Howell wins Community Playhouse top honor


Shoshana Howell, right, accepts the Community Players of Hobbs’ highest honor, the Tom Mason Award, on Saturday from Christie Harkness.


The Community Players of Hobbs awarded its highest honor, the Tom Mason Award, on Saturday.

At its annual awards banquet on Saturday, around 100 theater supporters and enthusiasts gathered to celebrate the 2018 season and presented Shoshana Howell the Tom Mason Award.

The Tom Mason Award is the theater’s highest honor and named after one of the community theater’s founders. The Hobbs theater group traces its roots back to 1937. The Tom Mason Award is given to an individual for a body of work and contribution to the local theater, whether it be on stage, behind the scenes, volunteering or donations.

Howell is completing her fourth year on the board of directors. She has acted in multiple productions, been a house manager, been an assistant director, and built sets among other duties.

Doing a take off on the opening number of the popular musical “Hamilton,” last year’s Tom Mason Award winner, Christie Harkness, rapped Howell has been involved in all aspects of community theater.

“There’s a million things she always does,” rapped Harkness.

Howell’s first time on stage was in 2011 when she participated in the musical “Beauty and the Beast.” Her most recent role was as Violet in the musical “9 to 5.”

“It has been an honor and privilege to work with the Playhouse for the last eight years,” Howell said after being named. “They have become like a family to me.”

Other awards presented Saturday night were:

• Outstanding Newcomers Award: Randi and Zachary Jackson

• Outstanding Businesses: Sonic on Dal Paso and Tickets to the City.

• Outstanding Individuals: Cari and Kevin Combs, and Danielle Hammack.

• Lifetime Achievement: Leigh Melton.

• Carl Busch Scholarships: Lucy Acosta and Sydney Armstrong

• Unsung Heroes awards: Lucy Acosta, Claudia Acosta, Daniel Sylvas, Tyler Dayley, Kevin Combs, Nate Gibbs, Eric Taylor, the Hayes family, Josh Kelly, Kiersten Harkness, Zora Price, Cari Combs and Sandy Goad.

The Community Players of Hobbs board of directors for 2019 will include two new board members. Kari Combs will be the new board secretary and Marirene Pankratz will be the new marketing and publicity director. Serving another term will be Carey Linder, president; Christie Harkness, vice president; Luke Brister, treasurer; David Mink, building and grounds; and Sandy Goad, at-large.

The 2019 season will be:

• The romantic comedy, “Character Lines” in February.

• The comedy “Barefoot in the Park” in April.

• The musical “Sister Act” in June.

• The Youth Performing Arts Workshop will be James and the Giant Peach Jr. in July.

• The musical “Addams Family” in September.

• The annual haunted house in October.

• The comedy “Maid to Order” in December.