John Maccanelli Volunteer of the Year Award
John Maccanelli served as the Racine Theatre Guild photographer for lobby shots and production photos for nearly every show from 1981 until 1993. A professional photographer, John donated more than his camera talents. Over the years he spent hundreds of hours helping to build sets and chairing or working on props crews. He chaired the playreading committee for the 1992-1993 season. He travelled with the RTG on two overseas trips, in 1987 and 1989. John explained his work ethic while volunteering as “inventive and organized.” He said, “Even if I’m just moving sets or tearing them down, I see what needs to be done and do it.” His love of theatre and the friendships he formed with other volunteers and theatre staff shown through everything he did.
John saw the camera as his form of theatre. “Looking through a camera is like looking at a performance on a stage. The proscenium is like the lense.” His work was seen in lobby photos, local newspapers, the RTG archives, and on the pages of the newsletter in headshots, cast photos, and much more. What started off as a launching point for his personal photography studio later became an essential part of the history of the Guild.
Whether it was behind a camera or with a hammer in his hand, John continued to express his passion and dedication to the performing arts. He passed away after a long battle with cancer in 1993. His “can do” spirit and commitment inspired the Volunteer of the Year Award, which has been given out annually since then to an individual who has demonstrated exceptional dedication and versatility throughout the past season.
Volunteer of the Year Award Winners
|Vivian Stetler -1993||George Mangold -1994|
|Marsha Nelson – 1995||Nancy Moldenhauer – 1996|
|Betsy Kippers – 1997||Marge Henze – 1998|
|Brian Schalk – 1999||Donna Nielsen – 2000|
|Rose Bliss – 2001||Kate Potter-Barrow – 2002|
|Phil Paulsen – 2003||Ron Halvorsen – 2004|
|Michael Kurhajec – 2005||Michael Pirtle – 2006|
|Kathy Berg – 2007||Russ Stetler – 2008|
|Bob Benson – 2009||Kelli Kauzlarich – 2010|
|Sharon Molina – 2010||Cindy David – 2011|
|Lori Russ – 2012||Karen Hamilton – 2013|
|Jamie Johnson – 2014||Anna Marie Hoeft Smetana – 2015|
|Frank Russ – 2016||Mike Kishline – 2017|
|Jill Dickert – 2018||Cynthy McCrory – 2019|
|Sheila Simonsen – 2020||Norgie Metzinger – 2022|