The first annual Lillie Stoates Awards were presented recently to nine theatre folk in Central Florida. Among those honored were Michael Edwards, Virginia Light, Becky Tusher, Philip Noland, Janice Benson, Cullen Douglas, Jim Helsinger, Mary Ann Dean and Terry Olson.
The Stoates Awards originated at the suggestion of the Central Florida liaison committee of Actors' Equity as a way to promote, encourage, recognize and increase awareness of professional theatre in the area, which includes Orlando.
Who is Lillie Stoates? She was a rainmaker who was brought to Central Florida in the 1930s in a last-ditch attempt to save the orange groves from drought. The day after Stoates arrived, it rained.
-- By Rebecca Paller