Based on a nomination from the The Drama Workshop, Ed Cohen and his wife Dee Anne Bryll were the recipient of the 2003 Art Rouse Award. It one of the highest honors that ACT/Cincinnati bestows on its membership. The award set up in the memory of a passionate and important member of the Cincinnati community theater family, and it is bestowed upon folks with similar character and drive. Below is an excerpt of the nomination letter written by TDW president Cheri Misleh:
Besides TDW, Ed and Dee Ann, in their 50-some combined years of theatre experience, have worked with Village Players, CMT, Footlighters, Mariemont Players, Beechmont Players and the outstanding community theatre which Ed co-founded twentysome years ago, Sunset Players. These community theatres represent only a partial (but very important) part of this couple’s theatre experience. Beginning with their own high school theatres, they have worked professionally with The Playhouse In the Park, Ensemble Theatre, CCM (whose prep department Dee Ann now directs as her way of preparing future theatre artists), and most recently as co-directors of the IF Theatre Collective. Yet with all of this professional experience, one of the things we love best about the Bryll-Cohen duo is their love of community theatre and their unwillingness to ever abandon their community theatre roots to work exclusively in professional theatre.
Oh, the WAYS in which these two have worked for community theatre; actor, director, producer, choreographer,dance captain, set design and construction, sound design and execution, light execution,costumer, and on and on and on -there is not much that one or the other (usually both) have done for their theatres. Add on top of that, all the times one or the other has been President, VP, Treasurer, and/or a board member of various community theatres, and one has to wonder when their lives DON’T ever contain theatre!!
Yet, Dee Ann and Ed spend lots of loving time with friends and family- many many friends in the community theatre circle AND two children, Dan and Brianna, whom dad Ed and stepmom, Dee Ann, have drawn into the larger community theatre “family”. Their embrace of this larger family is reflected also in all the great work which this couple (Dee Ann in particular with great support from Ed), have done for both ACT and OCTA. Their resumes only reflect part of the many many hours which these two have given in their various positions (including Dee Ann’s current term as ACT scholarship chair) in community theatre.
I could go on and on and on and probably STILL not touch the surface of all the reasons The Drama Workshop as an organization and myself personally as president, are proud to present Dee Ann and Ed for your serious consideration as this year’s Art Rouse recipients. In closing, I would like to add one of my most compelling personal reasons for this recommend, With all their experience and awards and years of giving, these two are truly among the nicest people I have ever had the great pleasure of working with. Every experience with Ed and Dee Ann is guaranteed to be a joy both artistically and personally and that is one of the most important gifts they have given us.
Thank you for your time and energy in reading and reviewing this nomination and the many others I am sure you will receive.
President, The Drama Workshop