Zenon Awards 2018

*Recipients are underlined and denoted by an asterisk*


Tom Staik & Amanda Mercer – The Music Man

Brooke Hoak – All Shook Up

Tom Staik – Arsenic & Old Lace

*Kristini Juve & Olivia Scott – Mary Poppins


Mike McMillian – The Music Man

Suzanne Schilffarth – Dixie Swim Club

Amanda Mercer – All Shook Up

Patty Young – Arsenic & Old Lace

*Jen Westergom & Lindsay Lynch – Mary Poppins


Tanya Turner – The Music Man

Steve Lundey – Dixie Swim Club

Margaret Macbeth – Arsenic & Old Lace

*Johanna Johnston – Mary Poppins


Amanda Mercer – The Music Man

Steve Lundey – Dixie Swim Club

*Dewayne Mercer – All Shook Up

Desiree Charloten – Arsenic & Old Lace 

Suzanne Schilffarth & Kevin Hacker – Mary Poppins


Bob Jarvis – The Music Man

Bob Jarvis – Dixie Swim Club

Gary Johnson – All Shook Up

Stan Epling – Arsenic & Old Lace

*Jen Westergom – Mary Poppins


Steve Cullipher – The Music Man

Mac Byron – Dixie Swim Club

Thor Knutson – All Shook Up

Stan Epling – Arsenic & Old Lace

*Thor Knutson –  Mary Poppins


Amanda Mercer: Assistant Director – The Music Man

Tara Hughes: Videographer – All Shook Up

Rhonda Wilson: Sound Technician – All Shook Up

*Mike McMillian & Joe LaCotti : Master Builders – Arsenic & Old Lace

Laurie Simmons: Sound Technician – Arsenic & Old Lace

Kevin Hacker, Mike McMillian, Mike Laframboise, Dewayne Mercer, & Danny Wilson: Fly Guys – Mary Poppins

*Kevin Hacker & Lindsay Lynch: Assistant Directors – Mary Poppins

Rhonda Wilson & John Wyatt: Special Projects – Mary Poppins


*Tracy Schuknecht: Music Direction – The Music Man & Mary Poppins

Lindsay Lynch: Choreographer – The Music Man

Jen Westergom: Video Design – Dixie Swim Club

Jontavious Tucker: Choreographer – All Shook Up

*Christi Hagen: Music Director – All Shook Up

Nancy McDuffee: Choreographer – Mary Poppins

Laura Wade: Acting Coach – Mary Poppins

Amanda Mercer: Prop Mistress – Mary Poppins


Larissa Meagher as Marian Paroo – The Music Man

Michelle Urda as Natalie/Ed – All Shook Up

Suzanne Schilffarth as Abby Brewster – Arsenic & Old Lace

Kathy Helmer as Martha Brewster – Arsenic & Old Lace

Rylee Spencer as Jane Banks – Mary Poppins

*Jennifer Percival as Mary Poppins – Mary Poppins


Marcus Conerly as Harold Hill – The Music Man

Andrew Macbeth as Chad – All Shook Up

Andrew Macbeth as Mortimer Brewster – Arsenic & Old Lace

TJ Mercer as Michael Banks – Mary Poppins

*Andrew Macbeth as Bert – Mary Poppins


Diane Juve as Mrs. Paroo – The Music Man

Margaret Macbeth as Lexie Richards – Dixie Swim Club

Tracy Schuknecht as Vernadette Simms – Dixie Swim Club

Laura Wade as Sylvia – All Shook Up

Carly Juve as Sandra – All Shook Up

Carly Juve as Elaine Harper – Arsenic & Old Lace

*Margaret Macbeth as Winifred Banks – Mary Poppins

Jennifer Reser as Mrs. Brill – Mary Poppins


Dewayne Mercer as Marcelius Washburn – The Music Man

Benton Hughes as Dennis – All Shook Up

Isaac Hernandez as Dean – All Shook Up

Rodger Smith as Jim Haller – All Shook Up

*Bill Farmer as Jonathan Brewster – Arsenic & Old Lace

J. D. Baird as Dr. Einstein – Arsenic & Old Lace

Larry McCandless as George Banks – Mary Poppins

Dylan Ross as Robertson Ay – Mary Poppins


TJ Mercer as Winthrop Paroo – The Music Man

Elise Chaisson as Lorraine – All Shook Up

Ben Reser as Teddy Brewster – Arsenic & Old Lace

Mitch Hoak as Officer O’Hara – Arsenic & Old Lace

Jillian Febres as Mrs. Corry – Mary Poppins

*Amanda Mercer as Miss Andrew – Mary Poppins


Mike McMillian – The Music Man

Suzanne Schilffarth  – Dixie Swim Club

Amanda Mercer – All Shook Up

Patty Young – Arsenic & Old Lace

*Jen Westergom – Mary Poppins


The Music Man

Dixie Swim Club

All Shook Up

Arsenic & Old Lace

*Mary Poppins


ANDREW & TARA HUGHES: Tara and Andrew have significantly impacted HLT this season by assisting with the set up and highly successful execution of the Season Reveal Event. Andrew has also assisted with publicity and fundraising, while Tara has become a bartender in Anthony’s Lounge. 

JAN FUNK: Jan is on top of the Box Office reports and has kept the Box Office working. Jan is willing to add another committee, the Finance Committee. We need to reward those who work quietly on the front side of the curtain and get big jobs accomplished. 

LINDA & FRED SCHILFFARTH: Linda and Fred Schilffarth began tending bar in Anthony’s very carefully. First it was just Fred, but Linda was with him and would graciously prepare and sell popcorn or step behind the bar and assist as needed. Soon they were spearheading a recycling effort which included all of the cans, bottles, cardboard, etc., and picking it up weekly. Now they have evolved to regularly tending bar on Wednesday and Sunday shows. Linda is now a captain and Fred continually looks for ways to make the experience more consistent. He has developed the steps to open and close the bar so that it is set and ready for the next show. These steps are typed and available behind the bar. Fred and Linda Schilffarth are excellent volunteers and deserve to be recognized with a Board Service Award. 

MELODI POWELL: Melodi has willingly and eagerly taken on two committees at HLT and stepped up to the plate to do an excellent job. House Managers / Ushers are now not only seating people, but Melodi and her family are waiting when the performance ends to assist with the cleaning of the auditorium. Melodi recently became the Building Maintenance Committee Chair and has done a great job. She has already organized a Theater Improvement Day and consistently has volunteers come in to do various repair projects. With her list in hand, we now have light bulbs replaced, urinals repaired, etc., throughout the Theatre. Melodi worked tirelessly on the Moonlight, Martinis, and Meatballs event and is a dedicated usher. She always gives her all to HLT. Melodi is a GEM!

NELLY FORD: Nelly graciously took the chair position on the Play Selection Committee. She has done a fabulous job leading the directors to make the best artistic decisions for HLT.

RODGER SMITH: Rodger took over our advertising committee a little over a year ago. He has raised more than $20,000 for HLT in the last year, including a season sponsor. Rodger has done an amazing job of stimulating and expanding our Theatre’s donor base. He was an integral part to the success of this year’s Season Reveal Event, which not only introduced the public to our upcoming season, but, also raised thousands of dollars for the Theatre. He has significantly improved how we fundraise for HLT.

SULLYANN MORALES: Sully has done a fabulous job of making HLT a place to be in the community by bringing outside groups and events to our facility. Sully approached the HLT board with an idea to begin an annual fundraising event. She and her team of volunteers worked tirelessly to create a Season Reveal annual Event and it was a huge success. She was a key force in the successful execution of the Season Reveal Event, which raised thousands of dollars and helped generate buzz in the community for the 2018-2019 season. She also has been successfully compiling  and publishing the programs for all main stage shows for several years.


Dreamers & Doers 

Moonlight & Martinis 

STI Into the Woods Jr.

4th of July Show 

12 Angry Men

2018-2018 Season Reveal Event


LAURA BYRON WADE: Laura may not be old, but she has spent the majority of her life at Highlands Little Theatre (HLT); Laura has literally grown up at HLT. Laura first appeared on the HLT stage in 1990 at the age of 10 as a part of a musical Christmas Show. The show had performances Thursday – Sunday, which was a perfect beginning. Laura attended auditions for the musical, The Music Man. Laura made it through the audition, but hyperventilated and withdrew her name. Two years later, Laura ventured back to HLT as part of stage crew for They’re Playing Our Song, Funny Girl and Inherit the Wind. Laura gradually gained the courage and confidence to appear as a villager in Teahouse of the August Moon, and the following season was in the chorus for South Pacific. From this point forward, Laura was either on stage or providing support backstage. HLT served a prime rib dinner and Laura volunteered in the dining room before shows. Her first large role was the part of Hodel in Fiddler on the Roof. Laura had the amazing ability to sing and cry at the same time. By Laura’s senior year in High School, her goal was to earn a lead, and Paint Your Wagon provided the opportunity. Laura was the first recipient of the Jane Lou Buck Scholarship as Laura graduated from Sebring High School and headed to Florida Southern 

College as a Theater Major. Laura graduated from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette with a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. Laura went on to the University of Alabama and completed 2 years of a Masters in Fine Arts theatrical program. Laura honed her acting, singing, dancing and productions skills along the way. Laura returned to Highlands County with her daughter, Elise, and married the love of her life. Laura returned with many theatrical skills and talents that she has readily shared with her HLT family and friends. Upon her return, Laura appeared on the HLT stage as Belle in the 2008-’09 production of Beauty and the Beast. Laura gradually became more active with HLT as a board member, show director, and acting on stage. Laura has now introduced her two daughters, Elise and Harley, to theater and, like their mother, they have fallen in love with live theater. Laura is an instrumental part of the summer theater youth program, a certified director, chair of the Marketing Committee, part of many production teams and is often seen on stage. Laura’s passion for live theater and love for Highlands Little Theatre is evident. DOROTHY HORMAN: Dorothy has been a stalwart of the Box Office, and a member of HLT, for 15 years.  During that time, she has also worked the food line for the July 4th Scholarship fundraiser, volunteered as an usher, and attended countless mailing parties and other activities.  As our most experienced Box Office volunteer, she can be relied on to mentor new ticket agents, and allows us to breathe easy when she is on duty. She is also a lot of fun to work with! Her Gracie nomination said “She is helpful, courteous, happy, and friendly to our patrons. She learns quickly and can always be counted on when she is asked to go the ‘extra mile’. She is a wonderful asset to our Theatre.”  In all these years, that has not changed. To the best of our knowledge, Dorothy has never missed a shift in the Box Office, and is dedicated to the point that when we were critically shorthanded, she recruited her husband, Fred, to help distribute will call tickets before Wednesday evening performances. Dorothy is one of the many unsung heroes at HLT, and it is time she got the recognition and applause she deserves.