As everyone who isn’t living under a rock knows, it’s awards season in Hollywood. The whole country is gearing up for the Golden Globes, the Oscars, and myriad other presenters large and small.

At the same time, it’s award-giving season in San Diego, too.

The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle recently announced the nominees for the 2015 Craig Noel

Awards, honoring the best of the best in local theater. And a formidable group it is. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony to be held on February 8 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla. Admission is free, but you must RSVP. See the full list at http://sdcriticscircle.org.

And behind the scenes, the folks who help make all the theater, music and dance productions happen here, and keep these arts organizations running, are the many tireless, stalwart volunteers who give their time, energy, passion and dedication to the artform they love. At the San Diego Performing Arts League’s 23rd annual STAR AWARDS, which will be held on Monday, February 8 at the Lyceum Theatre, an honoree from each theater company will be feted. I’m honored to be serving as the emcee of this event. So come on down! Here’s the list of Most Valued Volunteers of the Year. You can purchase tickets to the event at http://www.sdartstix.com/The-23rd-Star-Awards/

Heidi Maretz, Actor’s Conservatory Theatre
Molly Bowman, Balboa Theatre Organ Foundation
Kathy Parks, Coronado Playhouse
Dawn Bongiovanni, Coronado School of the Arts and Coronado Schools Foundation
Lynne Thrope, Cygnet Theatre
Kathi Diamant, Horton Plaza Theatres Foundation
Diane Carpinelli, Howard Finnecy,

Carol Ann Flanagan, Deborah Pantone, Julie Ustin, Ion Theatre
Karen Leibowitz, J*Company Youth Theatre
Philip Liburd, Elva Salinas, La Jolla Playhouse
Gay Hybersten, Looking Glass Theatre
Lauren Luhmann, Mojalet Dance Collective
Bob Jones, North Coast Repertory Theatre
Teri Brown, Sue Roos, OnStage Playhouse
Shelly Benoit, Point Loma Playhouse
Patrick J. Ambrosio, Samahan Filipino American Performing Arts & Education Center
Laura Holtan, San Diego Actors Theatre
Linda Lee, San Diego Master Chorale
Sylvia Enrique, San Diego Repertory Theatre
Lisa Sandie Jager, San Diego Shakespeare Society
Bob Russakoff, San Diego Symphony
Judy and Tom Splitgerber, Scripps Ranch Theatre
Barry Long, Southern California Ballet
George Hardy, Spreckels Organ Society
Renee Berg, STAR Repertory Theatre
Manuel (Memo) Cavada and Kent Brisby, Teatro Mascara Magica
Trixi Anne Agiao, Visionary School for the Performing Arts
Jamie Coleman, Young Actor’s Theatre
Dr. Terry O’Donnell, Young Audiences of San Diego

EMERGING STARS: volunteers under 30 “who help give promise to the future of the arts”:
Greg Peer, Classics 4 Kids
Danya Greenberg, J*Company Youth Theatre
Rachel Torres, Malashock Dance
Alexander Barwin, North Coast Repertory Theatre
Bernardo Mazon, OnStage Theatre, San Diego Repertory Theatre
Cataline Jewel Zelles, San Diego Shakespeare Society
Max Nanis, Spreckels Organ Society
Andrew Morales, STAR Repertory Theatre
John Lopez, Teatro Mascara Magica
Eva Anderson, Visionary School for the Performing Arts
Jonathan Hoagland, Young Actors’ Theatre


Thanks to all these hard-working San Diegans for their spectacular contributions to the performing arts in 2015! get inspired! Show your gratitude! Come to both events…