DM Playhouse Presents its 2019 Dionysos Awards
The Des Moines Community Playhouse held the 2019 Dionysos Awards on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. The theatre honored 14 backstage, guest services, and education volunteers, and announced 12 acting award winners. The evening began with a number from A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder, on stage now through Sept. 29, 2019.
Paige Berry 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. Berry has served in virtually every backstage capacity at the Playhouse and is now pursuing a theatre degree at Northwest Missouri State University.
Molly Hackman and Laura Sparks received the Spirit Award. The Spirit 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 the stage role. Hackman nurtured many new performers in Catch Me If You Can while Sparks composed music for the production of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
Receiving the 2019 Volunteer of the Year Awards were Pilar Burg, Cheryl Critelli, Zayne Cummings, Patty Davis, Mike Johnson, Natalie Lourens, Alexandria Porter, Jordan Skarin, Josie Talley, Sarah Beth Weinberg, and Phyllis Wolfe. This group of volunteers gave 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 showing guests to their seats.
Actor Awards were given for productions 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 Connor Ripperger, who played Frank Abagnale Jr in Catch Me If You Can. Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Musical was given to Rachel Meyer as Mrs. Wilkinson in Billy Elliot The Musical. The awards for Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actor in Musical went to Ryan Henzi as Les and Gary McCall as Race, both in Disney's Newsies. Tatum Lowell, who played Debbie in Billy Elliot The Musical, received the award for Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actress in a Musical. Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Play went to Jenner Lathrop for his role as Actor 1 in Ken Ludwig's Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Jen Green received Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Play for her role as Williamina Fleming in Silent Sky.
In the Kate Goldman Children's Theatre and Family Holiday Classic Musical category, Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actor or Actress went to Jack Gabby, who played Michael Hobbs in Elf - The Musical. Adult awards for Outstanding Performances went to Mitch Kedzior for his role as Buddy in Elf - The Musical and Allyson Martens for her role as Ella in Ella Enchanted. In the Kate Goldman Children's Theatre series, Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actor in a Play went to Miles Ekhardt as Stink in Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt and Porter McClure as Charlie Bradley in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Gabrielle Henderson, who played Gladys Herdman in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, received Outstanding Performance by a Youth Actress in a Play. Outstanding Performances by an Adult in Play went to Douglas Cochrane for his role as Scurvy Sam and others in Judy Moody & Stink: The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt and Maggie Schmitt as The Woman in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
The more than 300 volunteers and Playhouse season ticket holders at Sunday's awards program paid tribute to the more than 750 active volunteers who give in excess of 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 101st 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.