The Davis County Fine Arts Council held its second Spotlight Awards ceremony on Jan. 3 to honor the outstanding performers in the past year’s Davis County Players’ productions.
The outstanding performers were selected by audience vote at the Children’s Theater presentation of “Camp Stowaways” and the Davis County Players performances of “The Sound of Music.” No spring play was presented in 2021 due to COVID.
Natalie Burton was voted the Outstanding Youth Performer for her leading role in “Camp Stowaways.”
The Spirit of the Theater Award was presented to Maddie McClure, a recent graduate of Central College who returned to Bloomfield to help direct “Camp Stowaways” in the summer of 2021.
Tish Johnson was named the outstanding actress for her role as Mother Abbess in “The Sound of Music,” and Harrison Van Mersbergen was voted the Outstanding Actor for his performance of Georg Von Trapp.
Eight-year-old Eva Proffitt-Salamanca was voted the Outstanding Supporting Performer for playing the role of Gretl, the youngest of the Von Trapp children.
Leah Baughman was named the Outstanding Ensemble Performer in “The Sound of Music.”
Karly Good was named the Volunteer of the Year for stepping up and helping Directors Gail Wortmann and Gail Van Mersbergen with everything from sound to costumes and more during the fall musical.
Gail Wortmann and Gail Van Mersbergen were given “The Show Must Go On” Award.
Cathy Roberts, emcee who presented the awards, explained to Monday night’s audience why Wortmann and Van Mersbergen were honored:
“This year, as most of you know, Deidra Rudd, our leading lady who played Maria in The Sound of Music became ill in the days leading up to the performance. As a result, she completely lost her voice. It was quite a blow to her personally, as well as the show, as you can imagine.
“After trying unsuccessfully to get Deidra medical assistance, complete vocal rest, trying unsuccessfully to rearrange performance dates, etc., our directors were faced with canceling the show or coming up with some way to bring the show to the stage without Deidra’s voice. In a last-minute decision, they concluded that the only way the performances could go on was if they, themselves, stepped in.
“So, our stage director, Gail Wortmann, delivered all of Maria’s lines from the front row. Our musical director, Gail Van Mersbergen, sang Maria’s songs from the music area, where she was also running the orchestration sound track.
“I know we speak for the cast, who put in hundreds of hours of rehearsal time, and our audiences, in thanking them for their willingness to adapt and step in to allow the show to go on. In gratitude, the Fine Arts Council would like to bestow on them the ‘The Show Must Go On’ award.’”
Rudd was finally able to sing at least one song from the show for an audience. She opened Monday night’s awards ceremony by singing “The Sound of Music.”
Roberts ended the evening by announcing the following upcoming performances at the Iowa Theatre:
• Spring play: “Glorious” directed by Matt Perry. Tryout dates are Feb. 9 and 10; performance dates are April 8, 9, 10.
• Middle School play: “The Snow White Variety Show,” March 24 and 25.
• High School play: “Footloose,” April 28 and 29.