Now that we’ve announced our 2015 ArtsImpulse Theatre Award Nominees, we’re busy interviewing our many Nominees.  But, as I reflect on the new year, I can’t help feeling a void.  Despite the Committee’s excellent work and a confidence in our Nominee selections, I feel like each year we have others in our Greater Boston theatre community who deserve recognition.  This year, we tried to address these concerns by adding a Stage Management category, nominating opera performers in many of their own categories, and including Projection Design for their innovative work.  However, we’ve neglected Hair & Make-Up for which solid work was completed by many outstanding artists (I mean, with three very different productions of Shrek: The Musical, how could we not see some amazing make-up?).  But I have a different solution for this Awards Season. 

This year, I would like to introduce the ArtsImpulse Greater Boston Theatre Community Member of the Year Award.  While we have awarded an Artist of the Year Award for the past two years (Jackie Theoharis for My Theatre in 2013, and Rebecca Bradshaw for ArtsImpulse in 2014), this new Award is much more inclusive.  It is purposely broad to include anyone who touches the Greater Boston theatre community.  While the award title is quite a mouthful, what it says in words is felt tenfold in love and appreciation.  Do you know an Usher or House Manager who always makes you feel welcome in a theatre (I know a few by name, and many more by face)?  Do you have a favorite Director of Marketing who feels like he or she is talking to you personally with each advertisement or press release?  How about an Ensemble Member who makes the cast feel like a unified whole?  A leading actor (Equity or not) who shines in each role he or she plays but never seems to make a critic's best list? 

We miss a lot as reviewers and critics.  We see only one performance, and we bring our baggage along with our legal pads into the theatre.  We pretend that we know as much if not more than the people who work so hard to put these shows onstage for us.  But here’s a hint for 2016: we work tirelessly to try to know as much as you, performers, directors, designers, creative team, theatre company employees.  And who knows if we’ll ever catch up?  This Award is your chance, as a community, to let us know whom we miss and, more importantly, what we miss.

2015 ArtsImpulse Greater Boston Theatre Community Member of the Year Award

If, after reading so far, you think that you know the perfect candidate, please send his or her name, along with a brief blog entry (500-800 words) about why your Nominee deserves to be considered, to Brian, ArtsImpulse Managing Editor, at brian@artsimpulse.com.  Don't forget to include a picture of the Nominee (production photos or headshots work best). Entries will be accepted until February 1, 2016.  

We will try to edit and post all of these blog entries on our site (though this process may be subject to the number of entries received).  However, we will then submit all of these names, and their blog entries, to the Committee for voting.  The Award recipient will be announced at our annual ArtsImpulse Award Bash, along with the other ArtsImpulse Awards. 

We hope that you feel inspired as us to write about some of our unsung heroes. We hope that this new Award brings greater love, appreciation, and inclusivity to our Greater Boston theatre community, as we reflect on who makes our community feel like a whole and who reminds us why Greater Boston theatre is moving in positive and inspiring directions. Thank you for your participation in this process, and please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.