ASTRA would like to recognize and honor Don Lotz as an A-STAR Award recipient.
Don Lotz is the personification of ASTRA’s mission “to nurture the Body of Christ by sharing gifts of time, talent, and fellowship through its support of artists and thespians, dedicated to bringing theatre in its many forms, to All Saints Parish and the surrounding community.”
As one of ASTRA’s original members, Don supported our very first production in 2004, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, as acting coach, advisor to the director, and lighting designer. Over the years Don has been involved in each and every ASTRA show, as well as either served on or been Chairman of the ASTRA Committee. He has been our director (The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) and lighting designer (5 Ghosts of Ebenezer Scrooge, The Songs of Godspell, Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, Music Man, 42nd Street, Cinderella). Don has also served ASTRA well as photographer, artistic and technical consultant, lighting director, set design, special effects coordinator, museum exhibits manager, journalist, set artist, facilities manager, band conductor, quartet vocal coach, lobby photos, graphic artist, props, car team, carriage design team, sound designer, marching band coordinator, audition team, vocal coach, visual set construction, digital design and carpenter.
Onstage Don has also been found flying through the air as the ghost of Fruma Sara in Fiddler on the Roof, and cackling over his treasures as Fagin in Oliver!. Whether he was pulling an “all-nighter” at the lighting booth or wearing a corset during rehearsal in solidarity with his leading ladies, Don wholeheartedly threw himself into every role with dedication and love.
Always supportive and encouraging, eager to jump in and help wherever and whenever he was needed, abounding in energy, filled with innovative and sometimes crazy ideas, yet humble and compassionate, Don is also a consummate dreamer. He joyfully reaches for the stars with wild abandon, his magnetic enthusiasm pulling along anyone fortunate enough to be caught up in whatever adventure may come.
Don is also very active with our church and school communities. To quote Don’s own words, “I love my parish. I also love theatre. To experience both together is truly a gift from God.” It is with deep and lasting gratitude that we recognize Don Lotz, who truly is “A-Star”! “LIGHTING RULES!!!”
ASTRA would like to recognize and honor Nancy Morris as an A-STAR Award recipient.
A woman of quiet strength, always supportive and encouraging, intensely creative in every endeavor, Nancy Morris has been a solid backbone of ASTRA from the very beginning. In 2004 she was the costume designer for Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and has since been involved in virtually every production.
A set designer extraordinaire, Nancy has worked her magic on 14 ASTRA shows. Truly someone who can “do it all”, Nancy has also dedicated her time and talent as artistic technical consultant, costumer, car team manager, prop manager, artist, journalist, consultant, engineer, milliner, and mentor. She has worked in ticket sales, interior décor, photography, and construction, as well as served on the audition team and carriage design team.
A valued ASTRA committee member since 2004, Nancy was also ASTRA chairperson from 2014 to 2016. A dependable worker and always willing to help, Nancy is usually among the first to arrive and the last to leave. Her genuine humility is evidenced by her continued management of ASTRA’s scenic and prop storage shack, where she quietly turns chaos into order.
From Egyptian hieroglyphs with hidden messages to a flapping Vulgarian bird which “died” when “shot”, Nancy’s imagination is truly limitless. Among the most memorable of her ingenious endeavors, and a true testament to her incredible design capabilities, was the enormous red Austrian curtain she created for 42nd Street. She led her team in a leap of faith, hand stitching vast amounts of red fabric which literally covered her entire dining and living room floors for months. Like a puzzle with each piece carefully planned and executed, the finished beauty was an absolute show stopper, worthy of any Broadway stage.
One of ASTRA’s core missions is to nurture young people, instilling in them not only a love of theater and respect for one another, but also the self confidence that can only come from being a vital member of a team, working together to create something much larger than any one individual. Nancy’s calm demeanor, unfailing patience, and exceptional creativity are balanced perfectly in her role as mentor. Under her gentle guidance, skillful leadership, and constant encouragement, young members of her team blossom and grow, eventually becoming leaders themselves.
It is with great love and appreciation for her many years of dedication that we honor Nancy Morris with the well deserved award of A-Star!
July 20, 2017