Virginia Repertory Theatre Founders' Award
Phyllis E. Galanti
We are pleased to announce that Commander Paul E. Galanti has agreed to be our Honorary Chair for the Gala this year. At the event, we will honor the memory of his wife, Phyllis E. Galanti, with presentation of the Virginia Repertory Theatre Founders' Award, for her 30+ years of service on the boards of Theatre IV and Virginia Rep.
Phyllis Galanti was a remarkable woman. Stunningly beautiful with impeccable taste, she lived her life with unfailing kindness and unstoppable strength. No one had a softer heart for those who needed help…from wounded soldiers to underserved children to the mentally and physically challenged. No one was more determined to effect positive change.
Phyllis was proud to be one of our two longest serving board members (1981-2014). We are honored to present her posthumously with our Founders Award, recognizing her commitment to our theatre, her country, and Virginia’s veterans.
For a third of a century, Phyllis loved Theatre IV/Virginia Rep. Her laughter and commitment helped establish our foundation, sustain our work, and ensure our future. She chaired every committee we threw her way and was instrumental in forging the merger of Theatre IV and Barksdale. She was proudest of our work with Four Part Harmony, Hugs and Kisses, and our performance of Buffalo Soldier at the Pentagon.
Phyllis’s activism on behalf of POWs and MIAs is well known. After her husband Paul was captured in Vietnam, her efforts to raise awareness netted over 750,000 letters. Inherently shy, she gave hundreds of presentations and met with President Nixon, Secretary of State Kissinger, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. She appeared on national television and travelled to the Paris Peace Talks. After his seven-year confinement, Paul was reunited with Phyllis in 1973. But her work continued through the Virginia War Memorial and service to veterans.
Phyllis was greatly looking forward to inviting Central Virginia’s WWII veterans as honored guests to our summer production of South Pacific. Using proceeds from the Gala, we will do so in her cherished memory.