Thespian takes home national theater award

Saturday, November 24, 2001

Cape Girardeau thespian Chuck Ross received a national award Friday for his more than 20 years of commitment to community theater.

The American Association of Community Theater gave its annual Spotlight Award to Ross at the River City Players' annual awards banquet.

Ross, former president of River City Players, was chosen from more than 4,000 entries in the nation.

It's the first year a Missourian has won the award.

Also Friday was the River City Players' Abbott Awards presentation, which was a Barnhouse-burner, with five of the 11 statues heading home with Debbie and Randy Barnhouse.

Best actor was Lloyd Williams for "Driving Miss Daisy;" Best Actress, Debbie Barnhouse in "Fingerpainting in a Murphy Bed;" Best Supporting Actor, Randy Barnhouse in "Driving Miss Daisy;" Best Supporting Actress, Claudette Hency in "The Butler Did It Singing;" Best Director and Assistant Director, Ann Swanson and Debbie Barnhouse for "Driving Miss Daisy;" Best Technical Achievement, Tim Roth for his set design in "Fingerpainting in a Murphy Bed."

Special recognition was awarded to Fawna Jones, who stepped in five days before opening night to play a blood-sucking mother in "Blood Ties."

Dennis "Doc" Cain, owner of Port Cape, also received special recognition for allowing River City Players to use Port Cape's River City Yacht Club as their home stage.

Debbie Barnhouse also won the President's Choice Award, selected by River City Players president, Stacey Storey.

The Abbott Awards are named for the late Ann Abbott, an educator and founder of community theater in the area.

This year, River City Players performances attracted nearly 1,400 audience members. Funds generated by performances finance the next year's agenda and awards banquet.

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