At the ATC Christmas Party on 14 December three new Life Memberships were awarded.
By a unanimous vote of the Board, Life Membership was conferred on Doug Bennett, Kevin Trask and James McRae.
The award citations were announced by the Chairman, Richard Longmore, and presented by Tony Smith MP. Tony also presented Steve Nichols, our Head Set Builder, with a Yarra Ranges Community Service Award.
Doug Bennett directed his first Lilydale production, "Uncle Harry", in 1976 and since then has directed 11 ATC productions in addition to a large amount of work in other theatres. His ATC productions include "Amadeus", "Glorious", "Shirley Valentine" and "Freedom of the City" which won Best Drama Production in the VDL awards, as well as Doug winning Best Director.
Kevin Trask has been involved in professional and amateur theatre for almost 40 years and started with the ATC in 1988 as Roo in "Summer of the Seventeenth Doll." Since then Kevin has directed 15 ATC productions including "The Odd Couple", "The Shifting Heart" and "The Boyfriend". Kevin won Best Director at the VDL Awards for both "Death of a Salesman" and "Laughter on the 23rd Floor", and these two shows also won "Best Production" awards.
James McRae has been involved in theatre since the early 1950's and has also appeared in many popular TV programs and films since that time.
James' first appearance at the ATC was in 1983 in "The Murder Room", and he was most recently seen as Mr Grainger in "Are You Being Served" and the Colonel in "Fawlty Towers". He calculates that his part in the next ATC production, "The Vicar of Dibley", will be his thirtieth appearance on the Athenaeum stage!
In his 85 years James has acted in 100 plays all around Melbourne, and his talent has been recognised on numerous occasions with nominations for Lyrebird awards.