Congratulations to the winners of the 2018-2019 volunteer awards. They are all very much deserved.

Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award
Emily James

Charles V. York, Jr. Theatre Service Award
Ann Boivin

Glenn Amos Miller Technical Service Award
Alyssa Petrone

Ed Bodell Rookie of the Year Award
Dustin Bowles

Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Awards
Amy Blackwell
Herb Estes
Claire Huene
Janet & Cliff Raynor
Areon Mobasher
Rebecca Nelsen
Carla Piedrahita
Jessica Pullen
Justin Stepney
Danielle Welch

Volunteer Special Recognition
Gloria Rich and Tamara Hopkins
Ellen Landau

Emily James – Haskell Fitz-Simons Distinguished Performer Award

Presented by Patrick Torres

This year’s recipient of the Haskell-Fitz Simmons Distinguished Performer Award is Emily Steinhoff-James. Emily first volunteered with RLT as a cast member in A Piece of My Heart. As a veteran, Emily brought personal insight and honesty to her role. The cast and crew of that show became a family for her and kicked off her service to this organization. Since then, Emily has volunteered with our front of house team, recorded a testimonial for us for our Giving Tuesday Campaign, and served as the Assistant Stage Manager for this season’s Three Little Birds. Emily has also competed in Divas! for the past two years. Her first year, she raised over $5000 while pregnant, and this year she was first runner-up raising an individual total of $12, 929 with her baby in tow. Beyond her volunteerism, Emily encourages everyone around her and has the kind of spirit that inspires us all to do our best work. We are grateful to have her as part of our family. Please welcome, Emily James to accept this award.

Ann Boivin – Charles V. York, Jr. Theatre Service Award

Presented by Jenny Mitchell.

This years Charles V. York Distinguished service award recipient started volunteering here 5 years ago and she has had a hand in every single show ever since. She jokes that we are her full time job. With the amazing ability to take a rough pencil sketch and turn it into something 3 dimensional her work always exceeds expectations. I’m sure she could make anything with Fos Shape, glue, foam and some paint, not to exclude her favorite Bernina sewing machine. You’ve seen her work in every show this season most recognizably her armor and headpieces in Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Bob Marley’s 3 Little Birds. Not only does she work diligently on costumes she is always willing to lend a hand to other departments as well. She is an accomplished theatre chef. I think she makes the best foam meatballs and standing rib roasts when props call on her. In all seriousness as costume designers she helps bring our ideas to life and we wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re proud to award this award to our colleague Ann Boivin.

Alyssa Petrone – Glenn Amos Miller Technical Service Award

Presented by Dennis Berfield.

When I worked in academia I would often tell students that for every performer on stage there is an average of six technicians supporting them. This years recipient of the Glenn Miller Technical Service Award can be all six of those technicians at once. I think I overheard them saying that they have worked on close to 20 shows this year alone. Many of them at RLT. I am pleased to award the Glenn Miller award to Alyssa Petrone.

Dustin Bowles – Ed Bodell Rookie of the Year Award

Presented by Dennis Berfield.

I’m very happy to present the Ed Bodell Rookie of the Year Award to Dustin Bowels. Tonight’s event marks his full year with RLT. This is where he started, but he started backstage helping out with the evenings technical needs. Dustin has been with us for nearly every single production in nearly every technical area. What started as an interest grew into a passion. From deck positions, to Crew Chief positions, and even Assistant lighting designer on two productions. Thank you and congratulations.

Amy Blackwell – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Jenny Mitchell.

Amy Blackwell volunteered here for several years both as front of house crew and a dresser, this, in between her time traveling and working with the peace corp. Recently she has become our Dresser Crew Chief Coordinator and has hit the ground running getting people to work shows and working them herself. Her care and interest in each show is much appreciated as is her candid nature. We are very happy to award her this wolfie.

Herb Estes – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Larisa Putnam.

This recipient has been described to me by many as the ‘most southern gentleman’ defined by his gracious manner, dapper attire, the lovely accent. Though busy many weekends and evenings, he always makes room in his schedule for us; and he brings friends, lots and lots of friends. Not an opportunity passes when he doesn’t call to confirm his front of house participation, as well as that of family, friends, folks he just met at the theatre. He’s already confirmed his participation for an event in September. Herb Estes, we can’t thank you enough for your enthusiasm and generous spirit. Please welcome him to the stage to accept our thanks.

Claire Huene – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Larisa Putnam.

This Wolfie presentation goes to an individual who has the unique talent of attracting the most unusual of circumstances. I won’t regale you or her with the long list of occurrences, but please understand that we know the theatre is in good hands when she’s volunteering front of house. She has been described as the calming, positive energy in any room. She is dependable, conscientious, and most recently played my all-time favorite prostitute/nun in this season’s production of Measure for Measure. Please welcome Claire Huene to the stage to accept our thank you!

Janet & Cliff Raynor – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Charles Phaneuf.

I’d like to present our next Wolfie to a very special couple. They’ve been season members here for a number of years, but over the last few years they’ve gotten involved in new ways. It all started when they expressed interest in RLT’s initiatives related to accessibility, and invited me to come and speak to the Capital City Civitan Club. Then they said, “how can we help?” Since that time they’ve volunteered at every single sensory friendly performance, recruited Civitans from their club and throughout the region, and help make this work financially possible. In addition to that, they show up at many of RLT’s special events with incredible enthusiasm and are just a joy to be around. Please join me in thanking Cliff and Janet Raynor.

Areon Mobasher – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Patrick Torres.

This Wolfie goes to a wonderful artist who I met during my first full season when he joined the cast of Sweeney Todd. Since then, he has volunteered countless hours to RLT as a volunteer photographer. He has led most of the production photo shoots for our show posters over the past two seasons and has photographed many of our productions. Most recently, he served as the photographer at our Fitz-Simmons Society dinner hosted by First Lady Kristin Cooper at the Executive Mansion. We are truly lucky to have him on our team as his photos are works of art in and of themselves helping to showcase the quality of work we achieve here at RLT. He makes us look great. Please join me in congratulating Areon Mobasher.

Rebecca Nelsen – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Jenny Mitchell.

Our next “Wolfie” recipient came on the scene here as an actor, most recently appearing in our production of Measure for Measure. Not only is she an accomplished performer, she has since been an invaluable addition to the costume shop volunteer team. Her wig and hair designs for many productions this season have been a saving grace to both myself and Jenny. She often shows up hours before call to make sure that actors will look their best onstage. And, she has accomplished all of this while being a nanny for two families as her full-time job. For all her contributions to the costume shop and the season, we are proud to recognize Rebecca Nelsen.

Carla Piedrahita – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Patrick Torres.

Our next Wolfie goes to someone who only joined us as a couple of years ago but who jumped right in to the RLT family (we even got an honorable mention in her holiday card). Carla Piedrahita started off as an usher and costume volunteer for James and the Giant Peach in 2017. Since then, she has done various front-of-house volunteer positions for countless shows and has consulted with staff on strategies for bringing new communities to RLT. Despite having a full plate with many commitments around Raleigh, Carla is always eager to help whenever and however she can. Thank you, Carla.

Jessica Pullen – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Jeremy Clos.

Tonight, we’re pleased to honor a volunteer who joined our team just over a year ago by answering a call to help reorganize the warehouse costume storage during the heat of last summer. To our abject astonishment, she kept coming back. While working as a full-time nurse at WakeMed, she finds the time to volunteer in the costume shop up to two full days a week and finds no task too small: from cleaning and organizing to garment construction, she is always an asset to the costume shop. We’re so happy to present a “Wolfie” to Jessica Pullen.

Justin Stepney – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Dennis Berfield.

Justin Stepney for his work as a sound board operator. We keep doing shows and he manages to keep coming back. Justin could not be here this evening so I am happy to accept this award on his behalf.

Danielle Welch – Al D. Wolfheimer Volunteer Award

Presented by Jenny Mitchell.

Our next recipient has made herself indispensable to the costume shop. She has had her hands on every show since she started both in the costume shop and backstage. She is amazingly organized and maintains a sense of calm in nearly every situation and has quickly taken on roles with increasing responsibility in her time here. She has even moved to an apt on Oberlin, specifically to be closer to us…of course. Our next Wolfie is awarded to Danielle Welch.

Gloria Rich and Tamara Hopkins – Volunteer Special Recognition

Presented by Charles Phaneuf.

Those of you who’ve spent time around our production of Cinderella know that there’s a special kind of buzz in the air. It comes not only from the kids but also from the adults. A big part of that over the past 10 years has been the Cinderella Boutique. The two volunteers who run it have been recognized here at the Cantey’s before but we couldn’t let this anniversary go without them being mentioned. I’m continually impressed by their dedication and love for RLT and how they continue to innovate. A few years ago, they realized that there are a lot of Madame Alexander dolls out there that young people would love to have that could be donated to RLT or purchased at a minimal cost. This has become a popular new feature of the boutique. Also, they find something new each year to share with family who’s been here ever since year two – and this turns in to a gift exchange where Susan Holbrook brings them jams, jellies and other kinds of sweets. In short, they are part of what makes Cinderella such an important holiday tradition, so we wanted to give them a special gift, and officially name Gloria Rich and Tamara Hopkins our Honorary Boutique Fairies of the Land of Enchantment.

Ellen Landau – Volunteer Special Recognition

Presented by Charles Phaneuf.

I’m most grateful for this next person because she’s remained involved here despite retiring, moving, and having new grandchildren who are all literally around the world. Additionally, maintaining the archives of RLT is a largely thankless and invisible task, and involves spending time in and around the Green Room, which is not the most charming part of this theater complex. This individual, in the role of RLT’s archivist officially for the last seven years but in actuality she’s played important related roles for longer than that, has brought great rigor, attention to detail and creativity to the role. That has played out in a number of exhibits that you’ve enjoyed on topics from William Ivey Long, to the history of Teens on Stage, to all of the different people who’ve been Artistic Director here. To set us up for the future, she’s been meticulous in documenting and labelling the work that she’s done over the last few years. She recently announced that she would no longer be able to be RLT’s archivist, though we are grateful that she still wants to help when able. Please join me in recognizing Ellen Landau for her service to RLT’s archives.