Honoring our Outstanding Playshoppers, past and present!
Scholarship, Spirit Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award Winners…
As we look forward to a new theatrical season about to begin, we want to take an opportunity to celebrate some well-deserving members of Waterville Playshop from the recently closed 2019-2020 artistic year (and years past). With the COVID-19 pandemic, Waterville Playshop was one of many area theaters to undergo a topsy-turvy season. But even with the theatre temporarily empty, creative work continues backstage and online; and we want to thank all those who continue to work for and support Waterville Playshop and its mission. One of those ways we can say thank you is by continuing our tradition of Spirit and Lifetime Achievement Awards.
We also wanted to offer the annual Playshop scholarship, and this year that also means honoring Playshop members who have participated for the last 50 years. Sadly, in the midst of the spring health pandemonium, we as an organization also lost three of our long-time, avid members; truly, they are titans of this theatrical troupe, and we will dearly miss them. In April, we said goodbye to Jan Macera and Gary Waugh. And in May, Roy Heinz left us. Since they all individually gave so much to Playshop (please see their bios on our website), there was no question that the board needed to do something to honor their legacies. The answer quickly became the 2020 Heinz, Macera, and Waugh Scholarships.
As fate would have it, Playshop had 3 stellar young candidates apply for our annual scholarship. And through donations made specifically in memory of Roy, Jan, and Gary, the board was able to offer each of those scholarship recipients $600 toward their college programs. And with our award and scholarship winners chosen, it was time to celebrate as best we could!
About two months ago, back on June 28, the Playshop board hosted a small, socially-distanced gathering to honor these scholarship and Spirit and Lifetime Achievement Award winners. We met at the Playshop building on Michigan Avenue Sunday afternoon for a brief 2-part ceremony, ensuring that we could meet safely while still celebrating those individuals. At 4:00, the scholarship winners and their families arrived to be greeted by representatives of those being memorialized. And at 4:30, our Spirit Award and Lifetime Achievement Award winners arrived for their accolades. Our current Chair, Marsha Cochran, served as Master of Ceremonies.
Our Scholarship winners include Abby Fitch, Weston Matlow, and Maggie Webber. Congratulations to them all! Abby received the Gary Waugh Memorial Scholarship (presented by his wife, Diana—picture 1). A graduate of Anthony Wayne, Abby has been in a dozen shows thus far with Playshop, and she is beginning her sophomore year studying nursing at Kent State. Weston received the Roy Heinz Memorial Scholarship (presented by board member Shauna Newbold—picture 2), having participated in a handful of Playshop productions in addition to shows with several other organizations. A Bedford graduate, Weston will be attending Western Michigan University this fall. And Maggie received the Jan Macera Memorial Scholarship (presented by her husband, Sam—picture 3). Maggie has been in a few Playshop shows, most of those before she turned her performing focus to cheerleading competitions with multiple cheer organizations. She recently graduated from Anthony Wayne and is attending Bowling Green this fall to study Early Childhood Education.
The 2020 Spirit Award winner is Tom Gray, and our 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner is Kris Frederickson (presented by board chair Marsha Cochran—picture 4). In recognition of these honors, the winners each received unique glass art sculptures from local artist, Baker O’Brien. Tom has been a consistent fixture of Playshop productions over the last decade plus, usually found behind the light and sound boards. And Kris has been an active member for 28 years, participating in a variety of roles. Most often, she is onstage or providing her gorgeous, specialty art work for sets and props. Again, congratulations to all of this years’ recipients! For full biographies of these individuals, please see our website at www.watervilleplayshop.org. Thanks to everyone for your continued support, and here’s to the upcoming 2020-2021 season!