- The designation “AACT Fellow” is bestowed for life upon members of AACT who over a period of years have contributed significantly to the idea and ideal of community theatre.
- Nomination and election to this select group is the responsibility of the current Fellow membership.
- Awards are presented in odd years, with 2015 being the most recent.
AACT Fellows for 2015
Scott Bloom (Silver Spring, Maryland)
Scott has nearly 40 years of experience in community and professional theatre, and has won awards as an actor, director, designer, and playwright, and continues to be associated with many groups in the Washington, D.C. area. He is a founding board member of the Maryland Community Theatre Festival Association, serves on the Board of Eastern States Theatre Association (ESTA), and is a member of AACT since shortly after attending his first AACTFest in Knoxville in 1993. He is the AACT Maryland State Contact, and has served on the board, on several committees, two-terms as Vice-President for Membership, and is currently an AACT Ambassador. By profession a Computer Systems Consultant for a government agency, Scott lives in Silver Spring with his wife, Jan. He has been providing free internet services for the arts for more than 20 years with his own non-profit, The Theatre Pages. Besides theatre, he enjoys movies, writing, playing his guitars, and building electronics effects.
Eugene Irby (Artesia, New Mexico)
Eugene holds Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from Angelo State University (General Business) and Eastern New Mexico University (Marketing/Marketing Education). He served as President of New Mexico's Artesia Community Theater for two terms, and has served as Marketing Director for Roswell Community Theatre. Eugene is a past president of Theatre New Mexico and is currently serving as a board member. He has served as state representative to the Southwest Theatre Association and as the New Mexico State Contact for AACT. In addition, he has served the Southwest Theatre and Film Association as a board member, VP of Communication, and President. He served AACT as Region VI Representative for four years, VP of Planning and Development, and as a member of the Festival Commission. Eugene also teaches drama/theater at his local high school.
Rick Kerby (Bradenton, Florida)
Prior to his move to Florida, Rick was Entertainment Director for the USO of Metropolitan New York and organizer of the Miss USO Contest. Other directorial credits include productions at professional theatres in New Jersey, Rhode Island, Maine, Virginia, New Hampshire, New York City, New Orleans, and for many prominent cruise lines. He has served on the faculties of Wagner College on Staten Island and the Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts in New York City. Rick is currently Producing Artistic Director of Manatee Players, where he was named Best Director at the Florida Theatre Conference, three-time winner as Best Director at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), and two-time winner as Best Director at the national AACTFest. He has served as an adjudicator for professional theatres for the Florida State Division of Cultural Affairs. Rick is starting his third term as President of the Florida Theatre Conference. He is past President of the Florida Association of Community Theatres and has served as Community Theatre Festival Chair for the Southeastern Theatre Conference. For AACT, Rick has served as the Florida State Contact, and Committee Chair for Membership, and currently serves as Board Member at Large, and as an Executive Committee Member.
Beverley Lord (Foxborough, Massachusetts)
Bevie majored in theatre in college. During her junior year abroad in Paris, she studied acting at the Ecole de Rene Simon. Her career as a high school French teacher also included directing musicals. She served several years on the Foxborough Arts Council. Bevie is on the Committee of Public Action for the Arts in Boston. She performs with and volunteers for Bay Colony Productions at the Orpheum in Foxborough, and with the Friendly Society of Weston, known as the second oldest amateur theatre company (founded January 12, 1885) in the United States. She serves on the board of directors of the New England Theatre Conference (NETC) where she chairs the Marie Philips Service to NETC Award and adjudicates plays and musicals for the Moss Hart Award. She is the NETC, Region I Rep on the AACT Board and has served twice as a delegate to the International Amateur Theatre Association World Congress & Festival in Monaco. Still involved in education, Bevie has chaired and continues to serve on the Foxborough School Committee.
Dave Sheppard (Maynard, Massachusetts)
Dave is Executive Director of Acme Theater Productions. He has been active in community theatre for over forty-four years, having performed, directed, designed, and produced for groups all over New England. In 1976 he helped form Bolton Backstage. He earned a BA in Theater Management from the University of Massachusetts. In 1992 Dave started Acme Theater Productions, one of the highest award winning community theatres in New England. It has participated in eleven preliminary level festivals, winning three times. Acme has won the New England Regional Festival, advancing to perform in the National Festival twice, and has represented the USA in two international festivals. Dave has been named Best Director for Massachusetts three times and for New England three times. Dave has served on the Eastern Massachusetts Association of Community Theatres (EMACT) Board and was instrumental in spearheading initiatives designed to encourage and promote new theatres in Massachusetts. He served AACT on the Board eight years, served on AACT’s Awards Committee, the Festival Commission as Chairman and as a Technical Rep, as an Endowment Trustee, and on the Music Rights Task Force. Dave is dedicated to fostering and helping new and small theatres grow and succeed.
Jim Walker (Bath, South Dakota)
Jim is the Artistic/Managing Director of Aberdeen Community Theatre in South Dakota, a 35-year actor, director, designer, adjudicator, and theatrical consultant. A charter member of AACT, Jim has served as president of the Aberdeen Area Arts Council, South Dakota Theatre Association, and the Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau. Appointed in 2009 by the governor to the South Dakota Arts Council, Jim currently serves as chair. He also serves on the South Dakotans for the Arts board. He has received numerous acting, directing, and design awards. Jim directed Honk! in 2007 and How to Talk Minnesotan: The Musical in 2009, both advancing to national festivals. Honk! also represented the United States in Toyama, Japan in 2008. He served AACT as AACT Region V Rep for six years, and is currently an AACT board member at-large, serving on the Audit Committee, as vice-chair of the International Committee, and as an Endowment Trustee. Jim is the 2015 Festival Commission Chair.
Fellows of the American Association of Community Theatre
1978 Founding Fellows: