Theatre awards presented at William Woods University

Melissa D. Williams displays her award for Most Contribution to the Theatre Department, which she received at William Woods University. With her are faculty members Joe Potter and Melissa Alpers-Springer.
Joe Potter, Melissa D. Williams and Melissa Alpers-Springer.

Melissa D. Williams received the William Woods University theatre award for Most Contribution to the Theatre Department during the theatre’s annual achievement night May 2.

This award is the highest honor the theatre department can bestow upon a student, actor, technician, designer or manager. The winner must demonstrate exceptional and inspirational talent, leadership, loyalty, dedication, positive presence and constancy of purpose.

Mainstage Acting Awards
Mainstage Acting Awards

The Theatre Guild Acting Award for Best Performance by a Leading Female Actor went to Laura Liebhart, who portrayed Ymma in “Silence.” Chandler M. Bramstedt, who played Richard Hannay in “The 39 Steps,” won the award for Best Performance by a Leading Male Actor.

Mainstage Acting nominees
Mainstage Acting nominees



Other female nominees were Williams for Annabella Schmidt/ Margaret/Pamela in “The 39 Steps,” Olivia Davidson for Anne in “Cheaper by the Dozen” and Liebhart for “#YesAllWomen #NotAllMen.” Other male nominees were Bramstedt for “#YesAllWomen #NotAllMen” and Koriie VanWinkle as Silence in “Silence.”

The award for Best Performance by a Supporting Female went to Williams as Agnes in “Silence.” Jeremy Bene’ who played Clown #1 in “The 39 Steps,” won the award for Best Performance by a Supporting Male Actor.

Other female nominees were Olivia Davidson for “#YesAllWomen #NotAllMen” and Williams as Ernestine in “Cheaper by the Dozen.” Other male nominees were Zach Likens for “#YesAllWomen #NotAllMen,” Bramstedt as Roger in “Silence” and T.J. Pyatt as Larry in “Cheaper by the Dozen.”

This year two more categories of acting awards were created to specifically recognize the contributions of the acting talents of the community. These were voted on by the Theatre Guild. Lindsey Hux, who portrayed Mom in “Cheaper by the Dozen,” won Best Performance by a Community Female Actor and Jody Paschal, who played Dad in “Cheaper by the Dozen,” won Best Performance by a Community Male Actor. Also nominated were Suzy Johnston for Anne in “Cheaper by the Dozen” and T.J. Green for Ethelred in “Silence.”

Newly initiated members of Alpha Psi Omega, the national honor society for theatre, were announced. They are Chandler Bramstedt, T.J.Pyatt, Jessie Trapp, Jessica Fleeman and Jodie Dolan.

Winners of Jesters Awards were:

Jesters Awards
Jesters Awards
  • Tech Crew Award:  Koriie VanWinkle for backstage crew in Short Attention Span Theatre
  • Management and Design Award:  Jodie Dolan for stage manager in “Romantic Fools”
  • Best Male Actor Award:  Chandler M Bramdstedt for various roles in “Romantic Fools”
  • Best Female Actor Award:  Devin Koch for various roles in “Romantic Fools”

    Portfolio Awards
    Portfolio Awards–Sara Williams (left) and Melissa Williams

Recognition was given to three theatre students who won portfolio awards: Melissa Williams for Professional Presentation, Sarah Williams for Dedication to Craft and T.J. Pyatt for Artistic Growth.

Mainstage Tech Awards
Mainstage Tech Awards

Certificates for exceptional achievement in mainstage design, management or technical theatre were awarded to Joella Vermeire for stage management on “Silence,” Jessica Fleeman for stage management on “Cheaper by the Dozen,” Melissa D. Williams and Jessie Trapp for projection design on “#YesAllWomen #NotAllMen,” Ryan Stocker for lighting design on “Silence” and T.J. Pyatt for stage management on “The 39 Steps.”                

Joe Potter, artistic director of theatre, announced the 2016-17 mainstage season, pending budget and availability and obtaining of productions rights. The tentative 2016-17 season includes:

  • “Our Hats off to you, a Performing Arts Extravaganza” featuring music, theatre, dance and scene work from Broadway to the provinces and back again. Compiled and edited by the William Woods faculty.
  • “A MidSummer Night’s Dream” by William Shakespeare
  • “Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs,” a children’s show.
  • “Steel Magnolias” by Robert Harling


“Reaching out to all our theatre patrons both on and off-campus, the mainstage season has something for everyone,” Potter said. “We will be 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.”