SEASON 19:   2014-2015

Since our very first season, ActorsNET co-founders have selected onstage, backstage, offstage or behind the scenes talent to honor as our Most Valuable Performers. This designation doesn't necessarily go to those who were involved in the most shows. Rather, it's our way to recognize those who have (in our estimation) made the most positive impact on our company that season.

It's never an easy choice. Year in and out, we've been blessed with working with amazing and selfless people - people who "get" what we're about. ActorsNET is an actor-driven company. We strive to produce works to challenge cast members to push their talents to their limits and then beyond; works which entertain audiences ... often informing and inspiring them along the way.

This year, three names stood out - one backstage and two onstage talents. Our 19th Season's Most Valuable Performers are (alphabetically) Barry Abramowitz, Julie McMillan & Jerry Smith. Each is new to our company. Each has made us a better company. Each is loved.

Barry Abramowitz joined our ranks for Bill Cain's historical drama, Equivocation, this season's second offering. He returned for our productions of Born Yesterday, the staged reading of 2 and this run of Laughter on the 23rd Floor. For many years a mainstay actor at the Off-Broadstreet Theatre in Hopewell, NJ, he is a superb actor. To watch Barry in rehearsal meticulously, sometimes seemingly painstakingly, develop his character is to observe a true and fearless artist , as he draws from his life experiences and imagination. Be it drama or comedy, Barry challenges himself AND his scene partners and cast mates to excel. There are few that are his equal.

Julie McMillan also came onboard to assistant stage manage Oct.-Nov's Equivocation. She brought with her experience working in theatre technical positions in Michigan. Equivocation was one of the most difficult shows we've staged - actors changing roles, often mid-scene and locales shifting with dizzying speed. Oh! And two executions by hanging, and all sorts of mayhem! Through the insanity of rehearsing and performing this amazing show, Julie was a sea of calm. She went on this season to assistant stage manage last month's huge musical, My Favorite Year, and now to stage manage this manic comic romp, Laughter on the 23rd Floor. Julie is a soft-spoken dynamo.

Jerry Smith took our stage and hearts by storm in March's Shakespearean romp, A Midsummer Night's Dream - playing Peter Quince, the inept leader of an equally inept band of actors. He then played multiple character roles in Groucho: A Life in Revue. His mastery of voices and mimicry made each of his stage bits a delight. Jerry hits the stage with a child-like glee. Despite impressive credits from New York and environs, his positive energy and attitude infuses rehearsals and stagings with an electric jolt that stimulates and energizes all around him. And if that's not enough, he not only builds superb characters - he's a carpenter!, generously helping to build sets! What more could we ask?

It may be a cliché, but they become clichés because they're true. Season 19 was great! And we couldn't have done it without Barry, Julie and Jerry!

--Cheryl & Joe Doyle, Co-Founders

Barry Abramowitz
Julie McMillan
Jerry Smith