At a reception prior to the Equity Spring General Meeting at Phoenix Theatre on Monday, June 21, the Phoenix/Tucson Equity Liaison Committee presented long-time Equity member Judy Rollings with the 2010 Arizona Theatre Service Award.
The Theatre Service Award is presented annually by Arizona's Actors' Equity members to recognize significant contribution and service to the Arizona theatre community. "Judy was selected this year because of her many years of promoting professional theatre in Phoenix, as well as her part in establishing one of the most critically acclaimed theatres in the state," said Tony Hodges, Chair of the Phoenix/Tucson Equity Liaison Committee. "A great many of the state's actors — Equity and non-Equity — have worked with Judy at one time or another during their careers," he added, "and she continues to serve as a mentor, supporter and inspiration to Arizona's theatre community."
During the presentation of the award, Ms. Rollings said, "It has always been a gift and a privilege to work in theatre in our town, and whatever I have been able to do to further our 'cause' has more than repaid me artistically, emotionally and spiritually. I have been fortunate indeed."
Ms. Rollings began her career in theater as an actress, but has extensive directing credits as well. She was a founding member of Actors Theatre of Phoenix, and served as its Artistic Director for over eight years. During her tenure Actors Theatre won the Critics Circle Award for Innovative Programming and the New Times Award for the Best Professional Theater. Judy is also a recipient of the Phoenix Gazette's award for Best Director of a Drama. She is presently the Performance Outreach Director for the Herberger Theater Center where she is the Director of the Lunch Time Theatre Program. In 1995 Judy received a Lifetime Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theater in Phoenix from the metropolitan Phoenix theatre awards, the "ariZonis."
Past recipients of the Arizona Theatre Service Award include former theatre critic Max McQueen, university professors/actors/directors David Vining (ASU) and Harold Dixon (UA), actor Benjamin Stewart, and former head of the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Shelley Cohn.