Artists in Action: Creativity flows through Anniston, then and now
by Hervey Folsom
Special to The Star
Jul 14, 2013 | 5464 views |  0 comments | 73 73 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Linda Lee and Dylan Hurst host the CAST Randy Awards June 20 at Classic on Noble. Photo by Shannon Tucker
Linda Lee and Dylan Hurst host the CAST Randy Awards June 20 at Classic on Noble. Photo by Shannon Tucker
There is a common thread of creativity that winds through Anniston’s history — from the decorative arts once taught at The Noble Institute for Girls to the 1800s fare of the old Opera House to the Little Theatre movement that began in the late 1920s.

These nods to the town’s artistic past will be on display in the upcoming Historic Exhibit, opening next Sunday at the Public Library of Anniston-Calhoun County, while events like last month’s Randy Awards pay tribute to our artistic endeavors today.

Library exhibit shows off Anniston’s artistic past

The opening reception for the library’s Historic Exhibit in the Ayers Room, next Sunday from 1:30-4:30 p.m., will offer the first chance to view photographs and artifacts from Anniston’s past in celebration of 130 years. These tangible pieces of history will be on display in the Ayers Room, the Anniston Room and display cases in the lobby and on the second floor through July 27.

The photographs are from the Russell Collection, in part, and from the accumulated collection in the Alabama Room. There is material from the town’s 75th anniversary, which was named the Diamond Jubilee, and the Centennial.

The exhibit will features “firsts” in Anniston history and browsing through these pages makes for a good way to learn about the people and places of yesterday. The first doctor and druggist was Jesse L.Wikle, who arrived in Anniston in 1880 to operate the Woodstock Iron Company laboratory. Three years later, he opened Wikle’s Drugs Store at 1010 Noble St. The first public school was located inside a cottage on Glen Addie Street, built on the site of the Carnegie Library. The first teacher was Miss Theodosie Woodruff.

Randy Award honors CAST season’s stars

Hosts Linda Lee and Dylan Hurst kept the evening lively as they introduced the presenters of each trophy at Classic on Noble June 20. The awards night got even livelier when it came time to open “the envelope, please.” And the winners are...

From the musical “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” David Rice took Best Actor, Heather Garlick took Best Actress and Pati Tiller was named Best Cameo.

The President’s Award, presented by Howard Johnson, went to Tim Barton. The Director’s Award, given by Kim Dobbs, went to Lolly Payne.

From the plays “Crimes of the Heart,” “A Christmas Story” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Best Cameo went to Pierre Gillette, Best Featured Actress to Lolly Payne and Best Featured Actor was Jake Mathews. Chris Colvard took the trophy for Best Lead Actor.

The Edel Y. Ayers silver engraved bowl, awarded each year for outstanding contributions to the success of CAST, was presented by Phil Sanguinetti to the very active Debby and Jake Mathews.

Mrs. Ayers, both an actress and founder of Anniston’s community theater movement in the ’20s, was also Anniston Little Theatre’s first president.

The Randy Awards afford one last bow to the honored volunteers who make the season possible. But the night is also a look ahead at more excitement to come. “Guys and Dolls” will be presented Sept. 12-22 at McClellan Theatre, and casting was to be completed Wednesday night.

In this production, billed as a hilarious musical comedy from the Golden Age of Broadway in Stanley Greene’s “Broadway Musicals,” the slick gamblers and sincere do-gooders of Damon Runyon’s world come colorfully alive. Characters include Sky Masterson, a bet-on-anything gambler; Nathan Detroit, organizer of the oldest permanent floating crap game in New York; Miss Sarah Brown, of the Save-a-Soul Mission on Times Square; and Miss Adelaide, the main attraction at the Hot Box Night Club. “Guys and Dolls” was the fifth longest-running Broadway musical of the 1950s. The film version, released in 1955, starred Marlon Brando, Vivian Blaine, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons.

For next season’s ticket information, call 256-820-CAST.
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