Maassel, Henry Year's Top Volunteers

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2018, 12:01pm

Curtain Players named not one, but two individuals as its Volunteers of the Year for the 2017-2018 season.

Brian Henry and John Maassel received the community theatre organization’s prestigious honor during the Season 55 Celebration Sunday evening June 24 at The Old Bag of Nails Pub in Uptown Westerville. Board Trustee Jeremy Sony made the announcement. Henry and Maassel will receive individual plaques, and their names will be added to the lobby board recognizing the award’s recipients through the years.

The Volunteer of the Year Award, presented annually, recognizes an individual who has gone “above and beyond the call of duty” for the community theatre company in a single season. The award is recognition by peers. Nominations are invited of and submitted by Curtain Players members each May. The theatre’s governing board reviews the submissions and determines the recipient.

Booth Muller and James F. Petsche each nominated Henry and Maassel for the award.

Henry’s 2017-18 Curtain Players credits include three very different roles in three very different productions: the tail end of Crocodile in Wendy Darling; Ludie Watts in The Trip to Bountiful; and Doctor in Exit the King. On the tech side, he served as board operator for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and participated in Set Build Saturdays. Henry also served on the season selection committee, interviewing applicants and reading dozens of scripts to find opportunities best for Curtain Players.

“Brian’s hours with Curtain Players are countless, a generous volunteer gift. On stage and off, Brian is a valuable asset to individual productions and overall theatre life,” wrote Petsche in his nomination essay. “Consideration of Brian reminds me of the Stanislavski quote, “Love art in yourself, and not yourself in art.” His efforts not only contributed to our success, but provided a strong example of the best a Curtain Players volunteer can be… committed, loyal, collaborative, and selfless.”

Maassel’s Season 55 Curtain credits include three sound designer assignments (Wendy Darling, Exit the King, and Charlotte’s Web), a turn as lighting designer (Lettice and Lovage), and service on set construction/painting crews for Wendy Darling, Lettice and Lovage, The Trip to Bountiful, and Exit the King.

“Some volunteers are ever present within an organization yet that presence is not always obvious,” Petsche wrote in his essay nominating Maassel. “The light does not shine on John Maassel as it does actors in our theatre. That may be because John often is operating the instrument. Because of John’s generous gifts of time, technical talents, and teamwork to Curtain Players, I shine the light on him with a Volunteer of the Year nomination.

“John designs, yes, and often is in the booth during performance, operating the board. In conversation, he exhibits joy in how light and sound enhances how we tell our stories,” Petsche wrote. “Volunteers make or break an organization, especially a collaborative effort as a community theatre. John’s work, consistent and valued, is deserving of applause and lasting recognition as one awarded this special Curtain Players honor.”