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DM Playhouse Announces 2018 Dionysos Awards Recipients


The Des Moines Community Playhouse held the 2018 Dionysos Awards on Sunday, Oct. 14. The theatre honored 18 backstage, front-of-house, and education volunteers, and announced 10 acting award winners. The evening with a number from Billy Elliot The Musical, on stage now through Oct. 28.

Kathleen Baustian received the Dick Brown Superior Volunteer Award. The award is named for longtime Playhouse volunteer, Dick Brown, who embodied the theatre's vision for its volunteer program and was nationally recognized for his community theatre volunteer service. Baustian has been a scenic painter on virtually every Mainstage show for more than five years.

Ann Kramer received the Gypsy Award. The Gypsy Award, nominated by the season's stage managers, is given to an actor, typically not a lead, who has shown dedication to the show, assisting in ways above and beyond a role on stage. Kramer had to exit the cast of Ragtime when she broke her ankle, but continued to assist the production team throughout the rehearsal process.

Receiving the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Awards were Rachel Allen, Kathleen Baustian, Kim Blakesley, Steve Blakesley, Lora Cesana, Travis Edrington, Susan Eisenhour, Dan Goss, Anna Karr, Ann Kramer, Alli Kroeger, John Messersmith, Mary Reeves, Don Rothweiler, Christopher Rozenboom, Maggie Schmitt, Shirley Sharp, and Lisa Thoemmes. This group of volunteers gives their time to building sets and props, sewing costumes, shifting scenery, running lights and sound, acting, visiting classrooms, corresponding with students about shows, touring the state with radio shows, assisting with theatre classes, and tearing tickets. Timothy Rose of A Gentle Guide to Des Moines Theatre received a special recognition award for his support of theatre in the community.

Actor Awards were given in both the Mainstage and Kate Goldman Children's Theatre. Actors were nominated by audiences, with winners chosen by season ticket holders.

In the Mainstage Theatre, Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Musical went to Blake Clyde, who played Coalhouse Walker Jr in Ragtime. Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical was a three way tie: Dani Boal as Mother in Ragtime, Kellie Kramer as Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia!, and Katy Merriman as Marian Paroo in Meredith Willson's The Music Man. The awards for Outstanding Performance by a Youth in Musical went to Jacky Gabby, as Winthrop Paroo in Meredith Willson's The Music Man and Lily Spahr and Nina Spahr for their shared role as The Little Girl in Ratime. Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Play went to Micheal Davenport for his role as Paul Sheldon in Misery. Preshia Paulding received Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Play for her role as Annie Willkes in Misery.

Three adult actors received awards for Outstanding Performance in a Kate Goldman Children's Theatre or Family Musical: Maddie Ripperger for her role as Nancy in "Fancy Nancy The Musical," Andrew Overton for his role as Lionel in "Fancy Nancy The Musical" and Brad D. Church, who played Willy Wonka in "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka." Receiving awards for Outstanding Performance by a Youth in a Kate Goldman Children's Theatre or Family Musical were Ellie Miglin, who played Charlie Bucket in "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka," and Jack Gabby, an Oompa Loompa, in "Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka."

In the Kate Goldman Children's Theatre and Family Holiday Classic, Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actor went to Jack Gabby, who played Flounder in Disney's The Little Mermaid. Savannah Trotter received Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actress for her role as Ariel in Disney's The Little Mermaid. Adult award for Outstanding Performances went to Blake Clyde, who played Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid, and Gina Gedler for her dual role as Miss Nelson and Viola Swamp in Miss Nelson Is Missing!

The more than 300 volunteers and Playhouse subscribers at Sunday's awards paid tribute to the more than 750 active volunteers who give more than 55,000 hours to the theatre. The Dionysos Awards are named for the Greek god and patron deity of the theater.

The Playhouse volunteer program is open to ages 14 and up for backstage and front-of-house opportunities, and ages 8 and up for acting opportunities. Training is provided. For more information on volunteer opportunities with the Playhouse, call 515-277-6261.

The Playhouse, now in its 100th season, is one of the oldest and largest community theatres in the US. Located at the 42nd Street exit of I-235, the theatre has presented a full season of shows since 1919 and also offers a wide variety of educational experiences including classes for ages 4 to adult, theatre trips to New York, and volunteer opportunities onstage and backstage.

For more information about the Playhouse and the Dionysos Awards, please contact the Playhouse at 515-974-5358.
DM Playhouse Announces 2018 Dionysos Awards Recipients

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