The Oscars and Golden Globe Awards are coveted in the film and television industries; in Davis County, outstanding actors, actresses, and crew members are rewarded with Spotlight Awards.
The Davis County Players began a new tradition last week by presenting — for the first time ever — Spotlight Awards to the outstanding actor and actress, outstanding ensemble performer, and outstanding youth performer of the 2019 season. A Spirit of the Theater award was given to a crew member who excelled in making shows come to life through their behind-the-scenes contributions, and a Volunteer of the Year award was presented to an individual who works tirelessly throughout the year to keep the movie operation running.
Directors Gail Wortmann and Christopher Gingerich of “Shrek, the Musical” presented the outstanding actor/actress awards.
Wortmann described the demands of a major character as “requiring a deep study of that character, their likes and dislikes, speech patterns, mannerisms, motivation, and emotional and intellectual state. A successful major character actor or actress enables their audience to suspend reality for a brief time and enter into the story with them.”
Gingerich had the honor of naming his brother, Aaron Gingerich, as the DC Players’ outstanding actor for his portrayal of Donkey in “Shrek.” Other actors nominated for the award were Harrison Van Mersbergen and Gage Mikels, both for their roles in “Shrek.”
Wortmann read off the nominees for best actress — Melinda Replogle and Melia Piper for “The Savannah Sipping Society” and Leah Baughman for her portrayal of Fiona in “Shrek.”
Melia Piper, who made her stage debut in “The Savannah Sipping Society” last spring, was named the outstanding actress.
Andy Summers was named the outstanding ensemble performer for the year. He played the role of the Big, Bad Wolf in “Shrek.” Other nominees for this award were Raquel Bohi and Shannon Klaus, who also played roles in “Shrek.”
Elexis Perry was awarded the Spotlight Award for the outstanding youth performer of the year. She played the role of Pinocchio in “Shrek.”
The outstanding performer award winners were selected by vote of audience members who attended “The Savannah Sipping Society,” and “Shrek, the Musical.”
Other nominees for the youth award were Leah Rudd and Alyssa Rudd.
Tricia Stremler was honored with the Spirit of the Theater award. The winner of this award was chosen by cast members in both of the Players’ 2019 productions. Stremler was in charge of costuming both shows.
Other nominees for the Spirit of the Theater award were Rich Wortmann, who worked on the lighting crew for both shows, and Lyle Stirling, who served as a music coach for “Shrek.”
Jackie White was named the Volunteer of the Year for her work as a movie projectionist. She has served as a projectionist for the past 20 years and has brought other volunteer projectionists on board. As a 4-H leader of the Kalico Kids, she teaches the importance of volunteerism by having her 4-Hers help at the theater.