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The Grammy’s, the Oscars, the Tonys. All are awards that celebrate excellence in performance: music, movies and plays. In Fayetteville, the Pryer Awards, sponsored by The Gilbert Theater not only recognize outstanding performances, but also raise funds for the theater. The Third Annual Pryer Awards is set for Tuesday, June 16, from 6 -9 p.m. at the Gilbert Theater. 

Those familiar with the theater will quickly realize that the event and award take its name from the founder of the theater, Lynne Pryer. 

“This is our only fundraiser of the year, but it is an awards ceremony, too,” said Robyne Parrish, artistic director of the Gilbert Theater. “All year long, the audience is asked to vote for their favorites in the different categories after the show and at the end of the year the votes are tallied for the entire season.”  

Parrish added that the categories are Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Design Element and Best Play or Best Musical. 

The awards ceremony got its humble beginnings from a discussion about the hard work of the artists at the theater all year long. 

“The Pryer Awards started because we wanted to honor the artists who work in the theater for basically nothing,” said Parrish. “We do pay everyone who works at the Gilbert, but it is a small stipend.” 

The event features an evening of great food, an open bar and entertainment. Entertainment is provided by The Little Sisters of Hoboken and the Gilbert Glee Club. Ricardo Morgan is the master of ceremonies of the event. There is a silent auction featuring merchandise from local restaurants, artists and craftsmen. A champagne toast will be given to the Revolutionary donors during the evening of the event. A volunteer award will be presented to the two best volunteers. 

 A lifetime achievement award has been added this year and Steve Jones is the recipient of this award. He attended the North Carolina School of the Arts and has starred in The Rocky Horror Show several times. 

“I have been thinking about this award for a while now and the people who have been working at the Gilbert and have gone above and beyond over the years,” said Parrish. “We will highlight Steve’s life outside of the Gilbert and everything he has done at the Gilbert.”  

Raffle tickets are for sale for $25 and the winner will receive an all expense paid trip for two to the “Big Apple” better known as New York City. The winning ticket will be drawn the evening of the event. 

“This is a great way to reach the community and get all of our donors together once a year,” said Parrish. “We look forward to an evening of honor and fun.” 

    Tickets are $40. Space is limited so reserve your seats now. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 678-7186 or visit www.gilberttheater.com. 

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