For over 60 years, US Army Europe Entertainment has produced a Tournament of Plays for US Army and Air Force Theater programs across Europe. It is now known as the US Army Installation Management Command (IMCOM) Europe Tournament of Plays or simply the TOPPERs.
The TOPPERs Awards Show and Ceremony is considered one of the premiere Army Family, Morale and Welfare region events of the year.
The mission of the TOPPERs Awards is to enhance resiliency and readiness of US Soldiers, Family Members and Civilians by:
Recognizing outstanding achievement in Army Entertainment field programs;
Providing educational and theater training to staff and volunteer participants;
Thanking thousands of Soldiers, Civilians and Family Members who provide hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours putting on live theater events in their overseas military communities.
Over a six to eight week period, professional theater adjudicators attend live performances at US Army, Air Force & Navy theater programs in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Following each performance, the adjudicators meet with the casts and crews to offer their objective comments on production successes as well as suggestions for improvements in future endeavors. In support of the TOPPERs educational goal, the adjudicators also offer free theater workshops in each community.
At the end of the adjudication period, the judges nominate individuals and shows for over 50 “Outstanding” TOPPERs Awards. These awards recognize outstanding achievements in acting, singing, musicianship, directing, youth performance, Soldier performance, production and many others.
The nominations are announced and awards presented at the gala TOPPERS Awards Show and Ceremony held every April at a US Army Garrison in Germany.
This formal, glittering, musical variety awards show is Army Entertainment's version of the "Tony" Awards. It is attend by over 600 Army Entertainment volunteers and staff; US Forces European Command Staffs; and region VIPs and celebrities.
The awards are announced and presented by Army Leaders and VIPs as well as by celebrity video announcements from stars such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Nina Arianda, Ben Stiller, Harvey Fierstein, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Pine, Kristin Chenoweth, Sean Hayes, Daniel Radcliffe and others.
This annual Army Europe Entertainment event has an important and lasting impact on US Servicemen & civilians, their families and local national citizens. The thousands of Entertainment volunteers' time and talents are honored and recognized publicly in an exciting venue.
The TOPPERs Award Show is a memorable event that enhances lives and the quality of life in the US Army overseas community.
Follow the links below for results, photos and other information on past TOPPERs.
For more information, contact:
Dane Winters, IMCOM Europe Entertainment Program Manager
Adjudication for the 2022 TOPPERs will begin 22 Feb., 2022. The TOPPERs Awards Show and Ceremony will be held April 20, 2022 in Wiesbaden, Germany. More information will be released soon.
We regret to announce, the 61st annual 2021 TOPPERS has been cancelled due to ongoing Covid 19 restrictions in Europe. The 2022 TOPPERs will begin in February, 2022 with awards presented in April, 2022.
1997 TOPPERs (Under construction)
1996 TOPPERs (Under construction)
US Army Europe Entertainment theaters comprise Region X of the American Association of Community Theatre (AACT)
and have represented the US Army in this national organization since 1997.
Membership in AACT provides Army Entertainment professional-level accreditation; a voice in the national theatre community; theatrical resources; and educational and learning opportunities for both staff and volunteers. AACT provides free membership to Active Duty Military members.
Army Entertainment productions have competed in the AACT National Theatre Festival since 1999 and have received many awards and honors.
The latest AACT Spotlight Magazine is available HERE.
Features all the 2021 National AACTFest "Outstanding" Awards.
2021 AACTFest "Outstanding Achievement" Awards:
The USAG Benelux SHAPE Performing Arts Center's production of "Holy Days" represented the US Army and Army Entertainment at the 2021 AACTFest virtual national festival, held 13-20 June, 2021. The production received two "Outstanding Achievement Awards" - for Set Design and Original Music. Congratulations to the cast and crew of SHAPE's "Holy Days."
2021 AACT National Recognition Awards:
Congratulations to Dan LaMorte, Entertainment Director of the USAG Benelux SHAPE Players Performing Arts Center on his 2021 AACT Spotlight Award. The award is presented for his remarkable impact on the US Army Europe Entertainment program and American Community Theatre.
Dan is retiring in April, 2021 after a 16 year career with Army Entertainment. His contribution, talent and leadership will be greatly missed in US Army Europe Entertainment. We wish him all the best in his retirement and future endeavors.
2020 AACT National Recognition Awards
The 2020 AACT National Awards were just announced and US Army Europe Entertainment (AACT Region X) received four honors.
Two US Army Entertainment Shows participated in the 2019 AACTFest National Festival held June 18-22, 2019 in Gettysburg, PA's Majestic Theater.
The shows garnered 11 Awards, received a great deal of national attention, and represented the US Army and Army Entertainment in a superior manner.
The shows were The Stuttgart Theatre Center's Kaleidoscope and the Ansbach Youth Theater's This Side of Heaven and received the following recognition:
2019 AACTFest National Community Theater Awards:
“Outstanding Achievement in Ensemble Performance” - Kaleidoscope, Stuttgart Theatre Center
“Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design” - Cindy Krewson, Kaleidoscope, Stuttgart Theatre Center
“Backstage Award” recognizing outstanding achievement in production - Stuttgart Theatre Center
2019 National Awards of Excellence (Special Judges’ Choice Awards):
“Outstanding Sound Design” - Alan Buxkemper, Kaleidoscope, Stuttgart Theatre Center
“Outstanding Theatrical Moment” - Meteor Impact, Kaleidoscope
, Stuttgart Theatre Center
2019 National YouthFest Awards:
“Outstanding Achievement in Acting” - Dean Bruce, This Side of Heaven, Ansbach Terrace Playhouse Youth Theatre
“Outstanding Achievement in Acting” - Libby Wellman, This Side of Heaven, Ansbach Terrace Playhouse Youth Theatre
“Outstanding Achievement in Direction” - Katherine McGrail, This Side of Heaven
, Ansbach Terrace Playhouse Youth Theatre
2019 AACTFest Monologue Competition:
“Best Adult Monologue” - LTC Brandy Thomas, Stuttgart.
2019 People's Choice Awards:
“Favorite Youth Show” - This Side of Heaven, Ansbach Terrace Playhouse Youth Theatre
“Favorite Youth Show Moment” - The Wheelchair Dance in This Side of Heaven, Ansbach Terrace Playhouse Youth Theatre
Special congratulations to Katherine McGrail, AACT "Outstanding Achievement in Directing" Award winner, on her article in Spotlight about the AACT Youth Arts Leadership Conference.
Previous US Army Region X AACT Fest National Festival Nominations
2017 - Counting the Ways. The SHAPE Performing Arts Center, Belgium.
2015 - Detachments. The SHAPE Performing Arts Center, Belgium.
2013 - Controlling Interest. The Soldiers' Theatre, Vicenza, Italy
2011 - Hauptmann. The SHAPE Performing Arts Center, Belgium
· Nominated for Best Scenic Design & Best Light Design
2009 - Hold Me. The SHAPE Performing Arts Center, Belgium
2007 - Wings. The SHAPE Performing Arts Center, Belgium
2005 - Suburb, the Musical. The Roadside Theater, Heidelberg, Germany
· Awarded Third Place "Best Overall Production"
· Awarded "Excellence in Acting Award" - Jeanne Ragonese
· Awarded "Excellence in Musical Production" - Deb Bauer
2003 - Wanda's Visit. The Ansbach Terrace Playhouse, Ansbach, Germany
2001 - W;t. The Roadside Theater, Heidelberg, Germany
· Awarded "Outstanding Achievement in Acting Award" - Victoria Lutz
1999 - Do Not Go Gentle. The Soldiers' Theatre, Vicenza, Italy
THEATRIX is an IMCOM Europe Garrison Support Element located on Frankenkaserne near Ansbach, Germany. Operated for IMCOM E with USAG Ansbach, it provides costume and technical support to Army Entertainment programs and other units across Europe.
This historic theater support facility contains over 500,000 costume pieces and is valued at over $1.5 million.
The collection includes a large selection of set pieces and props required for producing hundreds of shows.
Theatrix makes quality costumes and production materials available to US Army Europe Entertainment programs not available anywhere else and at affordable prices.
THEATRIX also supports Air Force theater groups, US Military units and organizations, Department of Defense Schools, International Schools and private organizations. Rentals to individuals is also possible.
NEW: THEATRIX is also supporting the Ansbach Garrison and the Europe Region during the current COVID 19 Crisis with "Desse" the Covide Fairy. Read about this wise and health-minded Fairy on the Ansbach Community Facebook Page.
On April 27, 2019, the staff of Theatrix, both past and present, were honored with an AACT Special Recognition Award for exceptional contributions in preserving this
unique, historic and valuable 65-year-old collection.
For More Information contact:
Brian McGrail, Manager: email@example.com
Kimberly Stockton, Costume Mistress: firstname.lastname@example.org
Civilian: +49 (0) 151-121-08389 or +49 (0) 174-5195497
LOCATION ON GOOGLE MAPS
Brian Mcgrail is the Program Manager at Theatrix costume rental.
Brian is graduate of Dartington college of Arts where he studied community theater and achieved a B.A (Hons). He took a sabbatical year to work at Ockham house where he worked as part of a group using theater as a recreational and therapeutic aid for people with disabilities. His first paid acting job was at a historical jacobean banquet in the settings of Worsely old hall in Manchester. Where he got to display his intellect in the role of the fool/jester.
Since arriving in Germany he has been involved in acting and directing with The Garmisch players and at The Terrace Playhouse in Ansbach.
His main aim is to see Theatrix prosper and grow into an asset that will be used and embraced by all USAG Garrisons and theaters in Europe.
Kimberly D. Stockton is our new Costume Mistress. She brings over 25 years of professional costume experience from all walks of theatrical life.
Most recently, Kimberly was the Historic Costumer at Belle Meade Plantation in Nashville, TN. She also designed costumes for The Barter Theater, Mountain Playhouse, Weathervane Playhouse, Pirates Playhouse, and was a costumer, seamstress, and wardrobe mistress for The Nashville Repertory, Stages St. Louis, and other local theater groups. Kimberly also has had years of travel experience doing wardrobe for Ringling Brothers "Kalidoscape", "Disney on Ice", and various cruise ships.
Other experience includes serving as a Crew Trainer and Spacesuit designer for Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. During her time there she built a NASA Robonaut costume for the movie “Space Warriors” which was filmed at the camp, created interactive characters and mascots for special events, and even became a “JEDI Master”.
Kimberly is also a performer. She appeared as “Queen Elizabeth I” in the movie “Bill and Ted: Face the Music”. For over 18 years she has been a professional performer at the Tennessee and Louisiana Renaissance Festival as Queen Elizabeth I, and the Santa Fe Renaissance Festival as various Queens. She also designed and built all the costumes and accessories for the queen’s wardrobe. Most recently, she made her Army Entertainment debut as 'Desse, the Covid Fairy', spreading the word on staying safe during the Covid days and distributing masks throughout the USAG Ansbach community.
She looks forward to reorganizing and cataloguing our extensive collection, refurbishing historic costumes, developing a more organized and modern recording system, and serving the Army Entertainment Theatres across Europe.
"It’s No Joke! Act Against Bullying" is an original and unique Interactive Performance Theater Workshop developed by IMCOM Europe Entertainment and the Menagerie Theater Company, Cambridge England, with assistance from IMCOM Europe Child, Youth & School Age Services (CYSS.)
The purpose of this Army Entertainment program is to raise awareness of bullying among youth and expand US Army Entertainment’s service to communities.
“It’s NO Joke! Act Against Bullying” was developed to empower an audience of young people to explore sensitive and difficult issues within a safe, supported framework.
The interactive workshop experience raises an audience’s awareness of bullying. It is designed to make them ask “What is bullying?” “What does it feel like to be bullied?” and “What does it feel like to be a bully?” It leads them to be more aware of how others make them feel and their own responsibility and power in affecting another person.
The workshop also helps young people explore and learn about strategies for dealing with intimidating behavior, what to do if they witness bullying and also how changes in friendship groups can be dealt with to reduce emotional stress.
“It’s No Joke!” is a detailed program of theater games, scripted material, interaction, improvisation and group discussion and problem solving.
At the workshop, young audience members are first engaged through a series of interactive theater games. They then watch a performance with a script written specifically for Army Entertainment. The play is performed by volunteer performers from garrison theater programs.
Following the performance, in a lively discussion, the youth have the opportunity ask the characters in the play questions. The play is performed again, and the youth have the chance to redirect the action or even jump on the stage and become part of the play.
This gives the youth an opportunity to consider how their actions affect others and hopefully learn to take responsibility for their actions.
This workshop is available for presentation at all US Army Garrisons and communities in Germany and Italy.
For more information contact:
IMCOM Europe Entertainment Program Manager