Mark Sumner R. Award


In 1990, the Institute of Outdoor Theatre established the Mark R. Sumner Award to honor his lifetime contribution in the field of outdoor theatre. The award recognizes significant contributions by an individual to a specific drama, or to the outdoor drama movement as a whole, including but not limited to playwriting, directing, acting, design, theater architecture, patronage, scholarship, musical composition, technology and innovation, producing and administration. Recipients have played a major role in the production of a specific outdoor drama or they have made a noteworthy impact on the movement as a whole. The Mark R. Sumner Award is a national award and exemplifies the highest standards of American outdoor drama. This award is presented annually at the National Conference on Outdoor Theatre and is selected
by the chair of the Outdoor Theatre committee, two previous winners of the award, and the current president of SETC or their appointee. Nominations will remain active for consideration for two years beyond the year that the nomination was received. The deadline for the 2023 nominations is Thursday, September 14, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Sumner Nomination Form

Past Winners of the Mark R. Sumner Award

• 2022 – Harriet Schlader, Producer, Producers Associates/Woodminster Summer Musicals/Woodminster Amphitheater
• 2021 – Brandon Smith, Producer/CEO, The Scioto Society, Tecumseh!
• 2019 – Marina Hunley-Graham, Artistic Director, Unto These Hills
• 2018 – John Russell, Executive Director and CEO, Montford Park Players
• 2017 – Susan Phillips, Assistant to the Director of SRAPAS at ECU
• 2016 – R. Scott Phillips, Executive Director, Utah Shakespeare Festival
• 2014 – Michael Graham, Producer/Director, Power & Light Productions
• 2013 – Paul Nicholson, Executive Director Emeritus, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
• 2012 – Jackie Mills, Founder/Playwright, Salado Legends
• 2011 – Scott J. Parker, Director Emeritus, Institute of Outdoor Theatre
• 2010 – William R. Winkler III, Board Chair, Horn in the West
• 2009 – James E. Wilson, General Manager/Producer, Snow Camp Outdoor Theatre
• 2008 – Gayle Bowling, General Manager, Theatre West Virginia
• 2007 – Anne “Si” Arnold, Costumer, The Stephen Foster Story
• 2006 – Mark Hofflund, Managing Director, Idaho Shakespeare Festival
• 2005 – Barbara Polly, Producer, Trail of the Lonesome Pine
• 2004 – Dennis Anderson, Artistic Director, Ramona and San Jacinto Valley Shakespeare Festival
• 2003 – Larry D. Gustke, Assoc. Professor, Tourism Management, NC State University
• 2002 – Fred Alley, Artistic Director/Founder, American Folklore Theatre
• 2001 – Tina Packer, Artistic Director/Founder, Shakespeare & Co.
• 2000 – Marion N. Waggoner, Producer/Artistic Director, Tecumseh!
• 1999 – William M. Hardy, Director, Unto These Hills
• 1998 – Fred C. Adams, Founder, Utah Shakespearean Festival
• 1997 – W. L. “Rusty” Mundell, Founder, Tecumseh!
• 1996 – David W. Weiss, Director and Designer, 16 outdoor dramas
• 1995 – William W. Patton, Executive Director, Oregon Shakespeare Festival
• 1994 – Josef Meier, Founder, The Black Hills Passion Play
• 1993 – Kermit Hunter, Playwright of 43 outdoor dramas
• 1992 – Raymond Raillard, General Manager, TEXAS
• 1991 – Bert Ballard, General Manager, The Stephen Foster Story