Hall of Fame

Established by SETC in 2015, the Southeastern Theatre Conference Hall of Fame recognizes persons, living or deceased, who have made major contributions to the organization. These contributions may be administrative, artistic, and/or financial and have made a significant impact on SETC’s success over a sustained period of time. The Hall of Fame commemorates their achievements and celebrates their meaningful contributions to the organization.


2023 nominations were accepted from Sept. 1 – Oct. 28, 2022.

Selection Process / Other Details

  • Who can submit a nomination? Members of the board, SETC staff, or members of SETC in good standing can nominate anyone they feel appropriate.
  • Who makes selections? SETC’s Executive Committee will be the arbiter for who is selected as a member of that year’s class of recipients. Decisions by ExCom will be made by the conclusion of Winter ExCom meeting.
  • How many nominees will be inducted? Five individuals were inducted the first year (2017-2018). Up to three individuals will be inducted each year thereafter.
  • When will nominees be inducted? The induction will take place during the annual Business Meeting at the SETC Convention.
  • Who is eligible? Those individuals who are inducted will have given significant service to the organization but do not have to be members. Individuals who have received the Suzanne Davis Award are also eligible for inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
  • How will inductees be honored? Upon induction, a plaque will be presented to the inductee, and their name will be placed on a “virtual” plaque that is always present on our website.

Virtual Plaque

SETC Hall of Fame Award

In Honor of Dedicated Service That Has Shaped the Southeastern Theatre Conference

2023 Inductees
Tom Booth | John Spiegel | Deanna Thompson

2022 Inductees
Quiana Clark-Roland | Ward Haarbauer | Constance R. Smith

2021 Inductees
Barbara Hartwig | Chad McDonald | Philip G. Hill

2020 Inductees
Jack Benjamin | David Wohl | Vivian & Larry Snipes

2019 Inductees
Chip Egan | Betsey Horth | Jose C. Simbulan

2018 Inductees
Don Creason | Dr. N. Bennett East | April J’Callahan Marshall | Jonathan Michaelsen | Julie A. Richardson

2023 Inductees

Tom Booth

Tom Booth was the executive director of the Tupelo (MS) Community Theatre for more than 20 years prior to passing away unexpectedly on Jan. 10, 2023. He graduated from Mississippi State University in 1976 with a degree in education, then taught in Meridian City Schools for several years before earning a graduate degree in accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi.

Community theatre was his passion. His first involvement came in 1978, when he was cast in a role at Amory (MS) Community Theatre. He later was an active volunteer at Meridian Little Theatre.

Tupelo (MS) Community Theatre (TCT) became his “second home” after he auditioned for (and got!) a part in Ponder Heart in 1992. Tom was an active volunteer, actor and director there for 10 years before he was named TCT’s first executive director in 2002. He continued to direct shows, while leading the organization through more than 20 years of phenomenal growth, including opening its TCT Off Broadway venue. That step in TCT’s growth led to the theatre being honored with the Twink Lynch Organizational Achievement Award from the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT).

During those same years, Tom was an active participant in SETC, serving in a number of volunteer positions. Among others, he was chair of the Community Theatre Division, Vice President of Divisions, a member of the Finance Committee and a member of the Long-Range Planning Committee. He also brought a number of shows to SETC’s Community Theatre Festival – where he took top honors with the Best Production award three times.

Tom was a past president of the Mississippi Theatre Association and winner of its Stephen Cunetto Award for exemplary service to theatre in Mississippi. He also was an active member of AACT, serving on that organization’s board of directors, and was a respected theatre adjudicator for festivals across the United States.

Spiegel,John Headshot
John Spiegel

A director and a designer, John Spiegel came to the theatre through stage management. His love of the art is rediscovered every day through his students at Piedmont University, where he serves as an associate professor of theatre. A Georgia native who grew up in Atlanta, John graduated high school from the Westminster Schools, received his BA from Davidson College, and earned his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

He has directed over 100 shows during his university and professional career: from Rumple Schumpl to Pla and from The Three Musketeers to The Hobbit. His most recent production was Peter and the Starcatcher at Piedmont University.

John has been an exceptionally generous member of SETC. Currently the chair of the Stage Management Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, he has served SETC in many roles over his two decades of involvement with the organization, including: chair of the Theatre for Youth Invitational Festival, chair of the Theatre for Youth Division, chair of the SETC Endowment, chair of the Silent Auction, chair of the Finance Committee, and Vice President of Finance.

In addition to his involvement with SETC, John is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, USITT, the Stage Managers’ Association and the Society of American Fight Directors.

Outside of his theatre endeavors, Spiegel serves the people of Georgia as a member of the Georgia Department of Defense, where he holds the rank of Captain and serves as the Commanding Officer of the Third Battalion, First Brigade.

Deanna Thompson

Deanna Thompson has worked as a freelance editor, writer, designer and project manager for SETC for nearly three decades. She became editor of SETC’s magazine, Southern Theatre, in 1994 and editor of its newsletter, SETC News, in 1996. She holds a degree in journalism, with a magazine specialization, from Ohio University.

During Deanna’s time as editor, with strong support from former Executive Director Betsey Horth, Southern Theatre evolved from a mostly black-and-white publication into a four-color magazine exploring theatre across the Southeast and around the nation. The magazine’s articles have covered the theatre industry’s most challenging topics, winning awards for excellence from the National Federation of Press Women and PICA, Printing Industry of the Carolinas. In recent years, the magazine has expanded in size through advertising sales, with Southern Theatre returning a profit for the organization.

Over the years, Deanna has worked closely with the SETC Publications Committee and the Southern Theatre Editorial Board, composed of SETC members who suggest story ideas, help to determine the story plan for each issue, and review stories before publication.

Deanna also writes, edits and designs the organization’s bimonthly email newsletter, SETC News, working directly with SETC‘s Central Office to gather the organization’s important news and research articles.

Deanna’s high editorial standards, extreme attention to detail, and deep institutional knowledge of SETC have long been invaluable to our organization and the stories we share.

In addition to her work with SETC, Deanna provides writing, editing and design services to other clients and a variety of publications. She also has worked as a newspaper reporter, covering the Capitol and politics in Florida and New Hampshire. She is the author of two books: Greensboro: A New Metropolis, a coffee table book about the city, and 100 Years Old with Baby Teeth, a children’s book about a girl who is sure she will never lose a tooth. Deanna also has edited and designed eight books, including SETC’s Outside the Box: 25 Design-Tech Strategies to Save You Time and Money, published in 2008.

2022 Inductees

Quiana Clark-Roland 2022 photo
Quiana Clark-Roland

Quiana Clark-Roland serves as the Executive Director for the American Association of Community Theatres (AACT). AACT is the largest network of community theatre practitioners and advocates in the nation. Prior to AACT, Quiana served as the Executive Assistant and Program Manager for the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC), planning and coordinating one of the largest and diverse theatre festivals in the country. During graduate school, she began her career as the Administrative Assistant for the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, a membership and service organization based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania whose mission is to strengthen and amplify the voices of the more than 400 member organizations who generate over $4.1 billion in economic impact for the greater Philadelphia and surrounding regions.

Quiana has M.S. in Arts Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Arts Administration with a minor in Theatre from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky.  She is a mother of two and a passionate advocate for the arts.

Ward Haarbauer

Ward attended his first SETC convention in 1962 as an auditionee (one callback and no job offer) and continued for a total of 50 consecutive years.  For five years he was an auditioning director at the SETC annual auditions when he was directing Horn in the West in Boone NC, during which time, according to the Institute of Outdoor Drama, he was the youngest director of a professional outdoor drama in America.  After founding what became the Department of Theatre at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, he continued his SETC involvement as a faculty member.

During that time he served SETC on and chaired an assortment of committees and as Administrative Vice President for two years, as Vice President, and as President in 1981.  For 11 years he chaired the Bylaws Committee (known affectionately by some as the “Bylaws Police”) and, with Phil Hill, led an extensive study of the Bylaws to assure that they were consonant with SETC’s needs and mission and served all of its members fairly and equitably.  He was presented with the Suzanne M. Davis Award in 2004.

Ward holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin and an M.A. in Speech and a B.A. in Physics from the University of Alabama.  During his 40-year career at UAB he was also very active in theatre in his home state, directing more than 80 productions and helping to found the Birmingham Area Theatre Alliance and the Alabama Conference of Theatre, both of which recognized him with their respective awards for outstanding service to theatre in their respective domains.  He was inducted into the Alabama Theatre Hall of Fame in 2004 and received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching in Arts and Humanities in 2007.  When he retired in 2007 he had spent 21 years as Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities and is now Professor Emeritus at UAB.

In retirement he directed and performed with The Seasoned Performers, the senior adult theatre founded by his wife, Martha, in 1984.

Connie R. Smith photo
Constance R. Smith

Constance R. Smith became the Director of Technical Theatre at the Center for Performing Arts at Chipola College in 2012. In addition to teaching the technical production courses, she is responsible for the scenic/lighting design & technical direction for all performances in the Center for the Arts. She holds an MFA degree in Technical Production from Florida State University, a BFA in Theatrical Design & Technology from Auburn University, and an MS in Recreational Therapy (Expressive Arts Therapy focus) from the University of South Alabama. Prior to working at Chipola, Connie was the Scene Shop Supervisor/Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of South Alabama for 11 years. She has worked in theatrical design and production for over 35 years in theatres in the southeast. In addition to Chipola College and the University of South Alabama, she has designed and/or taught at Meredith College, University of Mobile, and Valdosta State University.

In the fall of 2001, just after being hired at the University of South Alabama, Connie attended a local arrangements committee meeting for the upcoming 2002 SETC Convention in Mobile, Alabama. She was assigned to work in the Job Contact Area (now known as Job Fair).  When Connie reported for duty at the convention, she met someone who would turn out to be a lifelong friend, April J’Callahan Marshall. April was the Director of Professional Services in the SETC Central Office and headed up the Job Contact Service and Professional Auditions. After working together through that convention, it was clear they both shared a vision to improve JCS for both the companies and the applicants. Betsey Horth saw this as a progressive alliance and asked Connie to be a member of the onsite team for the next year, which turned into many more years. From 2002 through 2020 Connie not only worked onsite with April in Job Fair but also worked with her throughout each year between conventions, implementing new plans and strategies to streamline and improve the convention experience. It has been a great honor to serve all of those years with Betsey, April, Central Office Staff, and all of the many Job Squad volunteers.

Connie attended her first SETC convention in 1986 in Charlotte, North Carolina as a design/tech student at Auburn University. Her mentor, A. Lynn Lockrow was a devoted member of SETC and taught all of his students how important it was to not only be a member of professional organizations but to also serve them. He was particularly proud of Connie’s commitment to SETC and was still attending conventions for the first several years that she worked in JCS. He was one of her very first panelists for the Production Resume Review Workshop, which Connie created and first mediated at the 2007 SETC convention in Atlanta, Georgia.

2021 Inductees

Barbara Hartwig Headshot
Barbara Hartwig

Originally from NC, Barbara first performed on stage at the age of 6 in the outdoor drama, The Lost Colony.  After high school, Barbara danced with the San Antonio Ballet and then attended the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, where she received a BFA in Acting and Directing.

Barbara is a proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association.  She has performed on Broadway, danced at the White House, toured nationally in Me and My Girl and The Will Rogers Follies, toured Europe as Ado Annie in Oklahoma!, performed on cruise ships and in theme parks, and can be seen as an orphan in the original movie Annie.

In 2008, Coastal Carolina University approached Barbara at SETC about a teaching position.  Barbara was hired on as a faculty member and taught dance in the department of theatre at CCU for five years.

In 2013, Barbara and her husband moved to Orlando, where she currently lives and works as a performer at Universal Orlando Resort.

As a choreographer/director, Barbara has choreographed and directed over 75 productions for regional theatres, theme parks, cruise ships, and Universities around the country, many of which she connected with at SETC.

Barbara began her SETC career in 1989, as an assistant to choreographer, Eric Nielson.  She demonstrated the combinations and assisted auditionees in preparing to perform these combinations for most of 14 years.  In 2003, Barbara took over the position as the SETC Choreographer.  “My goal was to give both the auditionees and the companies the best dance audition experience possible.  I worked to create a professional, fun and stress-free atmosphere where the auditionees could do their best work, the companies could clearly see the auditionees abilities, and everyone would have a positive experience.”

In 2015, Barbara retired from the position.  “I will always treasure my time with this wonderful organization.  Through SETC, I made so many connections that continue to further my career and I worked with some of the best people in the industry.  It always makes me smile when people come up to me and say, “Hey, I know you; you ran the dance auditions at SETC.”

Headshot.SETC.2021 Chad McDonald
Chad McDonald

Chad McDonald is a member of the Tennessee Theatre Association (TTA) where he served as President from 2009-10 and as the TTA Community Theatre Chair for multiple years. He also serves as the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT) representative for the state of Tenn. He was recognized for his work in the state with TTA’s 2010 Distinguished Service Award.

Chad works as the Cultural Arts Superintendent for the City of Cookeville, Tenn. He is responsible for multiple events and programs and has been executive producer for over 65 productions in the state, regional, and national award-winning Backstage at CPAC theatre series at the Cookeville Performing Arts Center.

Chad’s introduction to SETC came in 1999, attending with an advancing production in the SETC Community Theatre Festival. He began volunteering for SETC in 2004, at the request of SETC’s April Marshall, as the stage manager for the inaugural Fringe Festival in Chattanooga, Tenn. Encouraged by former SETC Executive Director Betsey Horth, that role quickly grew into more responsibility and he became the production manager for the annual SETC convention handling logistics for keynote speeches, the Design Tech Mixer, and design awards as well as the Fringe, Theatre for Youth, and Ten-Minute Play festivals. You will often see Chad with other talented members of the SETC Dream Team and tech crew loading-in, installing, running, and striking light, sound, staging, and video equipment – all around the convention space. As Chad stated, he plans to continue in this role “…as long as I am needed and able, because it’s an honor and privilege to work with such a talented, diverse, and energetic group of artists and professionals!”

Phil Hill photo
Philip G. Hill

Phil holds degrees from the U. of Florida, U. of North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and Tulane University. He retired as Professor Emeritus in 1998 after teaching and directing plays for 34 years at Furman University. He is the author of seven published textbooks and numerous theatre-related articles. He was co-founder and second President (1969-70) of the South Carolina Theatre Association and served as Treasurer of the American Theatre Association, 1977-1980.

Phil first attended an SETC convention in 1965, and was elected Executive Secretary- Treasurer of SETC in 1968. That officer was responsible for the work now performed by the SETC central office, and after four years of service Phil coordinated the employment of SETC’s first paid staff and the establishment of the first central office in 1972. Subsequently, Phil was elected Vice-President of SETC in 1973 and then President in 1974-75. He was presented the Suzanne M. Davis Award in 1976.

Phil chaired the committee that created Theatre Symposium as SETC’s scholarly journal and he served as its editor for volumes 1 and 2, 1993-94. He continued to serve on the Theatre Symposium Editorial Board and its Steering Committee through 2020.

2020 Inductees

Jack Benjamin Headshot
Jack Benjamin

Jack retired in 2018 after 32 years at the University of South Carolina Aiken and holds the rank of Professor Emeritus. Jack served as chair of the Department of Visual & Performing Arts from 1996 until his retirement and as Executive Director of the Etherredge Center from 2012 until his retirement in 2018.

Jack began his association with Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in 1986 and first joined the SETC Board in 1989 as the State Representative for South Carolina.  In 2002 held the position of SETC President Elect and planned the Mobile, AL SETC Convention. In 2003 he served his first term as SETC President. Since then he has served as Elected Past President, the chair of Endowment or Finance and three more terms as President of SETC. In 2002, Jack received the John F. Kennedy Center Medallion for his work in educational theatre. In 2004 he received the Founders Award from the South Carolina Theatre Association. In March 2006 he received the Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award from SETC and in 2017 Jack was inducted into the South Carolina Theatre Association Hall of Fame. Jack currently serves on the SETC Board of Directors as the Elected Past President.

Larry and Vivian Snipes
Vivian and Larry Snipes

Vivian and Larry, Artistic and Producing Directors respectively of Lexington Children’s Theatre (LCT), have shepherded LCT from its roots as a small community theatre to its present status as a nationally recognized theatre for youth. LCT is now a $1.3 million company that provides arts and arts education to over 120,000 young people and low or no cost arts experiences to almost 18,000 young people and families each year across Kentucky.

Larry and Vivian share a true passion for providing opportunities that challenge, explore, and refine emerging artistry and strive to encourage, instill, and inspire their love for the theatre field in LCT’s staff.  Opening young people’s eyes and minds (and those young at heart) to the world of theatre and the arts has been the driving force behind every accomplishment of their careers.

Larry’s connection with Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) began in 1971 as a participant in the SETC High School Theatre Festival and since then he has chaired the SETC Theatre for Youth Division and served on the Auditions Committee. Vivian leads LCT’s participation in the SETC Ready to Design Awards, and both she and Larry have served as respondents and presenters multiple times for SETC.

David Wohl
David Wohl

David holds a Ph.D. in Theatre from Kent State University and recently retired from Winthrop University where he is Dean and Professor Emeritus.  Prior to his position at Winthrop, David served as Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities and Professor of Communications and Media Studies at West Virginia State University, a historically black university located in Institute, WV. He was SETC’s Treasurer from 1994 to 1996 and President in 1997-1998.  Most recently, he served as Elected Past President and Vice President of Finance and, in 2019, completed his eleventh (non-consecutive) term on SETC’s Executive Committee.  He was the recipient of the Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award in 2001.

David has directed and/or acted in over 100 theatre productions in a variety of academic, community, and professional theatre companies. He served as Artistic Director of the Charleston (WV) Stage Company for 19 years and held the position of General Manager of the Porthouse Repertory Theatre in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.  In 2006, he received the West Virginia Lifetime Achievement Arts Award from Governor Joe Manchin. He was the recipient of Winthrop University’s Medal of Honor in the Arts in 2017.

Since his retirement from Winthrop University, he’s acted in several local theatre productions in Charleston, SC where he teaches as an adjunct faculty member for the College of Charleston’s arts management program. He also teaches online for Winthrop’s graduate degree in arts administration and has served as lead consultant for SETC’s consulting service.

2019 Inductees

Chip Egan
Chip Egan

Chip is a life member and former president of SETC having overseen the 1996 convention in Louisville, KY. He is also a past president of the South Carolina Theatre Association (SCTA). Now a professor emeritus, he spent 33 years as a professor of theatre, chair and dean at Clemson University. He first joined SETC in 1980 and became active as chair of the SETC New Play Contest. He continues his career as a professional actor and director and enjoys serving as a mentor for many in the industry. He most recently chaired the search committee for the Executive Director of SETC. He is a recipient of the SETC Suzanne Davis Award and the SCTA Founders and Lifetime Service Awards, and a member of the Clemson University College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities Hall of Fame.

Betsey Horth
Betsey Horth

As SETC Executive Director for 20 years (1999 to 2019), Betsey Horth’s leadership has insured widespread recognition and notoriety for SETC. She has been instrumental in the development and growth, as well as the financial success of the organization. In 2018, Betsey was presented with the Suzanne M. Davis Memorial Award for distinguished service to SETC. She received the 2012 Gold Medallion Award from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) Region IV. Prior to becoming the Executive Director of SETC, Betsey taught costuming at Buffalo State College for 11 years and worked in marketing and/or development for professional theatres in Wisconsin and in Buffalo, NY. She has also performed as a commercial/film actress, and successfully produced her own play Joan of Arc: Alive!

Jose C. Simbulan
Jose C. Simbulan

Jose started playing for the SETC Professional Division auditions in 1994, and he has been at the piano for almost all of the SETC Spring and Fall auditions since then. He also plays regularly for the State Screening Auditions for the Virginia Theatre Association, Disney Parks and Cruise Line, as well as the Unified Professional Theatre Auditions (UPTA) in Memphis. Currently based in New York City, he works extensively as an audition pianist and vocal coach. As a music director and conductor, his recent credits include productions for Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, Connecticut Repertory Theatre’s Nutmeg Summer Series, Shakespeare Theatre Company, National Asian Artists Project (NAAP), and Virginia Repertory Theatre. He is a proud graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University.

2018 Inductees

Don Creason
Don Creason

Don is a former President of SETC and the Florida Theatre Association and was the recipient of the 2000 Florida Theatre Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Don served on SETC’s board of directors for three years and planned the 1982 convention in Orlando. Don was the Director of the Asolo Theatre and served as Associate Dean of the Florida State University School of Theatre in the 1980s. Before he retired, he served as Executive Managing Director of Sarasota Ballet. He was a valued member of SETC for over two decades, including a stint as the Chair of the Professional Theatre Division.

Dr. N. Bennett East
Dr. N. Bennett East

Dr. East was professor and chairman of Marshall University’s Department of Theatre/Dance for 28 years and made significant contributions to SETC for three decades. He was one of the founders of the West Virginia Theatre Conference and held every elective office of that organization, including three terms as President. He was the SETC West Virginia state representative for over 10 years and in that capacity served on SETC’s Board of Directors. Bennett also chaired the SETC Auditions Committee for many years. He was instrumental in developing the operations and procedures that are still utilized at SETC’s auditions and helped to establish the original state screening audition process. He received the West Virginia Theatre Conference’s lifetime achievement award, and was a fixture at SETC conventions for over 25 years. Bennett died in 2011.

April J’Callahan Marshall

April is currently the Director of  Professional Theatre Services at SETC and has worked tirelessly on behalf of the organization since 2000. She propelled SETC into the online era by creating the organization’s first comprehensive database and online event registration system which she still oversees. Her service has helped foster improved communications by facilitating the sharing of information across all sectors of the organization. April has been the ongoing catalyst for matching professional companies with actors and offstage personnel pursuing work. Moreover, she has streamlined the Professional Screening Auditions for the Southeastern States and has helped both the SETC Professional Division and Auditions Committees set and alter policies and practices by continually sharing participant feedback. Under her the management, the Theatre Job Fair has tripled in size and evolved to include an ever growing number of full-time/year-round positions in addition to the summer-only positions which had traditionally been available via the Theatre Job Board which she helped develop and oversees.  She is also in charge of the Festivals for Community Theatre and Theatre for Youth, Ready to Design, Ready to Direct and Ready to Publish.  She also adjudicates and provides workshops regionally. In her copious spare time, April acts and directs as opportunities present themselves.

Jonathan Michaelsen

Jonathan has served the organization in multiple roles including treasurer, president elect and President of SETC. In addition to providing professional guidance to the organization, he has worked to ensure that SETC’s employees receive an employment package that remains one of the best available to individuals working in theatre. Jonathan taught and was an administrator at the University of Alabama for fifteen years, before becoming Chair of Theatre, Drama, and Contemporary Dance at Indiana University.  He serves as Artistic Producing Director of Indiana University’s professional theatre and continues to direct regularly in both the academic and professional seasons.

Julie A. Richardson

Julie is a director and AEA stage manager and works on behalf of SETC in many capacities, primarily in volunteer roles. She was the SETC Audition Director for 12 years, attended to hire talent on behalf of professional companies, and has helped build the strong stage management track at SETC. She continues to present workshops at the annual convention, adjudicates for SETC, and is an active member of SETC’s Institute of Outdoor Theatre.


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