Mort Clark Award

Mort Clark International Achievement
Recognizes significant achievement in the promotion of excellence in international community theatre

(This award may be presented at an international event)

2017 Honoree
Brid McBride (Dundalk, Ireland)
Brid McBrideJournalist, arts critic, broadcaster and writer, Brid McBride has long been admired within international theatre circles. Brid had a long and fruitful association with the U.S. Army Europe Entertainment program as an adjudicator, workshop leader, and teacher with hundreds of amateur theatre practitioners in Germany, England, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. “Professor Mort Clark introduced me to the world of community theatre, as he had connections in every corner of the globe,” she says. “He knew who was doing what, and when I, and others who ran the Dundalk International Maytime Festival for over 40 years, were putting programs together, his help was invaluable. He connected people and groups, and those people and groups generally remain lasting friends. My life has been enriched by my love of community theatre. The big, wide world has been shrunk to manageable proportions, and most important of all it has introduced me to life-long friends in all corners of the globe.”


Previous Recipients

2007  Hiroshi Koizumi (Japan)
2008  The Cellario Family (Monaco)
2009  Jim Sohre (Army Europe Command Entertainment)  
2013  L. Ross Rowland* (Muncie, IN)
2013  John Viars & Des Moines Playhouse (Des Moines, IN)
2014  Kathie Maldonado (Alto, NM)
2016  Eva Moore (Ontario, Canada)

          * Deceased


Mort Clark

Photo of Mort ClarkThis award is named in honor of Mort Clark, who began a 30-year career teaching Theatre and Speech at Westchester Community College in 1966. He served as department chair for a number of years and was instrumental in the design of the new theater in the Academic Arts Building. But he is perhaps best remembered for establishing an annual International Theatre Festival, which brought community theatre groups from all over the world to the Valhalla campus for a week of non-stop dramatic performances.

He served as president of the American Community Theatre Association (AACT's predecessor) and later served many years on the AACT Board as the Region II Rep. He was always there to greet new board members and make them feel welcome. He was honored by AACT with the David C. Bryant Outstanding Service Award, the Art Cole Award, and designation as an AACT Fellow. He adjudicated festivals throughout the country.

His passion for community theatre took him all over the world and earned him scores of awards, honorary titles and degrees too numerous to mention.  He was a familiar presence at AACT meetings, festivals and conventions for many years. In 1993 Mort traveled to Monaco to be knighted by Princess Caroline on behalf of her father, prince Rainier. He was awarded the Chevalier Medal of Culture at Monaco's Princess Grace Theatre, and was thereafter entitled to be addressed as “Sir Mortimer”--an honor that delighted him thoroughly. Mort retired from Westchester Community College in 1997, and that year he made over 40 trips to teach and work with theatre groups around the world. He continued to travel and work until his death in 2007 at age 78.

 

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