Jasmina Wellinghoff Award

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.

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


Steve Bailey
Head of Jump-Start Performance Co. which helped the rebirth of the Blue Star area with innovative programing


Maureen Halligan
Developed the theatre program at the Univ. of the Incarnate Word. With her husband Ronald Ibbs, she founded the Resident Company at UIW which produced professional quality theater in the summer .


Jackie Sparks


Jo Long
Brought new theatrical events from around the country and the world to the Carver Community Cultural Center


John Igo
Theater critic


Alice Finney


Al Keller


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


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


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


Allan S. Ross
Director, Designer, Actor, Educator, San Antonio College, ATAC president, SATCO president.

In 2001 a Special Award was given to the Renaissance Guild for their Act One Series


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


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


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


Gloria Liu
Choreographer, director


Steve Gilliam
Nationally recognized Set Designer and Educator, Trinity University


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


Margaret Mitchell
Costume designer, University of the Incarnate Word


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


Bill and Francis Swinny
Francis- educator at Trinity Univ., Bill educator at Alamo Heights HS


Susan Breidenbach
Stage Manager at local theatres.


Richard Rosen
Founder and director of Magik Theatre


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


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


Rick and Diane Malone
Classic Theatre Founders and Director/Designers