The Ed-Ro-Char Award for Technical Excellence
Established 1996

Ed Payne was an architect who enjoyed using his design skills to create innovative sets within the parameters of the playwrite's intent, the director's thrust and the limitations of the stage. He designed sets and lights, directed and was a fine actor and singer as well. Ed worked with many of the theatre companies in the Washington Metropolitan area.

Robert "Rolo" Nickerson was a mentor and coach to many of the actors and technicians in the area. He worked with many groups, including The Burtonsville Players, P.G.L.T., Rockville Musical Theatre and The Adelphians. He appeared with Ed Payne many times and excelled in the technical aspects of theatre craft.

Char Harre was a brilliant costume designer as well as a director, actress and set designer. Char knew what look would be right for what scene and how to achieve that look on a shoestring budget. She worked with almost all the groups in the area at one time or another, especially when she owned a costume shop in Hyattsville. She worked with both Ed and Rolo when she directed them both in Paint Your Wagon and Oklahoma, and the three worked on many productions over the years.


Past Recipients

YEAR Recipient/Group Production
1996 Jane Wingard / The Pasadena Theatre Company Home At Six
1997 Cheryl Anne Costa / Silver Spring Stage The Berdache
1998 Jack Sbarbori / Silver Spring Stage Midnight Caller
1999 Lori Murray Sampson / Silver Spring Stage Tracking Angel
2000 Stephanie Mumford / Silver Spring Stage A Little Trick
2001 Jeff Merritt / Port Tobacco Players Tone Clusters
2002 Richard and Deanne Highby / Port Tobacco Players Lone Star
2003 Bridget Muehlberger / Silver Spring Stage Sticks and Stones
2004 Spence Watson / Thurmont Thespians Talking With
2005 Spence Watson / Thurmont Thespians Bake Off
2006 Spence Watson / Thurmont Thespians Foul Territory
2007 Spence Watson / Thurmont Thespians Rounding Third
2008 Montgomery Playhouse The Last Good Night
2009 Spence Watson / Thurmont Thespians Almost Maine
2010 The Newtowne Players Butterfly
2011 Port Tobacco Players Ferry Boat
2012 Montgomery Playhouse Pillow Talk
2013 Spence Watson / Thurmont Thespians Gidion's Knot
2014 Bob Scott / Silver Spring Stage The Widow of Tom's Hill
2015 Jeff Merritt and John Merritt / Port Tobacco Players Superhero Sanitarium
2017 Rick Thompson / New Direction Community Theate The Helpless Director Zone
2018 Jennifer Cooper / Colonial Players The Universal Language
2020 Design Team / Port Tobacco Players True Colors
2022 Design Team / Kensington Arts Theatre The Last Nickel
2023 Design Team / Rockville Little Theatre Pride@Prejudice

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