NCTC Awards


Guidelines for the 2014 NCTC Award Nominations coming soon!

Each year, the NCTC Board of Directors presents the NCTC Awards to companies, schools and individuals that are active NCTC members and have exhibited leadership roles in their community, as well as artistic, professional or educational excellence.


Congratulations to our 2013 NCTC Award Recipients!

NCTC Marian A. Smith Distinguished Career Award – Bruce LaRoweBruce LaRowe Collage Sm

Bruce LaRowe has served as Executive Director of Children’s Theatre of Charlotte for 20 years. With an annual budget of $4.1 million, Children’s Theatre employs a full-time staff of 36 and produces 12 plays each season, along with a comprehensive theatre education program. In 2005, the Theatre opened its new home in ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center. Bruce fostered relationships and led fundraising and advocacy efforts to create this groundbreaking collaboration with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. Now celebrated as a nationally unique partnership, ImaginOn and Children’s Theatre work together to bring stories to life through books, technology and the spoken word onstage. Bruce has led Children’s Theatre through a time of tremendous growth, in its programmatic offerings both on the stage and in the classroom. He is a strong believer in the need for advocacy and collaboration for the cultural sector. This belief has been demonstrated through his support of the work of NCTC in convening theatre leadership, his board service of ARTS North Carolina, and the esteem he has earned from peer Executive Directors both locally and nationally. At the end of 2013, Bruce will step down as Executive Director at Children’s Theatre. The NCTC Board applauds Bruce for his visionary leadership at CTC and throughout the NC theatre community!

Ron Award Collage SmallNCTC Herman Middleton Distinguished Service Award – Ron Law 

Ron Law is the Executive Director of Theatre Charlotte and the Immediate Past President of the NCTC Board of Directors, having chaired the organization for three years. During Ron’s tenure on the Board, NCTC completed an ambitious strategic plan which led to the hiring of a second full-time staff person; the re-visioning of the NCTC Awards and the statewide High School and Middle School Play Festivals; and the re-branding of the NCTC Producing Gathering and College Discovery Day. You have seen Ron in action at numerous NCTC events, and he continued his service this year as an adjudicator at the State High School Play Festival. Ron’s passionate commitment to NCTC has been evident as he has recruited new members, elevated the profile of the organization and encouraged young artists to join the statewide theatre community. Ron’s service to the industry goes beyond his work with NCTC, as he has served on grant panels throughout the state and was recently presented with the “Theatre Person of the Year” award from the Metrolina Theatre Association. The NCTC Board thanks Ron for his dedicated service and enthusiastic leadership. We continue to find inspiration in his favorite Will Rogers quote, “Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”




NCTC K-12 Theatre Educator Award – Chad Edwards

Chad Edwards (right) with alumni (and award nominators) David Sabbagh, Rachel Holder and Guido Villalba-Portel

Chad Edwards (right) with alumni (and award nominators) David Sabbagh, Rachel Holder and Guido Villalba-Portel

Chad Edwards has educated students of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools for the past 12 years, 9 of those at Mount Tabor High School. The NCTC Board of Directors has observed Mr. Edwards’ artistic excellence during Mount Tabor’s participation in the NCTC High School Play Festivals. In the past 5 years, Tabor has advanced to the prestigious State Festival level three times, with Chad receiving the John W. Parker Excellence in Directing Award in 2010, and the school receiving the Honorable Mention Distinguished Play Award twice (2009, 2010). Under Chad’s leadership, the Mount Tabor Theatre Department has hosted 8 NCTC Play Festivals and served as an NCTC Fundraising Partner. Chad’s leadership and classroom achievements led to him receiving the Teacher of the Year Award at Mount Tabor HS in 2010. Chad is also regularly seen onstage, having performed at Twin City Stage, Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance, Community Theatre of Greensboro and Kernersville Little Theatre. In addition to all of this, NCTC recognizes Chad’s passionate commitment to pushing his students to strive for personal excellence and to find a way to keep the arts in their lives in college and beyond. Congratulations, Mr. Edwards! Be sure to check out the nomination video made by Mount Tabor Alumni, as well as this great article on Mr. Edwards!



Catawba CollageNCTC College/University Award – Catawba College

The Catawba College Theatre Department focuses on intensive theatrical training, combined with progressive liberal studies, educating students who are ready to adapt to the demands of the ever-changing theatrical world. Serving as a leader in the NC theatre community, Catawba College’s Blue Masque is active in the NCTC Fundraising Partner Program, and the college is a Scholarship Partner for the NCTC State High School Play Festival (awarding $160,000 in scholarships at the Play Festival over the last 3 years). Catawba’s faculty achievements are immense and the theatre department continues to produce alumni who go on to successful careers in the theatre industry. Notable alumni include Mia Self (Lenoir-Rhyne University; VP of the NCTC Board), Justin Dionne (Lee Street theatre) and Mike Wiley (playwright/producer; Mike Wiley Productions). We congratulate Department Chair Christopher Zink and the theatre arts faculty and students for this outstanding honor!

NCTC Community Theatre Award – Lee Street theatre

Lee Street Collage

The NCTC Board of Directors is proud to honor Lee Street theatre (with a lowercase “t”!)  with the 2013 Community Theatre Award. Though the NCTC Board most often honors theatres with a long history of excellence, in this case we recognize a young company that is working towards a bright future. Founded just 6 years ago, Lee Street theatre has successfully executed a $1.5 million capital campaign, produced seasons of high artistic quality, and shown support for other local arts organizations. Catawba College graduate Justin Dionne serves as Managing Artistic Director, and has positioned Lee Street as a strong presence in the statewide theatre community and a critical part of the revitalization of downtown Salisbury. The dedicated board members of Lee Street theatre have focused on fundraising, advocacy and professional development, attending the NCTC Producing Gathering and other statewide events. We salute Lee Street’s early success and look forward to seeing what the future holds for this vibrant company!


NCTC George A. Parides Professional Theatre Award – Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte

Actors Theatre Exterior SmallActor’s Theatre of Charlotte has been bringing bold, new, innovative works to Charlotte audiences for 25 years. Each season, Actor’s Theatre focuses on producing the work of contemporary playwrights, exclusively for adult audiences, and this mission drives the company to continue to evolve and push boundaries. Under the leadership of Dan Shoemaker, Chip Decker and an excellent staff and board, the theatre is serving as an industry leader with their commitment to paying professional artists and their development of new work. Actor’s Theatre recently moved to a more substantial contract with Actor’s Equity Association and launched a visionary new play program, nuVoices. The NCTC Board is proud to honor Actor’s Theatre, with the award named for a former Theatre Director of the NC Arts Council. The NCTC George A. Parides Professional Theatre Award is a high honor that was also bestowed upon Actor’s Theatre in 2000 and 2004. With the 2013 award, Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte becomes the most decorated professional theatre in NCTC Awards history. Congratulations to this very deserving organization!


NCTC Constance Welsh Theatre for Youth Award – Blumenthal Performing ArtsBlumenthal Collage

With this award, Blumenthal Performing Arts joins an elite group of companies that have been recognized by NCTC in more than one award category. Blumenthal Arts was presented with the 2009 NCTC George A. Parides Professional Theatre Award, for artistic excellence and leadership. The company is in the unique position of being both a presenting and producing organization, and has offered many programs to assist other arts organizations, including the popular CarolinaTix service. Having produced education programs for numerous years, Blumenthal Arts took their commitment to theatre for youth to a new and exciting level with the launch of the Blumey Awards program in 2011. In just two short years, the Blumey Awards have elevated high school musical theatre in the Metrolina Region and we can’t wait to see how this program will continue to serve young artists in the years to come. The NCTC Board congratulates Tom Gabbard (President of Blumenthal Performing Arts), Ralph Beck (Director of Education) and their entire team on this well-deserved honor!


About the Awards

Each year, the NCTC Board of Directors presents the NCTC Awards to companies, schools and individuals that have exhibited leadership roles in their community, as well as artistic, professional or educational excellence. The Board of Directors is a group of statewide volunteers who represent the theatre community and serve on behalf of some of the state’s most prominent organizations and schools. Board members and NCTC staff will travel to each recipient’s theatre or school to make award presentations at special events in the winter and spring. For press inquiries or more information about the NCTC Awards, please contact Executive Director Angie Hays at