Sara Spencer Child Drama Award

About the Award

The Sara Spencer Child Drama Award recognizes the work of an individual or organization for dynamic and engaging work for young people. Nominees can excel in such areas as playwriting, performance, audience development, curriculum development, funding, scholarship, community programs, research, television programming, creative drama or other enrichment programs at their community, state, regional or national level.

This award honors children’s theatre pioneer and founder of the Children’s Theatre Press (now the Anchorage Press) Sara Spencer. Spencer was the first recipient of SETC’s Suzanne M. Davis Award in 1965.

2018 Award Recipient

Rhonda Wilson, Star Center Children’s Theatre

Left to Right: Rhonda Wilson, Star Center Children’s Theatre; Jeremy Kisling, Spencer Award Chair

Rhonda Wilson is the Founder/Director of Star Center Children’s Theatre in Gainesville, FL. Rhonda founded this Arts Education organization 18 years ago to educate and give performance opportunities to youth and their families. Rhonda expanded her vision to reach families when she chartered the Actors’ Warehouse. The AW is now a separate organization. Rhonda’s work has been recognized Nationally, Regionally and Statewide. Those awards include a 2017 Tony Award Nomination for Excellence in Theatre Education, Allstate National Champion for Good, Governors Award for Investment in Youth, Florida Distinguished Career Award, State Diversity and Inclusion Award, National Special Recognition Award from AACT, Girl Scouts Women Who Make A Difference and many local recognitions. Rhonda continues to follow her passion and just recently turned that small program that started 18 years ago into a year-round season of shows, workshops and classes. Her dream is make sure that every child has a place to SPARKLE and SHINE!

Jeremy Kisling
Appalachian Young People’s Theatre
Kim Wheetley
Brenda May Ito
Gayle Sergel
The Children’s Theatre Foundation of America
Betsy Bisson
South Carolina Children’s Theatre
Gainesville Theatre Alliance: WonderQuest
Theatre IV
Judith Kase-Polisini
Stage One: Louisville Children’s Theatre
NC Theatre for Young People
Al Cohen
Roger Bedard
Barbara Britton
Tom Behm
Ann Hill
Orlin Corey
Birmingham Children’s Theatre
Patricia Whitton
Elizabeth Rike
Lexington Children’s Theatre
The Department of Dramatic Arts at the University of South Alabama
Fort Lauderdale Children’s Theatre
The Chattanooga Theatre Centre’s Youth Theatre
Children’s Theatre of Charlotte


Nominations are closed for the 2018 Sara Spencer Child Drama Award.


For more information, contact Sara Spencer Child Drama Award Nominations Chair Jeremy Kisling.