Dean Hussey, Liberty Bell High School Senior, Receives 2019 Steinebach Award for Outstanding Contribution to Live Theater

Dean HusseyThe Merc Board of Directors and Missi Smith (Executive Director) unanimously voted to award Dean Hussey with the 2019 Steinebach Award for Outstanding Contribution to Live Theatre. The award was presented to him at the opening night of Charlotte’s Web on Friday, March 15.

The Merc blog states…
It was during our 2014 production of Willy Wonka, Junior that Dean Hussey arrived on the scene to work in our sound booth. He was in 8th grade at the time, and according to Dean his mom signed him up. He wasn’t very excited about it…but by the time the show was over he claims he was “in his element.” We were fortunate that theater hooked him because he has worked on nearly every show since then. He has logged well over 1000 volunteer hours in five years of productions.

To say Dean’s contribution to live theater is outstanding does not even begin to scratch the surface. He has participated on our production team in a number of ways over five years. He’s gone way beyond pushing the “GO” button behind our sound board. Dean has composed music and created sound cues for a number of shows, most notably Bike America, for which he composed the full soundtrack as his senior project. Our 2018 summer production required Dean to commit countless hours of composing, editing, and working with the rest of the cast and tech crew through rehearsals and performances. Missi Smith, the show’s director, was thrilled with Dean’s artistic interpretation through music, and she loved how his work enhanced the production.

Though he has typically remained behind the scenes in the tech booth, Dean recently went in front of the audience in our Reader’s Theater production of A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Adding another whole level of risk, and stepping even further out of his normal comfort zone, he became a strong advocate for those living with autism while teaching his fellow cast members about his own experiences with it. His participation on stage, for the first time ever, greatly enhanced the production. The guy can act, too!

Our founders, Carolanne and Egon Steinebach took huge risks to begin The Merc Playhouse Society. They committed to building a theater that has grown into a community gem over the past 20 years. Without their countless hours of work, their dedication to live performing arts, and their inspired vision, we wouldn’t be the organization we are today. We are happy to honor people in our theater community who show the same type of dedication to live performing arts, and Dean could not be more deserving of the award this year.

Dean is graduating from Liberty Bell High School in May. He will be greatly missed at The Merc while he bravely ventures out into his future, but we are certain he has many successes ahead of him. We just hope he comes back to see us once in a while, and maybe work on some more shows…

Please join us as we congratulate Dean Hussey and thank the Merc Board of Directors, Executive Director Missi Smith, Merc Playhouse Society Founders Carolanne and Egon Steineback, and the many community partners and volunteers that support live theatre and the performing arts in the Methow!