Theatre Jacksonville’s 97th Volunteer Awards

On Sunday July 30, 2017, Theatre Jacksonville held its annual celebration honoring volunteers from the 2016 – 2017 season. Theatre Jax combines this special event with its annual meeting for members. For the second year, the celebration was at Indochine San Marco, a unique restaurant noted for its Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine, and its excellent selection of craft beers.

Kit Thomas, the outgoing President of the Board, gave an enthusiastic summary of the past season and its accomplishments. While this is a difficult time financially for many theatres, Ms. Thomas announced that TJ has finished in the black. She also thanked the individuals and groups who have generously contributed funds to the theatre: contributors included local non-profit organizations and foundations, businesses, and city and state organizations. One of the most noteworthy accomplishments was a benefit performance featuring Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love” at the Florida Theatre. The event was attended by over a thousand supporters. In addition, Theatre Jacksonville is already planning for its 100th birthday celebration which will occur in three more years. New board members were voted in; David Paulk will be the President of the Board for the next year.

Finally, Theatre Jacksonville staff praised those dedicated volunteers who once again donated nineteen thousand hours to all phases of the operation of the theatre.


Front of House: Kathleen Brunner
Technical & Backstage Support: Mackenzie Geers
Teen Volunteer: Lauran Conran
All Around Volunteer: Ron Haynes


Actress in a Leading Role: Taylor Kearschner as Molly Aster in “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Actor in a Leading Role: Ron Shreve as Boy in “Peter and the Starcatcher”
Actress in a Supporting Role: Brooks Anne Meierdierks as Ouiser in “Steel Magnolias”
Actor in a Supporting Role: Matt Tompkins as Mr. Bingley in “Pride and Prejudice”
Outstanding Performance in a Featured Role: Laura Mauldin as Miss Flannery in “Thoroughly Modern Millie”


Costumes: “Pride and Prejudice” Tracy Olin and Curtis Williams Set: “Steel Magnolias” Tim Watson Properties/Set Dressing: “Steel Magnolias”
Lighting Design: “Peter and the Starcatcher” Tim Watson
Outstanding Production of the Season: “Peter and the Starcatcher” Director Roxanna Lewis

Theatre Jacksonville’s Executive Director, Sarah Boone, wrapped up the evening of awards, filled with great food, drink, and hospitality by San Marco Indochine, with the always popular drawing for door prizes. Various merchants, mainly San Marco businesses, contributed many interesting prizes, which delighted the fortunate recipients.

A great time was had by those who attended. The evening was a fantastic meet and greet opportunity for theatre folks and members. Thanks go to the staff members of Theater Jacksonville and Indochine for all your time and effort in making this the evening one of the highlights of the theatre season.

TJ has an excellent selection of plays for the upcoming season, which begins September 15, 2017 with the classic “To Kill a Mocking Bird.” Visit or call 396-4425 for additional information and reservations.



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About Dick Kerekes & Leisla Sansom

The Dual Critics of EU Jacksonville have been reviewing plays together for the past nine years. Dick Kerekes has been a critic since 1980, starting with The First Coast Entertainer and continuing as the paper morphed into EU Jacksonville. Leisla Sansom wrote reviews from time to time in the early 80s, but was otherwise occupied in the business world. As a writing team, they have attended almost thirty Humana Festivals of New America Plays at Actors Theatre in Louisville, Kentucky, and many of the annual conferences sponsored by the American Theatre Critics Association, which are held in cities throughout the country. They have reviewed plays in Cincinnati, Chicago, Miami, Sarasota, Minneapolis, Orlando, New York, Philadelphia, Sarasota, San Francisco, Shepherdstown, and The Eugene O’Neill Center in Waterford, Massachusetts. They currently review about one hundred plays annually in the North Florida area theaters, which include community, college, university, and professional productions.