Introducing the Abbotts

Cranbrook Community Theatre inaugurates new awards for local drama

After almost half a century of carrying the torch of local drama, Cranbrook Community Theatre is introducing a new institution to recognize the great effort that goes into mounting great plays.

A new award is being created that will be presented in several categories at the end of CCT’s dramatic season, starting in May, 2018.

“We’re calling them the Abbott Awards, and the trophy itself is going to be known as the ‘Buddy,’ said Trevor Lundy, Board Member of Cranbrook Community Theatre.

“Hopefully all our actors, directors and tech people will be vying to take home the coveted Buddy award.”

The Abbotts, of course, are named after Bud Abbott, one of the founding members of Cranbrook Community Theatre and one of its most prolific actors, as well as one of the people who helped save the old Masonic Hall from destruction, resulting in its rebirth as the Studio Stage Door Theatre.

“He graciously allowed his name to be attached to the awards,” Lundy said.

Since CCT’s formation, hundreds of volunteers have taken on roles — on the stage and behind it — in the hundreds of productions mounted in Cranbrook over the years. Lundy said the new awards are meant to pay tribute to these efforts.

“It’s meant to recognize the hard work and dedication that goes into something that’s for our community, and helps to make our community stronger.

“We going to obviously recognize the actors on stage, who are the people that the audience really get to see and get to know. But there are so many moving parts in community theatre, and this helps recognize those people also.”

Awards will be given out in 11 categories — for set design, acting, directing, technical work, etc. All but one of these will be selected by CCT’s membership.

“The one award that our members will not be voting on, that will be voted on by our board, will be Volunteer of the Year,” Lundy said. “So we also want to recognize the hard work that isn’t just on the artistic side of what we do, which is a very important part.”

As for the design of the Abbott Awards, that remains top secret for the time being, Lundy said.

The Awards Ceremony itself will take place shortly after the CCT season comes to an end, and will also serve as on occasion to announce the upcoming dramatic season. The inaugural ceremony will take place at the end of May, 2018. Previously, the season announcement took place at the Studio Stage Door at a low key public gathering. With the addition of the awards ceremony, the event will likely take on more of a gala character.

“There will be a bit more production value to it,” Lundy said.

Cranbrook Community Theatre has a membership of approximately 120. “We’d love to see that number go up,” Lundy said. “We encourage the public to become members, to support their community theatre. Not only do they get to vote on the ‘Buddies,’ but they also get a discount for all core shows, a newsletter, and a chance to vote at CCT’s annual general meeting.

Membership in Cranbrook Community Theatre costs $20 for the year.

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