National theater award goes to IMCOM-Europe member
July 6, 2007
HEIDELBERG, Germany -- The entertainment director of Installation Management Command-Europe has received the lifetime honor of a U.S. theater organization.
James Sohre was named a Fellow in the American Association of Community Theatre during a national festival June 20 in Charlotte, N.C.
The Fellow designation is awarded to AACT members "who over a period of years have contributed significantly to the idea and ideal of community theater," said Jules Fritz of AACT's marketing department.
Sohre said he was honored to be numbered among the Fellows of AACT, which represents the interests of more than 7,000 theaters throughout the United States, its territories and U.S. military theater companies overseas.
"As the nation's premiere networking and advocacy group," Sohre said, "AACT's goals are to further the highest standards of performance, as well as to promote the enduring value of community theater."
A veteran of more than three decades in providing Army entertainment, Sohre, since 1995, has overseen an IMCOM-Europe program that offers wide-ranging participation opportunities in plays, musicals, dinner theater, and talent shows and contests. Additionally, it provides stage production training; incentives and awards; screening and advancement to all-Army entertainment events, as well as national and international theater festivals; and free celebrity shows.
Also chair of AACT's international committee, Sohre said he feels "privileged" in serving Soldiers and Families in Europe, as he produces the annual Tournament of Plays and Topper Awards Show, the One Act Play Festival, Battle of Bands, Stars of Tomorrow, Missoula Children's Theatre and performance by visiting well-known acts.
It is, he noted, "a wonderful way to meet and work with vibrant and diverse people in an enriching and creative environment."
Besides honoring Sohre, AACT also recognized the Stuttgart Theatre Center with the Twink Lynch Award, which highlights theaters for taking new directions, expanding services to their community or moving to higher developmental level.
Located on Kelley Barracks, STC is part of the U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart Community Recreation Division, delivering live shows of all types, as well as a providing place for people to develop and maintain performance arts skills.
Producing between five and eight shows per year, "we balance classics with contemporary and European premiere titles," said Brett Harwood, the center's manager.
In 2006, STC earned 12 Topper Awards during the annual banquet that honors troupes from U.S. military sites in Germany, Italy, Belgium and Turkey for achievements in acting, directing, technical design and production.
"A strong foundation - built with a dedicated volunteer base, an extremely supportive command group and the support of the entire military community - allowed us to take giant steps during the past year," said Alan Buxkemper, USAG Stuttgart's entertainment director.
STC also provides the Stuttgart community with Kindermusik courses for children, dance and theater workshops, and a summer youth theater workshop.