Marty Southcott Memorial Award
We are all blessed to have had Marty & Art Southcott come into our lives. As part of the group of founding members of Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre, they recognized there was a void in arts education and they understood the value of introducing this activity of musical theatre to children at a young age. Dreamcoat’s “Theatre for Children by Children” has a tremendous impact not just on the children who participate in the production but also on those children who become inspired themselves simply through the joy of being introduced to theatre as an audience member.
Thanks to the “SHHHH!”, “Be Quiet!”, “I Mean It!!”, and the threatening “Marty Can Hear You On The Headset!” signs still displayed on the Stage Manager’s desk at rehearsal, children who were not even born when Marty retired from Dreamcoat ask “Who’s Marty?” and we welcome the chance to explain her importance to children’s theatre and that she is a big part of the reason they have the opportunities they do today.
Although we stillfeel as though we should apologize to Marty for singling her out in this way because we know she would be horrified, she was an important influence on all of us and Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre.This large cast children’s production would not be what it is without the level of excellence and expectation she set for everyone.Marty Southcott taught us all to never assume something was too difficult to accomplish and to be confident knowing the children will always rise to the challenge and “be great”.Without a doubt, the most important thing we learned from Marty was to always remember that while the show that is put on stage at the end of the process is important, it is really all about the kids and what they get out of it every day. Self- confidence. Acceptance. A sense of belonging. Marty always seemed to know which child ‘needed’to be involved in a Dreamcoat show. Sometimes children just need to be included, or need to have the opportunity to see in themselves that they too have something to contribute.
The Marty Southcott Memorial Award recognizes a cast member who demonstrates commitment and hard work, is sincere in their efforts to improve their skill and takes that extra step forward to challenge themselves. They find joy in the process no matter what role they play and are selfless, kind,and helpful to their fellow cast members. They celebrate the accomplishments of others and they seem to understand, consciously or not, that everyone has an important contribution to make and ‘we are better together’ no matter what individual strengths and talents are brought to the stage.
Dreamcoat is beyond proud to present this inaugural Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre Marty Southcott Memorial Award to Bryce Millard. January 2018.