Lisa Carr, an enthusiastic DC theatergoer who considers less than a hundred shows to be a “slow year”, has won the 2016 Gary Lee Maker Audience Award as this year’s outstanding audience member.
The award is named after a vigorous DC Theater activist who died in 2011, and is dedicated to recognizing the crucial role each audience member plays at every performance and in sustaining the growth of the DC area theatre community.
The Ireland-born Carr traces her love of theater to her mother, an aficionado of experimental theater. “When I was in elementary school,” Carr says, “I thought Broadway was in my town because we went there so much.”
Carr moved to DC in 1995, but took a while to get involved with the theater scene here, attending only a few plays each year. In 2006, she bought an all access pass for the inaugural Capital Fringe Festival, which re-sparked her passion for theater. In each of the last 10 years, she has attended hundreds of shows, including as much of the Fringe Festival as possible. “I had a slow theater year this year,” said Carr. “I’ve only been to 96 plays so far.”
In addition to being involved as an audience member, Carr has been active in theater governance. She serves on the Board of Nu Sass Productions and served as Board Chair for banished? productions, which closed this summer.
But it was Brave Spirits Theatre, another fresh DC company, which nominated Carr for the Maker Award. In nominating Carr, Brave Spirits Artistic Director noted that “she is an enthusiastic cheerleader. She shares on social media and in person what’s she’s seen that excited and moves her. She encourages others to take part in the great theatre in this town. And she is a devoted supporter of DC’s smaller theatre companies, giving support during the most vital and uncertain years of a theatre company’s life — the beginning.”
This is not the first time Carr has been nominated for the Gary Maker Award. In 2014, both Venus Theatre and the Source Festival nominated her.
Carr will receive the Maker Award on Wednesday, September 28 at Brave Spirits’ production of Antony and Cleopatra, at The Lab of the Convergence, 1819 N. Quaker Lane, Alexandria, VA at 8 PM. Everyone is invited to join us for the presentation. Details and tickets.
In addition to Carr, Betsy Freeman (Landless Theatre), John Hague (Quotidian Theatre), Holly Hassett (Keegan Theatre), Sandra Buratti (MetroStage), Michael Kyrioglou (Constellation Theatre) and Louis Delair (Arena Stage) received nominations.