URBANA — The Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company recently presented a lifetime achievement award to Leonard Doyle of Champaign.
At the CUTC board meeting last week, the board gave Doyle The Guiding Light Award for his "unwavering vision and passion and his extraordinary dedication and service," said new board chair Sandra Jones.
The board also created a special honorary board member slot and in a unanimous vote elected Doyle to the lifetime position.
Doyle was one of the eight founding members of the CUTC; he is one of two original founders who have remained active with the company since its inception on Jan. 1, 1987.
Doyle continues to be involved with the board and its committees as well as the CUTC productions. He is responsible for obtaining ushers for the four musicals produced annually, and in this role, he attends all shows.
He also volunteers for community events such as the recent Taste of Champaign-Urbana. Although retired, Doyle remains active in the community. He has served on the Champaign County Freedom Celebration parade planning committee for more than 25 years.
In other regular business, the board confirmed recently elected officers. Jones, owner of All Things Illini, succeeded Joe Murphy, who completed his term as board chairman. Jones is a newcomer to the CUTC.
Brice Hutchcraft, commercial relationship manager for Midland States Bank, was elected vice chairman. Dennis Donaldson, recently appointed as the first village of Savoy director of planning and economic development, was elected secretary.
The treasurer is Shawna Barbee, a CPA with CliftonLarsonAllen. Hutchcraft, Donaldson and Barbee are also new to the CUTC board.
Other newly appointed board members include Jenny Gleason, a member of the Parkland College psychology faculty and a company actress; Greg Gonda, a CPA with the Small Business Development Center; Libby Kacich, coordinator of marketing for University of Illinois Creative Services; Kip McDaniel, branch manager with Central Illinois Bank; Cathy Rector, property manager and building services for Coldwell Banker Commercial Devonshire Realty; Justin Seno, development director for Eastern Illinois University; Bridget To, financial director for the Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club; and Susan Weber, retired English and psychology teacher at Champaign Central High.
Continuing on the board are Aaron Kaplan, artistic director; Murphy, a Champaign attorney with Meyer Capel; and Bob Weber, a retired CERL engineer who is responsible for CUTC's set construction and facilities management.
Previously involved and returning to the board is Prudence "Prue" Runkle, a retired South Side Elementary teacher and one of the founding members of CUTC.
The CUTC's upcoming production is "Les Miserables," in early August; tickets are on sale now. It will be followed by "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" in October.
Other CUTC programs such as Murder Mysteries are ongoing, and the CUTC plans to continue annual events such as Singing Valentines and Broadway Babes. The board also plans additional ventures.
Any community member, regardless of skill level, ability or previous theater experience, is welcome to become involved in the CUTC at any time. For information on how to volunteer, contact Runkle or Seno at 344-3884, CUTC's main number.