director for Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s revival of Kander and Ebb’s outstanding musical comedy Cabaret. He also contributed to the perfection of the show by being its Master Set Builder, Light Technician and working on the construction of the set. The show broke all Zenons records by winning 14 of a possible 15 awards which included a Best Assistant Director Zenon which went to Mike.

In November, 2005, Mike directed his first play, the musical comedy Hoodwinked which became a great favorite with the audiences that saw it. Mike’s most recently documented work at HLT was recorded in the program for Denise Miriani’s January, 2006 thriller Wait Until Dark where his name appeared on the Menu page as one of the Gourmet Chairs and Master Chefs.

At this moment in time Mike McMillian’s name has appeared in 34 programs of the 145 plays given at HLT, almost one-quarter of all the productions presented by the organization; an outstanding number for a member who has been active for less than eight years. Congratulations Mike on your many achievements, you have shown all of us what a true volunteer can accomplish.

Photo of  Leslie Davis Mercure
Leslie Davis Mercure
Makeup and Hair By: Roy Riedy

Leslie’s first credit in a HLT program was at the end of the Eleventh Season when she was mentioned in Peter Pollard’s playbill for his August,1985, musical, Once Upon A Mattress, as a member of his Costume team. After that initial reference, her name appeared regularly for the next three seasons.

During the Twelfth Season she was involved with three shows, Frank Oberhausen’s Zenon winning musical Annie; Barbara Smith’s No,No, Nanette; and Sue McCollum’s Vanities. In all three shows she was concerned with Makeup and Coiffures. At the end of the season the First Zenons were awarded and Leslie received a Production/Technical Award for her work on makeup during the Twelfth Season.

Leslie took part in four plays during the Thirteenth Season. She was credited with creating the coiffures for Marian Dunham’s November musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and appeared on stage as one of the Geminae in that play; she did both makeup and coiffure for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Fiddler on the Roof in March, and was seen on stage as one of the villagers; she worked with Vivian Cowell on the makeup for Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa’s June musical, The Fansticks; and she did both makeup and coiffure for Jet Hansen’s August revival of Neil Simon’s Odd Couple.

Leslie appeared once again on stage in the Fourteenth Season in Marian Dunham’s November production of Cabaret as Helena, one of the Berlin Kit Kat Girls; backstage she was part of the makeup and coiffure team. In January, 1988, Leslie was a member of Peter Pollard’s makeup and coiffure team for his comedy, Barefoot in the Park; and March she did makeup and coiffure for Frank Oberhausen’s musical, Carousel. The unflagging Ms. Davis also performed her cosmetic magic on the last two plays of the season, Janelou Buck’s California Suite in June, and Teri Klix’s Damn Yankeesin August. Leslie’s generous help brought her a Zenon nomination at the Third Zenon Awards Ceremony “for her achievement in makeup for the 1987/88 season” in late September.

The next time Leslie’s name appears in a HLT program was in the Seventeenth Season in the January, 1991, program for Steel Magnolias, directed by Peter Pollard. Leslie was credited in that playbill as working on the makeup and coiffure for the show. In the Eighteenth Season her name appeared twice in the season’s programs, both times as working with makeup and hair: in the January, 1992, playbill for Peter Pollard’s Marvin Hamlisch musical, They’re Playing Our Song; and in Frank Oberhausen’s April program for Funny Girl. Leslie also appeared in the last two programs of the Nineteenth Season. In June, 1993, she appeared in Marian Dunham’s program for The Philadelphia Story as a member of the Staff of Anthony’s Lounge; and in August, in Jet Hansen’s program for his musical Show Boat, her name reappeared again with the Anthony’s Lounge Staff.

In the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony Program, which took place at the end of the Twenty-first Season, Leslie’s name reappeared as winning one of the first Production/ Technical Awards at the First Zenon Ceremony in an index that the Tenth Program listed as a tribute to the winners of the first ten years of Zenon Awards. Again there was a hiatus in Leslie’s career at HLT which commenced again in the Twenty-sixth Season.

When Leslie, now Leslie Mercure, returned to HLT after several years absence, she appeared as Gloria Rasputin in Sue McCollum’s musical Bye, Bye, Birdie, in April, 2000; she also worked on the musical behind the scenes as a member of the makeup team. In August, Leslie was also a member of Melanie Boulay’s makeup team for her revival of the musical Oliver!

During the Twenty-seventh Season at HLT, Leslie worked on three musicals as a makeup technician: Frank Oberhausen’s January, 2001, reprise of The King and I; Jim McCollum’s April presentation ofThe Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; and Tammie Pollard’s August production of The West Side Story.

Most recently she has worked on Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in March, 2002, as a makeup artist; and also on Melanie Boulay’s August, 2003, musical version of the children’s classic, Peter Pan, again as a makeup artist.

Since coming to Highlands Little Theatre in August, 1985, Leslie has been associated with thirty plays at Highlands Little Theatre. Her name has appeared in thirty-two playbills and three Zenon programs. She is the recipient of a Zenon for her work on makeup for the Twelfth Season and her name has appeared in twelve HLT newsletters and fourteen local news items for a total of fifty-five citations. Leslie Davis Mercure has become synonymous at HLT with the word makeup.

Photo of  Joe  Merritt
Joe Merritt
Music Director By: Roy Riedy

Joe’s named appeared for the first time at HLT in the program for Peter Pollard’s comedy On Golden Pond, in January, 1990, during the theater’s Sixteenth Season; he was listed as a Sound Technician. In June of that year he was the Music Director of an eight piece orchestra for Janelou Buck’s musical, Hello Dolly, and in August he was a member of the Stage Crew for Tena Conyer’s reprise of Don’t Drink The Water. In the program for the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards, Joe was nominated for a Production/Technical Award “for outstanding achievement in music direction/conductor, for Hello Dolly.”

During the Seventeenth Season Joe was associated with two shows. He was a musician in Jet Hansen’s musical, Oklahoma! in November, 1990, and one of the Sound Technicians for Peter Pollard’s comedy, Steel Magnolias in January, 1991.

The following season, the Eighteenth, he was the Music Director and Conductor of Peter Pollard’s production of They’re Playing Our Song. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Ceremony in October, Joe won his first Production/Technical Zenon ”for outstanding achievement as music director and conductor of They’re Playing Our Song.”

In August of the Nineteenth Season, Joe was the Music and Vocal director of Jet Hansen’s musical, Show Boat for which he received a nomination for another Production/ Technical Zenon at the Eighth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony.

During his four years with Highlands Little Theatre, Joe was involved with 7 plays and 3 Zenon Ceremonies. He won one Zenon for his Music Direction and received nominations for two others. His name appeared in 10 HLT Newsletters and 11 local news articles for a total of 31 Citations.

Photo of  Denise  Miriani
Denise Miriani
Enterprising, Persevering, and Successful By: Roy Riedy

Exactly a year ago in June, 2005 Denise Miriani qualified for a Newletter profile by becoming the recepient of a fifth Zenon which she received for her Costume Design of Jennifer Westergom’s lavish musical, The Scarlet Pimpernel. This year she qualified for a second profile for her directing, and being completely and competently in charge of all of the facets that direction requires.

Denise’s first venture in directing was ten years ago in January, 1996 when she was my Assistant Director in presenting the off-Broadway prize winning comedy, The Foreigner. Exactly ten years later, in January, 2006, Ms. Miriani, who in no way had been idle, directed the mystery thriller Wait Until Dark with first-rate results. With this play, Denise’s involvement with HLT plays had reached a total of 70, just two plays shy of the 144 plays that have been given during the Little Theatre’s 32 years of existence.

Denise had paid her dues and was well prepared for her solo turn at direction. Her apprenticeship included valuable experience obtained by producing for Janelou Buck (Inherit the Wind), Andy Conyer(Same Time Next Year), Unity in the Community (The Sounds of the Season), Roy Riedy (And the World Goes ‘Round), and also Jet Hansen’s (I Do!, I Do!).

She worked on set construction for Sue McCollum (The Fantasticks); and was a member of the stage crews of Tammie Pollard (Lend Me a Tenor) and Pete Pollard’s (Ain’t Misbehavin’).

Her acting has included nine roles at HLT, the first was that of the Dr Pepper addicted Agnes Gooch in Jet Hansen’s Eighteenth Season production of Mame, a role that captured her a Best Supporting Actress award and her first Zenon. Two seasons later she played Florence Unger in Pete Pollard’s presentation of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version).

Denise played two roles in the Twenty-first Season: the seismographic stripper, Tessie Tura in Jim Lanier’s Styne/Sondheim musical Gypsy, and Martha Jefferson in Frank Oberhausen’s stunning production of 1776. During the next season she played Catherine Simms in Roy Riedy’s offering of the off-Broadway comedy, The Foreigner, as well as being the play’s Assistant Director.

Two years later Denise played the part of Elizabeth Woodling, a bartered bride, in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s Lerner and Loewe’s Paint Your Wagon. In 2000 she played the wife of a cheating taxi driver, Mary Smith, in Mike Logsdon’s deft producion of Run For Your Wife. This role was followed by appearing in another Ray Cooney farce, Move Over Mrs. Markham, also directed by Mike Logsdon in June, 2002, as the paradoxical Linda Lodge, her last role to date at HLT.

Most of Denise’s non-acting time at HLT has been involved with costuming in one form or another and usually in association with Helen Curcio, a twosome that started in November, 1998 when Denise and Helen worked on the costume design for Melanie Boulay’s brilliant Wizard of Oz. In April, 1999, the pair worked together again on Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music, and again in June for Beverly Brando Gillilan’s revival of Arsenic and Old Lace.

Since 1999, Denise’s costuming has included John Lovelette’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Annie Get Your Gun, for which she worked as a seanstress. Denise won her third Zenon for her wardrobe design with Helen Curcio for Frank Oberhausen’s spectaular 2001 revival of The King and I. Later in that season she served as a wardrobe assistant for Jim McCollum’s musical, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

In the Twenty-eighth season she took on a pyramid of a project as the costume designer for Joe Willis’ extravagant production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a project that awarded her with her fourth Zenon. She preformed more magic in the costuming department with Helen Curcio for Melanie Boulay’s soaring hit Peter Pan at the end of that season.

Denise worked on three costuming projects during the Twenty-ninth Season. She was a seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s awsome revival of The Man of La Mancha; assisted in costuming Allen Branch’s thriller The Hound of the Baskervilles, and was a wardrobe assistant for Tammie Pollard’s outstanding Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Since her June, 2005 Newletter profile, Ms. Miriani collaborated with Helen Curcio on Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s runaway success Cabaret which brought the pair another Zenon, and most recently worked as one of the wardrobe assistants for Joe Willis’ blithesome musical Seven Birides for Seven Brothers.

It’s no wonder that Wait Until Dark was so well received, Ms. Miriani has much to offer and does. Congratulations Denise on your ongoing career at Highlands Little Theatre and the energy, imagination, and initiative you continue to pour into your many successes.

Photo of  Melissa  Montanez
Melissa Montanez
Rising Star By: Roy Riedy

Melissa Montanez was first seen on the HLT stage in February, 2000, performing in a Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) presentation of Cinderella, Cinderella as the wicked stepsister, Cecily, in Krista Flores’ production of the famous children’s fairy tale.

In August, 2001, she played the part of Anita in Tammie Pollard’s exciting presentation of West Side Story. The playbill for the musical noted the Melissa “adds authenticity to the role of Anita as she is a ‘Full Blooded Puerto Rican.’ Melissa is a 17 year old native of Sebring, who lists dance as her first passion. She has focused mainly on ballet, tap, and jazz. While attending Sebring High School, Melissa joined the Hi-Stepping Squad coached by none other than West Side Story‘s . . . (choreographer) . . . Jennifer Westergom. . .”

At the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 2001, Melissa was awarded a Zenon for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her outstanding acting and dancing in the role of Anita in West Side Story.

In February, 2000, Melissa served as Pete Pollard’s Assistant Director for his well received drama, Foxfire. At the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Melissa performed “Trouble” from Smokey Joe’s Café and was the presenter of the Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Since first seen at HLT Melissa has been in two other Little Theatre productions, performed in one Zenon Ceremony and receive a Zenon for the Best Supporting Actress in another, been mentioned in 23 local newspaper articles, and in 8 HLT newsletters. Her rapid rise to prominence at Highland Little Theatre indicates the necessary trajectory for a rising star. Congratulations Melissa on your fine accomplishments, everyone at HLT anxiously awaits your next appearance.

Photo of  Chris  Moore
Chris Moore
First Time Zenon Winner in Just Three Tries By: Roy Riedy

Chris Moore has lived most of his life in Lake Placid, but recently he moved to Sebring with his family. He was just in time to be cast as Daniel Pontipee, one of the seven brothers of Joe Willis’ March, 2006, rambunctious musical, Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, the play that was the first of three steps on the path to his first Zenon. Two months later he was seen as Chaz Looney, a small but essential role in Director Mac Byron’s send up, Drop Dead .

In August, Tammie Pollard chose Chris to play Kenickie in her Zenon gobbling production of the Broadway musical classic, Grease, and as annalists like to say, “The rest is history.”

At the Twenty-first Annual Zenon Awards held on Saturday, October 7, 2006, Chris danced and sang “Out Tonight” from Rent with Sarah Pelham and nine other HLT dancers and singers. He joined Jonathan Jahnke and Sarah Pelham in presenting the Award for Best Costuming and sang a solo from the Broadway hit, Moving Out, “Innocent Man”. However, his biggest moment came when he was awarded the Zenon for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, the role of Kenickie in Grease, which added more depth to the show’s astonishing sweep. Chris went from an unknown to a Zenon winner in just seven months.

Having surrendered to the HLT bug, Chris looks forward to being involved for many seasons to come at Highlands Little Theatre, and it’s not inaccurate to say that the Little Theatre audience will be looking forward to seeing him. Congratulations Chris on your rapid rise to fame.

Photo of  Loraine Biron Morris
Loraine Biron Morris
Two-Time Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

Loraine Biron Morris was last seen in Cabaret, portraying the “fun-loving” Fraulein Kost. 20 years ago Loraine walked through HLT’s doors to help with make-up for The King and I. She decided she liked it and stayed around to appear in GypsyOklahoma!ShowboatHello Dolly, and in the Zenon Award winning Best Show of 2002, Steel Magnolias, as Annelle. Ms. Biron has also worked in the production end of Little Shop of Horrors and the first presentation of Steel Magnolias in 1990.

At the 20th Zenon Ceremonies in 2005, Loraine won her first Zenon for her behind the scenes work with Hair and Makeup Design for the multi-Zenon winning musical, Cabaret.

What follows is an update of Loraine’s Thirty-second Season at HLT which earned her a second Zenon for her supporting role as Betty Rizzo in the hugely successful musical Grease at the 21st Zenon Awards.

Earlier in the season Loraine played the part of Suzy Hendricks in Denise Miriani’s thriller Wait Until Dark for which she was also nominated for a Best Actress in a Leading Role at the ZenonCeremonies which also included a second nomination for Loraine and Trina Aube for their Hair and Makeup Design for Grease.

Congratuations Loraine on your latest Zenon, I don’t think I’m wrong in speculating that there will be more in your future years at Highlands Little Theatre, you are a winner.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Perry  Newborg
Perry Newborg
Two Busy Years at HLT By: Roy Riedy

Peggy Newborg spent two years with Highlands Little Theatre and during that time she was involved in ten shows. She got her first taste of backstage work with the Set Construction team and as a Lighting technician for Jet Hansen’s Show Boat at the end of the Nineteenth Season in August, 1993. Peggy was associated with all the shows of the Twentieth Season starting with Tena Pollard’s second look at convent life, her November, 1993, presentation of Nunsense II, The second coming . . . during which Peggy worked on the staff of Anthony’s Lounge and the Playbill Committee, two jobs she continued during Peter Pollard’s January, 1994, production of The Odd Couple (Female Version) in which she also played the part of Sylvie. In April she was Frank Oberhausen’s Assistant Director and Sound technician for his reprise of South Pacific, two jobs that won her a Production/ Technical Zenon at the Ninth Annual Zenon Ceremony at end of the Season.

In June, Peggy received a Gracie Award for her clean-up work at the Playhouse and also appeared in Tammie Pollard’s directorial debut production of Lend Me a Tenor as Diana; in August her name appeared in Marian Dunham’s program for Meet Me in St. Louis, as a member of the Playbill Committee.

Jim Lanier’s Gypsy opened the Twenty-first season and Mrs. Newborg’s name appears in its program as the play’s Sound Technician. In January Peter Pollard directed and acted in the musical revue of “Fats” Waller’s songs and music, Ain’t Misbehavin’. Peggy was listed on its Production Staff as Co-Producer with Tammie Pollard and as its Stage Manager with Carl Gillilan. She was also credited for the Light Design with Frank Oberhausen, and a Sound Technician with Tammie Pollard. In March Frank Oberhausen brought his outstanding 1776 to The Lakeside Playhouse with Peggy a member of the Sound team. Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer directed Same Time Next Year in June and Peggy appeared in that program as one of the workers in Anthony’s Lounge and the Playbill Committee. It was the last HLT play program that records her name, but at the Tenth Zenon Ceremony, her name appeared in the Zenon program with two nominations for her work during the Twenty-first Season. The first was for Best Producer with Tammie Pollard for her effort with Ain’t Misbehavin’; and the other, again with Tammie Pollard, for their work as sound technicians for Gypsy1776, and Ain’t Misbehavin’.

Although Mrs. Newborg was only with Highlands Little Theatre for two years she managed to be associated with ten plays and two Zenon Ceremonies. She receive a Production/Technical Zenon at the Ninth Ceremony and two other nominations at the Tenth. She was the recipient of a Gracie Award and had her name mentioned in six HLT Newsletters and nine local news articles for a total of 27 Citations.

Photo of  Don  Newby
Don Newby
Gracie Award Winner for May 2007 By: Vanessa Logsdon & Roy Riedy

You’ve gotta love those new members who aren’t too shy to just jump right in and help out, and this month’s winner is another example of just that. Not only new to HLT, but new to Sebring, he didn’t hesitate to introduce himself and get his feet wet before he was even settled into his new home, bringing his extensive theatre knowledge along for our benefit.

In June of 2005, Vanessa and Denise attended the AACT National Theatre conference in Kalamazoo, Michigan. They brought back a plethora of ideas, including a concept for a new program that was very successful in community theatres across the nation, but was completely unheard of at HLT. This idea had everything: it provides underutilized performers another opportunity to entertain; it is a community outreach program which would serve a large portion of the local population; it is a marketing tool that gives us another – and inexpensive – way to advertise directly to the public; and it even brings in a little bit of money. The problem was, no one else had seen this program. Although enthusiastic, the members of this new department didn’t know what it was supposed to look like at the end. Needless to say, it was a struggle to organize it and get it out there. Until a few short months ago, when tonight’s winner first offered his services. He asked, “What can I do?” Knowing that he had recently come from Theatre Winter Haven, where they have a similar program, he was asked to help with the Reader’s Theatre program. We now know them as the Glad Hatters Entertainers, and all signs are that they are going to be a very fruitful branch of HLT. Thanks to his vision, his knowledge, his skills and his willingness to accept this responsibility, this month’s Gracie goes to Don Newby.

Congratulations Don and welcome to Highlands Little Theatre, you’ve come to the right place for someone with your experience. This is truly one of those rare happenings where everyone wins!

Photo of  Shirley  Nicoll
Shirley Nicoll

Shirley Nicoll’s name appeared for the first time in the program for Melanie Boulay’s Oliver! in August, 2000, as one of the Make-up Artists working on that show. Three shows later she was listed in Frank Oberhausen’s The King and I program as one of the Set Construction workers. Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas followed and Shirley’s name was listed as a Make-up Assistant.

In Steve McDaniel’s Moon Over Buffalo program, Shirley is listed as responsible for the Hair Design and Make-up. The final show of the Twenty-seventh Season was Tammie Pollard’s West Side Storyand Ms. Nicoll’s name is listed with others as contributing to the Make-Up and Hair Design. In the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards program Shirley was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon for her work in Makeup for the season.

During the Twenty-eighth Season Shirley was responsible for the Make-up Design for Frank Oberhausen’s Guys and Dolls, and also Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

At the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony Ms. Nicoll received her first Board Service Zenon for “Outstanding Achievement in Reorganization of the Makeup Department.” Shirley has only been with HLT for two years but she has managed to collect 30 citations which include participation in 7 plays, two nominations and one win at the Annual Zenon Ceremonies, a mention in 12 local newspaper articles, and 9 HLT Newsletters, a fine showing for a two year member. Thank you Shirley for bringing your Make-up and organizational skills to Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Beth  Norman
Beth Norman
Southern Hospitality By: Roy Riedy

Beth Norman’s name has appeared 164 times in the Highlands Little Theatre programs, newspaper articles in local papers, and HLT Newsletters since it first appeared listed under “House Managers” in the HLT program for Once Upon A Mattress in August, 1985, 17 years ago.

Twelve plays later her name appeared on the Production Staff page under House Managers as the “Coordinator” in the June 1988 program of Neil Simon’s California Suite.

In the October, 1988 HLT Newsletter, Beth defined for the membership, what a “housemanager” was and outlined its duties. Her definition will serve as an excellent description of what she has been doing so well for Highlands Little Theatre for the past seventeen years:
“Housemanagers are our wonderfully-dressed greeters who seat our special theatre-goers. They are asked to come an hour before the doors open and to make sure our guests know that without an audience, we have no reason to perform.
“They must be people who love theater and all that we stand for. They know that the audience’s comfort and safety are as important as the show they will see. Housemanagers are just as important as the stars because they prepare the audience for the wonderful time they will have.
“That is what a housemanager is. . . .”A special thanks to those who have served so well, so often.” Beth Norman, Housemanager Coordinator. And a special thanks to you Beth, who have served so well and so long.

Since Once Upon a Mattress in 1985, Ms. Norman has “managed the house” for 83 of the 132 plays presented by Highlands Little Theatre which translates into 62% of all the plays given at the Lakeside Playhouse.

Beth has been recognized for her fidelity and many years of service by four well deserved Zenons. She received her first award at the Seventh Zenon Ceremonies in 1992 for “Outstanding contributions to the theater as House Manager,” and her second Board Service Award in 2001 at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards for “House Managing and Public Relations.” Her last two Zenons were received at the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards, the first of the two, a Board Service Award for “Outstanding Achievement as Chairperson of the House Managers”, and the second, the covetedJanelou Buck Significant Achievement Award. Which welcomed Ms. Norman into HLT’s exclusive club of eighteen members.

Congratulations Beth on a job well done, done cheerfully, colorfully, and continually with that special southern charm that we have all come to expect and love. You are another of the reasons why people come back to the Lakeside Playhouse and why our theatrical endeavor has been a success and continues to prosper in Highlands County.

 

Beth passed away on 18 March, 2013. If you come to the theatre, maybe you will sense her presence there. She will be truly missed.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Frank C. Oberhausen Jr.
Frank C. Oberhausen Jr.
Highlands Little Theatre's Mr. Showbiz By: Roy Riedy

Since April 11, 1974, when Frank  Oberhausen’s picture appeared dancing at a HLT fund raising sock hop that was captioned “Twinkle Toes” in the then Sebring News, Mr. Oberhausen’s name has been synonymous with Highlands Little Theatre. His name was first mentioned at HLT in the program of Night Watch, the third play put on by the fledgling group in March, 1975, as the play’s light designer. Since that date, he has been credited with lighting 80 other plays done by the acting group and 18 of which have won Zenons for his skillful illumination.

To date, Mr. Oberhausen has been associated with 137 of the 151 plays put on by Highlands Little Theatre which is now well into its thirty-third year of existence. Out of the 29 plays he directed, seven of them have been given Zenons for the Best Show of the Season. They include AnnieFiddler on the Roof, and The King and I, all three which have won twice, and the historical musical 1776.

He has also shown that he can perform on stage as well by acting in 23 parts, four of which were awarded Zenons for their excellence: The roles of Sakini in The Teahouse of the August Moon, and the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz won him Best Actor Awards for the Season, and the role of Hysterium in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum won him Best Supporting Actor, twice!

Another skill that Frank has perfected is Stage Design. Over the decades he has been responsible for 71 set designs at the Lakeside Playhouse and 12 of them have received Zenons for the Best Designs of the Season; the merry-go-round in the musical Carousel and the precise reproduction of Independence Hall in 1776 come to mind immediately.

In 1999 Mr. Oberhausen received a Board Service Zenon for his overwhelming contribution to the Gourmet Division of HLT that he established in 1979 when the organization presented Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite and its first dinner theatre program at the Sebring Elks Club. Over the years there accumulated 85 references to Frank’s association with the Gourmet Division in the programs of HLT’s playbills. Mr. Oberhausen was recognized for his stagecraft by a Production/Technical Zenon that he and Larry Wollangk received for their Construction Coordination in the 2004 presentation of Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Mr. Oberhausen has also been the recepient of two Gracie Awards in appreciation of his generous volunteering spirit. By the end of the 21st Season, 176 members of HLT had been awarded 505 Zenons for their outstanding theatrical contributions, Mr. Oberhausen heads this list by having received 51 of those awards, roughly 10%.

Other well deserved honors accorded him include The Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award presented to Mr. Oberhausen in 1988, and the exclusive recognition of Life Membership, the highest honor given by Highlands Little Theatre.

The latest recognition of the crucial and productive role played by Mr. Oberhausen in his ongoing promotion of theatre in Highlands County is the dedication of the second volume of The History of Highlands Little Theatre, the dedication speaks for itself:
Volume Two, A Short History of Highlands Little Theatre, The Early Years (1985-1995) is dedicated to Frank C. Oberhausen, Jr.in recognition of his untiring quest to realize the enviable physical and aesthetic edifice that is known as Highlands Little Theatre. Since the birth of the organization, Mr. Oberhausen has never wavered in his enthusiasm to supply ideas, energy and time to make theater in Highlands County a marvel of cultural significance and enjoyment.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Beverly  Padgett
Beverly Padgett
HLTs' Fair Lady By: Roy Riedy

Beverly Padgett appeared in her first Highlands Little Theatre production in its eleventh presentation, Here’s Charlie, in May, 1978. In the First Act of this revue she was billed prophetically as “Beverly, the singer,” and in the Second Act she played “young Helen Morgan.” Since that debut some twenty-four years ago she has sung twenty roles at HLT that have included a “Premiere Songstress” in Dirty Work at the Crossroads, (1978); Hodel in Fiddler On the Roof I (1979); Ensign Nellie Forbush in South Pacific I (1979); Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady I, (1981); Maria Ranier in The Sound of Music I (1981); Nimue in Camelot I (1982); Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls (1983); Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun I (1984); Agnes in I Do, I Do (1986); Anna Leonowens in The King and I(1989); Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady II (1990); the non-singing role of M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias, (1991); Marian Paroo in The Music Man, (1991); Sister Amnesia in Nunsense (1992); Sister Mary Paul a/k/a Amnesia in Nunsense II (1993); Guenevere in Camelot II (1993); Nellie Forbush in South Pacific II (1994); Rose in Gypsy (1994); Abigail Adams in 1776 (1995); Goldie in Fiddler on the Roof III(1996); Glinda, the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz (1998) and Anna Leonowens again in the second edition of The King and I in 2001.

Half of these starring roles were sung before the Zenon Award Ceremonies were established at HLT. Of the eleven roles she sang after the Zenons were inaugurated, Beverly made six of them award winners. The first was Anna in The King and I in 1989; it was followed by Eliza in My Fair Lady II in 1990; and Marian in The Music Man in 1991; three years later she played Rose in Gypsy and won her fourth Zenon; which was followed by the part of Goldie in Fiddler on the Roof III in 1996, and a reprise of Anna in The King and I #2 in 2001, which brought her Best Actress awards to six. It surprised no one that in 1994, at the end of Highlands Little Theatre’s Twentieth Season, she was awarded the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award for her long and happy association with the Little Theatre. This award boosted her Zenon tally to seven. Ms. Padgett is also the seventh recipient of the selective Life Member Award which she received from her grateful peers in the year 2000.

Beverly hasn’t limited her contributions at Highlands Little Theatre to being just on the stage, she co-directed Gypsy and was the musical director for two of the Zenon ceremonies. Over half of her 85 involvements with the Little Theatre productions have been concerned with the Gourmet Division and Anthony’s Lounge and her name appears in playbills on the stage construction and stage crews over a dozen times. At the time when piano music was part of the entertainment in Anthony’s Lounge, she also served as one of the pianists to the delight of everyone who heard her.

Beverly has served on the Board of Directors for two terms in the mid-nineties and again in the early years of 2000. She was the President of Highlands Little Theatre from April, 1999 to March, 2000. During that year she made the importance of volunteering her primary agenda and her campaign enjoyed a gratifying response.

I feel confident that I speak for all the membership when I say that Highlands Little Theatre has been highly fortunate in having Beverly Padgett as one of its long time members. Not only has she contributed generously of her time and talent for almost a quarter of a century in her association with the Highlands Little Theatre, but she has brought much enjoyment and pleasure to everyone who has been fortunate to see and hear her in her many memorable and outstanding roles.

Thank you Beverly for sharing your many gifts with us, you will be remembered by us all at Highlands Little Theatre as Our Fair Lady.

Photo of  Leonard and Virginia  Parnell
Leonard and Virginia Parnell
Charter Members By: Roy Riedy

The second recipients of the Significant Achievement Award were two charter members of The Highlands Little Theatre, Leonard & Virginia Parnell. They received their award at the second Zenon Awards Ceremony at the end of HLT’s 13th Season, October 3, 1987 for their ongoing participation and effort since the inception of the theater group in 1974. Fittingly, Janelou Buck had the honor of presenting the award.

Mr. Parnell is a retired Lt. Colonel of the Army Ordinance. He has been active in the Salvation Army, SCORE, Meals on Wheels, Highlands Gem and Mineral Club, TROA, and as a layreader at St. Agnes Episcopal Church. His acting credits range from Little Lord Fauntleroy in grade school to the Judge in the 1990 HLT production of Hello Dolly.

His credits at HLT include: the Sheriff in Deadwood Dick (1975); the Butler in Ten Little Indians (1976); the Doctor in Blithe Spirit (1977); Mr. Stanley in The Man Who Came to Dinner (1985); the first production of Mr. Roberts in March of 1979 when he played the Captain, and ten years later when he played Dowdy in the 1989 presentation of that same play. In the 1990s Len was the Assistant Director of Hello Dolly (1990) and played the Judge in that production.

Len Parnell has been with HLT almost from the beginning, offstage and on. The long-time chairman of the Program Committee, Advertising committee, House Manager Committee and Bylaws Committee, Leonard has also helped with construction and props and the Building Committee. Leonard Parnell’s late wife, Virginia H. Parnell, who died in July of 1989, was also with the theater from the beginning, designing the first program covers when artwork was the “frosting” on an endeavor striving for a foothold in the community. She joined her husband in developing the program; editing, laying out the components, helping keep track of the advertisers who were the life blood of Highlands Little Theatre in its formative years. She could be found painting sets, working on props and helping with costumes for many of the plays, lending part of her own household many times.

As the organization grew, Virginia and her husband became HLT’s House Manager Committee, and guests of the theatre were never as warmly and royally welcomed as by the gracious Parnells. Their elegance and leadership made them the perfect and obvious choice to head the very first Patrons Committee, another pioneering event, and establish and oversee the opening night Galas.

Virginia and Leonard Parnell were logical candidates for HLT’s second Significant Achievement Award which is given for service over a period of several years. Their enthusiasm and support never faltered, even during illness. The Parnells have set the stage for the rest of the members of HLT in how to follow a star with commitment, grace, and caring – traits that they brought to everything they have touched. Their legacy will linger as an excellent script for all of us later members to follow.

These two pioneers of the Highlands County’s Little Theatre movement have left their unforgettable stamp on our theatrical history. It is through their unselfish and uncounted hours of activity that we can boast of the fine organization that we have today, over twenty-five years later. We will always be in their debt. Thank you Len and Virginia for giving us such a good start. As you can plainly see, you effort hasn’t been in vain.

Photo of  Lucia  Paul
Lucia Paul
Stylish By: Roy Riedy

Lucia Paul was first seen on the Lakeside Playhouse’s stage in March, 2000, as a member of the adult chorus of Sue McCollum’s musical Bye Bye, Birdie. In August, she played the part of Mrs. Bedwin in Melanie Boulay’s Dickensian musical Oliver!. In October she ended the Twenty-sixth Season by being nominated for a Board Service Award at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony for her work in Wardrobe Organization.

In the Twenty-seventh Season she worked as a House Manager during the production of Jet Hansen’s On Golden Pond; she was a Wardrobe Seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s big hit, The King and I, and she was Jim McCollum’s Producer for his musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In the program of that play, the audience was told that Lucia came to Highlands County with a background in Fashion Show Production. She commented that she finds the transition into theater production to be just as time-consuming and exciting. Her fashion background also includes Design, so she enjoys offering her skills in the Costume Department. In the program she observed: “I’m a great believer in visuals – the proper costumes for a production are an integral part of bringing alive the characters.” During the June production of Steve McDaniel’s Moon Over Buffalo, Ms. Paul worked again with the House Managers.

In October, at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Lucia was awarded her first Zenon for the season’s Best Producer for her work on The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Since joining Highlands Little Theatre in 2000, Lucia Paul has been involved in 6 plays, 2 Zenon Ceremonies in which she won her first Zenon for Best Producer, been cited in 11 HLT Newsletters and 11 local newspaper articles. Thank you Lucia for sharing your fashion experience with HLT.

Photo of  Virginia  Peck
Virginia Peck
Committee Lady By: Roy Riedy

Virginia Peck’s name appeared for the first time in a HLT program for Frank Oberhausen’s musical Carousel in March, 1988, as a member of his Set Construction Team. It also appeared in the program of the following play, Janelou Buck’s June,1988, production of Neil Simon’s California Suite in the form of an announcement: “We are getting with it!! Thanks to the efforts of a new committee of Diane Arch, Virginia Peck and Grace Sagona, with the kindly loan by Dick Arabinko of his computer, the patrons (members), angels & guardian angels will be listed so the membership rolls are accurate. This will allow us to list who’s who, and who’s dues are due! This is a labor of love from which everyone benefits.”

In September at the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, Virginia received a Board Service Zenon ”for service with the Production Committee, wardrobe maintenance, Membership and Patrons committees, revisions & updating of the mailing list.”

The next time Virginia’s name appeared in a play program was in November, 1992, the playbill for Tena Conyer’s Nunsense in which she was acknowledged for a service to the play.

Another rare sighting of Virginia’s name was in the December, 1998 program for the Holiday Musical Review, Sounds of the Season, a Unity in the Community Project, held at the Lakeside Playhouse. The last time Virginia’s name appeared in print was in the playbill for the November, 1999, John Lovelette production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in which she was thanked for a service to the theatre by the then President, Beverly Padgett.

During Ms. Peck’s association with Highlands Little Theatre, her name has appeared in nine programs, thirty-nine HLT Newsletters and one local news article, for a total of forty-seven Citations; she has served on innumerable committees and is the possessor of one Board Service Zenon.

Photo of  Deanna  Pollard
Deanna Pollard
A New Face on the Board of Directors By: Roy Riedy

Deanna Pollard was still Deanna Minard when she and the new millennium joined forces to bring us a new face and a new century at Highlands Little Theatre. Frank Oberhausen’s Annie Get Your Gunwas the play that brought Deanna to the chorus of that musical and to the attention of The Lakeside Playhouse’s audiences. The Irving Berlin classic was the first of 8 shows that Deanna has been in since she came to HLT in late 1999.

Deanna’s next appearance at HLT was as one of the Royal Wives in Frank Oberhausen’s January, 2001 production of his record breaking, multi Zenon winning, Rogers and Hammerstein delight, The King and I.

Deanna’s roles as Ginger and Angelette in Jim McCollum’s Lone Star State romp, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas got her picture in the HLT program which is always a sign of having moving up in the theatrical world.

Deanna moved from Texas to Buffalo for her next appearance in Steve McDaniel’s June presentation of Ken Ludwig witty comedy Moon over Buffalo in which she played Rosaline Hay, fittingly, the daughter of two actors.

Deanna rounded out the Twenty-seventh Season at the Little Theatre as Francisca, one of the Shark Girls, in Tammie Pollard’s outstanding August, 2001 production of Bernstein and Sondheim’s adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story.

Deanna’s name appeared in the program of the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards as a nominee for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her part as Rosalyn Hay in Moon Over Buffalo.

In November, 2001, the Twenty-eighth Season of Highlands Little Theatre opened with Frank Oberhausen’s production of Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls. Deanna danced and sang her way through that show as one of the gum-chewing, mink shedding Hot Box Girls who gave everyone who saw them a bushel and a peck of fun and laughter.

In February, Deanna and fellow actor Jerry Pollard’s, engagement picture appeared in the various local papers and in April Ms. Minard was elected to the Board of Directors of Highlands Little Theatre. Deanna and Jerry were married at the First United Methodist Church at Sebring on June 29, 2002.

In August Deanna and Jerry appeared as a longer married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Darling in Melanie Boulay’s delightful musical production of James M. Barrie’s classic children’s play, Peter Pan in which Jerry also played the nefarious Captain Hook. Peter Pan was huge hit and amassed 8 Zenons at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2002, putting the play in second place for the mostZenons ever awarded to a play at HLT. Both of the Pollards were presenters of awards at those Ceremonies.

Congratulations Deanna on your many successes and accomplishments at Highlands Little Theatre in a relatively short period of time. We shall follow your career with interest and great delight.

Photo of  Jerry  Pollard
Jerry Pollard
A Zenon Winning Actor By: Roy Riedy

Jerry Pollard began his prevailing career at Highlands Little Theatre as Humphry Bogart in Tammie Pollard’s 1996 Woody Allen comedy, Play It Again, Sam. Even though he was a new face to the audiences at HLT, he was not a newcomer to acting. Before appearing on The Lakeside Playhouse stage, Jerry had studied under David Goldberg at the Acting Studio Company in Orlando and worked as a Production Assistant at Disney’s MGM Studio on a variety of shows, including the feature film Thunder in Paradise II, even Bogie would have envied those prime credentials.

Theatergoers had to wait over two years to see Jerry again at HLT. He reappeared in Melanie Boulay’s celebrated production of The Wizard of Oz as a citizen of Oz and also as a Winkie which probably made Bogie do a double take. Two months latter, Jerry had his picture in the program of Peter Pollard’s production of The Miracle Worker playing James Keller, Helen Keller’s older brother, a part that put an end to Bogie’s smirks.

The following June Mr. Pollard appeared as Mortimer Brewster in Beverly Gillilan’s reprise of the comic chestnut Arsenic and Old Lace, a role that made Bogie beam with pride. Arsenic and Old Lace was followed by Michael Frayne’s wonderful farce Noises Off directed by Jet Hansen in which Jerry appeared as Garry Lejeune, a role that made Bogie weep with laughter. At Zenon time Jerry’s fine work was recognized with three nominations: a Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for his part as James Keller in The Miracle Worker; and two nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role: Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace, and Garry in Noises Off, Bogie was absolutely ecstatic!

John Lovelette opened the Twenty-sixth Season with his brilliant production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in which the voice of Jerry Pollard was heard on tape. Late in February, 2000, The Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) presented Cinderella, Cinderella on the HLT stage and Jerry was seen as playing King Cybil the Third, in that production. Sue McCollum presented Bye Bye, Birdie in April and Jerry worked backstage as part of her Sound team. In May Mr. Pollard was elected to the Board of Directors of HLT for the following year, and in June, Mike Logsdon brought Ray Cooney’s grand farce Run For Your Wife to HLT with Jerry as John Smith, the two timing cabbie. Bogie was beside himself, and evidently the audience was too, for Jerry won the Best Actor in a Leading Role for his exuberant portrayal of how a good idea can go wrong.

In August 2000, Melanie Boulay brought Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver!, based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, back to the Lakeside Playhouse stage and cast Jerry as the nefarious Bill Sykes, a role that won him a nomination at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. That honor went to Rush Loughry, however, Jerry was consoled by the fact that he won the Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Ceremonies for his manic performance in Run For Your Wife.

In June of 2001, Jerry reappeared at his ocular and kinetic best on the HLT stage as Paul/Victor in Steve McDaniel’s delightful production of Moon Over Buffalo, another role that won him a nomination at the October Zenon Ceremonies for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

In August, Jerry rounded out the Twenty-seventh Season playing the much maligned Officer Krupke in Tammie Pollard’s forceful production of West Side Story

During the first four shows of the Twenty-eighth Season, Jerry was part of the staff of Anthony’s Lounge, in August he was cast as Mr. Darling and Captain Hook in Melanie Boulay’s charming production of Peter Pan, roles that once again nominated him for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the Zenon Ceremonies in October.

The Twenty-ninth Season found Jerry either working with the Anthony Lounge Staff or backstage. He was Peter Pollard’s Assistant Director and Stage Manager for the reprise of Steel Magnolias in January, 2003; in June he was Director Allen Branch’s understudy for Sir Henry in the Sherlock Holmes thriller, The Hound of the Baskervilles, and also the play’s Assistant Technical Director which fulfilled his final prerequisite to qualify him as a certified HLT director. Jerry ended the season as he started it, as a member of the Anthony Lounge support team.

Jerry started the Thirtieth Season out again as an Anthony Lounge worker. In January, 2004, he appeared as Richard Willey in Mike Logsdon’s production of Ray Cooney’s wonderful farce, Out Of Order. During the last three shows: Jennifer Westergom’s March production of The Scarlet Pimpernel; Peter Pollard’s June presentation of Lost in Yonkers; and Tammie Pollard’s brilliant Jesus Christ, Superstar, Jerry could be found again in Anthony’s Lounge.

At the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, Jerry was awarded one of the two Best Actor in a Leading Role Awards for his extraordinary performance as Richard Willey in Mike Logsdon’s Out of Order, another Ray Cooney play.

Since Mr. Pollard joined HLT he has been associated with 24 plays, participated in 5 Zenon Ceremonies, and was awarded his first Zenon for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his wonderful job as John Smith in Ray Cooney’s comedy, Run For Your Wife, directed by Mike Logsdon. Jerry has been mention in 54 local news articles and 29 HLT Newsletters, for a grand total of 112 citations. I, for one, can’t wait to see him star in another Cooney/Logsdon partnership which is perfect Zenon material.

Photo of  Margie  Pollard
Margie Pollard
An Amazing Non-Acting Career at HLT By: Roy Riedy

Margie Pollard seems content to work unrecognized behind the scenes at Highlands Little Theatre, and work she has and continues to do. Since she served unidentified on the 1987 stage crew of Cabaret and then was finally recognized as one of the crew of Carousel in 1988, the show that inaugurated the new stage at HLT, she has been part of twenty-one other stage crews and twenty-four Set Construction Teams.

In 1991 she started another long career as a Producer with the production of Music Man, and since that successful first effort has produced twenty-one other shows and won Best Producer ZenonAwards for eight of them which include: Music Man (1991); Funny Girl (1992); Camelot (1993); South Pacific (1994); Gypsy (1995); Fiddler on the Roof (1996); The Wizard of Oz and her eighth for the second edition of Brigadoon (2003). (1999).

It was also in 1991 that Margie became associated with the then new Anthony’s Lounge which had opened in late 1989 . HLT playbills for the next eleven years associate her name thirty-five more times with the lounge since that initial announcement twelve years ago.

1991 was also the year that Margie started stage managing and since then has supervised six shows. The first show she worked on was The Seven Year Itch in 1991. The next year it was Mamewhich won her a Best Stage Manager Zenon Awards for her effort. This was followed in 1992 by They’re Playing Our Song, and Inherit the Wind. In 1995 she was the Stage Manager of The Goodbye Girl, and her latest show to date has been the 1997 summer production of George Washington Slept Here.

As if this diversity wasn’t enough, in 1997 Margie became associated with HLT’s Box Office force and added that phase of show business to the long variety of her theatrical accomplishments and has continued in this project for over a dozen more times. If it wasn’t for an acknowledgment of her name in the playbills, one would be hard pressed to identify this hard working lady, for the only time she has appeared on HLT’s stage in front of an audience has been at the Zenon Awards Presentations at the close of each season to pick up another well earned trophy that signals her abiding effort in so many facets of theatrical work. So far her stage appearances have reached eleven, the latest in the 2000 edition of the musical Oliver!.

Besides seven Zenons for Best Producer and one for Best Stage Manager, Margie was awarded a Discretionary Zenon Awards in 1991, and in 1996 the prized Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award, the award that addresses selfless and long time service to our theatrical organization. Margie’s Zenon Awards total increased to eleven at the 18th Zenon Awards Ceremonies when she was presented with a Zenon Awards for her work as a Producer for Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Brigadoon in March, 2003.

Margie has also contributed to the government of HLT by holding various offices five different times. She has served as an officer of the association in three different capacities: She was Vice President twice, in 1994 and 1995; President for one term from 1995 – 1996; and been on the Board of Directors from 1996 – 1998 and again in 2000-2001.

Since her work as Producer for Brigadoon in 2003, Margie has made another rare stage appearance as a member of the chorus in Frank Oberhausen’s Thirty-first Season opener, The Music Man. She also served as the Assistant Director and Co-Producer of Kathy MacNeill’s circus musical Barnum in March, 2005. Mrs. Pollard received the only non-Cabaret play Zenon Award at the Twentieth Zenon Ceremonies in early October for her service as Assistant Director of The Music Man, which now ties her with Helen Curcio in sixth place as a member who has received twelve Zenon Awards.  Congratulations Margie!

Margie Pollard may be an unknown face to many patrons of HLT, but to those that really know her and realize how much she has contributed, she is truly a household word, house in this context, the Highlands Little Theatre. Margie, all of us associated with HLT appreciate your continual work and the countless hours that you have devoted to making our organization the smooth running machine that it is today. Thank you for your service in helping making superior entertainment available to everyone in Highlands County. You are an inspiration and we are all in your debt.

Photo of  Peter H. Pollard
Peter H. Pollard
Actor and Director By: Roy Riedy

Peter H. Pollard was first seen in the HLT production, Anything Goes, in April, 1982, and since that time he has become synonymous with the presentations and structure of the Highlands Little Theatre. His effort has been awarded with twenty-three Zenons which puts him in second place for amassing the greatest number of those awards, only surpassed by Frank C. Oberhausen, who has accrued the enviable and unprecedented number of forty-nine Zenon Awards over the past eighteen years..

Mr. Pollard, since that Cole Porter musical in the spring of 1982, has participated in eighty-five plays and Zenon presentations which he single-handedly directed and administered for the first ten years as a conclusion to the HLT theatrical season. For this dedicated activity Mr. Pollard was given a Special Zenon Award for his significant labors in 1996.

He has directed fifteen plays in his twenty-one years with HLT and four of them: Arsenic and Old Lace (1986); Barefoot in the Park (1988); On Golden Pond (1990); and The Miracle Worker (1999); have brought him a Best Director Award. Two of these plays were also awarded the Best Play of the Season: On Golden Pond, and The Miracle Worker; and most recently, a third, Steel Magnolias(2003) also won the Best Play award while two of them further won the Best Set Design: Arsenic and Old Lace, and On Golden Pond.

He has exceeded his four directional awards with Zenons for Best Actor, with an unsurpassed seven! In 1986 he received his first Best Actor Award for the part of Michael in I Do, I Do; his second was earned for his portrayal of Tevye in HLT’s second edition of the musical Fiddler on the Roof; his third for his depiction of Richard in the 1991 comedy The Seven Year Itch; and the fourth was awarded for his outstanding King Arthur in Camelot that was presented in 1993. In 1995 he played John Adams in the patriotic 1776 and was awarded his fifth Best Actor Award; two years later he claimed his sixth Zenon for his uproarious turn as Psedolus in the early Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. His last Best Actor, to date, was received for his inimitable Lenny Ganz in the 1998 presentation of Neil Simon’s Rumors. In all Mr. Pollard has acted in twenty-five different parts during his time with HLT and has been elected Best Actor for seven of those roles.

The year he directed Arsenic and Old Lace, 1986, was also the year that he also won the Best Supporting Actor award for his rollicking representation of Teddy Brewster and his Panamanian exertions in his Brooklyn basement and Cuban charges on the family staircase. In 2001 Mr. Pollard received his second Best Supporting Actor award for his part as the Governor of Texas in the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In 2002 he received his third Best Supporting Actor Zenon for his role of Sancho Panza in Man of La Mancha. A Board Service Award in 1987, the Significant Achievement Award in 1991, and a Production – Technical Discretional Award for Technical Direction and Sound Design for West Side Story round out the tally of Mr. Pollard’s twenty-three well earned and most certainly deserved Zenon Awards at HLT.

And there is still more. During his time with Highlands Little Theatre Mr. Pollard has held nine offices in the government of the organization. He has been President three times, from April 1989 to March 1991, and more recently from April 1998 to March 1999; he has also served on the Board of Directors for six periods that go back to 1983 and stretch to the year 2000.

It should come as no surprise that Mr. Pollard’s talent, energy, dedication, and perseverance has also been rewarded with the honor of being recognized as a Life Member by his fellow members of the organization. Highlands Little Theatre is the richer for having him as a member.

The Thirty-first Season has been a busy season for HLT’s current President, Peter Pollard. He was elected to his fourth stint as the head of the organization in April, 2005.

In November 2004, Pete worked with Mike McMillian on the Sound Design of the first play of the Thirty-first Season, Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Music Man; in January Mr. Pollard presented the fifteenth play he has directed for Highlands Little Theatre, Charles Busch’s unconventional comedy, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife.

Pete appeared as the credulous Herr Shultz in the Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom production of Cabaret in August, 2005. His excellent portrayal of the gullible greengrocer presented him with his 24th Zenon, this time for Best Actor in a Supporting Role and maintained his position as the HLT member with the second most Zenons ever acquired. The top winner is HLT’s Olympian Frank Oberhausen with 51 awards.

Thank you Peter H. Pollard for your unstinting labors that have made our theater the superior establishment it is today. It is impossible to assess the support and efforts that you have so generously and consistently contributed to the theater, but please, let it be known to one and all, that we at Highlands Little Theatre are aware of your stellar contributions and are a better organization for them, for this we all offer you enthusiastic thanks.

Photo of  Tammie  Pollard
Tammie Pollard
Life Member and Fifteen Time Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

When Tammie Pollard was first associated with the very youthful Highlands Little Theatre in 1975, she as still a student at Sebring High School and Zenon Awards were still a thing of the future. Consequently, all her laurels have been achieved since she reappeared at the Lakeside Playhouse in the early 1990′s, first as an actress and director.

Her first appearance on the HLT stage since her debut as Lily Blossom in the 1975 melodrama, Deadwood Dick, The Dashing Western Romance, was in the role of Elaine in the August, 1991 production of George Axelrod’s comedy The Seven Years Itch. In January of 1993 she appeared in Ed Graczky’s Come Back To The Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean as Joanne, a role that nominated her for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role at the Zenon Ceremonies at the end of that season. In June of the same year she appeared as Liz Imbrie in Philip Barry’s famous Philadelphia Story and found that she was competing against herself for another Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role at the Zenons that fall.

Tammie was next seen as Olive Madison in January of 1994 in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version). In June of that year she directed Ken Ludwig’s wonderful farce, Lend Me A Tenor, which captured two Zenons at the 9th Annual Zenon Awards: one for Best Director, and a second for Best Play. But this was only the start of Tammie’s Zenon studded career. Two years later at the 11th Annual Zenon Awards, she was presented with a Production/Technical Discretionary Award for her work as Assistant Director of The Goodbye Girl. During this time period she also assisted in directing Ain’t Misbehavin’, in January of 1995, and in directing Play It Again, Sam, in June of 1996.

At the 12th Annual Zenon Award Ceremony at the end of the 23rd Season (1996-1997), Tammie made Zenon history by receiving three Zenons for her outstanding labors. Not only was she named Best Supporting Actress for her part of Miss Maudie in To Kill A Mockingbird, but she was also selected Best Director for her outstanding presentation of A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, the play that surprised no one to also be selected as Best Play of the 23rd Season.

And there is still more: At the 14th Annual Zenon Awards at the end of the 25th Season (1998-1999) Tammie was selected as the Best Actress of the “Silver Season” for her inspired interpretation of Helen Keller’s teacher, Annie Sullivan, in William Gibson’s classic drama The Miracle Worker.

In all, Tammie Pollard has been associated with thirty-two productions at Highlands Little Theatre, twelve of them were as an actress, eight others were as director or assistant director of a play, including the ambitious and astounding presentation of the Bernstein/Sondheim classic, West Side Story, which was presented in August 2001, and ten presentations that have found her involved with some aspect of sound, either as the designer or as a technician.

In addition to these duties she has also made time to work, in one capacity or another, with the last ten Zenon shows; produce two Fourth of July shows to benefit the scholarship fund; and served for two terms as the chairperson of the Scholarship Committee, and the Newsletter. Tammie’s involvement in fundraising to benefit the scholarship fund was rewarded at the 16th Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies with an eighth Zenon for her ongoing work in that area.

At the 19th Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in early October, 2004, Tammie added two more Zenons to her trophy case. She received, with Kris Schmidt, the Best Producers Award for their work on Jennifer Westergom’s outstanding costume drama, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and a second Zenon for Best Director for her splendid musical, Jesus Christ, Superstar, bring her total awards into the double digits.

In 2005 at the General Membership Meeting on June 2nd, Tammie was voted to the exclusive membership of the Life Members for her ongoing good works at HLT; although there is no trophy for this award, it is considered the most desired of all HLT accolades

Most recently, at the Twenty-first Zenon Ceremonies held on October 7, 2006, Tammie made more HLT history in a very theatrical way. The musical Grease, which she directed the previous August, was awarded 12 Zenons, making it the second-most decorated play in the theatre’s history, only two awards behind the all-time winner of last season, Cabaret #2

In addition to this astonishing sweep, Tammie not only received Zenons for directing the best play and collaborating with the best lighting design and costuming of the season, she also became the twenty-first recipient of the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award, the most prestigious and celebrated Zenon that a member can receive. Tammie received a total of five awards that evening, raising her total to fifteen Zenons which put her in fifth place as the recipient of that very coveted award.

Congratulations Tammie on your many efforts and the high level of professionalism that you have brought to all your endeavors at Highlands Little Theatre. You have helped raise the level of expectations that has taken all of us to higher degree of presentation and expression, far beyond the melodrama that introduced you to Sebring audiences in HLT’s salad days. Your vision is an inspiration for all members to duplicate.

Photo of  Lois Starr Prettyman
Lois Starr Prettyman
The Sounds of Music By: Roy Riedy

Lois was really sixteen going on seventeen when she played the role of the eldest Von Trapp child, Liesl, in her first show with HLT, Frank Oberhausen’s third musical, The Sound of Music, in October, 1981. Four months later in February, 1982, she played Fifi, a French maid, in Jim McCollum’s melodrama, No Mother to Guide Her, the second of what was to be 18 plays she would be associated with at Highlands Little Theatre. In April she appeared as Charity, one of the Angels of the enterprising evangelist Reno Sweeney, in Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, directed by Janelou Buck. The fourth and final show of the Eighth Season was The Teahouse of the August Moon, directed by Marian Dunham. Lois played the part of Lotus Blossom, a geisha, in the play which has come to be thought of as a milestone in the history of Highlands Little Theatre, for it was the first play to be given in the organization’s permanent home, The Lakeside Playhouse.

Auntie Mame, directed by Peter Pollard, was the second production of the Ninth Season and Lois played the part of Pegeen. In the Tenth Season she was seen in Marian Dunham’s Dickensian musical Oliver! as Bet (the program noted that she had changed her name from Starr to Prettyman). At the end of the Eleventh Season Peter Pollard directed Once Upon a Mattress, a musical based on the Fairy Tale “The Princess and the Pea,” with Lois playing the winsome Lady Larkin.

Barbara Smith brought the musical No, No, Nanette to the Lakeside Playhouse in January, 1986, with Lois in the title role. In June, the program for I Do, I Do recorded that Lois Prettyman was part of the Gourmet Staff. In November, 1986, Lois appeared as Vibrata in Marian Dunham’s production of the Sondheim musical A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. At the Third Annual Zenon Awards in September, 1988, Lois and Marisa Smith entertained the Zenon audience by singing the duet from Chess, “I Know Him So Well.”

After a brief hiatus, Lois’ name reappeared in the January, 1991, program of Peter Pollard’s first presentation of Steel Magnolias as part of the production’s Set Construction team. In June of that year, Lois was back on stage as Audrey in Tena Conyer’s popular production of Little Shop of Horrors, a role that won her a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony the following October.

In August of 1991, Lois and her husband Joe were the Sound Technicians for Walter Zelenenki’s production of George Axelrod’s comedy The Seven Year Itch and were rewarded for their work on the show by being nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon also at the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards at the end of the season. It was also at this gathering that Lois again entertained the Zenonaudience by singing the duet “I Still Believe” with Lynda Fulcher.

Peter Pollard directed the musical They’re Playing Our Song in January of 1992 and Lois was one of the “Voices ” that supplemented the two actor show. In April, 1993, Frank Oberhausen reprised the lavish musical Camelot in which Lois and Tracy Pollard shared the role of Nimue.

Lois took another hiatus from HLT to return in August, 1996 to design and perform the accompaniment for Marian Dunham and Mac Byron’s musical, The Secret Garden. Lois’ efforts were rewarded at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Ceremonies when she was awarded her first Zenon for her music for The Secret Garden. The following season, the Twenty-third, opened with Jet Hansen’s production of the retro-musical Forever Plaid for which he enlisted Lois as the Music Director. A cast of four guys sang almost thirty songs from the 50′s and 60′s that bore the harmonic stamp of Mrs. Prettyman’s musical expertise. The season closed with Tammie Pollard’s revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and again Lois was called upon to direct the music. Her work was much appreciated and she won her second Zenon at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony the following October for her musical contributions to Forever Plaid and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

In addition to being associated with 18 plays and 4 Zenon Ceremonies, Lois has received 2 Zenons for her musical and vocal direction. Her name has appeared in 22 HLT Newsletters and 48 local news articles for a total of 92 Citations over twenty-two years of service at HLT. Thank you Lois for sharing your talents with Highlands Little Theatre, we have all been enriched by your gifts.

Photo of  Eric  Prugh
Eric Prugh
Mr. Virtuosity By: Roy Riedy

Eric Prugh joined Highlands Little Theatre seven years ago, in 1995, just in time to become a member of the stage crew for Frank Oberhausen’s outstanding production of 1776, the first of 32 plays with which he would eventually become associated. He rose quickly in the hierarchy of the backstage and was the Stage Manager of the next play, Tena Conyer and Andy Conyer’s two person show,Same Time Next Year. His rise continued and by the next show, Marian Dunham’s Gigi, he had seized one of the starring roles, Honore Lachailles, and made his acting debut at the Lakeside Playhouse, just like that, from an unknown member of the stage crew in March to a starring role in August, a very theatrical entrance to be sure.

HLT’s Twenty-second Season opened with Peter Pollard directing The Goodbye Girl and Eric was backstage again as part of the Stage Crew. At Christmas time Mac Byron directed an “Extra” one weekend production of Greater Tuna, and Eric was one of three actors who adopted many personas as the play unfolded. Eric assumed the greatest share of ten different characters. In March Eric played the Constable in Frank Oberhausen’s record breaking revival of Fiddler on the Roof, and in August he played Ben, the gardener, in Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s production of The Secret Garden.

In the middle of the Twenty-third Season Eric was a Frenchman again, Georges, in Frank Oberhausen’s dressy musical, La Cage aux folles which was followed by Mac Byron’s June production of the Hart and Kaufman comedy George Washington Slept Here with Eric in the role of Mr. Kimber. The season ended with the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards and Mr. Prugh nominated in three categories: Board Service for Gourmet; Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Mr. Kimber in George Washington Slept Here; and Best Actor in a Leading Role, Georges, in La Cage aux folles.

Sue McCollum’s effective Godspell opened the Twenty-fourth Season at HLT with Eric as a member of the ensemble. In April, Frank Oberhausen brought Annie back to the Lakeside Playhouse with Eric playing two parts, Wacky (Fred McCraken), and Louis Howe, a member of FDR’s Cabinet. Two months later he was playing Edgar Crocker in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s production of Paint Your Wagon, and in August his name appeared as part of the Kitchen Staff of the Gourmet Division of HLT in the playbill for Tammie Pollard’s production of Rumors. At the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Eric received his first Zenon for his outstanding work in Gourmet.

Melanie Boulay’s still famous production of The Wizard of Oz opened the Twenty-fifth Season with Eric again listed as part of the Kitchen Staff and there it stayed the rest of the season in which he moved from mere kitchen staff to Co-Chairperson with Theresa Niemi, culminating with another nomination for Outstanding work in Gourmet at the Fourteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 1999.

The Twenty-sixth Season opened with John Lovelette directing Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Eric playing the part of Harding. It was followed in January by Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Annie Get Your Gun. Eric is listed on the program as being back in the kitchen as co-chairman of the Gourmet Staff. Sue McCullom’s production of Bye Bye, Birdie was the third show of the season and Eric was again listed as co-chairman of the Gourmet Staff. In the June program of Mike Logsdon’s funny Run For Your Wife Eric is still on the Kitchen Staff but the Chairman of Gourmet is now Mac Byron. Melanie Boulay’s musical Oliver! was the last show of the Twenty-sixth Season and Eric’s listing remained the same in Gourmet. At the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October of 2000, Eric was awarded his second Zenon for his continuing excellence in Gourmet.

Jet Hansen’s On Golden Pond opened HLT’s Twenty-seventh Season, once again Eric’s name appears in the Gourmet section of the program.. Mac Byron’s second weekend helping of tuna, this play called A Tuna Christmas, brought Eric back to the stage playing 4 more characters with help from six other actors that all together swelled the characters being portrayed to 21. Frank Oberhausen’s sensational revival of The King and I was HLT’s January offering, and Eric was back in the kitchen doing his gourmet work that had earned him two Zenons.

Eric left his soups, salads, and desserts to play the role of Melvin P. Thorpe in Jim McCollum’s April play, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In June, during the run of Steve McDaniels’s Moon Over Buffalo, Eric remained in HLT’s kitchen but once again he was Chairman of the Gourmet Staff, and there he remained during Tammie Pollard’s brave production of West Side Story. At the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Eric was nominated for his role of Melvin P. Thorpe in Jim McCollum’s The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Eric continued to be the Chairman of the Gourmet Staff at Highlands Little Theatre until August, when Goldie Garnich’s name replaced him. The reason for this change became apparent at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards when Eric not only received a third Zenon for his outstanding work in the Gourmet Department, but also a Special Plaque of Appreciation from past President Goldie Garnich and her husband Gerry for his outstanding service to The Little Theatre. Eric was leaving Sebring for Africa soon after the Zenon Ceremonies to fulfill a long time dream of working with the African people. Eric had once again displayed his virtuosity.

For the record Eric Prugh has been associated with 32 plays at HLT, he has participated in 5 Zenon Ceremonies and won 3 Zenons, he has been mentioned in 34 HLT Newsletters and in 33 local newspaper articles for a grand total of 104 citations that relate his name to the Highlands Little Theatre. Good luck on your new venture Eric, we wish you well and are very proud of your outgoing spirit.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Cameron  Reck
Cameron Reck
November, 2005 Gracie Winner By: Roy Riedy

Cameron Reck is starting his seventh season as a member of Highlands Little Theatre. He first appeared at the Lakeside Playhouse in the 2000, when he was eight, in Melanie Boulay’s revival of Oliver!as one of Fagin’s boys. In 2002, he was a member of the children’s chorus for Joe Willis’ epic production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

Cameron appeared in two more productions during the Thirty-first Season. In November, 2004, he was a town person and a member of the chorus of Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Music Man, and in March, 2005 he appeared in Kathy MacNeill’s lively production of Barnum as “The Smallest Man in the World,” Tom Thumb.

At the October, 2005 the HLT Board of Directors voted Cameron to receive the Gracie Award for November, 2005 for his work on the Social Committee, his help in repainting the lobby for the upcoming season and his help in decorating and cleanup work for the Zenon cocktail party.

Besides the four plays in which he has been involved, Cameron has been mentioned in 15 news articles and one HLT Newsletter for a total of 20 citations.

Congratulations on your Gracie, Cameron, you need no better proof that you are an outstanding HLT volunteer.

Photo of  Ashley  Richardson
Ashley Richardson
A Rising Star By: Roy Riedy

Ashley Richardson received her first credit in an HLT program nine years ago when her name appeared as part of the set construction crew for Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (Female Version) directed by Peter Pollard in January 1994. In August of that year her name appeared in the Cast of Characters of Marian Dunham’s production of Meet Me In St. Louis, as a member of the chorus and dancers in that show.

In the November, 1996, program for The Goodbye Girl, directed by Peter Pollard, Ashley was again listed as a member of the set construction crew. Two months later, her name appeared again as part of the set construction crew for Melanie Boulay’s directorial debut To Kill a Mockingbird, and again in June for Mac Byron’s presentation of George Washington Slept Here, and then in August forTammie Pollard’s reprise of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Her first solo moment arrived at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards when she entertained the audience by singing “Castle on A Cloud” from Les Miserables. From that moment on set construction lost its allure, Ashley had heard the roar of the crowd.

In April, 1998, Ashley played Molly, a singing orphan, in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of the musical Annie. She excelled in her part and was nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role Zenon at the Award Ceremonies at the end of the season. Two plays later in the Neil Simon comedy Rumors, directed by her mother, Tammie Pollard, Ashley, no doubt remembering the applause she received as Molly in Annie, was once more helping with set construction, but this time she was awaiting her next big break.

She didn’t have long to wait. In January, 1999, she was cast in the part of young Helen Keller in Peter Pollard’s exceptional production of The Miracle Worker, and as biographers are so fond of saying, “The rest is history.” Her acting was truly miraculous and it came as no surprise at the Fourteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies that she was awarded the highly coveted Best Actress in a Supporting Role Award, one of the five awards that the moving play was presented that evening. While awaiting this honor Ashley once again helped with set construction in June of 1999, when Beverly Brando Gillilan directed a revival of the well known comedy Arsenic and Old Lace.

In August of 2000 Melanie Boulay presented a revival of Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens. Ashley was chosen to play one of the members of Fagan’s gang. Two months later, at the Fifteenth Zenon Ceremonies, she had another chance to sing a solo “Through My Father’s Eyes” from the Quest For Camelot and later in the evening the opportunity to present the Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

Ashley was back at set construction in April, 2001, this time for Jim McCollum’s musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and in August of that year she was one of the Jet Girls in her mother’s intrepid production of West Side Story. In October, 2001, Ashley appeared on the Little Theatre stage as a presenter for the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards.

Most recently Ashley has been seen as an Indian in Melanie Boulay’s August, 2002 production of James M. Barrie’s children’s classic Peter Pan. In all Ashley has been involved in 14 plays and 4 ZenonCeremonies at the Lakeside Playhouse. She has won a Zenon for Best Actress in a supporting Role for her outstanding performance as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker; and received a nomination for another, she has sung in one Christmas program, and has been cited in 24 News Articles and 10 HLT Newsletters for a total of 53 citations, and she is just getting started!

Everyone who has seen you on stage expects great things from you Ashley, and I know they are not going to be disappointed, may your star continue to shine brightly.

Photo of  Casey  Richardson
Casey Richardson
at HLT By: Roy Riedy

Casey’s first credit in a Little Theatre program dates back to January, 1992, when her name appeared as part of the set construction team in the program of They’re Playing Our Song, directed byPeter Pollard. It was the first of what would become 33 plays with which the young lady has been associated . In January, 1993 her named appeared again with the set construction team of Walt Zelenenki’s production staff for his Comedy-Drama Come Back to the Five & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean. In August, 1993, Jet Hansen directed Show Boat at the Lakeside Playhouse with Casey playing the part of Kim . In January, 1994, in Peter Pollard’s program for The Odd Couple (Female Version) Casey was part of the production staff and once again helped with the construction of the set. Meet Me In St. Louis, directed by Marian Dunham, was the last play of the Twentieth Season and Casey’s name was listed with the Cast of Characters as one of the Chorus and Dancers.

The Twenty-first Season opened with Jim Lanier’s Gypsy in which Casey played the Balloon Girl; a year later she played the role of Melanie in Peter Pollard’s production of The Goodbye Girl. In the January, 1997, production of Melanie Boulay’s To Kill a Mockingbird Casey again appeared with the Production Staff as one of the Set Construction crew. In June of that year, in Mac Byron’s George Washington Slept Here, Casey played the part of Rachel, the delinquent, with devilish conviction. The Twenty-third Season ended with Tammie Pollard’s reprise of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Casey, once again, was credited with helping with the Set Construction.

My Favorite Year, the January, 1998, offering, directed by Peter Pollard, gave Casey her first opportunity to work with costumes and she was listed as part of the Wardrobe team. Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Annie was the next show of the season and Casey appeared in it as a Hooverite and also as one of the many Warbucks servants. Beverly Brando Gillilan directed the musical Paint Your Wagon in June, 1998 and Casey played a Western gal named Jane. The final show of the Twenty-fourth Season was Tammie Pollard’s production of Rumors with Casey as part of the Costuming team. The season culminated with the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony at which Casey received her first Board Service Zenon for her work with the Gourmet Division, another ongoing occupation she had been involved with at HLT for many years.

The first play of the Twenty-fifth Season was Melanie Boulay’s still remembered The Wizard of Oz; Casey’s name appeared on the Production Staff page as part of the Set Construction team and also in the Salad Bar/Desserts section of the Gourmet Staff. In January, Peter Pollard directed the drama The Miracle Worker and again Casey’s name appeared both on the Production and Gourmet Staff pages. Frank Oberhausen revived the Sound of Music in April and Casey’s name appeared as associated with the Gourmet Staff. The same month The Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc. (CAT) presented The Available Left-Footed Princess, with Casey playing the part of Princess Prudence in Krista Flores’ first CAT production at HLT. The June program of Beverly Brando Gillilan’s revival ofArsenic and Old Lace again showed Casey working on Set Construction and in Gourmet.

The dark comedy One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, directed by John Lovelette, opened the Twenty-sixth Season at HLT. The programs for this season show that Casey was busy in Gourmet during all five main stage shows and also found time to help on the Set Construction of Melanie Boulay’s Oliver!.

Casey participated in two shows during the Twenty-seventh Season: Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in April for which she worked on Set Construction; and Tammie Pollard’s West Side Story in August which involved her in both Set Construction and Gourmet activities.

During the Twenty-eighth Season Casey participated in all five shows, all of which involved Gourmet duties. During the Twenty-ninth Season Casey worked in Gourmet during the Frank Oberhausenand Kathy MacNeill production of Man of LaMancha, and as a House Manager during Peter Pollard’s revival of Steel Magnolias.

In all, this senior girl in high school has managed to be associated with 33 plays at HLT and receive a Zenon for her work in Gourmet. She has participated in one Christmas show, her name has also appeared in 17 local news articles and in 14 HLT Newsletters. I know I speak for all the members of Highlands Little Theatre when I thank you Casey for your loyalty and devotion to theater in Highlands County.

Photo of  Roy  Riedy
Roy Riedy
Drama Teacher, Director, Actor, and Historian By: Roy Riedy

Roy Riedy’s first connection with Highlands Little Theatre was a review he wrote for the News-Sun, in 1982, a review of the Cole Porter musical Anything Goes. In November of the following year he played the role of Fagin in the Marion Wareheim’s presentation of Lionel Bart’s musical, Oliver! Four years later in November, 1987, Mr. Riedy played the part of the Emcee in Kander and Ebb’s musical Cabaret, also directed by Ms. Wareheim. The part won him a Zenon for Best Actor.

In August, 1988 he played the role of Mr. Applegate in Jerry Ross’ Damn Yankees, directed by Teri Klix ; and in April of 1992 he played Flo Zeigfeld in Frank Oberhausen’s production of Bob Merrill’s Funny Girl.

In June of 1992 he was the Judge in and Associate Director of Janelou Buck’s production of Jerome Lawrence’s Inherit The Wind. In 1994 Mr. Riedy directed and acted in a short run of Kander and Ebb’s As the World Goes ‘Round, a Christmas “extra”. In March of 1995 he played the part of Lewis Morris in Frank Oberhausen’s production of Sherman Edwards’ 1776.

Mr. Riedy directed the January, 1996, production of Larry Shue’s Off Broadway award winning comedy The Foreigner which was awarded two Zenons for Best Supporting Actor and Actress. In March of 1996 he played the rabbi in Frank Oberhausen’s production of Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick’s musical Fiddler on the Roof.

In 1999, Mr. Riedy received his second Zenon for outstanding achievement for writing the history of Highlands Little Theatre. In August, 2000, he reprised his role of Fagin in Melanie Boulay’s production of the musical Oliver!; in March, 2002 he played the role of Jacob in Joe Willis’ production of Webber and Rice’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.

In all Mr. Riedy has acted in eleven plays at HLT and directed and/or co-directed three. He is responsible for bringing Highlands Little Theatre’s twenty-eight year history up to date and has written over ninety reviews of HLT plays and presentations for the past twenty years. At the 17th Zenon Award Ceremonies in August of 2002, he became the eighteenth recipient of the prestigious Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award. Mr. Riedy taught English at Sebring High School for over thirty years and during his tenure there he inaugurated a course in theatre and acting and directed twenty-one plays.

Most recently, Mr. Riedy was the July, 2003, recipient of HLT’s Gracie Award for his ongoing work on the Little Theatre’s history, website bios, and articles for the HLT Newsletter and play reviews for The News-Sun.

Photo of  Bill  Ringo
Bill Ringo
October, 2006 Gracie Winner - Never missed a day! By: Roy Riedy

Bill Ringo, a HLT Brushes & Brooms volunteer, is the October, 2006 Gracie Award Winner. Bill has been with Highlands Little Theatre since 2003 when he caught Beth Norman’s eye and she made him a House Manager. Eventually, he segued into Bill La Peer’s domain and became a loyal and faithful member the Brushes and Brooms regulars. It was Bill La Peer that nominated Bill Ringo for his Gracie Award.

Vanessa Logsdon, HLT’s Administrative Assistant, mentioned that Bill Ringo has never missed a Brushes and Brooms party.

Mr. Ringo hails from Michigan where he ran a plumbing business, after moving to Naples, Florida, he evenually found himself living in Sebring.

The Brushes and Brooms team cleans up the Playhouse after every performance which amounts to at least fifty-five trips to the theatre each season.

Congratulations Bill on your faithful service to our organization, it’s volunteers like you that really add the polish to our performances. Keep up the good work.

Photo of  Paul  Roberts
Paul Roberts
Vocal Director and Chef By: Roy Riedy

Paul Roberts was associated with Highlands Little Theatre for 10 seasons and worked with 38 plays. His name was first seen in the program of Frank Oberhausen’s March, 1987, revival of Fiddler on the Roof, in which he was listed as the Vocal Director. In June, his name appeared in the program of Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cordozo Rosa’s production of The Fantasticks again as the musical’s Vocal Director. At the Second Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony Paul received his first Zenon, a Production/Technical Award for his musical contributions during the Thirteenth Season.

During the Fourteenth Season, Paul directed a Christmas Program in December, The Sound of Christmas, and worked with three plays: In March 1988, he was Frank Oberhausen’s Vocal Director for the musical Carousel; in June, he worked with the Chefs on the Kitchen Staff during Janelou Buck’s comedy, California Suite; and also in August during Teri Klix’s musical Damn Yankees. At the September Third Zenon Ceremony, Paul received his second Production/Technical Award for his achievement in vocal direction for the musical Carousel.

Paul worked with all five plays and a Christmas Program during the Fifteenth Season. In November, he was Richard Oehring’s Vocal Director for his Man of La Mancha, in December he and Denise Blondin directed the Sounds of Christmas, and in January, 1989, Paul worked with the Kitchen Chefs during Tena Conyer’s comedy Harvey. In April, Paul was once again Frank Oberhausen’s Vocal Director for the musical The King and I, and in June he was the Vocal Director for Peter Pollard’s musical Sweet Charity. In August, during the Janelou Buck’s revival of Mister Roberts, Paul, once again, joined the Chefs in the Playhouse kitchen. In September, Paul was nominated for a Production/Technical Award “for outstanding achievement in the vocal direction of Man of La ManchaThe King and I, and Sweet Charity.

During the Sixteenth Season Paul worked as Frank Oberhausen’s Vocal Director for his March reprise of My Fair Lady, and worked with the Kitchen Staff Chefs during the other four presentations of the season. During the Seventeenth through the Twentieth Seasons, Mr. Roberts worked with the Gourmet Staff during every show of those four seasons. During the Twenty-first Season, Mr. Roberts worked with the Gourmet Staff during Jim Lanier’s November, 1994, production of the musical Gypsy, and Frank Oberhausen’s March, 1995, musical, 1776.

At the end of the Twenty-second Season, Paul appeared for the first time on stage in Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s musical The Secret Garden as Archibald Craven. At the Eleventh ZenonCeremony, the following August, Paul was nominated for a Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his portrayal of Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden.

During his association with Highlands Little Theatre, Mr. Roberts was associated with 38 plays, 2 Christmas Programs, and 5 Zenon Ceremonies, and 1 First Nighter. He was the recipient of 2 Zenon Awards and his name was mentioned in 11 HLT Newsletters and 10 local news items for a total of 65 Citations. Mr. Paul Roberts died on July 19, 2001, at the age of 56.

Photo of  Jenny  Rowe
Jenny Rowe
Shall We Dance? By: Roy Riedy

Jesus Christ, Superstar was Jenny’s first show at HLT and an instant hit with the cast and crew. Jenny appeared in Cabaret and Anything Goes while attending Rollins College, and also a dancer at Disney World in Orlando.

She is now a dance teacher for Dance Unlimited and a Cheerleading coach at The Edge Cheerleading Center and for Sebring High School; she is also a Marketing and Special Projects Manager for H&R Block.

Jenny was awarded a Production/Technical Discretionary Award at the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in early October, 2004, for her choreography of Tammie Pollard’s much honored, Jesus Christ, Superstar.

Of her experience at HLT, Jenny says, “Working on Jesus Christ, Superstar as the choreographer was a new and exciting experience for me. I am proud to be a part of this amazing cast and crew, and look forward to working on future shows at HLT.”

Most recently Jenny helped with the choreography for the 2005 Zenon Award show and played the part of Marty in Tammie Pollard’s smash musical Grease. She was also the Choreographer and the Assistant Director for Grease and received a Production/Technical Zenon for those activities.

Congratulations Jenny on your second Zenon. HLT is indeed fortunate to have a member as gifted as you; we look forward to seeing more of your work at the Lakeside Playhouse in the new season.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Grace  Sagona
Grace Sagona
Amazing Lady - Roy Riedy

Since her debut at Highlands Little Theatre, 16 years ago, Grace Sagona has been associated with 48 plays at the Lakeside Playhouse and acted in one third of them. Besides her staring role of Martha, the sweet but sinister spinster, in Peter Pollard’s Arsenic and Old Lace, she played Margaret Lord in Marian Dunham’s The Philadelphia Story, was a member of the Royal Court in Frank Oberhausen’s 1993 Camelot, and an outstanding Frauline Schneider in Marian Warehime Dunham’s still remembered Cabaret, plus a dozen other roles. In the 1990 Christmas Show Grace revealed another asset. A voice that could make an audience listen when she sang the popular seasonal favorite “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”
Grace has been awarded three Zenon Awards: a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon in 1989 for service to the theater in Gourmet, Building Maintenance, Patrons Committee, and Special Events; and two in 1990: a Production/Technical Discretionary Zenon for outstanding achievement in property management for the 1989/1990 season; and Board of Directors Service Zenon: “for doing everything that no one else wants to do, but which needs to be done, and doing it with grace and charm.
In August of 1991, The News-Sun reporter, Kathy Grant, did a front page article on “Aunt Grace” in the paper’s Sunday “Lifestyles” section. The article featured Mrs. Sagona’s pioneering days on television in 1945, before the birth of NBC or CBS, 57 years ago, when she was the hostess on Channel 5 in New York City of “Aunt Graces’s Birthday Party”, an afternoon weekday live talent show for children on Dumont Television. The going rate for a show hostess then was $17.00. The show lasted for two and a half years. Grace retired from television to raise a family and eventually, some 40 years later, found herself in Sebring and again wooing and wowing audiences in her long and amazing love affair with theater, both electronic and alive.
In 1997 Grace, well known by members of our theater as an ineradicable presence, was memorialized with an award named after her, The Gracie Award. This is the way Beverly Brando Gillilan explained it in a HLT Newsletter article in December, 1997:
“When I first joined the HLT family I met a lady with an over abundance of energy, enthusiasm, wit, humor and love for the theater. She didn’t care what the project involved, she simply saw a need and filled it. She cleaned toilets, took out the garbage, swept or vacuumed the floors, did the dishes, waited on tables, sold tickets, painted sets, and just about anything else you can think of that helped HLT keep going. I think if you looked up the word ‘volunteer’ in the dictionary you’d find her picture next to it. I wasn’t the only person who thought so either.
“When the Board of Directors decided to pay tribute to those individuals with the same level of dedication and hard work on a monthly basis, they wisely chose Grace Sagona not only as the first recipient of the award but felt it most appropriate to name the award after her as well. Thus was the birth of The Gracie Award and a new tradition had been established at HLT.
“Today, The Board of Directors carries on with that tradition and each month they look around, they see what’s being done and who’s doing it. There always seems to be at least one individual whose efforts are tireless. One special person who seems to stand out in a crowd or is there working all alone while the rest of us are home with our families. It’s that individual, the one who exhibits the same qualities of devotion and love for the theatre, that the Gracie Award stands for. This month the Gracie Award goes to: Larry Wollangk.”
Since the middle of 1999 the Little Theatre has had an unbroken line of monthly volunteers who have qualified to fill the standards set by HLT’s amazing Grace Sagona. Long may they march with her and with her inspiration.

Grace Sagona passed away in September 2012. She will be greatly missed.

Photo of  Bob  Sanger
Bob Sanger
A Dedicated Box Office Worker By: Roy Riedy

Bob Sanger joined HLT in March, 1990, and since that time his name has become synonymous with the Box Office of the Lakeside Playhouse. His name was first seen in the March, 1990, playbill for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of My Fair Lady. Since that date his name, with the exception of two plays, has appeared in the Box Office section of the playbills for 44 consecutive plays, over a third of all the plays given by Highlands Little Theatre and a tribute to his 9 years of constant and loyal service.

He has been nominated at three Zenon Ceremonies for his work with the HLT Box Office, the first time at the Eleventh Zenon Ceremonies, the second time at the Twelfth, and at the Thirteenth AnnualZenon Ceremony in 1998, won a Zenon for his loyal service to the Box Office of HLT. At the Fifteenth Awards Ceremony he was nominated for the Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award.

In all, besides being cited in 44 playbills, and attending 4 Zenon Ceremonies, Mr. Sanger has been mentioned in 9 HLT Newsletters and 3 local news articles for a total of 60 well deserved Citations. Highlands Little Theatre tips its hat to you Bob in gratitude for your many and valuable contributions.

Photo of  Libby  Sapp Dressel
Libby Sapp Dressel
HLT's very first Director By: Roy Riedy

On May 9, 1974 The Sebring News announced that the “fledgling Little Theatre group,” at its third meeting, had selected the melodrama Pure as the Driven Snow (A Working Girl’s Secret) by Paul Loomis as its first production to be presented on Thursday through Saturday nights, July 25-27, 1974, at the Sebring High School auditorium.

This first play was to be directed by 24-year-old Libby Sapp of Lake Placid. Craig Sutter and Sue McCollum and Jim McCollum, still active members of HLT today, made their debuts in this play. Highlands Little Theatre was off and running with the first of what today has become 146 main stage presentations.

The newly formed group faced its first presentation without any traditions and with very little experience but with a strong desire to bring living theater to Sebring on a regular basis. When you think of it, you realize what a very brave band of enthusiasts these pioneers were.

An unsigned review of Pure as the Driven Snow appeared in the August 1, 1974 issue of The Sebring News.  It applauded Ms. Sapp for her good direction and observed that she “kept the action fast and flowing, wrung the lines of their last nuance of comedy and permitted her actors leeway with ad libs,” and that “the entire production was done with dash and a sense of theatre;” not a bad review at all for a first time effort.

The second production of HLT’s First Season took place in November, 1974. The play was Dear Phoebe, a comedy in three acts and directed by the storied Janelou Buck. Libby played the role of Olga, a German cleaning woman, whom the reviewer praised for “ringing up” an excellent performance.

The third and final production of HLT’s premier season was Night Watch, a play of suspense in two acts, directed by Lynn MacNeill whose assistant director was Libby Sapp.

During its first year of existence, Libby also served at the organization’s first and only vice president and remained in that position for the entire season. Even though that initial season bristled with resignations and replacements, Ms. Sapp remained a model of stability.

Libby did not return to HLT after her busy and influential first season. Her family moved to Winter Haven, Florida, where she joined the Winter Haven Little Theater and was the Assistant Director for one production, working with some very talented people. Not long after that her family moved to Texas for a short time and returned to Lake Placid in 1978.

Her only productions then were her three children, Amy, Jason, and Bryant. As they grew and went to school, Libby directed or assisted with many productions at her church and at the schools where her children attended; she also did some part time teaching at the then Interlake Academy (now Lake Placid Christian School) and Lakeview Christian School.

In 1994 Libby began teaching third grade at Lakeview Christian School and served as Administrator there from 1998 to January of 2000. After becoming single again, she moved to Clearwater, Florida, where she went back to school and worked for the Home Shopping Network for a few years. In 2005 she returned to teaching and is still hoping a position for a drama teacher will open up one day. Now that her life has slowed down a little she looks forward to becoming involved in some of the local theatre productions of Pinellas County.

Libby Dressel sends her regards to all the “old timers” at HLT.

Photo of  Jackie  Schiel
Jackie Schiel
February, 2004, Gracie Award Winner By: Roy Riedy

Jacqueline Schiel’s name was first seen in HLT documents in the March, 2003, Newsletter when her name was listed with the new members that were welcomed that month. In the June, 2003, program for Allen Branch’s thriller, The Hound of the Baskervilles, her name was found with the names of the House Managers for that production and again in August for Sue McCollum’s revival of The Fantasticks, performing the same service.

This season Jackie has worked with the House Managers during Melanie Boulay’s revue I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Mike Logsdon’s remarkable British import, Out of Order.

HLT President Holly Elliott presented Jackie with her February Gracie with this tribute:
Kudos to Jaqueline Schiel, the February Gracie award winner. Most of us know her as Jackie around the theater. Since she walked through our doors she was eager to lend a hand, she has worked in Anthony’s Lounge for every production, meeting and special event held mixing cocktails with that inviting smile she’s been graced with. Thank you Jackie for being such a dedicated volunteer for Highlands Little Theatre. Cheers!

Since winning a Gracie Award in February, 2004, Jackie has been associated with three more plays: The Scarlet Pimpernel as a House Manager for that play; Lost in Yonkers, and Jesus Christ, Superstar, also as a House Manager and moreover the management of Anthony’s Lounge. At the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies in October, 2004, Jackie was the recipient of a Board Service Award for her outstanding achievement in Bar Management of Anthony’s Lounge.

What follows is an update on what Jackie has been doing since her first Zenon in 2004.  The update terminates with her second Zenon in 2006.

Jackie’s name has appeared in all main stage production programs for the Thirty-first and Thirty-second Seasons. With the exception of the first of those programs, Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Music Man when Jackie’s name was listed with the House Managers, the following nine programs list her name with the staff of Anthony’s Lounge.

At the Twenty-first Zenon Ceremonies in October, 2006, Jackie Schiel and Ellen Lemos were presented with a Board Service Award for “their endless efforts running Anthony’s Lounge.”

Congratulations Jackie for your ongoing labors in Anthony’s Lounge. They are an excellent example of what can be done off-stage to make Highlands Little Theatre the outstanding organization it has become. You have enhanced that tradition with your generous and friendly response.

Photo of  Kris  Schmidt
Kris Schmidt
Two Awards in One Month By: Roy Riedy

October, 2004, was an remarkable month for Highlands Little Theatre’s serious volunteer, Kris Schmidt. Early in that month she was awarded a Gracie Award for her work with the Serving and Wait Staff of HLT and also for the work she had done helping in Wardrobe and Special Events.

A few days later, at the Nineteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies, she was presented with a Zenon for Best Co-Producer, with Tammie Pollard, for their work on Jennifer Westergom’s musical and costume spectacle, The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Since becoming a member of HLT in 2001, Kris has been associated with six theatrical events. She was concerned with costuming and set construction for Tammie Pollard’s challenging, August, 2001,West Side Story; in 2002 she added props to her concerns for Melanie Boulay’s buoyant musical, Peter Pan; and in November, 2003, she did props again for Melanie Boulay’s invigorating musical review, I Love You, Your’re Perfect, Now Change.

In 2004, Ms. Schmidt did props and her Zenon winning co-producting for The Scarlet Pimpernel, and involved herself with the Gourmet Division for the last two plays of the season, Lost in Yonkersand Jesus Christ, Superstar.

During the Thirty-first Season Kris was involved in all five main stage events. During the first four plays she worked as one of the Gourmet Chairs in the Gourmet Division. During the fifth production, Cabaret, Mrs. Schmidt acted as the show’s Producer and won her second Zenon for her efforts. Congratulations Kris for your generous gifts of time, energy, and skill; you are the hoped for volunteer that makes HLT look so good.

Photo of  Sara  Schmidt
Sara Schmidt
Choreographer, Dancer, and first time Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

Sara Schmidt joined HLT in 2001 when she was 12 years old. Since then she has appeared in West Side StoryPeter Pan, and Jesus Christ Superstar and performed in Zenon awards ceremonies and several special events including the Fourth of July Production of 2005.

Sara is a Junior at Sebring High School where she is a member of the Dance Team and an award winning dancer, soloist with the Dance Unlimited Competitive Dance Company.

Ms. Schmidt debuted as a Choreographer with her work in the multi-award winning production of Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s record breaking musical Cabaret and won her first Zenon for her talented work.

Congratulations Sara, you are off to a very good start at Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  David  Scott
David Scott
A Name Associated with Anthony's Lounge By: Roy Riedy

David Scott’s name was first seen in a the HLT program for Marian Dunham’s production of Gigi in August, 1995, as a member of the Anthony’s Lounge serving team.

During the Twenty-Second Season David worked in the lounge during the presentation of the five plays presented that season. At the end of the season he was awarded a Board Service Zenon that he shared with Olivia Scott for his year’s work in the lounge at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony.

David, now an Assistant Chairman of Anthony’s Lounge, worked there during all five plays of the Twenty-third Season and was again rewarded for his dedication in October, 1997, by a nomination for another Board Service Award at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony.

The Twenty-fourth Season at HLT was a re-play of the Twenty-third. David worked in Anthony’s Lounge during all five stage productions and was again nominated for a Board Service Award at theZenon Ceremony in October, 1998.

Things remained the same during the Twenty-fifth Season, David worked in the lounge during all five plays, with the exception that Tom Waldron and Lindsay Byron took over as the Co-Chairmen of Anthony’s Lounge in the middle of the season with David’s name still remaining as a member of its staff.

The Twenty-sixth Season brought little change in the routine of the members of the Anthony’s Lounge, there was a change of Chairmen in June when Margie Pollard replaced Tom Waldron, but David remained a reoccurring name as a member of the lounge’s staff during all five play productions.

In June of the Twenty-seventh Season, David’s work ended in Anthony’s Lounge after the third play of the season. The last time his name was recorded in an HLT program was the playbill for Jim McCollum’s production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, in March, 2001.

During his time with Highlands Little Theatre, David Scott was associated with 29 plays at Highlands Little Theatre, and with 3 Zenon Ceremonies. He won one Board Service Award and was nominated for two others. He was mentioned in 4 HLT Newsletters and 2 local News Articles for a total of 38 Citations. He is to be congratulated for his many hours of service.

Photo of  Olivia  Scott
Olivia Scott
A Name Associated with Forty-nine Plays and Anthony's Lounge By: Roy Riedy

Olivia appeared on the HLT scene in the playbill of Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Camelot in April, 1993, as a seamstress and a member of the Stage Crew. Two plays later she was listed in the program of Jet Hansen’s Show Boat as a member of his Set Construction team.

The following season, HLT’s Twentieth, Olivia was associated with all five shows. She worked in Anthony’s Lounge during four of the plays and was a member of Frank Oberhausen’s Stage Crew for his April, 1994, retelling of South Pacific.

The Twenty-first Season opened with Jim Lanier’s Gypsy and Olivia was listed in the playbill for that show as being a member of the Set Construction team and also on the staff working in Anthony’s Lounge where she helped out for the rest of the season.

During the Twenty-Second Season Olivia devoted all her energies during the presentation of the five plays to working in Anthony’s Lounge, a devotion that was not overlooked when she was rewarded for her loyalty to the lounge with her first Zenon in October,1996, at the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, a Board Service Award that she shared with David Scott.

Olivia, now the Assistant Chairman of Anthony’s Lounge, worked there during all five plays of the Twenty-third Season and was again rewarded for her dedication in October, 1997, by a nomination for another Board Service Award at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony.

The Twenty-fourth Season at HLT was a re-play of the Twenty-third. Olivia worked in Anthony’s Lounge during all five stage productions and was again nominated for a Board Service Award at theZenon Ceremony in October, 1998.

Things remained the same during the Twenty-fifth Season, Olivia worked in the lounge during all five plays, with the exception that in the playbill for Beverly Brando Gillilan’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace, Tom Waldron and Lindsay Byron were now listed as the Co-Chairmen of Anthony’s Lounge with Olivia’s name still remaining as a member of its staff.

The Twenty-sixth Season brought little change in the routine of the members of the Anthony’s Lounge, there was a change of Chairmen in June when Margie Pollard replaced Tom Waldron, but Olivia remained a reoccurring name as a member of its staff during all five play productions.

In June of the Twenty-seventh Season, Victor Anderson was named Chairman of Anthony’s Lounge, this was the only deviation from what was again another typical season at Anthony’s with Olivia as a welcoming presence during all five stage presentations. In October,2001, at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, the audience had a rare glimpse of Olivia on the Lakeside Playhouse stage when she and Lisa Thomas were presenters for the Board Service Awards.

Olivia’s name appeared in all the programs for the Twenty-eighth Season and for the two that have been presented in the current season, the Twenty-ninth, for a total of 49 plays, and I believe I can safely say, her name will continue to appear for many more. In addition to the 49 plays, Mrs. Scott has been associated with 4 Zenon Ceremonies. She has won one Board Service Award, been nominated for two others, and been a presenter at one Zenon Ceremony. Olivia has had her name mentioned in 13 HLT Newsletters and 3 local News Articles for a total of 69 Citations. Congratulations Olivia for the untold hours of service you have given to Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Barbara  Smith
Barbara Smith
An Early Director By: Roy Riedy

Barbara Smith’s three season affiliation with Highlands Little Theatre was a productive one. She directed two plays, acted in two, and worked back stage in three others.

Her first appearance at HLT was in Frank Oberhausen’s November, 1985, Zenon winning musical, Annie, in which she played two small roles. In January, 1986, Barbara directed the Vincent Youmans musical, No, No, Nanette. In August, the last play of the Twelfth Season, Barbara worked on the Lights and Special Effects of Sue McCollum’s comedy, Vanities.

Marian Dunham brought Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, to the Lakeside Playhouse in November, 1986; Barbara was a member of the Costumers for the play. In January, 1987, Barbara directed and produced the Kaufman and Hart comedy, You Can’t Take It With You, the second play of the Thirteenth Season. In March, she was a Stage Manager for Frank Oberhausen’s famous revival of Harnick and Bock’s smash hit, Fiddler on the Roof. In June, Barbara played Henryetta, the old actor, in Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa’s production of the celebrated musical, The Fantasticks. At the Second Annual Zenon Ceremony Barbara received her first Zenon, a Best Stage Manager Award, for her work with Fiddler on the Roof. At the Third Annual Zenon Ceremony Ms. Smith and Tena Conyer were the presenters of the Best Stage Manager Award for the Fourteenth Seson.

During her time with HLT, Barbara Smith was involved with seven plays, and two Zenon Ceremonies and received a Best Stage Manager Award at the Second Zenon Awards Ceremony. She was mentioned in nine HLT newsletters, ten local news articles for a total of 29 citations. Ms. Smith made a sizeable contribution to the growing Little Theatre by being so generous with her talents and time.

Photo of  Candy  Smith
Candy Smith
Official Photographer's Assistant By: Roy Riedy

Candy Smith’s name was first seen at Highlands Little Theatre in the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, October 5, 1991, when she and her husband Darrel Smith were awarded a Board Service Award “for outstanding contributions to the theatre through their donations of time, talent and funds, resulting in superb cast and program photographs, specialty photography and portraits.”

Their names were reiterated in the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony when an Index of Zenon Winners was published in the program of that Ceremony. Darrel Smith and Candy were also listed as members of the Zenon Awards Production Staff for the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1996, as Lighting Technicians for that event.

Mr. Darrel Smith was involved with the photos of 56 plays during his association with HLT; his wife, Candy, was probably just as involved, but for the record, her name is only associated with the last 17 plays that the Smiths’ photographed.

Besides those 17 recorded plays, Mrs. Smith was mentioned in three Zenon Programs and she shares a Zenon with her husband. Candy has also been mentioned in 4 HLT Newsletters and 2 local news articles for a total of 26 Citations. We all know that behind every good photographer stands an excellent assistant. Thank you Candy for your help.

Photo of  Christine  Smith
Christine Smith
Blessed with a Wonderful Voice and Three Zenons By: Roy Riedy

Chris Smith has been with Highlands Little Theatre since its Seventeenth Season in June, 1991, when Tena Conyer, the director of Little Shop of Horrors, selected her to play Ronnette, one third of a singing trio that served as a Do-wop-ing Greek chorus for the zany goings on in an innocent looking flower shop in a bad neighborhood. The play was a sensation and at the Sixth Annual Awards Ceremony, at which Chris delighted the audience with “Zing went the Strings of my Heart,” the “Little Shop” won seven Zenons which included the award of being the Best Play of the season.

HLT’s Eighteenth Season was even busier for Chris. She worked on the set construction and sang in the chorus of Jet Hansen’s Mame in November; in January she was heard as one of the “Voices” of Vernon Gersch in Peter Pollard’s production of the musical They’re Playing Our Song. Frank Oberhausen directed the musical Funny Girl in April with Chris in the role of Emma, and in June, Ms. Smith appeared in Janelou Buck’s production of Inherit The Wind as Esther. Marian Dunham revived The Teahouse of the August Moon in August to commemorate the tenth year of HLT’s residency at The Lakeside Playhouse and Chris helped the audience celebrate the occasion by working with the staff of Anthony’s Lounge. At the Seventh Zenon Awards in October, 1992, Chris received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in Inherit The Wind and also regaled the audience by singing “No Man Left for Me” from the musical Will Rogers Follies.

The Nineteenth Season opened with Dan Goggin’s light-hearted musical Nunsense, a singing salute to the remnants of the Little Sisters of Hoboken. The play was directed by Tena Conyer and Chris Smith was cast in the role of Sr. Mary Hubert. During Walt Zelenenki’s Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Chris rejoined her friends on the Staff of Anthony’s Lounge and continued her job there through the third show of the season, Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Camelot; and the fourth, Marian Dunham’s comedy The Philadelphia Story. The final play of the season was the August presentation of the musical milestone, Show Boat. It was directed by Jet Hansen in which Chris appeared as Queenie.

At the October Zenon Awards, Nunsense won six Zenons which included a Best Actress Award for Chris, and a Best Show of the Season for Nunsense. Chris was also nominated for a Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Queenie in Show Boat.

The Twentieth Season of the Highlands Little Theatre opened with a second edition of its successful opener of 1992, Nunsense II, The second coming . . . The play was directed once again by Tena Conyer and the cast of actresses remained the same, with Chris as Sr. Mary Hubert. The spoof remained a great success and won a second Best Actress Zenon for Chris Smith. During the remaining four plays of the season Chris worked again with the staff in Anthony’s Lounge.

Chris acted and sang in two of the six shows offered the Twenty-first Season and worked in Anthony’s Lounge during the other four. She appeared in the weekend musical revue And The World Goes ‘Round, a pre-Christmas “Extra Show,” directed by Roy Riedy that featured the music of Kander and Ebb and four solos by Chris. The music of “Fats” Waller provided the material for the January showAin’t Misbehavin’ which was directed by Peter Pollard and nominated Chris for a Best Actress of the Season for her powerful renditions and wonderful voice.

During four of the shows of the Twenty-second Season Chris devoted her time working as a member of the Staff of Anthony’s Lounge. At the end of the Twenty-third Season Chris and Pat McConnell were the presenters of the Best Stage Manager Award at the Twelfth Zenon Awards. At the Thirteenth Zenon Awards Entr’act, Chris, Stephanie Sandelier, and the Awards Chorus entertained the audience with a medley of songs from the musical Hair.

In January of the Twenty-fifth Season Ms. Smith appeared as Viney in Peter Pollard’s powerful production of The Miracle Worker, a drama about the childhood of Helen Keller. In April she was the co-producer with Gloria Coffey for the Children’s Academy of Theatre, Inc (CAT) first production, The Available Left-footed Princess.

HLT’s Twenty-sixth Season opened in November at the Lakeside Playhouse with the play based on Ken Kesey’s novel, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, directed by John Lovelette with Chris in the role of Nurse Ratched, another role that nominated her for Best Actress in a Leading Role at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards the following October. In July CAT produced its fifth production,Rumplestiltskin, for which Chris received Special Thanks in its playbill.

Finally, Chris was responsible for the playbill of CAT’s 6th show, Alice in Wonderland, presented in August, 2001, at the newly built Restoration Center. Besides the 28 production she was involved with at HLT, Chris worked on 3 CAT shows, participated in 8 Zenon Ceremonies. She has won two Zenons for her acting and was nominated for four others. Ms. Smith has been named in 24 HLT Newsletter and 35 local news articles for a total of 98 Citations. Congratulations on your many successes Chris and especially for bringing your great voice to HLT.

Darrel Smith
Official Photographer By: Roy Riedy

Darrel Smith started photographing the members and casts of Highlands Little Theatre in April, 1986, when he photographed Peter Pollard’s production of Joseph Kesselring’s classic comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace. Coincidentally, the last show he photographed in his capacity as Official HLT Photographer was the revival of that play in June, 1999, directed this time by Beverly Brando Gillilan. During the intervening thirteen years, Mr.Smith recorded the casts and sets of 54 of the 64 other Little Theatre productions presented during that time.

At the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony held on October 5, 1991, Darrel and Candy Smith were awarded a Board Service Award “for outstanding contributions to the theatre through their donations of time, talent and funds, resulting in superb cast and program photographs, specialty photography and portraits.”

Their names were reiterated in the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony when an Index of Zenon Winners was published in the program of that Ceremony. Darrel and Candy Smith were also listed as members of the Zenon Awards Production Staff for the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1996, as Lighting Technicians for that event.

Mr. Smith was involved with the photos of 56 plays during his association with HLT; he was cited in three Zenon Programs, and won, with his wife, Candy, one Board Service Award in 1991. He has been mentioned in 4 HLT Newsletters and 8 local news articles for a total of 71 Citations. Thank you Darrel for your irreplaceable pictorial record of Highlands Little Theatre’s theatrical performances and the people who made those show possible.

Photo of  Elizabeth  Smith
Elizabeth Smith
A Zenon Winning Bloody Mary By: Roy Riedy

Elizabeth Smith appeared in only one show at Highlands Little Theatre. Her one and only role was the part of the enterprising Bloody Mary in Frank Oberhausen’s 1994 revival of Rogers and Hammerstein’s famous musical South Pacific. Her excellent performance won her a Zenon for the Best Supporting Actress of HLT’s Twentieth Season at the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony at the Lakeside Playhouse on October 1, 1994.

In addition to appearing in South Pacific and collecting her award at the Ninth Zenon Ceremony, Ms. Smith was mentioned in the program of the Tenth Zenon program, and in 4 HLT Newsletters and also 3 local news articles for a total of 10 Citations.

Photo of  Jack  Smith
Jack Smith
Piano Man By: Roy Riedy

The first show that Jack Smith played in was the opening show of HLT’s Sixth Season, Frank Oberhausen’s November, 1979, production of South Pacific. He and Harly Mays were the show’s rehearsal pianists and Jack also played the piano in the orchestra with Christine Jones.

He was called upon to help twice in the Seventh Season: in November, 1980, Jack played the piano in Fred Pearce’s orchestra for Janelou Buck and Carol Gose’s musical Irene; and in February,1981, he and Roy Lash provided the dual piano accompaniment for Frank Oberhausen’s My Fair Lady.

In the Eighth Season, Frank Oberhausen directed The Sound of Music in October, 1981, with Jack Smith and Donald Edman as his dual piano accompaniment. In the Ninth Season, Jack was the pianist and choral director for Frank Oberhausen’s November,1982, musical, Camelot, the first musical to be given in the newly acquired Lakeside Playhouse. The following April, Jack was one of the audition and rehearsal pianists for Carol Gose’s musical, Guys and Dolls.

Marian Dunham opened the Tenth Season with Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver with Jack as her musical director and pianist. In February Jack Smith and Buford Jasper were the musical directors for Frank Oberhausen’s Irving Berlin musical Annie Get Your Gun; Carol Thurow was the pianist. In June, Jack was Carol Gose’s pianist for her Cole Porter musical, Can-Can, Jack was accompanied on the accordion by Albert Thiele.

Jack worked on one play during the Twelfth Season, Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s two person musical, I Do! I Do!, based on The Fourposter by Jan de Hartog. The June, 1986, play was directed by Janelou Buck with Jack as her piano accompanist. The First Annual Zenon Ceremony was held that October at the Sebring Elks Club at which Jack received his first Production/Technical Award for his musical contributions to the theater that season.

In the Thirteenth Season Mr. Smith was the pianist for Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa’s production of The Fantasticks. It was the last musical Jack played for until he agreed to be a musical consultant for Roy Riedy’s “Extra” show in December, 1994, Kander and Ebb’s revue, And the World Goes ‘Round.

In the Twenty-sixth Season, Mr. Smith agreed to be the audition pianist for Melanie Boulay’s revival of the musical Oliver! Sadly, Mr. Smith died suddenly and unexpectedly just a week before the auditions were scheduled to be held. Ms. Boulay graciously dedicated the show to the memory of Jack Smith and his long time partner, Buford Jasper, both of whom were devoted to the musical welfare of Highlands Little Theatre.

During Mr. Smith’s twenty year association with Highlands Little Theatre he played or was the musical director for thirteen musicals and at the First Zenon Ceremony in 1986, he received a Zenon for his musical contributions to the theater. Mr. Smith’s name appeared in fourteen playbills and two Zenon programs as well as thirteen HLT newsletters and twenty-five local news items for a total of fifty-four theatrical citations. He was a enthusiastic and tireless volunteer who was generous and unselfish in sharing his musical gifts when HLT was in its formative stage, contributing much to its growth and professional presence that has now become an awaited and unsurprising occurrence.

Photo of  Susan  Speigel
Susan Speigel
A Talented Actress By: Roy Riedy

Susan Spiegel delighted audiences in 7 plays during the six seasons she was an active member of Highlands Little Theatre. She was first seen and heard as a member of the chorus in Marian Dunham’s June, 1985, Lerner and Loewe musical, Brigadoon, which Susan and Sue McCollum also choreographed. Susan followed her debut by playing Lady Rowena in Peter Pollard’s musical fairy tale, Once Upon a Mattress, in August, 1985, the last play of the Eleventh Season.

During the Twelfth Season she appeared in only one show, Barbara Smith’s Vincent Youmans’ No, No, Nanette as Winnie Winslow. She made up for this loss in the Thirteenth Season by appearing in four programs. In November, 1986, Susan appeared as Gymnasia in Marian Dunham’s presentation of Stephen Sondheim’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and in March, as Golde, inFrank Oberhausen’s revival of Harnick and Bock’s musical, Fiddler on the Roof. In June, 1987, her name was acknowledged in Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa’s program for their presentation of the legendary Fantasticks, and also as the Secretary of Highland Little Theatre. Jet Hansen revived Neil Simon’s comedy The Odd Couple in August with Susan playing Gwendolyn Pigeon. At the Second Zenon Awards Ceremony, held at the Sun ‘n Lake Community Center on October 3, 1987, Susan made Zenon history for not only winning the Best Actress in a Leading RoleZenon, as Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, but also being the winner of the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Award, as Gwendolyn Pigeon in The Odd Couple.

At the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony at the close of the Fourteenth Season, Susan was the presenter of the Best Actor Award. In the Sixteenth Season she played the part of Chelsea Thayer Wayne in Ernest Thompson’s comedy, On Golden Pond, directed by Jet Hansen in January, 1990, a role that won Susan a nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony that October.

During her career at HLT Susan’s name appeared in eleven playbills and four Zenon programs. She received two Zenons at the Second Zenon Ceremony for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress and was nominated once again for an award for Best Supporting Actress at the Fifth Zenon Ceremony. She has been cited in twelve HLT Newsletters and nineteen local news articles for a total of forty-six Citations. Susan will be long remembered for her outstanding acting and the luster she brought to every play in which she appeared.

Photo of  Jeanne  Stafford
Jeanne Stafford
A Long Record of Service By: Roy Riedy

Jeanne Stafford’s name appeared for the first time on the Gourmet Staff as a member of the Salad Bar/Dessert section, in August, 1991, in Walter Zelenenki’s playbill for his comedy, The Seven Year Itch, the last show of the Seventeenth Season.

In the program of Peter Pollard’s musical, They’re Playing Our Song, in January, 1992, her name began appearing in the section that listed the staff of Anthony’s Lounge where it remained for the next three plays of the Eighteenth Season, and all of the Nineteenth. At the end of the Nineteenth Season, at the Eighth Annual Zenon Award Ceremony, Jeanne was awarded a Board Service Zenon (withMillee Havlock) “for outstanding contributions to the theatre as head waitresses for the Gourmet Division.”

Jeanne continued to work in Anthony’s Lounge the entire Twentieth Season and was nominated at the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards “for outstanding contributions with the Gourmet Division as a Head Waitress.”

Ms.Stafford served in Anthony’s Lounge for 33 more consecutive plays until her retirement in April, 2001, when her name was last seen in the program of Jim McCollum’s musical, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, for a total of 49 playbills in which her name had been printed.

During her association with the Lakeside Playhouse, besides her duties during 49 plays, Jeanne has been involved with 3 Zenon Ceremonies, 1 Christmas Program, 1 First-Nighter Gala, 2 HLT Newsletters, and 1 local news article for a total of 57 Citations. Indeed, a very dramatic record of a devoted and faithful volunteer, which should make Jeanne justly proud.

Photo of  Helen  Stefania
Helen Stefania
Salad Lady By: Roy Riedy

Helen Stefania’s name has appeared consistently in the Salad Bar Section of the Gourmet Page of Highlands Little Theatre’s play programs since June,1998, when it first appeared in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s program for her musical, Paint Your Wagon. Most recently, twenty-three plays later, it was still to be seen in Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen’s program for their hit musical Brigadoon, in March, 2003.

Helen received a Gracie Award for her commitment and loyalty to her salad preparation in November, 2000, a part of the award read: “Thank you Helen, for your dedication and hard work in the salad prep area on behalf of HLT and its members.”

In all, Helen’s name has appeared in twenty-nine playbills, two Zenon programs, as a presenter and a nominee for a Board Service Zenon, one Christmas program, and two HLT Newsletters for a total of thirty-four citations.

HLT is indeed fortunate to have volunteers like Helen Stefania who keep our theatrical machine so well oiled, we would have stalled long ago without them.

Keith Stillwagon
Set Artist By: Roy Riedy

Keith Stillwagon first appeared at Highlands Little Theatre in August, 1992, of the Eighteenth Season just in time to work on the Backdrop Art of Marian Dunham’s revival of The Teahouse of the August Moon, a performance that commemorated HLT’s tenth year of residency in The Lakeside Playhouse.

In April of 1993, Keith worked with Liz Buel, Barbara Holt, and Bob Given on the Set Art for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Camelot. At the Eighth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Keith was nominated for a Production/Technical Zenon for his artistic achievement with Camelot.

In November, 1993 he worked on the Set Art of the first play of the Nineteenth Season, Nunsense II, The second coming . . . , and in April he joined his artist friends from Camelot to work on the Set Art of Frank Oberhausen’s revival of South Pacific. At the Ninth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October of that year Keith shared a Best Set Design Zenon for South Pacific with Mike Fuller, Frank Oberhausen, and Larry Wollangk.

Keith’s last work at HLT was on the Set Art of Frank Oberhausen’s 1776 in March, 1995, when he once again joined his fellow artists, Liz Buell, Barbara Holt, andBob Given in creating another Zenonnominated Best Set at the Tenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 1995.

During his association with Highlands Little Theatre, Mr. Stillwagon worked on five plays and received a Zenon for his art work and a nomination for two others at three Zenon Ceremonies. His name appeared in three HLT Newsletters and two local news articles for a total of thirteen citations.

Photo of  Patricia  Stuckel
Patricia Stuckel
Patricia Stuckel - One of Gourmet's Certified Food Managers By: Roy Riedy

Pat Stuckel’s name first appeared in Highlands Little Theatre records in the February, 2001, HLT Newsletter when she was among the list of new members welcomed to the organization. Her name appeared for a second time in the Twenty-seventh Season in the August, 2001 program of West Side Story, as a member of the Soup, Salad, Dessert Chefs & Sous Chefs.

During the Twenty-eighth Season Pat’s name was seen in all five play programs: Guys and DollsFoxfireJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor DreamcoatMove Over Mrs. Markham, and Peter Pan, again with the names of the members of the Soup, Salad, Dessert Chefs & Sous Chefs.

Pat’s name was mention a second time in Twenty-ninth Season in the June, 2003 edition of the HLT Newsletter when she was congratulated on being one of the members of HLT that had become a Certified Food Manager. Also during this season Pat was again mentioned in all five play programs: Man of La ManchaSteel MagnoliasBrigadoonHound of the Baskervilles, and, The Fantasticks, as a member of the Soup, Salad, Dessert Chefs & Sous Chefs. Her name was also mentioned for Special Thanks in the program of the 18th Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2003, at the end of the Twenty-ninth Season.

Most recently, in the Thirtieth Season, Pat’s name was again found in the program of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, still toiling with the members of the Soup, Salad, Dessert Chefs & Sous Chefs. She was singled out in President Holly Elliott’s Message in the November, 2003, Newsletter with Vanessa Logsdon for the preparation and presentation of the great food that was served at the pre-Zenon cocktail party, and the touch of elegance that their food lent to the festivities.

The last time Pat’s name has appeared in HLT papers was in the January, 2004, edition of the HLT Newsletter when she was nominated for the December, 2003, Gracie Award “for her hard work in the HLT Gourmet division and with Special Events …Thank you, Pat, for all of your hard work and dedication to make HLT a success. We appreciate you and we applaud you!”

Since Pat has joined HLT three years ago, she has been involved in twelve plays presented by HLT and one Zenon Program. Her name has appeared in four HLT Newsletters for a total of seventeen citations. Thank you Pat for you loyalty and your consistently high level of performance as a volunteer in the Gourmet Division.

Photo of  Betty  Suter
Betty Suter
Dedicated Gourmet Volunteer By: Roy Riedy

Betty Suter became a member of HLT in the Twenty-fourth Season (1997-98) and receive a Gracie Award for her “. . . hard work and dedication on the serving line in Gourmet as well as (her) participation in special events at HLT ” in the Twenty-seventh Season, June, 2001.

Since Betty became a member of the theater she has participated in preparation of dinners for twenty-seven shows and several special events at the Lakeside Playhouse. In addition to the Gracie Award and the plays, Betty has been mentioned in two HLT Newsletters for a total of thirty citations.

Thank you Betty for your continuing help in making HLT outstanding not only for its plays, but also for its food.

Photo of  Judy  Sutter
Judy Sutter
Charter Member By: Roy Riedy
Photo of  Barbara  Sylvester
Barbara Sylvester
ng34 Shows and Still Stitching By: Roy Riedy

Barbara Sylvester’s name appeared for the first time in the program for Marian Dunham’s production of Meet Me In St. Louis in August, 1994, as one of the several seamstresses for the show. Since that first appearance, her name has been connected with 33 other shows at HLT. The second time her name appeared was the following August, again as a seamstress, for Marian Dunham’s next musical Gigi.

In November, 1996, Barbara’s name appeared with others under the title “Wardrobe” for Peter Pollard’s presentation of Neil Simon’s musical The Goodbye Girl and the next month she was listed in Mac Byron’s “Extra” show Greater Tuna as the Costume Designer with Helen Curcio. In March she appeared in Frank Oberhausen’s program for his revival of Fiddler on the Roof again as one of several seamstresses. In August she was recorded as a Wardrobe Assistant for Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s production of The Secret Garden.

In April, 1997, Frank Oberhausen brought the dressy La Cage aux folles to the Lakeside Playhouse and Barbara was one of the Costume Assistants for that challenging show. The last show of the Twenty-third season was Tammie Pollard’s revival of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for which Barbara was part of the Costume Design team.

Barbara was involved in four shows the Twenty-fourth Season: Sue McCollum’s Godspell in November, for which she was a Costume Assistant; Peter Pollard’s My Favorite Year in January, for which she was part of the Wardrobe team; Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Annie in April, again she was part of the Wardrobe team; and Beverly Brando Gillilan’s June musical, Paint Your Wagon, the show that brought her and Helen Curcio a Zenon for Best Costume Design at the Awards Ceremony in October.

The Twenty-fifth Season provided three more shows for Barbara to work on: Melanie Boulay’s Wizard of Oz in November as Wardrobe Mistress; Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music in April as a Wardrobe Assistant; and Beverly Brando Gillilan’s revival of Arsenic and Old Lace in June as a Costume Assistant.

Three plays also awaited Barbara’s attention in the Twenty-sixth Season: January brought Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Annie Get Your Gun for which Barbara worked as a seamstress; April was the month of Sue McCollum’s Bye Bye, Birdie, and Barbara was one of its Wardrobe Assistants, and in August Melanie Boulay directed a reprise of Oliver! for which Barbara was once again Wardrobe Assistant. At the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards, Barbara and the Wardrobe team for Bye Bye, Birdie were nominated for a Production/Technical Award for their outstanding work.

Barbara worked on all five main stage shows in the Twenty-seventh Season. She was part of the Soup/Salad/Dessert team during Jet Hansen’s On Golden Pond; a Wardrobe Seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of his hugely successful The King and I; part of the Wardrobe Assistant team for Jim McCollum’s musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas; a member of the Soup/Salad/Dessert team again during Steve McDaniel’s production of Moon Over Buffalo; and finally part of the Costume Design team for Tammie Pollard’s musical West Side Story.

The Twenty-eighth Season proved to be another full season of work. Barbara was a Wardrobe Seamstress for Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Guys and Dolls; she worked with the Salad Bar team during Peter Pollard’s Foxfire, Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham; and was one of the Wardrobe Assistants for Melanie Boulay’s Peter Pan.

Most recently Mrs. Sylvester has worked on Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Man of LaMancha as its Wardrobe Manager, and Peter Pollard’s revival of Steel Magnolias as a Wardrobe specialist. In March, 2003, she was a seamstress for the Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen reprise of the musical Brigadoon; and in June she assisted in the costume design of Allen Branch’s whodunit, The Hound of the Baskervilles. Barbara sewed up the season by being a Wardrobe Assistant for Sue McCollum’s revival of The Fantasticks, in August, 2003. In all, Barbara has contributed to 34 plays, 3 Zenon Ceremonies, and added a second Zenon to the one she won with Helen Curcio for Best Costume Design for Paint Your Wagon in 1998 when she received a Board Service Award for “Outstanding Achievement in Wardrobe” at the 18th Zenon Ceremonies in Ocober, 2003, still finding time to help out at the Salad Bar. She has been mentioned in 23 local news articles and 16 HLT Newsletters for a total of 75 Citations and shows no signs of slowing down her stitching. Thank you for your loyalty Barbara and leaving us in stitches – don’t loose your thimble.

Photo of  George  Symonds
George Symonds
A Productive Three Seasons By: Roy Riedy

George Symonds’ name appeared for the first time in the program for Frank Oberhausen’s musical Carousel, in March, 1988, when it was included with the Set Construction Team. In August, 1988, the last play of the Fourteenth Season his name appeared in the program for Teri Klix’s Damn Yankees, again as a part of the Set Construction Team and also as working on the Sound for the play. At the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in September, he was the recipient of two awards, a Board Service Award “for service on the Production Committee, Sound, Gourmet, and new construction,” and also a Production/ Technical Award “for achievement in set construction and sound for CarouselCalifornia Suite, and Damn Yankees.”

During the Fifteenth Season, George was involved with every play. He played the role of Sancho Panza in Richard Oehring’s musical Man of La Mancha in November. In January, Tena Conyer directedHarvey and George was on the Stage Crew and was in charge of the Sound. During the April production of Frank Oberhausen’s The King and I, George worked as a waiter for the Gourmet Staff. Peter Pollard presented the musical Sweet Charity in June and George played the part of Herman. In August, during Janelou Buck’s reprise of Mister Roberts, George again worked with the Gourmet Staff as a waiter. At the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards in late September, 1989, George and his wife Veronica presented a Production/Technical Award and George was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his portrayal of Sancho Panza in the musical Man of La Mancha.

The last two programs in which Mr. Symonds’ name appeared were in the Sixteenth Season. He played the role of Shamus Tobin in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, directed by Marian Dunham in November, 1989, and in January, 1990, worked as a waiter with the Gourmet Staff during Peter Pollard’s comedy, On Golden Pond.

During his three seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, Mr. Symonds worked with and acted in 9 plays, he attended two Zenon Ceremonies and won a Board Service Award and a Production/Technical Award, and also was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor for his role of Sancho Panza. He was mentioned in 5 HLT Newsletters and 10 local news articles for a total of 27 Citations. His time at Highlands Little Theatre was brief but very productive.

Photo of  Ronnie  Symonds
Ronnie Symonds
Zenon Winner By: Roy Riedy

Veronica “Ronnie” Symonds’ name first appeared in the HLT program for Frank Oberhausen’s March, 1988, musical Carousel on which she worked as a member of the Stage Crew and the Set Construction Team. In August, Ronnie worked on the Set Construction Team for Teri Klix’s musical Damn Yankees. In September she received a Production/Technical Zenon for set art and set construction for the two shows.

During the Fifteenth Season Ronnie worked at HLT with all five main stage productions. She was the Stage Manager of Richard Oehring’s November production of Man of La Mancha; in January, 1989, she was the Stage Manager for Tena Conyer’s production of the comedy Harvey. During the last three productions of the season she was a waitress for the Gourmet Staff.

At the Fourth Annual Zenon Awards in late September, 1989, Ronnie, and her husband, George Symonds, were the presenters of one of the Production/Technical Awards.

During her two seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, Ronnie was associated with 8 plays and 2 Zenon Ceremonies. She received a Zenon at the Third Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony for her set art and set construction during the Fourteenth Season. Her name appeared in 3 Zenon programs, and in 3 HLT Newsletters and 2 local news articles for a total of 16 Citations.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Kristin  Taylor
Kristin Taylor
A Name To Remember By: Roy Riedy

Kristin Taylor’s name first appeared in the HLT January 2005, Newsletter. She was welcomed to Highlands Little Theatre as a new member and also named as winning the part of Frieda in Peter Pollards January production of The Allergists Wife.

The playbill for the January play supplied this information: “Kristin Taylor (Frieda) is another new face on the HLT stage. She has spent her life performing and working behind the scenes. Kristin earned a BA in theatre from Yankton college and completed postgraduate study in Directing and Theatrical Criticism at Miami University of Oxford in Ohio. Onstage, she has portrayed such roles as Fraulein Schneider (Cabaret); Peggy (Godspell); Mrs. Pearce (My Fair Lady); Jenny (Threepenny Opera); Agnes (A Delicate Balance); Elaine Nevasio (The Last of the Red Hot Lovers); Countess Aurelia (The Madwoman of Chaillot); Violet (Man and Superman); Nurse Ratched (One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest); and Helen Wilde (The Secret Affairs of Mildred Wilde). Kristin has also directed a number of plays, including The Bald SopranoButterflies are Free, and The Many Loves of Don Perlimpin“.

Kristin recently retired from her real estate business in New Hampshire and moved to Florida. She lives in Sebring with her husband, Jack, and her Boxer, Riggs.

In the June 2005, HLT Newsletter it was announced that Kristin Taylor and Tammie Pollard will be the new editors of the Newsletter beginning in August, 2005. Kristins’ name also appeared in the June 2005, playbill of I Do! I Do! as a member of the set construction team for the musical.

The July HLT Newsletter announced that Kristin was awarded the part of Fraulein Schneider in Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s August reprise of the musical Cabaret.

Two other articles in the July Newsletter noted that Kristin was a member of the current HLT Advertising and Publicity Committee and observed that as the upcoming co-editor of the Newsletter she would focus on the publishing side of the monthly paper.

Since joining Highlands Little Theatre in January, just ten months ago, Kristin’s name has appeared in twenty-one local news articles; she has participated in three of the plays offered this season and won a Gracie Award in July and a Zenon in October. Her name has appeared in five HLT Newsletters and since August she has been the co-editor of HLT’s Newsletter.

Kristin’s October Zenon was awarded for her outstanding portrayal of Frau Schneider in Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s multi-Zenon winning revival of Kander and Ebb’s musical Cabaret.

What follows is an update of what Kristin has been doing since she received her Cabaret Zenon in October, 2005.

Kristin hasn’t been idle, she has been involved with every production during the Thirty-second Season. She was in charge of props for Mike McMillian’s comedy Hoodwinked in November and her name also appeared in the program as one of the House Managers. In January she was the Assistant Director and a Co-Producer of Denise Miriani’s chiller Wait Until Dark and also one of its Sound Technicians; In March, Kristin’s name was again found in the listing of the House Managers in the program for Joe Willis’ musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

In late April Kristin appeared in the “Extra” revue, Melanie Boulay and Jennifer Westergom’s presentation of Broadway in Concert, as one of the singers and chorus girls, and in June she played the part of Mona Monet in Mac Byron’s spoof, Drop Dead; she was also Mac’s Assistant Director.

Kristin rounded out the season as a Sound Technician for Tammie Pollard’s successful musical Grease and was once again listed as a House Manager in the show’s program.

At the Twenty-first Zenon Ceremonies Kristin received her second Zenon, a Board Service Award, for her service on the marketing and Newsletter Committees.

Congratulations Kristin on your devotion to theater and your well deserved successes. You are exactly the type of member that makes Highlands Little Theatre the outstanding enterprise that it has become.

Photo of  Lisa  Thomas
Lisa Thomas
Our Treasurer who also keeps us in stiches By: Roy Riedy

Lisa Thomas’ name appears for the first time in the program of Melanie Boulay’s delightful production of The Wizard of Oz, four years ago, which opened the Twenty-fifth Season of plays at Highlands Little Theatre in November, 1998. Her name appears on the page devoted to the production staff as one of the several seamstresses that worked on the many costumes of that popular award winning play. Three plays later, in June, 1999, Lisa’s name appeared again on the production staff page of the HLT’s second edition of Joseph Kesselring’s classic comedy, Arsenic and Old Lace, again as one of a quartet of seamstress that worked on that production, directed by Beverly Brando Gillilan.

Ms. Thomas worked on three plays in the Twenty-sixth season. She was again given credit for being one of a trio of seamstresses in John H. Lovelette’s excellent production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in November, 1999. In June of 2000 she was listed as responsible for the costumes of Mike Logsdon’s first play at HLT, the sidesplitting British farce, Run For Your Wife, the play that became known as the Best Play of the Season at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies. Lisa was also a member of an octet of seamstresses that worked on Melanie Boulay’s remarkable final show of the season, Lionel Bart’s Oliver! in August, 2000.

Lisa Thomas and Bea Walsh were the Costume Coordinators for the opening play of the Twenty-seventh Season, Jet Hansen’s edition of Ernest Thompson’s bittersweet comedy, On Golden Pond in November, 2000. At the end of the season at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies, Lisa made her first stage appearance at HLT when she presented the Board Service Awards with Olivia Scott.

In April 2001, Ms. Thomas was elected Treasurer of Highlands Little Theatre and was reelected to that position in the Twenty-eighth season. During that season Lisa worked with Goldie Garnich on the Wardrobe of Mike Logsdon’s second summer British comedy, Move Over Mrs. Markham. In August she made her second appearance on HLT’s stage when she and a scene stealing Mark Elliott, teamed up to present two of the Board Service Awards given that season at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Ceremonies.

Since joining Highlands Little Theatre four years ago Ms. Thomas has been cited 42 times in playbills, newsletters and newspaper articles. Her name has been seen in 13 play programs, 2 Zenonprograms, 2 Gala lists, 15 HLT Newsletters, and 10 newspaper articles in local papers.

Thank you Lisa for your ongoing effort in promoting the Arts in Highlands County and for your fine work and sponsorship of plays at Highlands Little Theatre for the past three seasons.

Photo of  Ron  Thomas
Ron Thomas
Mr. Wonderful. January, 2007 Gracie Award By: Vanessa Logsdon and Roy Riedy

Ron Thomas was welcomed as a new member to Highlands Little Theatre in its Newsletter for December, 2003. Since that time Ron’s name has appeared in four other Newsletters, nine different playbills, and four local news articles.

The following announcement by Administrative Assistant Vanessa Logsdon was made at the General Membership Meeting for January, 2007:
“The Gracie Award this month goes to a multi-talented individual, who can always be counted on to respond when a call goes out for help. Whether working as a house manager, emergency repair person, or box office ticket agent, this member does not hesitate to step in to fulfill a need. Not only generous with time and talent, he has also made contributions of materials, and is not afraid to get his hands dirty if necessary. He supports the theatre in many ways, including being a season ticket holder, gift shop coordinator, and one of Miss Beth’s chauffeurs. This month’s Gracie Award goes to someone who has set a very high standard for HLT volunteers. Please join me in congratulating Ron Thomas.”

Photo of  Harold  Thomsen
Harold Thomsen
Set Designer and House Manager By: Roy Riedy

Harold Thomsen was part of Peter Pollard’s Set Design Team for his presentation of On Golden Pond when his name was first seen in a Highlands Little Theatre program in 1990. He received his firstZenon at the Fifth Annual Zenon Ceremony, the following October, when his Design Team was awarded a Zenon for the Best Set Design for the Sixteenth Season.

In the Seventeenth Season, Mr. Thomsen name was seen in four programs: Peter Pollard’s first presentation of Steel Magnolias in Januuary, 1991, for which he was part of the set’s design team and Set Construction Crew; Frank Oberhausen’s musical The Music Man in March, when he worked as a waiter for the Gourmet Staff; Tena Conyer’s Little Shop of Horrors, again when his name appeared on the Gourmet Staff as a waiter; and Walter Zelenenki’s The Seven Year Itch, when he served as a House Manager. His name also appeared in the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony program as a nominee for a Best Set Zenon for a team effort in designing the set for Peter Pollard’s Steel Magnolias.

During the Eighteenth Season Harold worked as a House Manager on three plays and as a waiter for the Gourmet Staff for all five plays of the season, duties that he repeated during the Nineteenth Season.

In the Twentieth Season Harold concentrated his volunteering efforts exclusively on being a House Manager as he did for the twenty following plays during the next four seasons.

Besides Harold’s involvement with 39 plays, he won a Zenon for Best Set Design at the Sixth Annual Zenon Ceremony, and was nominated for another award at the Sixth. He was also mentioned in 5 HLT Newsletters for a total of 47 Citations. He was a faithful volunteer at Highlands Little Theatre for nine productive seasons.

Photo of  Carol  Thurow
Carol Thurow
9 Time Zenon Winner with a gift for Song and Dance By: Roy Riedy

Carol Thurow is credited with Piano playing and vocal guidance, when her name appears for the first time in HLT’s thirtieth program. The show was Guys and Dolls in April, 1983, the first of forty-four plays that her name would eventually become associated with at the Lakeside Playhouse. By play fifty, Fiddler on the Roof (II), in March of 1987 she had found her niche and job description, which besides pianist included Music Director and Choreographer.

Her participation in Fiddler on the Roof (II) earned Carol her second Production/ Technical Discretionary Award for achievement in music & choreography at the Second Zenon Awards in 1987. She had been awarded her first lucite trophy at the First Zenon Awards in 1986 for her work as accompanist and choreographer for the musical No No Nanette in January of that year.

Besides working on HLT musicals Carol also became involved in the Christmas Programs that were somewhat an annual event in the 1980′s at the Lakeside Playhouse. She was the accompanist and rehearsal pianist for The Sound of Christmas in December, 1987; the accompaniment and choreographer for the fourth Christmas program in December, 1988 ; and the accompanist for Christmas Dreams in December of 1990.

In addition to getting people in the mood for the holidays at the end of the 1980′s Carol received her third, fourth, and fifth Zenons for her musical direction, accompaniment and choreography for the Zenon winning musical plays: Carousel (1988); The King and I (1989); and My Fair Lady (II) (1990); respectively.

In 1991 she was presented with her sixth Zenon for her outstanding achievement as the music director and choreographer of The Music Man. At this point Carol Thurow had won a Zenon-a-year, one for each year since the award had be inaugurated in 1986. Her repeated awards signaling the generous contributions she was making to the theatrical community of Highlands County.

After a hiatus of five years, Carol Thurow received her seventh Zenon award at the twelfth presentation ceremonies in 1997. It was again a Production/Technical Discretionary tribute for being the accompanist, musical director, and choreographer for the musical La Cage aux Folle. The following year at the end of the twenty-fourth season, Carol was awarded her eighth Zenon, another Production/Technical Discretionary Award for her musical direction, and accompaniment for My Favorite Year and her music direction, accompaniment and choreography for the revival of the musicalAnnie.

In April of 1999, Carol Thurow was the music director, choreographer, and accompanist for the initial production of Children’s Academy of Theatre’s (CAT) musical fairy tale The Available Left-Footed Princess. The non-profit organization (CAT) has been recognized by HLT as a valuable asset for the Highland’s County’s cultural growth and, while it is not part of the HLT organization, it has been extended the use of its facilities to further its mission to young, aspiring actors.

At the 15th Annual Zenon Awards on October 7, 2000, Mrs. Thurow received her ninth Zenon, for her musical direction, accompaniment and choreography for the multi Zenon winning musical, Annie Get Your Gun.

It’s impossible to calculate the impact that Mrs. Thurow has had on the theatrical scene of Highlands County. For almost twenty years she has been a distinguished contributor to its scope and growth and progression towards excellence. We all thank you from the bottom of our theatrical hearts Carol, for your Song and Dance.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Joyce  Uebelhart
Joyce Uebelhart
Pianist, Actress, Gracie Winner and House Manager, whose Salad days are not yet over By: Roy Riedy

Joyce Uebelhart’s name showed up for the first time 10 years ago as a House Manager for the June, 1993 production of Marian Dunham’s production of The Philadelphia Story. It has occurred most recently in Peter Pollard’s January, 2003, reprise of Steel Magnolias, again as a member of the same list. In the intervening 10 years, her name has been seen in 38 other HLT playbills.

Joyce’s name alternated between the House Manager’s list and the Salad Bar section of the Gourmet Staff for the rest of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Seasons. The exception to this rule was during the presentation of Jet Hansen’s Show Boat, the last play of the Nineteenth Season, when Joyce was the play’s piano accompanist.

During the Twenty-first Season, Joyce specialized on being a House Manager for all five shows. In the Twenty-second Season she worked mostly with the Gourmet Staff as part of the Salad Bar and Dessert team but also found time to appear in two shows. In March, 1996, Joyce was one of the villagers of Anatevka, in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of Fiddler on the Roof; and in August she appeared as one of the Dreamers in Mac Byron and Marian Dunham’s production of The Secret Garden. At the Eleventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October, Ms. Uebelhard was awarded her first Zenon, a Board Service Award for her contributions to gourmet and building maintenance.

Joyce appeared as a member of the Salad Bar and Dessert team throughout the Twenty-third Season at HLT, but she also found time to reappear on stage in the April, 1997, production of Frank Oberhausen’s flashy musical La Cage aux folles as Mme. Dindon. With her role went a short biography in the playbill which let it be known that Joyce “(was) neither a newcomer to HLT; nor to the performing arts in general. Hailing from Pittsburgh, Pa., Joyce’s background includes a leading role in New Moon, numerous appearances in musical variety shows . . .a choir director and soloist in a traveling Gospel program, and was selected for a Vocal Concert Tour in six European countries in 1988. Joyce has been performing with the Sweet Adeline’s for eight years . . .”

Joyce remained with the Gourmet Staff for all five plays of the Twenty-fourth Season and still found time to reappear on the Lakeside Playhouse stage in Beverly Brando Gillilan’s June musical Paint Your Wagon as one of several miners of debatable gender. That October, at the Thirteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies, Joyce received a nomination for another Board Service Award for her work with the Gourmet Staff.

During the Twenty-fifth Season, in addition to two appearances at the Salad Bar, Joyce worked on the Set Construction for Melanie Boulay’s November presentation of her famous The Wizard of Oz; was part of the cast of the first Unity Sounds of the Season, presented on the HLT stage in December; played the part of Sister Margaretta in Frank Oberhausen’s reprise of The Sound of Music, in April, 1999; and was part of the Set Construction team for Beverly Brando Gillilan’s revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, that June.

Joyce’s name does not appear again in HLT records until the end of the Twenty-seventh Season when it was seen again in the program for the August, 2001, production of Tammie Pollard’s outstanding West Side Story, once again with the Gourmet Staff section labeled “Soup, Salad, Dessert Chefs & Sous Chefs,” the nouveau cuisine craze was leaving its mark on the Little Theatre’s menu.

During the Twenty-eighth Season Joyce’s name is listed as a member of the “Soup, Salad, Desert Chefs & Sous Chefs” for all five plays of the season. Most recently she has appeared in the same spot for the first two plays of the Twenty-ninth Season: Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s Man of LaMancha in November, 2002; and Peter Pollard’s January, 2003, reprise of Steel Magnolias.

All told, Ms. Uebelhard has been associated with 40 plays and 2 Zenon Ceremonies at HLT in the last ten years. She is the recipient of a Board Service Zenon; she has been cited in 7 HLT Newsletters and 8 local news articles for a total of 57 Citations. Highlands Little Theatre is indeed favored to have Joyce as one of its most loyal and active members.

Joyce Uebelhart hasn’t been idle since her last profile in January, 2003. Since then her name has appeared in twelve more Playbills, three more Newsletters, and two news articles for a grand total of seventy-five citations.

In June 2005, Joyce was the recipient of the monthly Gracie Award. Goldie Garnich revealed why Joyce was chosen: “Joyce has been giving and giving and giving for more than ten years. She works in gourmet for the dinner shows, every membership meeting, and every special event. She was seen staining the walls and painting ceiling tiles for the lounge make over. In the kitchen when no one is around she sometimes goes unnoticed, but that doesn’t bother her, she keeps coming back because of her loyalty and dedication to HLT. She has even found time to be on stage. Never one to say ‘no’, Joyce really deserves this award. Thanks, Joyce, for all you do. We appreciate you.”

At the Twentieth Anniversary Zenon Celebration Joyce received her second well deserved Zenon Award for outstanding and tireless efforts with the Gourmet Division and assisting with finishing the lounge. The excellence of HLT is due to dedicated volunteers like Joyce Uebelhart who makes our theater look so very good.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Steve  Van Dam
Steve Van Dam
Set Art and Design By: Roy Riedy

The first play that Steve Van Dam worked on at HLT was Mike Logsdon’s Run For Your Wife, in June of 2000. He was responsible for the Art Design and with Marie Boley did the Set Art. In August he was the Set Artist of Director Melanie Boulay for whom he recreated the sky line of Nineteenth Century London for her lively production of Oliver! with the aid of four other artists: Aine Ramirez, Jackie Eckles, Anne Holth, and Debbie Van Dam. He received his first nomination for a Zenon for his Set Art for Mike Logsdon’s Run For Your Wife that October at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Ceremony.

In August, 2001 his name appeared in the program of Tammie Pollard’s West Side Story for sharing the responsibility of the Set Art with Holly Elliott. Their work on West Side Story won Steve and Holly both Zenons at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony that October.

A year later, in August of 2002, the Set Design for Melanie Boulay’s Peter Pan was credited to Melanie Boulay and Steve Van Dam and Steve was also credited with the Set Art with Holly Elliott, Jack Van Dam, and Jennifer Westergom. Melanie and Steve were nominated for the Best Set Design Zenon at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony.

Since Steve Van Dam started doing his magic at Highlands Little Theatre he has been involved in 4 Plays, nominated at 3 Zenon Ceremonies and won a Best Set Art Zenon for his art work on West Side Story. Steve has been mentioned in 9 HLT Newsletters and 15 newspaper articles. Thank you Steve for giving HLT’s shows the professional touch you do by your striking art work.

Photo of  Judy  Vekasy
Judy Vekasy
Always up to tempo By: Roy Riedy

Judy Vekasy is a retired R.N., a pianist and organist. She is the mother of 4 and the grandmother of 4, and is married to (as she puts it) long suffering Lou. She began Little Theatre work in Adamsville, Tennessee in 1981, and move to Highlands Ridge in 2000. She has been the accompanist for many musicals before she moved to Sebring and her first musical assignment at the Little Theatre was Frank Oberhausen’s masterful musical, The King and I, in January, 2001, a musical that shared first place with Melanie Boulay for holding the most awards in HLT history until the 29th Season, when Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill directed Man of La Mancha, and broke that record. The King and I was also the musical that provided Judy with a nomination for a Production/Technical Zenonfor Musical Director and Accompanist.

In November of 2001 Judy was once more working with Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill on their Season opener, Guys and Dolls, again as Music Director and Accompanist. The play had to compete with Joe Willis’ sensational Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Melanie Boulay’s popular Peter Pan, but despite that stiff competition, Judy was awarded her first Zenon for her musical contributions to both Guys and Dolls and Peter Pan, the latter for which she directed the orchestra.

During the performances of Peter Pollard’s Foxfire, Joe Willis’ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham, Judy and her husband Lou, worked as House managers and in the Box Office.

The Twenty-ninth Season opened with Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s remarkable revival of Man of La Mancha, and Judy was teamed up with Frank and Kathy for a third time as their musical director and accompanist. At the 18th Zenon Ceremonies in October, 2003, Man of La Mancha broke all existing Zenon records by amassing 10 Zenons making it the most decorated musical in Zenon history.

So far, and it’s only three years, Judy Vekasy has worked on five musicals at Highlands Little Theatre, been nominated for three Zenons and been awarded two; she has been mentioned in thirteen Little Theatre Newsletters, and in twenty-four local newspaper articles for a citation factor of 49. Mrs. Vekasy has become a powerful force at HLT and we are very happy that she is here to keep us up to tempo.

Photo of  Louis  Vekasy
Louis Vekasy
Active from the Start By: Roy Riedy

Louis and his wife Judy Vekasy were welcomed as new members to Highlands Little Theatre in the February, 2001, Newsletter, a little over two years ago. Since then Lou has been involved in eight plays, an unbroken line, since Guys and Dolls.

In October, 2002, Lou and Judy Vekasy received the Gracie Award with a “Thank you for all the things you have done for Highlands Little Theatre.”

In addition to working on eight plays and receiving a Gracie Award with his wife Judy, Lou has been mentioned in three Highlands Little Theatre Newsletters and in six local news articles for a total of eighteen citations.

Thanks for your generous and continuing help Lou, we depend on volunteers like you to make us look as good as we do.

Photo of  Leena  Violette
Leena Violette
Renowned For Her Costume Design By: Roy Riedy

Until her life was so quickly cut short in 1995, the name of Leena Violette and costumes at Highlands Little Theatre were synonymous. Her name first appears in the playbill for Fiddler On The Roof II, which opened in March of 1987. Her name is listed on the Production Staff page with several others who were concerned with “Wardrobe.” From that time on, for the next eight years, her name, with the exception of three plays, appears connected with costuming or the Gourmet Division of HLT, usually both.

For this resolute devotion she was the winner of the Zenon Award for Best Costume Design seven different times: for Carousel (1988); The King and I (1989); My Fair Lady (1990); Oklahoma! (1991);Camelot (1993); South Pacific (1994); and 1776 (1995).

In addition to her Costume Awards, Leena was the recipient of two Board Service Awards in 1991 and 1994, and the distinguished Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award, becoming its tenth recipient, in 1995. The Significant Achievement Award brought her tally of Zenons to a total of ten and put her in sixth place for the greatest number of Zenons received by a member, a distinction she shares with Margie Pollard, and a wonderful testimony to her generous work when one considers that this was done in the space of just eight years.

From 1982, the year that HLT acquired its theater property from the City of Sebring, costume storage was confined to a large closet in the corner of the kitchen area. It was a jumbled and disorganized arrangement at best, but it was all that was possible at that time. In 1991 great improvements were made. A grant was secured during the presidency of Tena Pollard Conyer and a storage area was built above the work area on stage right of the new stage which created a spacious room for the ever increasing inventory of garments being acquired by the Costume Department. The space below the storage area became known as “Leena’s Room” and was equipped with cutting tables, shelves for materials, and the unfamiliar luxury of a washer and dryer. The Costume Department had undergone a “Cinderella” transformation and had come into its own.

It was from this outstanding new workspace that Leena performed her magic. “Sooners” from Oklahoma! jingled their spurs in their smart western wear; early England was robed again in cloth of gold for Camelot; sailors and nurses passed inspection in their trim uniforms in a theatrical South Pacific, and early American Revolutionaries argued in Philadelphia in Eighteenth Century magnificence in1776. Space and splendor seemed to go hand in hand.

Unfortunately, this era came to an abrupt halt with Leena’s sudden and surprising death in the summer of 1995. Reverend Andrew Conyer published a heartfelt appreciation in the program of Same Time, Next Year, the last show that Leena worked on, and it bears repeating for it reflects the thoughts of everyone that knew her:

“Leena Violette was the costume mistress for Highlands Little Theatre for many years. Her expertise and vision has created a lasting legacy for all of us to strive toward. Her countless hours of dedicated service has helped each actor remove themselves from the real world so they can portray their character more fully…we have been greatly blessed by our friendship with Leena… We bless you dear one on your journey as we go on with the show.”

It is so true that because of your selfless work and labors Leena, that you, among others, have made Highlands Little Theatre the outstanding institution that it is and that its show still goes on.

Photo of  Sue  Vos
Sue Vos
Two Time Director Two years of unparalleled theatrical activity By: Roy Riedy

Sue Vos was introduced to Sebring in the December 8, 1977 issue of the Sebring News in a four column article entitled “Meet Vita Louise.” The informative article announced that Sue, a newcomer to Highlands County, was to play the part of Vita Louise Simmons in the popular comedy Harvey by Mary Chase which was to be the opening play of HLT’s Fourth Season in December, 1977.

The article continued “Mrs. Vos was born in Miles City, Montana; she graduated from high school in Burlington, Wisconsin, and attended Marquette University where she majored in drama. The article explained that she got the theatre bug at the age of six, started appearing in local dramas at the age of 11, and from that point, there was no turning back.

Sue and her husband Stan, and their eight year old son Adam, moved to Sebring recently. She arrived in time for tryouts for Harvey and was pleased to find out she had been selected to play the pivital role of Vita Louise.”

The comedy was given on the Sebring High School stage for four performances in December of 1977, a week before Christmas. The show was directed by Delores Masonick. Sue’s credits were listed in the program as follows:

SUE VOS (Vita Louise Simmons), has been involved in little theatres since age 6. She has worked professionally with “The Troupe,” a company of professional actors at the Abbey Resort in Wisconsin, and has handled all phases of production; acting, directing, choreography, costumes, promotion. Her performances have included major roles in Come Blow Your HornMind with the Dirty ManPlaza SuiteHarveyTeahose of the August MoonTen Nights in a Bar Room, and Dirty Work at the Corssroads. Musical credits include MameHello DollyKismetFiddler on the RoofCabaretLil Abner,GodspellPajama GameBabes in Arms and Something Happened on the Way to the Forum. A resident of Sebring for about four months, she is employed at Nancy’s II.

The play was reviewed by Mike Leach who titled his review: “‘Harvey’ sets Highlanders hopping,” and his critique of Ms. Vos was a wonderful Christmas present:
“While the three-act play centered on a man’s experiences with an imaginary white rabbit, the real star of the show was Sebring newcomer Sue Vos. Her interpretation of Vita Louise Simmons was close to professional in its polish and chutzpa. The gestures, the rolling eyes, subtle shadings of movement and voice were combined by this talented actress into the always-on the-edge-of-hysteria Vita.”

In May, 1978, Janelou Buck directed Here’s Charlie, A Salute to the Roarin’ Twenties, Sue Vos was Janelou Buck’s producer. This revue had the distinction of being the first musical put on by the four year old acting group. The variety show was very successful artistically and financially.

In July, the Little Theatre made a special contribution to the City of Sebring’s Fourth of July celebration by sponsoring a dance on July 3rd at the Sebring Civic Center and a very special floor show directed by Sue Vos and Carol Proffitt that carried the theme “America’s Music Now and Then.”

The active Mrs. Vos continued her theatrical contributions to Highlands Little Theatre in August, 1978 when she directed Woody Allen’s classic comedy Don’t Drink the Water, the fourth season’s third and final play.

The Woody Allen play was reviewed by Mike Leach who headlined his article “Don’t Drink the Water: good to the last drop.” He observed that “Sue Vos, director, deserves much of the credit for channeling the production into such gales of laughter by providing the visual jokes to accompany the spoken material.”

HLT’s Fifth Season found Sue even busier than she was during the Fourth Season. This season offered four plays that included the Little Theatre’s first Broadway show and Ms. Vos was involved in all of them.

The melodrama, Dirty Work At the Crossroads was directed by Janelou Buck in November, 1978, at the Sebring Civic Center for four performances. Sue had a major role in the play and again was acclaimed by the reviewer for her professionalism.

In March, 1979, Ms. Janelou Buck also directed the second show of the season, the Tony winning comedy Mr. Roberts; Sue Vos did the lighting for the show and was also part of the make-up team.

The most ambitious show done by Highlands Little Theatre in its five years of existence occured in May, 1979. The famous musical Fiddler on the Roof was presented in the new auditorium at South Florida Community College and was directed by Sue Vos. The show, cast, music, and set were all outstanding and the community enthusiastically supported the production.

The last play of the season, Plaza Suite, was presented in late August and achieved two more firsts: It was the third show of the season directed by Janelou Buck and also the theater’s first dinner show. The Neil Simon comedy was presented at the Sebring Elks Club and Sue Vos was once again involved with the make-up of the show.

Sue Vos had one more contribution to make at Highlands Little Theatre before she and her family moved to Delray Beach, Florida in January, 1980. Frank Oberhausen opened HLT’s Sixth Season with Rodgers and Hammerstein’s famous musical, South Pacific, with Sue Vos in the important role of Bloody Mary. The reviewer called her interpretation as “an artful blend of brass and gold.”

Even though Mrs. Vos spent only two years in Sebring, her influence on Highlands Little Theatre was far reaching. She occured at the right time in the theatre’s growth and her presence enkindled confidence in many members to become more accomplished, skillful, and professional. She is remembered with affection by all whose paths she crossed.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Janet  Waldron
Janet Waldron
Stage Manager, Head Waitress, and Treasurer, a 24 Carat Asset By: Roy Riedy

Since Janet Waldron became associated with Highlands Little Theatre in 1984 she has been involve in seventy-eight plays at HLT and has been the Stage Manager of thirty-six of them and worked on the Stage Crews of ten other plays. No one should be surprised that she has won a Zenon for Best Stage Manager eleven times since she formed her lasting and productive relationship with the theatre.

She received her first Zenon in 1988 for her fine management of the Award winning musical Cabaret; her second recognition came two years later for the multi-award winning musical My Fair Lady, and the following year for the popular musical The Music Man. Two years later, in 1993, she started a string of wins that lasted for five consecutive years: first was the musical Camelot, followed the next year by HLT’s second edition of South Pacific, which was followed in 1995 by the Sondheim musical Gypsy. In 1996 Janet found herself called back to the stage at awards time for the Best Stage Manager Award for another Zenon winning musical, the third edition of Fiddler on the Roof; and again the following year in 1997, for the extravagant romp, La Cage aux Folles. Her ninth Zenon was presented that the 15th Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, 2000, for her work on the second edition of Annie Get Your Gun in January, 2000, and her tenth Best Stage Manager Zenon was awarded at the 16th Annual Zenons for her behind the scenes management of the revival of The King and I. At the 18th Annual Zenon Awards Janet received her eleventh Best Stage Manager for the musical Brigadoon. This uncommon record is certain to remain unchallenged for many years to come.

Janet’s familiarity with the kitchen, dining room and bar of HLT has been extensive too. Her involvement with the Gourmet and Beverage Divisions of Highlands Little Theatre is justified by over forty acknowledgments of her work in the theater’s playbills. She has been associated with food preparation eighteen times; she has been billed as Head Waitress ten times; and her participation with Anthony’s Lounge now totals thirteen credits.

She was the Assistant Director of Teahouse of the August Moon for its revival in 1992, and in 1998 she won a Zenon for her work as Production Coordinator of the revival of Annie. Perhaps her greatest thrill and certainly her highest award came at the Annual Zenon Awards in 1997 when she was awarded a well deserved and highly acclaimed Janelou Buck Significant Achievement Award, which made her it’s thirteenth recipient. In all Ms. Waldron has garnered twelve well warranted and assuredly earned Zenons during her twenty years affiliation with Highlands Little Theatre. With thirteen Zenons, she stands at number five in the list of most Zenons earned.

Janet has been intrinsically involved with HLT government and management too. She served on the Board of Directors from April 1992 – March 1993. Since March 1993 she has been Treasurer of Highlands Little Theatre for six consecutive terms, her last stint ending in March of 1999.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to measure the contribution of a hard and faithful worker like Janet Waldron. At times she has been responsible for two or even three tasks during the run of a show to make things run smoothly. It is precisely this type of devotion and duty that has made Highlands Little Theatre the envy of other community theaters and the exceptional cultural force that it has grown to be. All members should be proud of our well deserved accolades, but they have only resulted because of the selfless labors of the many members of HLT whose contributions, like Janet Waldron’s, have made us the outstanding institution that we find ourselves associated with today.

Congratulations Janet for a job well done, to you and members like you, for your dazzling contribution to one of the finest playhouses in Florida, The Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Bea  Walsh
Bea Walsh
A Zenon Winning Costume Designer and Two Time Gracie Award Recepient By: Roy Riedy

Bea Walsh’s name first appeared in the April, 1999, program for Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Sound of Music as one of the six members of the make-up team. In November of that year, her name appeared in the program for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as one of the House Managers.

In January, 2000, Frank Oberhausen directed the Irving Berlin Musical Annie Get Your Gun and Bea won a Best Costume Design Zenon for her work with Helen Curcio on that production. In April, Bea delighted audiences when she appeared on stage as Mae Peterson in Sue McCollum’s presentation of Bye Bye, Birdie. Birdie was followed by Mike Logsdon’s Run For Your Wife and Bea was again seen in the Playhouse lobby as a House Manager. In August, Bea ended her full season by being a seamstress for Melanie Boulay’s reprise on Oliver! At the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards, the following month, Bea received her first Zenon, a fitting reward for her involvement in the Twenty-sixth Season.

The Twenty-seventh Season opened with Jet Hansen’s revival of On Golden Pond and Bea’s name appeared in the program as a Costume Coordinator with Lisa Thomas. The King and I, directed byFrank Oberhausen was the January offering and once again Bea’s name appeared among the names of the House Managers, as it did in the following program for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Bea was backstage for the summer show, Steve McDaniels’s comedy, Moon Over Buffalo, as the costume designer with her Zenon winning friend, Helen Curcio.

The Twenty-eighth Season opened with Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill directing a reprise of Guys and Dolls, and the winning team of Walsh and Curcio was again in charge of the Wardrobe Design. During the run of the next show, Peter Pollard’s Foxfire, Bea was again in the lobby welcoming guests as a House Manager. Joe Willis’ extravaganza Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat called on the full resources of HLT and Bea answered the call by being one of the many seamstresses that the lavish show required.

Bea greeted ticket holders for the last two shows of the season, Mike Logsdon’s funny Move Over Mrs. Markham, and Melanie Boulay’s high flying Peter Pan. She ended another busy season by being nominated with Helen Curcio for a Best Costuming Zenon at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies held in early October, 2002.

During the Twenty-ninth season Mrs. Walsh was involved as a seamstress for Frank Oberhausen and Kathy MacNeill’s outstanding revival of The Man of LaMancha. Bea was a house manager during the second play of the season, Pete Pollard’s reprise of the Best Play of the Year, Steel Magnolias. Kathy MacNeill and Frank Oberhausen brought Brigadoon back to the Lakeside Playhouse in March and Bea and Helen Curcio were in charge of the Wardrobe for the Lerner and Loewe musical. In June Bea was back in the lobby as a House Manager for Allen Branch’s production of The Hound of the Baskervilles but back on the Production Team of Sue McCollum’s revival of The Fantasticks as her Costume Designer in August.

At the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, Bea was nominated for Best costuming with Helen Curcio for their work on the musical Brigadoon, and also for her costume work withThe Fantastics.

The Thirtieth Season opened with Melanie Boulay’s musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, with Bea in charge of the Costume Design. During the second play of the season, Mike Logsdon’sOut of Order, Bea worked as a House Manager. In March, Jennifer Westergom presented The Scarlet Pimpernel on which Bea worked with an army of seamstresses that were responsible for the show’s profusion of costumes.

Pete Pollard directed Neil Simon’s Lost In Yonkers in June and Bea was in charge of the show’s costume design. Jesus Christ, Superstar, directed by Tammie Pollard was the last play of the Thirtieth Season and once again, Bea was one of the seamstresses responsible for the costumes.

At the Nineteenth Zenon Ceremonies in early October, Mrs. Walsh received two nomintions for Best Costuming, the first for I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and the second for Lost In Yonkers.

Most recently, during the Thirty-first Season, Bea has worked as a seamstress on Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Music Man, presented in November, and in January, 2005, was presented with a second Gracie Award, for her ongoing work at Highlands Little Theatre.

Since joining Highlands Little Theatre, six years ago, Bea has been involved in 25 plays at the Lakeside Playhouse. She has attended 1 First Nighter and 4 Zenon Ceremonies and won a Best Costuming Zenon. Her name has appeared in 33 local news articles and 17 HLT Newsletters for a total of 80 citations. If this isn’t devotion to a cause, what is? It is people like Bea Walsh that make HLT the vibrant organization that it continues to be.

Photo of  Marcia  Ward
Marcia Ward
Another Reason Why HLT Thrives So Well By: Roy Riedy

Marcia made her stage debut at HLT in Marian Dunham’s musical by Meredith Wilson The Unsinkable Molly Brown in 1989, the first play of the Sixteenth Season. She played the part of Princess DeLong and also worked on the costumes for the play. At the Fifth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies the following October she was nominated with Leena Violette and Helen Curcio for a Best Costuming Award for her contribution.

The Seventeenth Season saw Marcia involved in four plays: In November she played Kate in Jet Hansen’s production of Oklahoma!; in December she was a member of the chorus in Marian Dunham’sChristmas Dreams; in March she played Eulalie MacKecknie Shinn, the mayor’s wife, in Frank Oberhausen’s production of The Music Man, for which she was nominated for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role; and in June she worked on the set construction of Tena Conyer’s very successful comic musical, Little Shop of Horrors. In October, at the Sixth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony, she and Marian Dunham entertained the audience with the duet “Old Friends” before they presented the award for Best Costuming. (Leena Violette and Mary Guaraldi for Oklahoma!)

The following season Marcia appeared as Mrs. O’Malley in Frank Oberhausen’s production of Funny Girl and as Ms. Higa Jiga in Marian Dunham’s tenth year revival of The Teahouse of the August Moon, for which she was also a co-producer with Beverly Brando. At the Seventh Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony in October, she entertained the audience again with a rendition of “The Party’s Over.” Marcia also received two nominations at this ceremony: one for a Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her portrayal of Ms. Higa Jiga in The Teahouse of the August Moon, and the other shared with Beverly Brando for Best Producer of the same play.

Marcia returned to the HLT stage at the end of the Twentieth Season to play Mrs. Smith in Marian Dunham’s production of the musical Meet Me in St. Louis, and in August of the Twenty-first Season she was an extra in Marian Dunham’s musical Gigi.

After a season of rest Marcia was next seen as Mrs. Dubose in the January, 1997, production of Melanie Boulay’s riveting play, To Kill a Mockingbird. In July she worked as a waitress during the duration of Mac Byron’s comedy George Washington Slept Here and again in August during Tammie Pollard’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.

Ms. Ward participated in all five plays of the Twenty-fourth Season at HLT. She was a waitress for the Gourmet Division during Sue McCollum’s Godspell, and Peter Pollard’s My Favorite Year. In April she played the part of Ms. Hannigan in Frank Oberhausen’s revival of the musical Annie. Marcia was unforgettable as the unfulfilled, dipsomaniacal supervisor of orphans and gave a howling performance that resulted in her winning the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Zenon at the end of the season. She rounded out the theatrical season by again waiting on tables during the last two shows: Beverly Brando’s Paint Your Wagon, and Tammie Pollard’s Rumors.

HLT’s Twenty-fifth Season opened with Melanie Boulay’s memorable production of The Wizard of Oz and Marcia cast as Ms. Gultch and (what else?) the Wicked Witch, another role that realized a Best Supporting Actress nomination at Zenon time. After The Wizard of Oz she waited on tables for the next three plays: Peter Pollard’s Miracle Worker in January; Frank Oberhausen’s revival of The Sound of Music in April, and Beverly Brando’s Arsenic and Old Lace in June. At the Zenon Awards in October Marcia was the presenter of the Best Actor in a Supporting Role Award. (Joe Willis for the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz)

During the Twenty-sixth Season Marcia waited tables for all five shows and also found time to perform in the orchestra for Sue McCollum’s production of Bye Bye, Birdie in April, and play the part of Mrs. Sowerberry in Melanie Boulay’s revival of Oliver! in August. In August of the following year she was listed with the group of Dining Room Servers during the performances of Tammie Pollard’s musical West Side Story.

In January, 2003, Marcia appeared in Peter Pollard’s revival of Steel Magnolias as the crusty Ouiser Boudreaux, one of the regulars of Truvy Jones’ salon, “The Beauty Spot.” She was rewarded for her outstanding portrayal with a second Zenon for Best Supporting Actress at the 18th Annual Zenon Awards Ceremonies in October, 2003.

In all, Marcia has participated in 27 plays at HLT, 1 Christmas Program, and 6 Zenon Ceremonies. She has received two Zenons for Best Supporting Actress in Annie as Ms. Hannigan; and the second for her cantankerous Ouiser Boudreaux in Steel Magnolias. She has worked with the costuming team for the first CAT production, The Available Left-Footed Princess; been mentioned in 44 local news articles and 21 HLT Newsletters for a total of 100 Citations. Marcia has brought laughter to the audiences who were lucky enough to see her act and food to those who had her as a waitress; she has cheered our spirits and our bodies, no wonder we are so successful and satisfied at Highlands Little Theatre.

Photo of  Al  Weigold
Al Weigold
Dedicated House Manager By: Roy Riedy

Mr. Wiegold’s name first appeared in the House Manager’s section of the program for Peter Pollard’s January, 1999, production of The Miracle Worker. Since that first appearance his name has appeared in twenty-one other playbills, the most recent being Sue McCollum’s August, 2003, production of The Fantasticks.

In March, 2002, Al received the Gracie Award for his many services to the theater with this introduction: “We are proud to announce that Al Wiegold has been chosen for the March Gracie Award. Al has been a dedicated House Manager for several years now. He recently organized a cleanup committee on weekends before each show, and you can always count on Al to be there for miscellaneous jobs like envelope stuffing for Season tickets. He has become a tour guide for special events. We are indeed fortunate to have him as a theater member. Thanks Al!”

In addition to Al’s name appearing in twenty-one play programs and his Gracie Award, he has been involved in two Zenon program, two First Nighter Galas, and a subject of interest in twenty-two HLT Newsletters and eight local news articles for a grand total of fifty-six citations.

Al Wiegold was chosen to be the recipient of a Board Service Award for his “Outstanding Achievement as Chairperson of the Brushes and Brooms Committee at the 18th Annual Zenon Awards on Saturday, October, 4, 2003. Sadly, Mr. Wiegold died on September 7, 2003, from a lingering illness and his award was received in memoriam.

On Wednesday, October 22, 2003, approximately 100 people gathered in the Buttonwood Bay Recreation Hall to celebrate the life of Albert “Al” Wiegold and to present his family with his Highlands Little Theatre 2002-2003 Zenon Award.

This is the first time in recent memory that a Zenon Award was presented posthumously. Elizabeth “Beth” Norman, the HLT House Manager Chairperson and friend of Mr. Wiegold, presented Charles Wiegold with his brother’s Zenon Award for Board Service.

Photo of  Jennifer  Westergom
Jennifer Westergom
Nine Zenons in Nine Years By: Roy Riedy

Jennifer Westergom is immediately associated with the word “choreography” by most members of HLT, but to limit her accomplishments to just that is actually selling this talented lady very short, for she is also a gifted actress, dancer and director.

Her name appeared for the first time in the HLT Newsletter in July, 1997 where it was noted that “Another newcomer is Jennifer Westergom, who will choreograph the dance numbers in Forum.”

In Tammie Pollard’s program notes for A Funny Thing Happen on the Way to the Forum which was directed by Mrs. Pollard in August, 1997, readers were told that Jennifer “graduated from Florida International University in Miami with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics education. She was a dancer and the captain of the FIU “Golden Dazzlers” basketball dance team for two years. She was also a dancer and the captain of the professional NBA Miami Heat Dancers for two years. One year after graduation, she moved to Sebring with her husband, Bill, and two sons, Austen, and Gunnar. In Sebring she has coached the Sebring High School dance team, the Hi-Steppers . . .”

Jennifer received a nomination at the 12th Annual Zenon Awards for her choreography for Forum. Two years later at the 14th Annual Zenon Awards in October, 1999, she received a Production / Technical Zenon for her choreography in Melanie Boulay’s record tying production of The Wizard of Oz.

At the end of the Twenty-sixth Season, August, 2000, Jennifer and Melanie joined forces again to present Lionel Bart’s popular musical Oliver!, based on Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist. Melanie Boulay was Director, and Jennifer Westergom was the Assistant Director and Choreographer. Once again the combination payed off and Jennifer claimed her second Production / Technical Zenon for her work as Assistant Director and Choreographer of the marvelous production of Oliver!

Exactly a year later, August, 2001, Jennifer was listed in the playbill of Tammie Pollard’s enterprising West Side Story as its Choreographer and the additional credit of playing Graziella, one of the Jet Girls. Once again Jennifer won a Zenon, her third, at the end of the season for her outstanding choreography in the Bernstein/Sondheim musical update of the story of Romeo and Juliet.

The Twenty-eighth Season at HLT was also a busy one for Jennifer. She worked in Anthony’s Lounge during the run of Frank Oberhausen’s Guys and Dolls; played the role of Holly Burrell in Peter Pollard’s excellent drama Foxfire; was back in Anthony’s Lounge during the performances of Joe Willis’ extravaganza, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Mike Logsdon’s zany Move Over Mrs. Markham; and ended the season as the Choreographer of another Melanie Boulay hit, Peter Pan. True to form, Jennifer received a fourth Zenon for her choreography for the play about a boy who refused to grow up.

Since receiving her Zenon for Peter Pan Jennifer has been associated with five more plays. In January, 2003, she was cast as Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie in Peter Pollard’s reprise of Steel Magnolias, a part that nominated her for Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the Eighteenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2003, which she Co-Directed with Mark Elliott.

In November, 2003, Jennifer was once again Melanie Boulay’s Assistant Director for the Thirtieth Season’s opening play, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. In late March, 2004, Jennifer directed the Best Play of the season, The Scarlet Pimpernel. The musical won seven Zenons at the Nineteenth Zenon Ceremonies in October, 2004, two of which were awarded to Jennifer, one for Best Play and the other for Best Set Design which she shared with Melanie Boulay. Ms. Westergom’s Zenon count now stood at six, just about one award for each year she has been associated with HLT.

As implausible as it sounds, Jennifer’s participation in the Thirty-first Season at HLT was even more successful then her previous season. Early in November it was announced that she and Melanie Boulay would be Co-directors of their revival of Kander and Ebb’s Cabaret. Auditions were held in March for the August production. Despite this project Ms. Westergom found time to work on the Red and White Ball; run for the HLT Board of Directors and win; and be the Sound Technician for Jet Hansen’s June musical, I Do! I Do!

The presentation of Cabaret was a huge success. It’s success can be measured by the 14 out of a possible 15 Zenons the musical amassed, three of which were won by Jennifer. Cabaret now holds the title of the most celebrated play ever presented at the Lakeside Playhouse, a record that will be almost impossible to surpass.

Congratulations Jennifer on your stellar rise to fame and your many contributions to the vitality of Highlands Little Theater. You deserve every Zenon you have been awarded which now equal the nine years you have been associated with the Lakeside Playhouse.

Photo of  Jennifer L. Willis
Jennifer L. Willis
April, 2006, Gracie Winner By: Roy Riedy

Jennifer Willis, wife of Director Joe Willis, whom he dedicated his recent success, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has been chosen by the HLT’s Board of Directors to be honored with the Gracie Award for April, 2006.

Jennifer became a member of Highlands Little Theatre when she married Joe on Valentine’s Day, 2004. Since that time her name has appeared in five HLT Newsletters and most recently in the playbill of her husband’s splendid musical.

A thankful Administrative Assistant Vanessa Logsdon had this to say about Jennifer’s support during the rehearsals of Joe’s play: “. . . she kept the cast members not on stage busy completing my “To Do” list of chores for several weeks. Some of those chores included helping to clean out storage areas, and moving props from over the kitchen into the space over the pavilion.”

Congratulations Jennifer on being selected for the honor of belonging to the “Gracie Crowd” of outstanding volunteers, you are in great company.

Photo of  Joe  Willis
Joe Willis
Two-time Director of Crowd Pleasing Musicals By: Roy Riedy

Joe Willis began his successful career at Highlands Little Theatre in late 1997 as a member of the ensemble of Sue McCollum’s production of Godspell which earned him a nomination at the following Zenon Awards for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Since that time, nine years ago, Joe has been associated with 36 other plays including his dazzling production of Webber and Rice’s biblical epic,Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Easter time in 2002. The musical won seven Zenons including Best Play and made Joe the Director of the third most decorated show in Little Theatre history; and most recently, the fun packed musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers..

He was nominated at the 14th Zenon Ceremonies in 1999 for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his brilliant interpretation of the Cowardly Lion in Melanie Boulay’s famous production of The Wizard of Oz in November, 1998, and this time he won the award. Between the Wizard of Oz and his first Zenon, Joe was on the stage crew of the 1998 Sounds Of The Season, and served as Beverly Brando Gillilan’s producer for her revival of Arsenic and Old Lace, in June, 1999.

John Lovelette’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, November, 1999, opened the Twenty-sixth Season at HLT and Joe was a member of the cast playing the catatonic Chief Bromdon, a part that nominated him for a Best Actor in a Supporting Role at the Fifteenth Annual Zenon Awards. Also during this season he was on the stage crew for the next show of the Twenty-sixth Season, Frank Oberhausen’s Annie Get Your Gun. Joe continued in that seasom as a vocal director and a member of the orchestra in Sue McCollum’s retro musical, Bye Bye, Birdie; and played Bobby Franklin, the Streatham frock maker, in Mike Logsdon’s Best Play of the Season, Run For Your Wife.

Joe was just as busy in the Twenty-seventh Season. He was part of the kitchen staff during the runs of On Golden Pond, and The King and I; he was the Vocal Director for Jim McCollum’s Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and the Stage Manager for Steve McDaniel’s production of Moon Over Buffalo for which he received a Best Stage Manager nomination at the Sixteenth Annual Zenon Awards; and again he was the Vocal Director for Tammie Pollard’s pioneering production of West Side Story, the season’s final play.

The Twenty-eighth Season at Highlands Little Theatre opened with Frank Oberhausen’s revival of Frank Loesser’s enduring musical Guys and Dolls and was followed by Peter Pollard’s engrossing drama,Foxfire. Joe was again part of the kitchen staff during these productions. He emerged from the Gourmet Section of HLT to take charge of his Easter offering at the Little Theatre, his not-soon-to-be-forgotten production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a show that claimed the enviable position of being the third most decorated show given at the Lakeside Playhouse.

In June during the presentation of Mike Logsdon’s Move Over Mrs. Markham, Joe was back at his station in the kitchen and during the run of Melanie Boulay’s outstanding production of Peter Pan, Joe was a member of the musical’s orchestra.

At the concluding Zenon Ceremonies Joe received two more Zenons, the Best Play Zenon for his wonderful Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and another for being part of the team of Willis, Wollangk and McCollum that created the Best Set Design that season, another of Joseph’s seven Zenons, the other five awards included Best Actor, Larry McCandless, who played the title role of Joseph; Best Stage Manager, Dick Boyce; Best Lighting Design, Mark Elliott and Thor Knutson; Best Costume Design, Denise Miriani and Helen Curcio; and a Best Musical Coordination Zenon that was presented to Wayne Lambright and Vealda Lambright. It was a glorious remunerate for Joe to see his dreams for his show so well rewarded.

During the Twenty-ninth Season (2002-2003) Joe accumulated 14 more citations: his name appeared in four HLT main stage programs as a member of the Sou Chefs and Kitchen Line Staff; he was mentioned in eight Newsletters and in two news articles that applauded his title role in the musical play The Journey of Sir Douglas Fir, directed and produced by a joint effort of talented choral, dramatic, and musical artists and technicians who are residents of favored Highlands County.

The Thirtieth Season brought more acclamation. Joe was involved in five main stage productions with the Sous Chefs and Kitchen Line Division of the Gourmet Department. Joe married Jennifer Whitacre on Valentine’s Day and even managed to act in the important role of Annas in Tammie Pollard’s splendid Jesus Christ Superstar in August of 2004. Joe was also mentioned in six HLT Newsletters and two news articles which raised his accumlative citation total to 109.

Joe was not idle in the Thirty-first Season either: He was involved in all of the five main stage presentations as a member of the Sous Chefs and Kitchen Line of Gourmet and as a Lighting Technician for the record breaking production of Cabaret II. His name also appeared in seven HLT Newsletters and three local news articles which added 15 more citations to his credits at HLT and boosted his performance quotient to124.

Even though the Thirty-second Season still has five more months to run, Mr. Willis has already accumulated 27 more citations, his name has appeared in seven HLT Newsletters and he has been associated with three plays: Joe played Little John in Mike McMillian’s Hoodwinked in November; was part of the Sou Chef and Kitchen Line and also a Lighting Techician for Denise Miriani’s thriller Wait Until Dark; and he danced into fame in March when he directed the pleasing musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. During the first half of this current season Joe’s name has appeared in 17 local new articles.

In all, since Mr.Willis came to Highlands Little Theatre in 1997, he has been involved on stage and off in 37 productions, been cited in 4 Zenon Awards and won three of the coveted trophies and accumulated a grand total of 141 theatrical citations, a number that I predict will continue to grow.

I know I represent the feelings of all the members of HLT in congratulating you Joe on your many labors for the Little Theatre and wish you many more successes.

Photo of  Lee  Winberry
Lee Winberry
This Guy Is Cooking By: Roy Riedy

Lee Winberry joined HLT in 1985, 18 years ago, and since that time he has probably cooked over 16,000 meals of prime beef for the dinner guests of the Lakeside Playhouse. That’s a lot of beef, a lot of work, and also a lot of satisfied customers.

Ironically, the first time this famous chef’s name appeared in an HLT playbill it was listed with the Production Staff as part of the Set Construction crew for Marian Dunham’s presentation of Lerner and Loewe’s musical Brigadoon in June of 1985. The second time it appeared, in the program for Peter Pollard’s August production of Once Upon a Mattress, his name had gravitated to the Gourmet Staff where it appeared with those working with Beverages.

The Twelfth HLT Season opened with Frank Oberhausen’s musical Annie on November first, 1985, complete with a Commemorative Program which recorded the names of over 150 Firstnighters that had come to the gala. Lee’s name appeared again in the play program with the Gourmet Staff as one of four volunteers working in the beverage section. Incidently, the Zenon Awards competition started on this opening night for the first Zenon Awards Ceremony took place at the end of the Twelfth Season. Annie was followed by Barbara Smith’s production of No, No, Nanette in January, 1986, with Lee’s name again appearing with the Gourmet Staff, and still working in the beverage section. In April, Peter Pollard brought Arsenic and Old Lace to the stage of the Lakeside Playhouse and Lee’s name was again listed with the beverage personnel of the Gourmet Staff. Janelou Buck directed I Do, I Do! in June and again, Lee’s name was listed with the beverage personnel. The last play of the season was Sue McCollum’s production of the comedy Vanities. At this time the beverage section of the Gourmet Staff had acquired a chairman, Frank Oberhausen, and Lee was listed as a member of his staff. The First Zenon Awards Ceremony took place on October 4, 1986, at the Sebring Elks Club. Annie was awarded the first Zenon for the Best Play of the Season and Lee was one of the first HLT members to win a Board Service Zenon for his dependable work with Gourmet during the Twelfth Season.

HLT’s Thirteenth Season opened with another Firstnighter Gala on the last day of October with Marian Dunham’s A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Lee’s name could be found in the Beverage section of the Gourmet Staff and again Lee worked with Gourmet for the entire five play season in the beverage section.

Mr. Winberry worked in Gourmet during three of the five plays presented in the Fourteenth Season. During this season he became co-chairman of beverages with Frank Oberhausen and by the end of the season he was holding down two positions, a worker in beverages and a chef in the kitchen division.

The Fifteenth Season saw Lee back on the Gourmet Staff for all five presentations and now devoting his entire time in the kitchen as a chef. As impossible as it is to believe, Mr. Winberry has worked for the last 14 seasons, from the Sixteenth through Peter Pollard’s reprise of Steel Magnolias in this, the Twenty-ninth Season, without missing any of the plays presented during that time, an unbroken series of 67 shows!

His astounding commitment has not gone unrewarded. He was honored at the Fifth Zenon Awards with a second Board Service Zenon that thanked him “for outstanding contributions to the theater for planning and development of building improvements relating to the cultural facilities grant application.” At the Sixth Zenon Ceremony he was nominated “for outstanding contributions to the theatre in Gourmet and Building Improvements.”

And there is more – five more nominations and awards: At the Seventh Zenons Lee received his third Board Service Zenon ”for his outstanding contributions to the theatre in gourmet and in the construction of the new dressing rooms.” At the Eighth Annual Ceremony Lee was nominated “for outstanding contributions to the theater in Gourmet and building improvements to include the kitchen expansion.” In October, 1997, at the Twelfth Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony Lee received his fourth Zenon for his work with the Gourmet Staff. At the Thirteenth Zenons Lee was once again nominated for his work with the Gourmet Staff. And most recently, at the Seventeenth Annual Zenon Awards in October, 2002, Mr. Winberry was nominated for the fourth time “for Outstanding Achievement in Gourmet and construction Planning.”

Finally, on December 1, 2002, HLT had a Groundbreaking Ceremony to mark the beginning of a new building to be used as a rehearsal hall and to be named The Doctors Thakkar Pavilion after its generous benefactors. Mr. Winberry’s construction company, Lee Winberry Homes, will be the builder. During the planning of the new structure, Mr. Winberry charitably donated much of the cost that was incurred during its planning, another insight into this generous man.

For the record Lee has been associated with 87 plays at HLT – two-thirds of all shows given by the organization. He has received four Zenons and been nominated for four others. His name has appeared in 18 HLT Newsletters and 10 local news articles, and currently he is the contractor for the new addition to Highlands Little Theatre, this is a record almost impossible to top. Lee, you really know how to serve up good things.

Photo of  Daisy  Wollangk
Daisy Wollangk
A Legendary Volunteer By: Roy Riedy

The first of the thirty plays that Mrs. Daisy Wollangk was associated with was the first production of Fiddler on the Roof, directed by Sue Vos as the third show of HLT’s Fifth Season in May, 1979, in which Daisy played Yente, the matchmaker.

Daisy was involved with all four plays of the Sixth Season. In November, Daisy played a Bali Ha’i Islander in Frank Oberhausen’s first musical, South Pacific, and also worked as a member of his Wardrobe team. In March, 1980, she worked with a Wardrobe team again for David Eakin’s presentation of Jack Sharkey’s comedy Who’s On First. In June, Janelou Buck directed the mystery, Laura, in which Daisy played Mrs. Dorgan, and in September, she worked in Wardrobe again for Teri Klix’s comedy My Three Angels.

Janelou Buck and Carol Gose directed the musical Irene for the opening of the Seventh Season with Daisy Wollangk as its Wardrobe Mistress. In February, Frank Oberhausen directed the great musicalMy Fair Lady with Daisy playing Mrs. Higgins. Daisy was one of the Chefs of the Gourmet Division during Jim McCollum’s melodrama No Mother to Guide Her in February, 1982, the second play of the Eighth Season. The following play was Cole Porter’s musical Anything Goes, directed by Janelou Buck with Daisy on her Costume team. Marian Dunham directed Teahouse of the August Moon, appropriately in August, as the first play to be put on in the new home of HLT, The Lakeside Playhouse. Daisy was seen as Miss Higa Jiga in that landmark musical.

Frank Oberhausen’s lavish musical Camelot opened the Ninth Season with Mrs. Wollangk as his Wardrobe Mistress. Auntie Mame was directed in January by Peter Pollard with Daisy on the Gourmet Staff, working with the Salad Bar. Deathtrap was present in June, 1983, directed by Janelou Buck with Daisy again in Gourmet at the Salad Bar, a job she repeated in September, during Teri Klix’s production of Heaven Can Wait.

Daisy was back on stage in November as Widow Corney, in Marian Dunham’s musical Oliver!, and a Seamstress and Salad Bar person in February for Frank Oberhausen’s musical Annie Get Your Gun.Janelou Buck directed the comedy Born Yesterday in March, 1984, and Daisy directed the Salad Bar. Carol Gose’s Can-Can kicked up its heels in June while Daisy concerned herself again with Gourmet’s Salad Bar. The final play of the Tenth Season was Peter Pollard’s comedy The Owl and the Pussycat while Daisy ended her season in Gourmet at the Salad Bar.

During the entire Eleventh Season Daisy was concerned with her duties with the Salad Bar. In the Twelfth Season, Mrs. Wollangk appeared as Sophie, a Hooverite, in Frank Oberhausen’s November, 1985, musical Annie, and also worked as a Seamstress behind the scenes. During the other two plays of that season, Mrs. Wollangk returned to Gourmet and worked at the Salad Bar. In the April program for Arsenic and Old Lace, Daisy and Mary Gordon were named co-chairpersons of the Salad Bar. At the end of the Twelfth Season the First Annual Zenon Awards Ceremony were held and Daisy was the recipient of the Best Costumes of the Season Zenon for her work on Frank Oberhausen’s musical Annie.

Daisy’s name appeared in the Thirteenth Season in the June,1987, playbill of The Fantasticks, directed by Richard Farnsworth and Karen Cardozo Rosa, as a member of the Wardrobe group. The last time her name appeared as a volunteer was in the Fourteenth Season’s November program for Marian Dunham’s Kander and Ebb musical Cabaret. Daisy was listed as a member of the Costumers for that play.

A tribute to Mrs. Wollangk appeared in the Sixteenth Season’s January program for Peter Pollard’s On Golden Pond which announced Daisy’s death and extolled her virtues as a long time volunteer, a talented actress and willing worker.

During her eleven seasons with Highlands Little Theatre, Mrs. Wollangk was mentioned in thirty-two play and two Zenon programs. She won a Zenon for her costume design at the First Zenon Awards Ceremony and her name was mentioned in eight HLT newsletters and thirty-nine news items for a total of eighty-one citations. She is a legend at the Lakeside Playhouse.

Photo of  Larry  Wollangk
Larry Wollangk
Associated with One Hundred and Twenty-Six HLT Productions By: Roy Riedy

Larry Wollangk joined HLT in 1979 and was first seen in the May, 1979 production of Fiddler on the Roof as Percheck, the student. Since that time he has appeared in two other revivals of that Bock and Harnick musical. In the 1987 version he played the part of the village butcher, Lazar Wolf, and in the recent 1996 interpretation he played the lead, the bedeviled milkman, Tevye, literally growing up with the parts as HLT has grown up with him. In all, Larry has portrayed fifty different characters in HLT productions. Mutating from Stewpot to Luther Billis in South Pacific I and II; from Sir Dinadan to Mordred in the two editions of Camelot; and from Miles Gloriosus to Senex in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, I and II. He has played Dr. Einstein in Arsenic and Old Lace in 1986 and 1999, and done justice to such famous roles as Beau in Auntie Mame (1983); Joe Pendleton in Heaven Can Wait (1983); El Gallo in The Fantasticks (1987); the King of Siam in The King and I (1989); Alfred P. Doolittle in My Fair Lady (1990); Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors (1991); Alan Swann in My Favorite Year (1998), the Wizard of Oz in the play of the same name (1998), a Shriner in Bye Bye Birdie (2000), Reuben in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2002) Barrymore in The Hound of the Baskervilles (2003), and most recently, in the 30th Season, three different roles: The Waiter in Out Of Order, Jessup/Robespierre in The Scarlet Pimpernel, and Caiaphus in Jesus Christ, Superstar. If one thinks that he may have seen his face before, it is quite safe to say that he probably has.

All of this activity has been reflected in the awards that Mr. Wollangk has received for his astonishing contributions; since the Zenon Awards were inaugurated in 1986, Mr. Wollangk has been given no less than twenty-two awards at thirteen of the nineteen ceremonies. He has received eleven trophies for Best Set Design which include: Arsenic and Old Lace (1986); Fiddler on the Roof II (1987); Carousel (1988); The King and I (1989); Teahouse of the August Moon (1992); Camelot (1993); South Pacific (1994); Fiddler on the Roof III (1996); The Wizard of Oz (1999); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2002) Man of La Mancha (2003), and a Production/Technical Award at the 19th Annual Zenon awards with Frank Oberhausen for the set coordination of Jesus Christ, Superstar.

In addition to the recognition for his design and construction skills, his name has been associated with the Gourmet Division in over sixty-five listings. Larry has received five Discretionary Awards: (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, and 1994); three Board Service Awards: (1986, 1989, and 1991); the much prized Significant Achievement Award (1993); and a Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Tevye in the 1996 revival of Fiddler on the Roof. Not surprisingly, he has also been designated a Life Member by the membership. Somehow, Mr. Wollangk has also found time to be Treasurer of the Highlands Little Theatre twice, in 1993 and 1994; and serve on the Board of Directors of HLT for two terms, in 1980 and 1981.

It is difficult to express in words the debt that our theater owes to Mr. Wollangk and his large cast of supporting associates who have contributed so generously to the promotion, patronage, and encouragement of the theatrical arts in Highlands County. Their contribution is impossible to assess, but the results are very visible. They have turned a small and sometimes searching organization into a smoothly operating enterprise that is satisfying the needs of anyone aspiring to try theatrical work at the grass roots level, and at the same time, they have the pleasure of having their efforts recognized and supported by a devoted and dedicated following.

Again the selection committee that decides who shall be the recipient of the Significant Achievement Award made an unchallengeable choice at the 1993 Zenon Ceremonies when Mr. Wollangk was awarded one of the Theatre’s highest honors, for very few members of HLT have been so lavish and generous with their time and talents as Larry Wollangk. Thank you Larry for your steadfastness to HLT. All your Zenons are little reward for your hours of selfless service. You have given us some splendid sets and outstanding characterizations. You have been an inspiration to everyone who knows you and your work. It is not an exaggeration to say that you have single handedly shown us all what the definition of dedication can really mean.

 

Larry passed away in March 2013, and his presence will be greatly missed.

A B C D E F G H J K L M N O P R S T U V W Y Z
Photo of  Patty  Young
Patty Young
Patty Young - A busy lady and versatile singing actress By: Roy Riedy

Patty Young’s first role at HLT was the Mother Abbess in Frank Oberhausen’s 1999 production of The Sound of Music in which she thrilled audiences with her divine rendition of “Climb Every Mountain.” The role secured her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Fourteenth Zenon Ceremonies. Since her debut she has been involve in over a dozen more plays, both on and off stage, and has wowed audiences in every appearance.

In November of 1999, she showed that she was a game bird when, as Candy Starr, she appeared in John H. Lovelette’s debut production of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. She lit up the stage of the next play, Frank Oberhausen’s Annie Get Your Gun, when she worked the spotlight; and worked backstage for Krista Flores’ CAT presentation of Cinderella, Cinderella.

Patty returned to the stage in Sue McCollum’s musical Bye Bye Birdie playing Mrs. Mac