Two great men were honored recently at the twenty-fifth annual Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA) conference held earlier this January in San Francisco. To recognize and preserve the memory of Douglas N. Cook, who was a co-founder of the Shakespeare Theatre Association and the Festival’s producing artistic director emeritus, STA created the Douglas N. Cook Lifetime Achievement Award, which was graciously bestowed on Festival Founder Fred C. Adams.

According to STA Past President, Jeff Watkins of Atlanta Shakespeare Company, the award was given to Adams to acknowledge his twenty-five years of service and involvement with STA. “We really should express our gratitude, love, and admiration while Fred is still with us,” said Watkins. “The time to honor Fred is now. His contributions to the field cannot be overstated. Likewise his impact on STA, which is such a supportive atmosphere… so much knowledge, so much wisdom, so freely shared among great and small, and Fred, of course, would be the great.”

“To me, Fred is the living, beating heart of STA,” said STA Executive Director Patrick Flick.  “As a young member he was quick to make me feel welcome with a smile, a handshake, a joke or a kernel of wisdom.  Now, Fred is a trusted ally and friend, and holds the keys to the institutional memory of STA.  That is invaluable not only to me, but to every member of STA.”

“I was totally surprised,” said Adams. “I had no idea this Lifetime Achievement Award had even been created in memory of Doug, so I’m thrilled to be recognized with an award that has his name on it. I am so fond of STA and hope it continues to thrive in the years to come.”

“STA has over 150 members from around the world and continues to grow,” stated Flick.  “None of this would have been possible without that first meeting on a cold January day in 1991 when Fred Adams joined Doug Cook, Sidney Berger and a ‘happy few’ Shakespearean producers in Washington, DC to create this wonderful thing we now call STA."

The Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA) was established to provide a forum for the artistic, managerial, and educational leadership for theatres primarily involved with the production of the works of William Shakespeare; to discuss issues and methods of work, resources, and information; and to act as an advocate for Shakespearean productions and training.