Twink Lynch Award

Twink Lynch Organizational Achievement
Recognizes AACT member theatres for successfully completing major steps in new directions, expanding services to their community, or moving to the next level of organizational development.

2017 Honoree
Encore Stage & Studio, Inc (Arlington, Virginia)
Encore Stage & Studio, Inc.Founded in 1967, Encore Stage & Studio is a children’s theatre that creates casts comprised entirely of students ages 9-18. The theatre invites children ages 12-18 to participate as backstage crew members, board operator, house managers, and stage managers. Until 2010, when their first Executive Director was hired, Encore was managed solely by a small team of dedicated volunteers. Since 2012, staffing has expanded to include six full-time and two part-time staff members, an arts administration apprentice, multiple summer interns and hundreds of production and education contractors. In just six short years, the organization’s budget has grown from $225,000 to $750,000, and programming has expanded not only in the number of shows per season, but in various camps, educational, and business partnership activities. The theatre has been recognized for its consistently excellent programs and was featured in a article entitled “12 Great Children’s Theatres across the U.S.”

2017 Honoree
Theatre Lawrence (Lawrence, Kansas)
Theatre LawrenceCurrently celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season, Theatre Lawrence was started by a handful of people pooling $500 to do a single show, the theatre grew and expanded into a viable organization buying and converting a former church in 1984. In 2013, the theatre made a quantum leap by successfully completing a $7.2 million capital campaign to build a new theatre and education facility. With 97% of funding coming from the private sector, the 35,000 square-foot facility now serves its community with state-of-the-art space, as well as new programming including the Hiebert Concert Series (classically trained, national award winning young pianists), “Live in the Lobby” small shows, summer partnerships with Boys & Girls Club, Lawrence Opera Theatre, the Lawrence Parks & Recreation Department, and after school and winter break programming for kids.

Previous Recipients

2003  Topeka Civic Theatre & Academy (KS)
           Quincy Community Theatre (IL)
2004  Albuquerque Little Theatre (NM)
2005  Bay City Players (MI)
2006  Chattanooga Theatre Centre
2007  Stuttgart Theatre Center, Germany
2008  SHAPE Performing Arts Center,  
           Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers
           Europe (Belgium)
2009  Venice Theatre (Venice, FL)
2010  Twin City Stage (Winston-Salem, NC)

2011  Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre (North Dakota-Minnesota)
          Theatre Memphis (Memphis, TN)
2012   Amelia Community Theatre (Fernandina Beach, FL)
            Family Arts Center (Houston, TX)
            Manatee Players (Bradenton, FL)
2013   Salina Community Theatre (Salina, KS)
2014   Aviano CommunityTheater, Aviano Air Base (Aviano, Italy)
           Mesa Encore Theatre (Mesa AZ)
           Tupelo Community Theatre (Tupelo, MS)
2015   Theatre Tulsa (Tulsa, OK)
2016   Lincoln Community Playhouse (Lincoln, NE)


Twink Lynch

Photo of Twink LynchThis award is named in honor of Twink Lynch, who has devoted her life to community theatre and to serving as a mentor to both individuals and community theatres across the country. She helped shepherd the national organization's transition from American Community Theatre Association (ACTA) to AACT, served on the Board for six years, including a term as President and VP of Education and on AACT committees for an additional 19 years. Twink managed Topeka (KS) Civic Theatre for many years, retired, then came back during hard times and guided the theatre back to a stable organization. Her passion was such that she earned three degrees in theatre; it is said, she is the only person to earn a Ph.D. in Community Theatre Management. Twink shared her knowledge and experience through consulting and through her "Spotlight on Boards" column in AACT's newsletter, which she wrote for 14 years. In 2000, she edited her columns into a book, Boards in the Spotlight, the proceeds of which benefit AACT. Her book and reprints of her articles still educate those who are managing and governing community theatres.



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