Theatre Department Presents Awards

The William Woods Theatre Department recently hosted its annual awards night, recognizing students and local participants for their achievements and high involvement in the department.

The “Most Contribution to the Theatre Department” Award was presented for the second year in a row to Lindsey Mertes, a senior from Branson, Mo. It is the highest honor that can be awarded to a student actor, technician, designer or manager who has demonstrated exceptional talent, loyalty, creativity and constancy of purpose in all areas of the theatre department.

Mertes also received certificates for exceptional achievement in character development for two of her roles: Sheila in “The Boys Next Door” and Chris Gorman in “Rumors.”

Awards were also given to two students for outstanding achievement in theatre. Shaun Speers, a freshman from O’Fallon, Mo., received an award for “self-motivated commitment, loyalty, hard work, organizational skills, attention to details and dedication to facilities management and technical theatre.”

Jason Flauaus, a senior from St. Charles, Mo., received the award for his contributions as both actor and technician. According to Joe Potter, artistic director of theatre, “He has equally mastered the craft of acting and master carpentry skills. . .His leadership and loyalty have been exceptional.” Flauaus also received recognition for character development as John the Baptist and Judas in “Godspell.”

Initiated into Alpha Psi Omega, the national honor society for theatre, were Jared Krichevsky of Torrance, Calif., Sharree LaMere of Columbia, Mo., Lindsey Pace of Rolla, Mo., and Lindsey Mertes.

Awarded honorary membership in Alpha Psi Omega were Adrienne Branson, dance instructor/choreographer; Jane Friedman, costume designer; Kathy Potter, director, and Melissa Alpers-Springer, director.

In addition to Mertes and Flauaus, William Woods students receiving certificates for exceptional achievement in character development were Joshua Potter of Fulton as Jesus in “Godspell,” Ellen Gilmer of Des Moines, Iowa, as Mary Detweiler in “How the Other Half Loves,” Ryan H. Paul of Olathe, Kan., as William Detweiler in “How the Other Half Loves,” Buddy Staats of Hermann, Mo., as Lucien P. Smith in “The Boys Next Door,” Hunter Nesbitt of Jenks, Okla., as Arnold Wiggins in “The Boys Next Door,” Meghan Parks of Quincy, Ill., as Cookie Cusack in “Rumors” and Jared Krichevsky as Lenny Ganz in “Rumors.”

In addition, students were honored for exceptional technical achievement. They are: Ellen Gilmer, for stage management on “Godspell” and “Rumors,” Shaun Speers for sound design on “Godspell,” Sharree LaMere for stage management on “How the Other Half Loves,” Kristin Bailey of Columbia, Mo., for props on “How the Other Half Loves,” Stephanie Powers of Florissant, Mo., for props on “How the Other Half Loves” and Joshua Potter for lighting design on “The Boys Next Door.”

Theatre students who were honored for their portfolio reviews this year were recognized. They are: Shaun Speers, craftsmanship and design; Sharree LaMere, expression and creativity; Meghan Parks, dedication to craft; Lindsey Mertes, professional presentation, and Ellen Gilmer, artistic growth.

The main stage season productions for the 2004-2005 season were announced. They are: the musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” in October; a children’s theatre piece, “Jerry the Katler,” in December; the satire “The Importance of Being Ernest” in February, and the drama “A Piece of My Heart” in April.