We are delighted to announce that our own Mark Cuddy was the 2013 inductee into City Newspaper’s Rochester Theater Hall of Fame. The award was presented on Saturday evening at the annual TheatreROCS Showcase, held this year at the JCC. City Newspaper founded the Rochester Theater Hall of Fame in 2009 to recognize the amazing talent in our local theatre scene, both on the stage and behind the scenes. Innovation, dedication, passion and a lasting contribution to local theatre are the criteria by which a panel of judges annually selects an inductee.
As Mark was unable to be there in person, he had asked Geva’s executive director Tom Parrish to accept the award on his behalf with the following message:
“I am humbled and totally surprised at the great honor bestowed on me tonight: to be inducted into the Rochester Theater Hall of Fame alongside legends Adele Fico, Herb Katz and Jack Haldoupis. They have had such an impact on so many theater lives. I am also mortified that this moment should come as I am out of town for a long weekend with my wife before she becomes a theater-widow again on Tuesday when I begin rehearsals for A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. Please do not take this as a sign of any disrespect. I take a small amount of pride in knowing that my creation of the Rochester TheatreFest in our Nextstage five years ago led to the formation of TheatreRocs. I am raising a glass in absentia.
After gracing the cover of “55 Plus” magazine last month, I guess I am resigned to the fact that “my advancing years” will lead to these kind of recognitions, such as admittance to a Hall of Fame. And since I basically don’t know how to do anything else after declaring to the world at 15 that I would be devoting my life to this profession, I guess a Theater Hall of Fame is the only one where I had a chance. My pipe dream of playing basketball for the Boston Celtics I finally filed away when I turned 40.
However, it’s the Rochester part of this honor of which I am most proud. Christina and I moved here from California in 1995 with a seven year-old and an infant. Like many others who move for a job, we didn’t see ourselves in Rochester for more than a handful of years before we’d get to one of those “real” cities with a downtown, and a rush hour. Maybe back to my hometown of Boston. Sure, we liked the people right away, and the facility was clearly cherished by the community as a prized gathering place, but the “Ga-VAH” Theatre – as I first pronounced it – wasn’t where I saw myself down the road.
That was eighteen years ago, and I have long since realized how wrong I was. Rochester is my home. I live in a theater community that takes enormous pride in its dedication to our craft. The commitment and care shown by each Rochester artist, technician, and administrator is equal to anywhere in the country. Our two boys have benefited from experiencing Rochester theater both in the audience and onstage, and our youngest, Gus, is completing six years at School of the Arts under the nurturing care of Adele Fico before he heads downstate to continue his actor training. In Rochester, you can live your life and live your theater – it’s a balance unmatched anywhere.
So thank you to the good people at City Newspaper and the Hall of Fame Committee for your ongoing support. Thank you to my fellow theatre-workers in this room, across this region, and especially inside the walls of Geva Theatre Center. Those two hundred colleagues who make theater there every year are my daily inspiration: Hall of Fame people, each and every one.
See you at the theater.”
Congratulations to Mark who joins past inductees Adele Fico, Herb Katz and Jack Haldoupis.