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Pittsburgh CLO Announces 2010 Julia Deberson Award Winner


Pittsburgh CLO proudly presented the 11th -annual Julia Deberson Award to CLO Ensemble member Ahmad Simmons on Tuesday, August 3, at the cast party for Pittsburgh CLO's production of The Student Prince.

The award was established to commemorate the memory of Julia Deberson, who served as Executive Assistant to CLO Executive Directors William Thurnhurst and Charles Gray from 1975 to 1994. Every season, the directors and production staff meet to choose one outstanding Ensemble member who best exemplifies Ms. Deberson's ideals: professional skill, high work ethic, an optimistic attitude, the ability to work well with others and, above all, a passion for one's work.

A native Texan, Mr. Simmons attended the Fort Worth Academy of Fine Arts before moving to Pittsburgh to complete his studies at Point Park University. Including The Student Prince, he has appeared in a dozen CLO productions, including Oklahoma!, Cats, Annie Get Your Gun, West Side Story, Mame, Peter Pan, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and this season's Oliver!, Curtains, The Producers, and Hairspray.

Mr. Simmons joins the impressive list of past Julia Deberson Award winners, including Kathryn Lin Terza (2009), Ward Billeisen (2008), Jake Pfarr (2007), Alison Levenberg (2006), Lauren Yen Solito (2005), Eric Daniel Santagata (2004), Mark Sanders (2003), Jessica Perrizo (2002), Tory Ross (2001) and Justin Brill (2000).

This prestigious award is funded by contributions from the CLO Board and Guild members, as well as staff members and friends. These funds are invested as a part of the CLO Legacy Fund endowment. Anyone who knew Julia or respects the ideals for which she stood may also contribute to the fund. For more information, contact Wynne Fedele at 412-281-3973 or

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