The Road Company theater group started an award ceremony this past Sunday night. The award is named after the woman who founded the group and who did so much to create and maintain its quality of good, local theater. John was nominated for Best Director of a Play.
I admit that I was skeptical and thought it would be a cheesy event where people pat themselves on the back. You see Web Awards like that everywhere, people make an award to give it to each other even if they don’t deserve it. Instead, we walked into a formal dress event, catered by an excellent chef, Mirko from the Mansion in Voorhees. After a cocktail (open bar) hour, we moved into the theater for the ceremony.
They had the standard categories as well as Best Volunteer, which is a fantastic way to recognize all the hours and effort people give to the organization. They also recognized that it really is true that there’s no small parts, and someone with a brief few moments on stage can capture the audience as much or more than the leads. They had video for each show, and showed them through the audience throughout the night. The presenters spoke on the importance of each category, nominee, and show.
By the time I realized how seriously this was being taken, and saw who was John’s competition, I as seriously hoped he would win. He deserved to win, and I don’t say that as his wife. So many people said that to me and when they announced he won, people rose to their feet and gave him a standing ovation.
Community theater is like other hobbies. It’s a passion, something you do for the love of doing it, and you try to do a great job because you love it.
John has a wonderful reputation in our community. When it’s announced he’s directing a show, people send emails and call saying they’ve heard that he is one of the people to work with. They come up to him at theaters, like on Sunday night, and say they hope they get to work with him because his reputation is so good and/or they’ve seen his shows and want to be one of the people in them.
I’m very proud of him. He gives theater a lot of himself and people see the results of all that effort.
I’m also thrilled that he got this award, because it’s the one with Julie’s name on it. Julie loved him like a son; they had this loving joke between them that, with sons named Matthew, Mark, and John, he came along to be her Luke. Her grandsons call him Uncle Luke to this day. Julie and her daughter, Suzanne, were the first to support John in being a director. He trained with Suzanne and he is still one of the very few people she respects completely, and Suzanne is professionally trained. She knows what theater is.
Sure, we can still joke: this and 5 bucks will get him a cup of coffee. Preferably, a Hazelnut coolatta from Dunkin Donuts.
But it’s still winning an award named in Julie’s honor recognizing he does a good job.
And it’s really cool looking. Did you see that picture?! 😉