End-of-Year Awards Presented by WWU Theatre Program

Melissa Williams
Melissa Williams

Members of the William Woods University Theatre department congregated at the end of the school year for their annual Achievement Night program to celebrate the conclusion of the 2013-2014 theatre season and acknowledge students and community members for their efforts.

Annually, directors of each mainstage production may nominate any actor or actress from their cast whom they feel best epitomizes Best Actor and Actress, in addition to supporting roles. Members of the Theatre Guild are then given the list of nominees, in the form of a final ballot, so they, too, may play a part in selecting and recognizing participants’ efforts.

Melissa Williams was the recipient of the “Most Contribution to the Theatre Department Award.”  This award is the highest honor the theatre department can bestow upon any actor, student, technician, designer or manager. The award recognizes the recipient for their exceptional and inspirational talent, leadership, dedication, high academic standing, positive presence and exemplifying all other aspects of the theatre department.

“Best Actress” went to Suzy Johnston for her performance as Kate Keller in “All My Sons.”  Other nominees were Maggie Hunter, Laura Liebhart and Bethany Elliot. Jody Paschal was recognized as “Best Actor” for his performance as Chris Keller in “All My Sons.” Michael Dodson, T.J. Green and Zach Likens were also nominated.

Melissa Williams received the award for “Best Supporting Actress” for her performance as Amanda Ragusa in “The Glorious Ones.”  Other nominees were Kayla Pulliam, Laura Liebhart and Kelly Kottemann. “Best Supporting Actor” was Michael Wilson for his work in “All My Sons” as Joe Keller. Other nominees were Joey Merlotti, Stephen Chamineak Jr. and T.J. Green.

During the ceremony, newly initiated members the national honor society for theatre, Alpha Psi Omega, were recognized: Jon Meyer, Melissa Williams, Laura Liebhart, Lincoln Purvis and A.J. Housewright.

Melissa Alpers-Springer, faculty sponsor of Jesters, announced the Jesters Awards: “Best Actress” and “Best Actor,” Maggie

Winners of the Jesters Awards: Maggie Hunter, Stephen Chamineak Jr., Lincoln Purvis and Kelley Kottemann
Winners of the Jesters Awards: Maggie Hunter, Stephen Chamineak Jr., Lincoln Purvis and Kelley Kottemann

Three students were recognized for winning awards for their portfolios: Joey Merlotti for “Professional Presentation,” Stephen Chamineak Jr. for “Dedication to Craft” and Jonathan Meyer for “Artistic Growth.”

To conclude the eventful night, production plans for the 2014-2015 mainstage season were announced. Upcoming productions are: “Tartuffe,” a comedy by Moliere; “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson; “How the Other Half Loves” by Alan Ackbourn; and “STARMITES,” a musical by Barry Keating and Stuart Ross.

“The theme for next year we’re calling #Throwback Year,” Joe Potter, artistic director of theatre, said. “We will be changing up the schedule and producing a variety of audience favorites intermingled with new shows to build our audiences and encourage both our university and community audiences to come together to enjoy live theatre.”

For more information about upcoming productions and/or how to get involved, contact Potter at (573) 592-4281 or jpotter@williamwoods.edu.