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Aurora Theatre to hold annual Barbara Awards Feb. 13

LAWRENCEVILLE -- As an annual celebration of local thespians and Gwinnettians, the Aurora Theatre presents the 2012 Barbara Awards on Feb. 13. The awards were created as a fundraiser to recognize "community members who shine a bright light on the cultural arts along with those artists who have become Aurora audience favorites."

"I spend a lot of my time making sure that our supporters and the artists who come here to share their talents feel appreciated," Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez said. "The Barbara Awards are a very public way to say, 'thank you' and it is a chance for our patrons to personally show their appreciation as well."

This year's awards will honor Kathryn Parsons Willis with the Barbara Award for her support for the venue -- it is the highest award to win at the ceremony. Aurora Theatre is acknowledging Willis' work for the venue and the local community since she served on the original Board of the Directors at the theater and volunteered for the Duluth Fall Festival and The Gwinnett Hospital Foundation.

The ceremony also recognizes the top performers and shows at the Aurora for its 2010-11 season. The public can vote online for nominees in seven categories: Best Actor in a Musical, Best Actress in a Musical, Best Actor in a Play, Best Actress in a Play, Best Performance in the Studio Theatre, Best Main Stage Show and Best Studio Show. To vote, visit www.auroratheatre.com and click with 2012 Barbara Awards tab.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for a reception and the awards ceremony begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $40 per person and $75 per couple -- $25 per person is tax deductible as a donation. To purchase tickets, visit www.auroratheatre.com.

The Aurora Theatre is located at 128 Pike St. in Lawrenceville.