Leila Case: And the award goes to…

Published 3:14 pm Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Goodness, Sumter Players, Americus’ community theater organization, will celebrate its 55th season of live theater beginning this fall. What an awesome milestone. Congratulations to the Players for the outstanding entertainment enjoyed by countless theater goers throughout these many decades.
Congratulations ring out as well to the talented theater artists who won top recognition at the Players’ annual awards event last weekend.
Ray Mannila, president of the Sumter Players’ board of directors, reports the evening was a tremendous success, drawing almost 70 people for the gourmet-awards dinner held in Lawrence Parish Hall at the historic Calvary Episcopal Church, South Lee Street.
Walking off with the majority of the awards was “Shrek: The Musical.” We thought this entire production was indeed an award winner and over the top wonderful in every regard. Apparently everyone else thought so, too, for the musical captured five John and Sharon Parks’ awards including the Best Production for the 2016-2017 season. Congratulations.
So, let’s stand up and give a standing ovation to these talented community theater artists.
Will Dozier captured the best actor award for his outstanding performance in the lead role of Shrek; best actress went to Daina Rosario who played Fiona; Eric Jones won best supporting actor as Lord Farquaad, and Carl McNear, the best newcomer award for his portrayal of Donkey in the musical.
Hannah Pendergrass, who played Messenger 7013 in “Heaven Can Wait,” won the best supporting actress award and Elizabeth Gurnack the best actor in a mini role as Mrs. Ames in “Heaven Can Wait.”
How can the Players top last season? Their line-up sounds like another winner, a mixture of drama, music and comedy.
The season opener is “Little Shop of Horrors” on Oct. 12-15; “Cotton Patch Gospel,” March 8-11, and “Crowns,” May 10-18.
Heard and seen on the street this week: You don’t have to leave town for a trip to the beach. Rylander Park will be turned into a giant beach for First Friday, July 7. Sounds like lots of fun to me. Going along with the theme, the historic Rylander Theatre, located directly across from the park, will show a double feature on the big screen: “Jaws” and “Jaws II.” Please shake off the sand before you go to the movies.
Heather Stanley, the theater’s managing director, is back on the job after being injured in a traffic accident in Lee County. Fortunately, she had no broken bones but lots of bruises.
We encountered Dr. Wallace Mayes shopping with his granddaughter, Katie Pérez of Maine, who is visiting, and former Americus resident Kay McCall Hipp of Asheville, N.C., is visiting her mother Kitty McCall and long-time friend Jane Meyers and her husband, Dr. Lamar Myers.
Abbie and Larry Dillard, Elizabeth and David Kuipers and sons Matthew and Andy spent Father’s Day weekend with Abbie’s dad Fred Howard at his home in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, who by the way is age 102 and still drives. Amazing.
Lydia Rogers and Lee Davis of Atlanta, Lydia’s childhood friend growing up in Sylvester, have returned from a western tour through some of the country’s most beautiful national parks. They flew to Bozeman, Montana, then rented a car and drove almost 2,000 miles among all the combined parks of Yellowstone National Park, the Grand Tetons, Glacier National Park and Waterton National Park, the Canadian side of Glacier. They rode horses, hiked and were extremely impressed by the beautiful landscapes and seeing so much wildlife including a close encounter with a moose at Glacier and a bear and her cubs sighting in Yellowstone. What fun.
My grandson, John Barrett, celebrated his birthday Thursday, while his brother Beau Barrett has accepted a new position with an accounting firm in Macon. Arriving next week are Bruce’s nieces and nephew Ed and Paula Campbell Bosza of Los Angeles and daughters Lindsey and Ashley Bosza of Charlotte, N.C., who will be the guest of Lori and Andy Shivers.

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.