Each year we honor an actor(s) for outstanding achievement in character. This is not an acting or popularity award. The award was instituted in 2001 as the “PhoeBax” award, named after its two founding winners, Phoebe Minette and Baxley Andresen. These two actresses defined the exemplary kind of character we seek to encourage and nurture. They arrived on time for rehearsals; they were focused on the process; they took direction and worked hard on their notes; they were quiet when they needed to be; respectful to the crew and cast; they were sensitive and generous with their peers; and, most important of all, they brought a special kind of positive energy to the experience.
In 2012, the PhoeBax Award underwent a necessary name change. In a history rich with talented and committed performers, no actor epitomized the SCTG ethos better than Ellie Bensinger. Although Ellie is vividly remembered for her radiant stage presence and deep immersion into roles, her serious dedication to the theatrical process transcended even her talent. Ellie approached every role with intense focus and her methods and attitude energized and inspired her peers. This needed to be acknowledged and thus we changed the name of our award to reflect Ellie’s legacy of consummate professionalism. Hence, “El PhoeBax Award.”
The El PhoeBax Award winner is given an individual trophy as well as having their name engraved on a perpetual trophy. Having your name on this trophy is the highest honor within the SCTG.
In the fall of 2004, five newcomers– Lauren Dellara, Josie Glore, Mackenzie Morrison, Sara Rajo-Miller and Kelly Rappleye (okay, Kelly was in Stay Awake! – but that was a long time ago) – infused The Community Producers with extraordinary positive energy. Their impact on the SCTG was so exhilarating, we felt compelled to recognize it. Hence, the Immaculate Heart Girls Award which honors the “Most Inspiring Newcomer.” This is not an automatic award and is only handed out in exceptional instances.
Brian Davis was not just a founding member of the Silver Lake Children’s Theatre Group, he was the heart and soul of the company, making sure the plays happened with his trademark low-key, out-of-the-spotlight efficiency. Brian produced most of our plays and spent hundreds of unseen hours tending to the production details that rarely received the appreciation they deserved. Simply put: there would have been no SCTG without Brian Davis, which is why we honored his retirement with an award in his name. The inscription on the award says it all: “Selfless in Service.”