The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 29, 2005


Savoyards bring home awards from annual community theater gala

It was an evening of red-carpet treatment and stretch limousines, tuxedo-clad gentlemen and women in long gowns clutching beaded handbags. At least one local celebrity (unknown to this reporter) was observed stepping out of a limousine to blow kisses to her cheering fans. It wasn't the Tony Awards, but it was our local equivalent: the DASH (Distinguished Achievement and Special Honors) Awards, presented by EMACT, the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theaters.

The Annual Gala and DASH Awards presentation was held on Thursday, June 30, at the Montvale Plaza in Stoneham, and members of our own Carlisle theater group, the Savoyard Light Opera Company (SLOC) were present, in the hopes of picking up several of the triangle-shaped Lucite awards, not to mention bragging rights. In preparation for the evening, EMACT reviewers had considered the works of 40 locally produced plays and musicals, and nominated them in areas including performance, direction, stage management, lighting, sound and costume design.

SLOC was nominated for ten separate DASH Awards for the musical The Secret Garden, which was performed on the Corey Auditorium stage last November.

The awards evening was well attended, a testament to the health and popularity of community theater in our area. After dinner and cocktails, two emcees, Tim Fitzgerald and Rob Mattson, led the evening with a string of humorous one-liners as they doled out the coveted awards. Interspersed throughout the process were performances from the five shows nominated for Best Musical. SLOC's presentation was the first of the evening, bringing the crowd to its feet with the show-stopping "Lily's Eyes," performed by Christopher Porth and Lonnie Powell, who played the brothers Archie and Neville Craven in The Secret Garden.

At the end of the evening SLOC was able to claim ownership of two awards and two honorable mentions.

Long-time Carlislean Philip Drew was surprised to receive the award for Best Props Coordination in a Musical. "I don't know that I deserve it," he said with a laugh after bringing his trophy back to the table. "I tried to find someone else to do [the job], but as producer, I got stuck doing it myself. Half of this award belongs to Brian [Harris, set designer], so I'd like to share it with him."

The other award was the Best Child Actor in a Play or Musical, which was presented to Katherine Doherty for her stunning portrayal of Mary in The Secret Garden.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito