Andy Saunders has given much of his life to the local theater community and people are taking notice.
The performer, designer, director, and teacher has been part of the scene since coming to the then-Memphis State University as a graduate student in the 1960s. That half-century-plus of devotion will be recognized at the upcoming Memphis Ostrander Awards when he will be given the 2021 Eugart Yerian Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The Ostranders primarily recognize a year’s worth of excellence in local theater productions and this year’s winners will be announced on Sunday, August 29th, at the Halloran Centre. The exception to next month’s big reveal is the lifetime achievement honor named for the director of the Memphis Little Theatre (now Theatre Memphis) from 1929 to 1961.
The announcement from the Ostranders organization said Saunders has been “an indispensable presence in the Memphis theater community. … Onstage, Saunders is celebrated not only for his nuanced and charismatic acting style but also for his beautiful, operatic singing voice.”
Saunders has directed shows around town and was at Memphis University School where he taught science, speech, religion, astronomy, photography, mechanical writing, and theater production. He also produced more than 135 shows at the school during his 38-year career before retiring in 2010.
Since his retirement, he’s designed and built dozens of shows at Germantown Community Theatre. GCT executive director Brian Everson says Saunders is the “ultimate volunteer, professional, artist, and friend. GCT, in so many ways, would not be possible without Andy.”
Andy and his wife, Jean, moved to Kirby Pines in March of 2019.
– Story courtesy of the Memphis Flyer