The Ridgefield Theater Barn’s 2nd annual Concert for the Community in Ballard Park was a huge success. The crowd of roughly 250 people waited through some pre-show drizzly weather, but the concert went off without a hitch.
The event, which was brought together by hosts Pamme Jones and Duane Lanham, as well as music director Lisa Riggs Hobbs, featured some of the finest voices in the area. Charlotte Gray and Carly Stern, two Theater Barn Kids alumni, each performed and showcased the talents they honed in the Barn’s Kids program. Several past Barn cast members also took the stage, including Chris Balestriere (Urinetown), Meaghan Elliot (Urinetown), Robert Geils (Smorgasbord), Cathy Malloy (One Acts), and Michael Valinoti (Urinetown). Rounding out the impressive line-up were the incredibly talented Jaime Babbitt, Melissa McGuire, and Miran Robarts. Theater Barn partner, RKE Productions, provided sound for the concert, and RTB Technical Director, Mark Hankla, lights. The event was stage-managed by Ryan Tice with Ben Warner assisting.
In a surprise for co-host and RTB Executive Director Pamme Jones, the Theater Barn also took the opportunity during the course of the evening to honor her with the Wayne J. Leiss Service Award. In his presentation of the award, Wayne expressed that, “throughout the pandemic, Pamme tirelessly promoted not only the mission of the Theater Barn but also all the arts through her appointment to the Ridgefield Arts Council and work with the Cultural Alliance of Western CT. She was always there, always available, tirelessly striving to keep the theater afloat while still serving our many patrons.”
Citing her popular twice a week Ghost Light series, Wayne noted that during the last several months she, “has given us hope, calmed us down, kept us sane, brought us together at times of near despair, and helped us all stay in touch. At the same time, she kept us abreast of all things Ridgefield and let us know how we could support each other and our local businesses and arts organizations.”
The Ridgefield Theater Barn established the Wayne J. Leiss Service Award in his honor in 2020, to recognize “a person who best exemplifies the spirit and dedication to service that makes the Theater Barn such a wonderful place.” Originally created to honor outstanding and dedicated volunteers, the Board of Directors felt that Ms. Jones had far exceeded the expectations of her role as Executive Director and richly deserved the recognition for going above and beyond in her service to the theater and the community as a whole.