Lifetime Achievement Award 2014
The Players' Ring is well known for its distinctive approach to showcasing theatre and performing arts. It's an approach born of the remarkable achievements and spirit of founding member and director of the Players’ Ring, Barbara Newton. Barbara has been involved in virtually every aspect of running the theatre since 1992.
She is responsible for the finance and administration operations of the venue, including grant writing, fundraising, and strategic planning. Elected president by the board of directors in 2000 (replacing the late founder F. Gary Newton) Barbara oversees the day-to-day operations at the Players' Ring and has guided major renovations and repair projects to their historic theatre building from adding new lighting to installing a new roof and new seating.
Barbara has been the driving force, establishing the Players’ Ring as a truly remarkable small theatre receiving many kudos in the creatively competitive Seacoast arts community.
"Matty" Award for Vision & Tenacity
Carol Bagan was a New York teacher when she first appeared onstage as Fire for “Fire and Ice,” dancing in red-dyed cheesecloth. Since that experience, her theatrical flame has never gone out. Carol moved to Concord in 1970 not knowing a soul and soon found a second home on Prince Street at the Concord City Auditorium.
The beginning of a long volunteer relationship with Community Players of Concord introduced her to Concord’s many community-based arts organizations. As Carol produced, painted, promoted (even performed) she became aware of the looming threat to the Auditorium’s existence and met the challenge head-on. In 1991 when the city manager announced the intention to close the city-owned Auditorium and turn it into three floors of office space, Carol, with the late Harriet Ward, a trustee of the Walker Lecture Fund, shared a vision to work in partnership with the city “to preserve and maintain the historic municipal theatre and foster its affordable and accessible use for the benefit of everyone in the community.”
Supported by Concord’s arts groups, this partnership prevailed. In the last 24 years the Friends of The Audi have raised and invested more than $1.5 million in upgrades to the theater. Every year hundreds of people volunteer time, talent and help sustain a treasured community inspired in no small part by the vision and tenacity of Carol Bagan.