Judging starts for annual TOPPERS show

The Stuttgart Theater Center cast performs “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill” during a dress rehearsal, Feb. 15, 2018.  The performance will be judged during the IMCOM-Europe TOPPER Awards, to be announced in April. Photo by Larry Reilly, USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

By IMCOM-Europe Entertainment Program
Updated by USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

Judging for the 23rd annual IMCOM-Europe Tournament of Plays, or TOPPERs, starts Feb. 23 and runs until April 1.

The TOPPERs is produced annually to recognize outstanding theatrical achievements and to provide educational opportunities for volunteers and staff of Army Entertainment programs throughout Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands. Theater groups at Aviano Air Base, Italy, and Ramstein AB, Germany, also participate.

Seventeen plays and musicals from 10 installations are entered in this year’s competition.

Outstanding achievement is recognized in both performance and technical theater categories, including “Best Military Performance,” “Best Youth Performance,” “Best Show” and many others.

A team of three international judges will be on the road for six weeks attending performances. After each, they will meet with the director, cast and crew to offer insights into the production, note successes and suggest improvements for future performances.

The judges also conduct free workshops in each community for acting, directing, auditioning, improvisation, youth theatre, Shakespeare and play production.

The TOPPERS Workshop will be held in Stuttgart, March 6 at 6:30 p.m. at Stuttgart High School on Panzer Kaserne.

As for the competition, judges select nominees and awards in over 45 categories. The Stuttgart Theater Center on Kelley Barracks has submitted “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill” and “Taming of the Shrew” performances into the running.

“The program has had an enormous impact on my life as a Soldier and actor,” said Lt. Col. Bryan Mitchell, from USAG Stuttgart.

Last year, Stuttgart was among the top winners taking home several awards in multiple categories. Read about the 2017 awards.

This year’s TOPPERs ceremony will be held April 28 at the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden Fitness Center.

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View the schedule and get tickets to see a performance at the Stuttgart Theater Center at stuttgart.armymwr.com or on the USAG Stuttgart mobile app under Things to Do.

Read the full news release on army.mil.

Stuttgart Theater Center among top winners at 2017 Toppers