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congratulations to the 2017 winners

Corey McCarey

James Swinford

Beth Lewis


The Spotlight Awards are an opportunity to recognize those who do things behind the scenes for the Portland area theatre community.

Nominations accepted June 1st through June 18th.

Online voting June 19th - June 25th.

The awards will be presented during the Drammys - Monday, June 26th in the Ballroom at Smith Memorial Center at PSU.



Stage Managers
Corey McCarey
  • He is professional, calm, friendly, and believes that a stage managers job is, first and foremost, to maintain a safe space for actors and crew alike (physically and mentally). He does his job well, never asks for the spotlight, and the only way you know he's working on a project is if everything is going off without a hitch. Even during difficult techs he has a smile and a quiet wry joke along with his giant thermos of coffee.
D. Westerholm
  • Tough as nails, she works hard to be better every performance. On one show this year, she lead some really complicated changeovers and motivated her team to beat their time every night. The result was impressive, and audience members stayed through intermission each night to watch the technical dance.
Emily Trimble
  • Professional, hard working Stage Manager who always treats everyone with respect, while not taking any guff and getting the job done.
Evan Tait
  • He is very professional in his approach to stage management. He is also a jack of all trades and can easily go from filling in for one part, back to stage management, and keeps a level head about it. He's always so full of energy, has a smile on his face, and is quick to solve many problems, along with being a positive energy and force to cast, crew, and band alike. He's very good at keeping his cool during tech and making sure the needs of the cast and crew are met.
  • He is extremely competent and professional and has a lot of passion, and is so young and full of potentional.
  • I've never seen him put on more hats then he does as a stage manager. He's knowledgeable and ready and willing to help with anything and everything at a moment's notice.
Jessican Junor
  • If you've worked at the Broadway Rose, you know Jessica how tight a ship she keeps. I've never worked with an SM in my life as competent as Jessica.
Karen Hill
  • Because, if you have worked with her, you know she is the freakin best! If you haven't yet worked with her, your life is a little bit sadder than it should be...
  • Dedicated, professional, resourceful, cool, calm, collected and just a fabulous human being. Without her backstage, my experience would have been different (and lesser!)
  • Karen is just delightfully rad :)
  • Karen is such a delight to work with. She's reliable, friendly, and anticipates the needs of everyone! She's my number one go-to and I'm pleased as punch every time I get to work with her. I will nominate her every year because she never ceases to be so wondrous.
Kimberlee Freimoeller
  • Kim was the best stage manager I have ever had the pleasure of working under. She possesses the perfect balance of kindness and professionalism that allows each actor to feel human and heard, while also being held to a high standard of conduct. Kim suffered a personal tragedy during our run, and she powered through with great courage without missing a single cue or note for the actors. She is simply the best.
Laura Fraley
  • Laura is kind and conscientious. She never gets flustered when dealing with issues that arise in rehearsals or in tech. She remains calm and takes every POV into consideration when coming up with a solution to a problem. She also has an excellent sense of timing and calls a damn fine show.
Michael DeMaio
  • I've worked with Michael twice now, and he is patient, efficient, and a wonderful human to boot. He juggles the demands of the creative team, the cast, and crew with ease. And he does it all with a refreshing sense of humor.
Natasha Stockem
  • She is the epitome of what a stage manager should be: calm, collected, highly organized, demands respect with complete kindness, and pays attention to every little detail whilst making sure the show is on the right track. Natasha makes you feel at home and feel completely safe.
Crew Members
Crew of Feathers & Teeth
  • This team of dedicated PA's and board ops had to rig screaming pots and bloody closets every evening, and then when all was said and done they had to clean a bloody mess every night. Gallons of blood, splattered and pooled on a set that needed to be pristine at the top of every performance. They did it with much joy and aplomb. I am honored to nominate - Megan Moll, Charlie Capps, Stephen K Gardner, Alan Cline, Karen Hill and David Petersen
David Lane Swadis
  • I'm nominating David for spotlight operator when we worked on Beehive, but having David around just makes everyone a little more at ease. David's problem-solving skills and commitment to the show are out-matched. He's also worked as a dresser for us, a stagehand, prop manager, choreographer, prop designer. David's a badass who deserves this award.
  • David is unbelievably passionate about his work, in every capacity. He's got so much focus and dedication for his craft. It's remarkable and a truly unique gift to have, especially in this profession. Yay David!
James Swinford
  • James is the sort of crew member that you can rely on. Once the task is set, it will be taken care of on time, every time. He's an organizational whiz-kid, can Tetris a small space like no other, and can lift more than seems possible for a single young man.
  • James cares deeply about the work he puts forth and has a unique and refreshing approach to difficult tasks. He is insanely strong and cares for his cast and crew like a family. He is amazing.
  • James has grown more in the past year than most care to aspire to in their lifetime. He works so hard and he is so creative. He overcomes obstacles in the most humble and inspiring ways. He is the best person to have on your team.
  • James is totally reliable and totally wonderful in every way. He works very hard and is a delight to work with!
  • James is dedicated, passionate, and hard working. He loves the theater and is a pleasure to have backstage!
Michelle Strahm
  • Michelle is a very competent sound operator and a great overall crew person. She loves to work and always goes above and beyond for every show!
Molly Gardner
  • Molly has been rocking it since day 1, as a production manager, stage manager, TD, sound engineer, electrician, carpenter, etc. She will show up and get the job no matter what. Definitely one of the hardest working theatre folks in town.
  • Molly is always fun to work with - I've worked with her at multiple theaters in Portland - mostly carpentry work and sometimes sound - talented and a great part of the team.
Beth Lewis
  • Nobody is better than Beth at brokering peace when hotheaded theatre folk find conflict. She works hand-in-hand with some of the strongest personalities in area theatre, and keeps them in line. Without Beth, several theatres in the area, as well as PATA, might well grind to a halt.
Bliss Talbot
  • As the House Manager for the Broadway Rose, Bliss is unmatched in her commitment both to customer service and ensuring the artistic integrity of every performance by hiring competent volunteers and handling guests who might have otherwise made a scene. Bliss works her ass off every night for very little recognition.
Breydon Little
  • What a fantastic help Breydon is and so reliable! Constantly rising to any challenge and brings a great attitude as well. He is a renaissance man with a heart of gold...
  • Great work on Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • Such a jack of all trades and great attitude!!
  • He makes everyone around him look good! Very skilled, kind, adaptable, and willing to go the extra mile to do a great job.
  • Breydon Little is a radiant blast of sunshine all over this town. I (Anna Marie Brown, FOH manager, Portland Playhouse) am consistently blown away by his kind-hearted, enthusiastic, compassionate, hardworking attitude. He just doesn't quit. During our recent production of the Language Archive, instead of leaving after finishing his wardobe duties, he instead, almost EVERY DAY, stuck around, without pay, to help with concessions sales, stocking, will call, season ticket sales, raffle sales, cleaning the theatre, greeting patrons, even cleaning the bathroom -- both before show and during intermission. Because of his help at this show (and throughout the season) we sold nearly three times the number of season tickets than normal during the given time span. Breydon works tirelessly, giving his all to even the most mundane aspects of running a theatre. He lights up every square inch of any room he walks into, and I can't think of ANYONE who deserves this award more than him.
  • Breydon never complains about any task given to him - like wicking dry a stage pool every night and cleaning the drain of hair... And with a wide skill set like his, it's easy to ask him to help with any job. You know you can rely on Breydon to jump in and save the day!
Kaia Maarja Hillier
  • As a volunteer coordinator, events planner, actress, costumer, and all around badass, this lady never stops working! She deserves recognition for all the behind-the-scenes work she does as a strong female figure for several theatre companies in town, including Theatre Vertigo, The Pulp Stage, and Ops Fest.
  • Kaia is a remarkable soul who gives everything to a theater organization. She works so hard to make an event successful, people feel welcomed and to get the job done.
  • Kaia is a very talented woman who works hard in all she does to get the job done!
Kathleen Kelly
  • Truly excellent photographer for many theatres in town. Works hard to make everyone look their best. Is patient with theatres learning the importance of photography Gives more than she takes
Will Gebo
  • BAMF
  • He does everything. And he does it better than anyone. Period.
  • Has he ever said anything negative about anyone? Respect.
  • Gebo is highly professional and works in every theatre capacity with efficiency and good humor. He is a wizard with contract paperwork. When in an administrative position, Gebo thoroughly explores every aspect of a show he is working on in order to make things run more smoothly than thought possible. He is willing to go the distance to produce theatre that everyone can be proud of, and does it with the humility and grace of a gazelle. He holds the people he works with in high regard and it makes everyone around him want to do their best so as to earn the respect and he instinctively bestows upon them. Gebo makes the theatre a better place to work and a better place to play.