Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

WIESBADEN, Germany – The 62nd annual U.S. Military IMCOM Europe Leisure Event of Performs begins Feb. 11 with a lineup of 16 exhibits within the working from Military Leisure and navy theaters throughout Europe.

“We’re actually happy on the quantity and number of exhibits this yr,” mentioned Dane Winters, IMCOM-Europe Leisure program supervisor. “We really needed to lengthen the adjudication interval this yr by two weeks to catch all that’s happening in our theaters,” Winters mentioned.

TOPPERs is produced every year to acknowledge excellent theatrical achievements of Troopers, civilians and relations at Military Europe Leisure packages and U.S. Air Drive theaters in Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.

“That is the primary full season of exhibits our theaters have been capable of produce after the interruption prompted be the pandemic,” Winters defined. “Since theaters plan their seasons greater than a yr upfront and, in fact, depend on consistently rotating volunteers, it takes a little bit of time to stand up and working after a significant break like that.”

A workforce of three skilled theater adjudicators and artists from the U.S., Germany and Austria will crisscross the continent from Feb. 11 to April 14 to catch all of the exhibits. After every efficiency, the judges meet with the administrators, solid and crews.

“Schooling and coaching is the essential second a part of the TOPPERs’ mission,” mentioned Nate Data, director of the Amelia Earhart Playhouse at U.S. Military Garrison Wiesbaden.

“The judges sit down with us and objectively inform us what they noticed and their ideas on the present,” he mentioned. “It’s actually an important likelihood for our volunteer administrators, actors and designers to listen to from professionals on the successes of the present and what works, whereas additionally getting some ideas and insights for bettering for the long run.”

The judges additionally supply free workshops in all kinds of theater expertise whereas they’re within the communities. The workshops are an effective way to be taught and hone theater and life expertise, Winters defined, and are open to the general public.

“I’m actually excited in regards to the three workshops we’re internet hosting in Wiesbaden this yr,” Data mentioned. “The judges are presenting a vocal workshop on tips on how to interpret a track and audition as a singer; a workshop on performing Shakespeare and tips on how to deal with Shakespearean language; and a 3rd workshop on the fundamentals of directing and tips on how to get a present on the stage.”

The solid of “Into the Woods” from KMC Onstage carry out on the 2022 TOPPERs. (Photograph Credit score: IMCOM-Europe file picture) VIEW ORIGINAL

“To me, the third objective of TOPPERs is an important,” mentioned Victoria Hanrahan, the USAG Ansbach Leisure director and director of the Ansbach Terrace Playhouse. “It is a chance to acknowledge what our volunteers do for our communities and to thank the Troopers, civilians, relations and native nationals who’re a part of the Military Leisure program.”

Annually hundreds of volunteers give a whole lot of hundreds of volunteer hours placing on dwell theater and music occasions of their communities.

“These occasions and our packages present a house away from dwelling for Troopers and their households whereas making our communities higher locations to dwell,” Hanrahan mentioned.

Following the nine-week adjudication interval, the judges choose nominees and awards in over 50 classes. The nominees and winners are introduced on the TOPPERs Awards Present and Ceremony, a glittering, music-filled night which Winters calls the U.S. Military Leisure model of the Tony or Academy Awards.

This yr’s TOPPERs Awards Present and Ceremony might be April 29 on the Wiesbaden Health Middle on Clay Kaserne.

“The Wiesbaden garrison final hosted the TOPPERs in 2019 earlier than the pandemic,” Winters mentioned. “They’ve all the time executed a spectacular job in internet hosting and making everybody really feel welcome and particular. TOPPERs is definitely the most important MWR occasion on this planet and internet hosting it’s no straightforward feat.”

Usually, greater than 600 folks attend TOPPERs.

Hosted by the IMCOM-Europe Director Tommy Mize, TOPPERs is taken into account the premier IMCOM Household and Morale, Welfare and Recreation occasion. TOPPERs is attended by U.S. Military Europe and Africa and garrison command leaders, particular friends and VIPs. Volunteers from all of the theater packages are there to cheer for his or her nominees and award winners.

TOPPERs award winners are introduced by senior command employees and VIPs, in addition to unexpectedly video bulletins from celebrities reminiscent of Ben Stiller, Kristin Chenoweth, Daniel Radcliffe, Sean Hayes, Harvey Fierstein, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Chris Pine, William Shatner and others.

“It’s actually exceptional these celebrities wish to be a part of us in thanking the Troopers and relations for being a part of the U.S. Military Europe Leisure program,” Winters mentioned. “Many have been thrilled to study our program and have been desirous to help it.”

Winters famous, “The TOPPERs awards present additionally offers our program contributors an opportunity to not solely costume up, however to satisfy different theater volunteers from throughout Europe.”

Alan Buxkemper, the USAG Stuttgart Leisure director, mentioned TOPPERs is an important theater occasion of the yr.

“Our volunteer administrators and actors plan their holidays round TOPPERs,” Buxkemper mentioned. “Administrators jockey for as much as two years for the distinction of directing a TOPPERs present. The popularity Stuttgart has obtained from TOPPERs has additionally been instrumental in additional growing this system.”

“It truly is a glowing and thrilling night for everybody,” Winters mentioned.

Extra details about the 2023 TOPPERs and the U.S. Military Leisure program might be discovered on the Military Europe Leisure MWR web site –

Whether or not in entrance of the lights or backstage, be taught extra about getting concerned in your native theater group: