“A-STAR” 2014

ASTRA would like to recognize and honor Steve Miller as an A-STAR Award recipient.

Steve Miller has been with ASTRA since the ministry’s inception, but jumped to the forefront when he took the stage playing the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge in The 5 Ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge (January 2005).  Steve has been a stellar volunteer for ASTRA, giving extensive amounts of time, talent, and expertise to every production.  His work for ASTRA spans numerous areas, including chair of the ASTRA committee for several years, co-producer with Chris Bohnen for Wizard of Oz (2005) and producer for The Music Man (2006), Anything Goes (2008), and Oliver! (2009).  Steve has spent numerous hours in set construction, assisting with sound and lighting move-in days and operations, working behind the scenes in the kitchen plating dinners and doing dishes, and logging miles driving to procure pies from Plush Pippin and ice from Costco.

For 2013 Steve stepped up to take on lighting design for Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  His dry sense of humor was evident when he joked about assuming this job while being colorblind!  Yet he took on that role because it needed to be done and he did a terrific job. Steve showed his calm demeanor just prior to curtain for show #6 as he was troubleshooting the lighting system to get the house lights to turn off so the audience could enjoy the show!  As for every production, his great attitude, common-sense approach and hard work were evident from early in the pre-production phase through move-in at the parish center, final set construction, tech week, all show performances to the final days of striking the set.  Steve was always there and working.

During the last week of the July 2013, Steve announced that he was taking a project manager job out of the country — an excellent career move for him.  Some of us were totally speechless, some told him he couldn’t go.  Steve is missed not only for all the ways he contributed to ASTRA but also for his volunteerism in parish music, liturgy and RCIA over the years.  As several people have commented, with Steve’s departure “those are some large shoes to fill”.  Steve is a bright light, always giving full conscious and active participation in all that he does for ASTRA, for many groups in our faith community, and our community of Puyallup. He his truly A Star.

 

ASTRA would like to recognize and honor Al Weigand as an A-STAR Award recipient.

Al Weigand joined the ASTRA family in 2008 and immediately made a big impact with his friendly manner and by volunteering to build sets. He led the construction for Anything Goes, and impressed everyone with his carpentry skills. In 2009 he built for Oliver! what is perhaps the most elaborate set ASTRA has ever used, which included a London Bridge high over the proscenium. Working closely with the set designer, Al built a drop-down platform on the stage-right wing that served as a bar, an undertaker’s office, and Fagan’s hideout, and a stage-left set that transformed from the exterior of the Brownlow house to the interior. He even “flew” the gate to Oliver’s orphanage.  Usually Al would begin building set pieces for ASTRA in his home workshop. Other carpenters would help, and Al’s workshop was fondly known as “ASTRA West” each year from April to July.

In 2010, not only did Al build the set for Fiddler on the Roof, but he also worked back stage with the other black-clothed “ninja” stagehands, as they manipulated the massive lift to make the ghost of Fruma Sarah fly!  For Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat in 2011, Al’s construction dilemma was a tall wall, so he added a new roller track in the ceiling above the stage to hang the pharaoh’s palace wall. The following year Al built sets for 42nd Street and also branched out to operate the sound board, making himself an even more valuable volunteer on the ASTRA team.

During his time at All Saints, Al served on the ASTRA Committee, helping to manage all aspects of ASTRA. He and his wife Christine graciously hosted the ASTRA cast party numerous times. Al generously used his carpentry talent to create unique pieces for All Saints School events and other parish functions. He donated his time outside of the parish too, such as helping other community theatre and dance organizations.

The unthinkable happened last summer as Al and his wonderful family moved back to Pennsylvania, where they have lots of family members. It has been a terrible loss for ASTRA, and sad for all the friends that Al and Chris made here in their mere six years of living in Washington. Up to the month of their move, Al was still volunteering for ASTRA, in 2013 being instrumental in the design and construction of our current easy-to-assemble modular stage extension.

Al has been a pleasure to work with. He is smart, even tempered, and willing to tackle anything. He has a broad knowledge of theatre and we have all learned from him. He will be greatly missed. Al is known as a clever techie, an expert craftsman, a sensible leader, and a charitable man: A Star!