Jasmina Wellinghoff Award

About The Jasmina Wellinghoff

A special award for contribution to San Antonio theatre was presented along with the very first Alamo Theatre Arts Council (ATAC) Globe Awards in 1991. In 1997 the award was named The Jasmina Wellinghoff Award in honor of the local San Antonio theatre critic and founding member of ATAC after she stepped down as president of the organization.

The Wellinghoff Award is an annual award presented by ATAC to a person or persons for special contribution to theatre in San Antonio. It is not a “Lifetime Achievement Award,” or “Excellence Award”. In Jasmina Wellinghoff’s own words:

There is a good reason the award was defined in terms of ‘Special Contribution.’ It’s the broadest and least limiting category. The idea was to be able to recognize an exceptional contribution by a range of people, not only theater artists, although it certainly included them as well. For instance, John Igo and Jo Long were recipients. Igo, for his years of support and criticism, and Long, who was the director of the Carver, for bringing to town exceptional and interesting companies from all over the world and exposing San Antonio audiences to their theater arts. She also helped local artists produce their work at the Carver. Age or length of time of any kind is not a determining factor but a person’s consistent contributions are more likely to be noticed and appreciated if that person is active in his or her capacity for a certain length of time. However, should someone do something truly exceptional in a single year, that person could conceivably qualify for the award.

2021 Honoree MaLuisa Garza-Olivo and daughter Mariela Flor Olivo at the 30th Annual ATAC Globe Awards at The Woodlawn Theatre

Merit, in this case, is something broader than the quality of one’s acting, or designing, or directing. A dedicated volunteer could be recognized or, say, a public servant who fights for the improvement of funding, or a photographer who regularly donates his time to record theatrical productions, etc. You get the idea. Of course, actors, directors, choreographers, music directors and designers can qualify as well, and, in fact, most award winners have come from their ranks.

Candidates for the Jasmina Wellinghoff Award are chosen by majority vote by the ATAC board of directors who examine the contributions of each nominee as a guide during the selection process. Past winners have included directors, designers, educators, actors, critics, producers, stage managers and those who have held positions in theatre organizations.

Past Recipients

1992 – Maureen Halligan, Developed the theatre program and Resident Company at the Univ. of the Incarnate Word

1993 – Jackie Sparks, Choreographer

1994 – Jo Long, Producer, The Carver Community Cultural Center

1995 – John Igo, Theater critic

1996 – Alice Finney, Actress

1997 – Al Keller, Actor

1998 – Sr. Germaine Corbin, Educator, Univ. of the Incarnate Word

1999 – Sterling Houston, Playwright, Artistic Director of Jump-Start Performance Co.

2000 – Frank Christian, Actor, Trustee Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts.

2001 – Allan S. Ross, Director, Designer, Actor, Educator, San Antonio College, ATAC president, SATCO president.
Also in 2001, a Special Award was given to the Renaissance Guild for their Act One Series

2002 – George Burnette, Set and lighting Designer, Educator, University of the Incarnate Word

2003 – Dan Laurence, Actor, director, educator, author, George Bernard Shaw scholar

2004 – Mary Denman, Actress, TV and radio personality, fundraiser for the San Pedro Playhouse

2005 – Gloria Liu, Choreographer, director

2006 – Steve Gilliam, Nationally recognized Set Designer and Educator, Trinity University

2007 – Tammy and Ken Frazier, Costume and set design and direction, Vexler Theatre

2008 – Margaret Mitchell, Costume designer, University of the Incarnate Word

2009 – Jim Mammarella, Educator at San Antonio College, director, actor, ATAC president

2010 – Bill and Francis Swinny, Francis: Educator at Trinity Univ., Bill: Educator at Alamo Heights HS

2011 – Susan Breidenbach, Stage Manager at local theatres.

2012 – Richard Rosen, Founder and Director of Magik Theatre

2013 – Dr. William McCrary and Michelle Pietri, Directors at UTSA and Other San Antonio Community Theatres

2014 – Richard Slocum, Educator, Our Lady of the Lake University and Founder/Director of 24th Street Experiment

2015 – Rick and Diane Malone, Classic Theatre Founders and Director/Designers

2016 – John O’Neill, Actor, Director, actor, educator

2017 – Jodi Karjala and Tim Francis, Designers

2018 – R.C. Thor, Actor, philanthropist. 

2019 – Deborah Martin, Arts Editor, San Antonio Express-News

2020 – Due to concerns regarding Covid-19 the ATAC Board voted to postpone the ATAC Globe Awards

2021 – MaLuisa Garza-Olivo, Prop Mistress

2022 – Robert Cardoza – Certified American Sign Language Interpreter