2021-2022 Volunteer Award Recipients
Our Bob Watrous Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Rex Olsen. He has been a long time volunteer and supporter of The Richland Players. Rex has previously served on the Richland Players Board of Directors and volunteered in various capacities. He has recently directed, "Girls of the Garden Club", to many people's delight. Rex is one of the kindest and supportive volunteers we have had. Here’s our Bob Watrous Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Rex Olsen.
Our Golden Hammer award isn’t awarded every year. It goes to winners who have achieved great accomplishments and have had a lasting impact on our theater. Previous winner was Louis Valle Jr. for his effort in renovating our old theater and right there beside him was his sister, Christy, who not only found all the money to pay for that renovation but added purpose and goals to our beloved theatre. When Christy started as President, the roof had less than 2 years of life and was facing collapse, the main HVAC could breakdown at any second, marquee was starting to crumble, and there was no plan to address any of this, much less pay for it all. And the theatre was just about to start it's 75th Anniversary. Christy addressed all of this and more. Leaving the theatre in better shape than how she found it and doing all this while COVID-19 was affecting so many. During her term as President, the theatre fundraised and earned the most money ever acquired in our over 75 year history. She successfully applied to over a dozen grants, skyrocketed donations and engaged with donors, and while in operations, maximized revenue streams. Through her leadership and tenacity 15 different remodeling projects all over the property were funded and completed in record time. All critical safety needs were addressed, plus additional projects to not only enhance the theatre experience, but increase revenue in the future and add new reoccurring sources of income. Besides the structural needs, Christy focused the theatre to create New Mission, Vision & Values – allowing the theatre to grow, be more accessible, keep being relevant, and have stronger chances of receiving grants. She propelled the Board and theatre towards focusing not just on the Arts but on the business side. She pushed for the creation of a 5 year Strategic Business Plan to guide future boards. On top of all this, created Pop-Up Theatre (a COVID friendly type of theatre) to outreach to Richland Players' patrons during COVID to lift their spirits, got Richland Players' liquor license for the first time, and got the City of Richland to sell Richland Players the land by the shed (other boards had tried unsuccessfully for over 20 years). This purchase allows the theatre to make more long term plans. The accomplishments she achieved as President should launch us far into the future and give us a place to share our dreams and talents for years to come. Christy Valle has had a major impact on this theatre and her hammer has truly been golden. Here is our Golden Hammer winner for 2022 - Christy Valle
For Board Member of the Year there is no competition. Hazel Kwak has done it all. Where there is a need she is there addressing it. She was the Vice President of Operations and stepped up do also do the Vice President of Personnel's job as well. She’s always asking “What can we do about it?” She’s worked the hardest of any of us this year by far and juggled family, job, school and the theater, and kept all the balls in the air. She took initiative and went above and beyond her own responsibilities. She Chaired the Grant Writing Committee to keep fundraising going and was an active member of the Alcohol and Artistic Committees. She would do what was needed to be done without praise and supported her fellow theatre leaders. Hazel prioritized working on the hard things, the things that are not fun to do but would keep the theatre running so that the shows would go on. Our Vice President and this year’s Outstanding Board Member, Hazel Kwak.
Jessica “Eika” Hogan, jumped into our theatre with both feet forward and didn't look back. She first joined us with the Pop-Up Christmas troupe in 2020 where she acted, made props and painted scenic backgrounds. This past year she reprised her acting role in “A Whimsically Merry Pop-Up Christmas” in addition to being the Props master and Scenic Painter. She also played in integral role in “These Shining Lives” as not only the Props Master and Scenic Designer, but volunteering to help when needed. Rounding off the season she helped put sparkle and shine into “Fools”. Eika has put countless hours into beautifying sets and enhancing our shows and has always gone above and beyond expectations. She is the epitome of a team player, helping fellow production members wherever she can. She is well deserving of our Volunteer of the Year Award - Jessica “Eika” Hogan.
2021-2022 Additional Recognition
Final Curtain Call (In Memory) - Marsha Polk, Ken Harris, and Porky Thompson
25 Years of Service - Gloria Cummins
Staff - Cyndi Kimmel, Vivian Diebel and Greg Travis
Usher Coordinators - Pam Anderson & Joyce Bean
2021-2022 Show Awards
White Bluffs: Directed by Ted Miller with assistance from Heidi Dagle. Produced by James Callaghan. The two top volunteers are Sandy Pierce and Jeanette Crosser-McGay The Last 5 Years: Directed by James Callaghan, Produced by Albania Schneegans Davis, Diana Milton and Zack Taylor. Two top volunteers are Adrienne Fletcher & Bryan Grossman A Whimsically Merry Pop-up Christmas: Produced and Directed by Christy Valle with assistance from Tatyana Mosina. Two top volunteers Eika Hogan and Heidi Dagle Wait Until Dark: Directed by Michael Aardal and Produced by James Callaghan, Joe Kimmel and Heidi Dagle. Two top volunteers Erick Ferman and Patty Cook Prude’s Progress: Directed by Janice Waters with assistance from Paul Brooks. Produced by James Callaghan, Mark Jensen and Sandy Pierce. Two top volunteers Sandy Pierce and Sue Ellen Davis These Shining Lives: Directed by Christy Valle and Produced by Albania Schneegans Davis. Top two volunteers Michael Hull and Cyndi Kimmel Fools: Directed by J. Spyder Isaacson with assistance from Kate Clark-Isaacson. Produced by James Callaghan. Two top volunteers Tatyana Mosina and Dominic Suggs.
2021-2022 Committee Chairs
Artistic - Spyder Isaacson (Chair)/ Kate Clark-Isaacson (Vice Chair)
Alcohol & Concessions - Louis Valle Jr.
Archives - Mark Jensen
Construction - Louis Valle Jr.
Facilities - Michael Jackson
Finance & Fundraising - Albania S. Davis
Grants & Donations - Hazel Kwak
Information Technology - Christy Valle
Production Support - James Callaghan
Programs - Albania Schneegans-Davis
Publicity - Zack Taylor, Irish Kreis / Co-Chairs
Staff - Hazel Kwak
Volunteers - Heidi Dagle, Sandy Pierce /Co-Chairs