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AFL
Sheridan Whiteside
- The Man Who Came to Dinner
2011 Lifetime Achievement Award
- Arts For Life
Nunzio Cristano
Set Construction Crew
- Over the River and Through the Woods
Sidney Bruhl
- Deathtrap
 
Richard A. Hunsaker

Richard Hunsaker (Sheridan Whiteside) Richard is delighted to return to the Brass Rail stage, having appeared in two BRP shows during its 2010-11 initial season: as Sidney Bruhl in “Deathtrap” and as Nunzio in “Over the River and Through the Woods.” Since 2011 Richard has appeared as Selsdon Mowbray in the Kirkwood Theatre Guild production of “Noises Off,” as Dr. Austin Sloper in Monroe Actors Stage Company’s “The Heiress,” and last fall in back-to-back shows on the Looking Glass Playhouse stage as Colonel Pickering in “My Fair Lady” and juror number eight in “Twelve Angry Men.” Richard is especially pleased to have the opportunity to reprise the role of Sheridan Whiteside, having first played this wonderful character (on this very stage) in his last faculty play at Belleville West High School in 1995, and then again on the Alton Little Theatre stage in 2002.

Richard is retired and lives in Belleville with his wife, Patricia, who is recovering from hip replacement surgery last winter. They have three grown children: Rick (Edwardsville), Ben (Joliet) and Rachel (Chicago), and four grandchildren (Nathan, Bain, Caroline and Nicholas). Besides their interest in theatre, Pat and Dick love to travel and look forward to their next overseas trip in October: a cruise with friends in the Balkans and along the Adriatic coast.

Richard is excited about playing Nunzio in this show opposite Emma, who is portrayed by his wife, Patricia. It is only the second time Richard and Patricia have been cast in the same show as a married couple. They appeared in the Alton Little Theatre production of Auntie Mame in 2008 as Mr. and Mrs. Claude Upson. Richard is also pleased to be returning to the former Belleville West stage, having appeared last November as Sidney Bruhl in the second Brass Rail Players’ production of Deathtrap. Since that show, Richard appeared last January as Frank in the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves’ production Over the River and Through the Woods, and as Dr. Austin Sloper in The Heiress last month for the Kirkwood Theatre Guild.

Richard will be receiving the ARTS FOR LIFE 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award in June in St. Louis. Richard taught speech, drama and debate from 1960 to 1995 at Belleville West High School, and then at McKendree University, before retiring from teaching a few years ago. He and Patricia, who is also retired, look forward to leaving on a trip to Berlin, Prague and Warsaw soon after the fi nal performance of Over the River and Through the Woods.
Richard A. Hunsaker

Dr. Richard Hunsaker
For nearly fifty years, Richard Hunsaker taught speech and drama, first at Belleville West High School (1960-95) in Belleville, IL, and then at McKendree University in Lebanon, IL. At Belleville West Richard coached speech and debate and directed more than 60 plays and 26 musicals. Moreover, it was largely through his efforts that the district adopted a required speech semester taken by all sophomores as part of the English curriculum in 1971.

Richard is a life member of the Illinois Speech and Theatre Association (past president), Speech Communication Association (where he as honored in 1995 with a special convention program entitled, "Papers in Honor of Richard Hunsaker"), and the International Listening Association. In addition, he is a past president and a life member of the SIU Alumni Association.

Richard's work in and for his professional organizations resulted in countless program and workshop presentations across the country. Additionally, he has authored several articles and monographs for various professional journals, and has written four books: A Guide To Coaching and Judging Contemporary Debate, Understanding and Developing the Skill of Oral Communication: Speaking and Listening, A Guide to Lincoln Douglas Debating, and Classroom Practices in the Teaching of Listening.

Richard's professional recognition and honors include several outstanding coaching awards, including induction into the National Forensic League Coaches' Hall of Fame in 1995. In 1978 Richard received the prestigious Edith Harrod Award from the Illinois Speech and Theatre Association, and in 1993 ISTA presented him with the W. P. Sanford Award. He was the first national recipient of SCA"S Oberle Award in 1987, which was followed by several teaching awards, including the Emerson Award in 1994 and the Golden Apple Award in 1995. Perhaps one of his greatest honors came in 1990 when he received an Illinois Distinguished Educator Award, which carries a $25,000 cash award from the Milkin Foundation.

Since his retirement from teaching, Richard has been seen on several community theater stages in the St. Louis area. Some of his recent and favorite roles include Sidney Bruhl in Deathtrap for the Brass Rail Players in Belleville, Sheridan Whiteside in The Man Who Came To Dinner for the Alton Little Theater, Grandpa in You Can't Take It With You for the Monroe Actors Stage Company in Waterloo, Dr. Chumley in Harvey for the Looking Glass Playhouse in Lebanon, Inspector Hubbard in Dial M For Murder for the Kirkwood Theater Guild, and Cladwell B. Caldwell in Urinetown for the Curtains Up Theater Company in Edwardsville. He also directed two shows for MASC in Lebanon: Morning's At Seven in 2008 and Pippin in 2010.

He and his wife, Patricia, live in Belleville. They have three grown children, Richard K, Benjamin and Rachel, and four grandchildren, Nicholas, Caroline, Bain and Nathan. In addition to their work in theater, Pat and Dick love to travel, having visited at least once all seven continents: North and South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, Europe and Asia.

Richard Hunsaker (Sidney Bruhl) is so very pleased to be on the stage and working in the building where he taught speech, debate and drama for 35 years and directed more than 60 plays and 26 musicals. Since his retirement from Belleville West in 1995, Richard taught at McKendree University for eight years, where he directed ‘The Diary of Anne Frank” and appeared in “Fundamental Decencies” and “As You Like It.” Also, during this time, Richard appeared in more than 20 productions in various St. Louis area community theaters, including Alton (“The Man Who Came to Dinner”), Edwardsville (“Urinetown”), Kirkwood (“Dial M for Murder”), Lebanon (“Mornings at Seven”), Waterloo (“Angel Street”), and Webster Groves (“Witness For the Prosecution”). Last spring, he and his wife Patricia (currently performing in the show “Waiting in the Wings” in Waterloo,” received acting awards for their roles in the Monroe Actors Stage Company production of “Harvey.” Yet, returning to the (now) Lindenwood University Auditorium stage and appearing in “Deathtrap” for The Brass Rail Players has been both a unique and an extremely enjoyable experience for Richard. First, the renovation of the building itself was something he had dreamed about many times. To see that happen was most gratifying. Then there was the happy experience of working with a former Belleville West teacher and colleague (director Janet Kuehn), a former student-teacher (Carol Harms, now coaching debate at Belleville East), and a former student (Zach Rogers, who was in “Pippin,” the last musical he directed at Belleville West in 1995). Finally, there was the fun not only of working with former colleagues and students, but also of meeting and working with talented new friends, Ryan Norrenberns and Michelle Schrader. It has been a most pleasant thrilleritis malignis experience!
 
 
 
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