ASTRA would like to recognize and honor Mike Lewis as an A-STAR Award recipient.
Mike Lewis has been an integral part of ASTRA as orchestra conductor since the summer of 2007 when ASTRA presented Cinderella. He stayed with the ministry, continuing for subsequent summers when ASTRA presented Anything Goes, Oliver! and Fiddler on the Roof. Mike returns once again this year for Joseph andthe Amazing Technicolor® Dreamcoat.
With a ready “No problem,” and a willingness to collaborate with other team members to pull things together, Mike has been amazingly flexible in meeting various challenges posed by each season’s director. He combines both patience and persistence, drawing the best performance out of our musicians; each year seems to top the last. Since Mike joined the ASTRA family, the orchestra has blossomed into a welcoming group where students and adults alike have the opportunity not only to work together but to grow in appreciation for one other. Building community is a key part of
ASTRA’s mission, and Mike helps this mission become reality for 15 to 20 musicians each summer, as they, in turn, become part of a larger community within the production.
Mike never fails to keep an upbeat and good-humored attitude even when rehearsals get long and frustrations might otherwise begin to rise. ASTRA is blessed to have an orchestra conductor who returns to us each year saying, “ASTRA is the highlight of my summer.”
ASTRA would like to recognize and honor Sue Ward as an A-STAR Award recipient.
Sue first joined the ASTRA family in July 2006, stepping in as stage assistant. The following year, she returned as a stage assistant, quickly becoming our set designer’s right hand woman. From preparing the carriage to getting the “horses” into position on stage, Sue was there to handle anything and everything that came her way.
In 2008, we were a theatre without a show. That season’s director wanted something upbeat, with lots of choreography, children, humor and catchy tunes. Rising to the challenge, Sue went on a mission. “It’s fine. Everything will work out,” she said.
After a grueling search, ASTRA settled on Anything Goes. It had a huge cast, monstrous sets and exceptional talent. Much of the show’s success can be credited to Sue who stepped in without hesitation, calming any storm and encouraging actors from novice 5-year-olds to seasoned 65-year-olds. She connects to each cast member on a personal level, and truly lives up to her nickname, Mama Sue.
With an unfailing “can do” attitude, Sue quietly pitches in, coffee in hand, ready to work. She has served on casting panels, produced church promotions and Meeker Days performances, planned New Year’s Eve parties, and organized entertainment for Fr. Woody’s 50th birthday party. Season after season, she loves from the heart with humor and encouragement for all. As our cheerleader when the team needs lifting up and a woman of wisdom and talent, Sue happily practices what she preaches: “It’s fine. Everything will work out.” Operating on “Sue’s time”, Mama Sue has shown love, dedication, loyalty, patience and laughter to the ASTRA family, and for this we are truly grateful.