Joel Markowitz’s Acceptance Speech Upon Receiving the Gary Maker Award

Tim Treanor and Lorraine Treanor present DC Theatre Scene’s Gary Maker Award to Joel Markowitz with Bruce Markowitz ready to read Joel’s remarks. Photo by Christopher Banks.

I am very honored to receive the Gary Maker Award, and I want to thank the committee for this incredible Lifetime Award.

Gary Maker was such a mensch and he fought a dreadful disease with such courage and bravery.

He is an inspiration to me as I fight my ALS – this dreadful disease.

Gary Maker loved the theater and all of you know how much I love this theater community.

It’s been an honor to cover your work and the new DCMTA team, under the leadership of David Siegel and John Stoltenberg and Nicole Hertvik – and the staff of DCMetroTheaterArts – have vowed to keep my legacy going.

When I started DCMTA, I had just undergone a lower back fusion only hours earlier. I was sitting in a hospital room at Shady Grove Hospital when I had a brilliant idea (or what I quickly learned  was an insane  idea) to start an all-inclusive arts website.

My shrink threatened to quadruple my medication if I didn’t “get that nonsense out of my head quickly…before today’s session ends…or else!”

Theater has gotten me well over and over again.

When health crisis after health crisis arose – I defied the odds and doctors’ prognoses and beat every one with Gary maker-like fortitude and resolve.

DCMTA was created for one reason:

To pay back the DC area community for making me well.

A big thank you to Lorraine and to Carolyn for organizing and hosting this amazing event.

Lorraine and I recorded many wonderful podcasts and some of you in the audience were some of our victims—I mean interviewees. These podcasts will shortly be available for your listening pleasure on DCMTA and DCTheatreScene because of the generosity of Lorraine-so a big thank to you!

We had a lot of fun recording them – didn’t we Lorraine?

A big thank you to all of you who purchased tickets to tonight’s cabaret and/or made donations to the Go Fundme funds started by Lorraine and Emily Canavan. Thank you Emily and Lorraine again. And my 5 brothers –who all here tonight-also thank you for your generosity, best wishes, encouragement, love, and prayers.

So now as I go into battle against ALS -I know that the courage of Gary Maker will guide me.

When I started DCMetroTheatreArts five years and one month ago, I wanted to promote the ‘little guy’s work’ who had been ignored for too long, and the new generation of playwrights, directors,  designers, actors, composers, and lyricists – and those are the memories that I cherish the most.

You are all the ‘Scene Stealers’ and ‘Showstoppers’ of my life. So thank you for bringing to my life an over-abundance  of joy!

All of you—take a bow!!

And a special todah rabah to all the performers who are here tonight.

And I am so grateful to receive this beautiful award which honors a fellow theater nut and ‘ambassador’ of the DC area theater community-the scene stealer of them all:

And my friend…

Gary Maker.

My Gary Maker Award.

And now my friends…

Let the cabaret begin!
These video greetings from Florrie Bagel, Jim Brochu, Brad Oscar, and a performance by Sandy Bainum were played at the cabaret on May 1, 2017 at MetroStage in Alexandria, VA.

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Joel Markowitz
Joel Markowitz is the Publisher and Editor of DCMetroTheaterArts. He founded the site with his brother Bruce to help promote the vast riches of theatre and the arts in the DC Metro area that includes Maryland, Virginia, and DC theater and music venues, universities, schools, Children's theaters, professional, and community theatres. Joel is an advocate for promoting the 'stars of the future' in his popular 'Scene Stealers' articles. He wrote a column for 5 years called ‘Theatre Schmooze’ and recorded podcast interviews for DC Theatre Scene. His work can also be seen and read on BroadwayStars. Joel also wrote a monthly preview of what was about to open in DC area theatres for BroadwayWorld. He is an avid film and theater goer, and a suffering Buffalo Bills and Sabres fan. Joel was a regular guest on 'The Lunch and Judy Show' radio program starring Judy Stadt in NYC. Joel founded The Ushers Theatre Going Group in the DC area in 1990, which had a 25-year run when it took its final curtain call last year. Joel is a proud member of The American Critics Association.


  1. Congratulations to you, Joel. Really happy for you! Wish I could have been there to share this special moment with you.

  2. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful man! God bless, Laurie and Hal Freed, Peace Mountain Theatre Company.


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