A "Celebration of Excellence" was an apt title for a festive gathering Feb. 6 at TheatreWorks in New Milford.

Taking center stage as he has done many times during his two decades-plus at the Brookside Avenue theater was Richard Pettibone, a New Milford resident who has served the local stage venue as president, actor and in many other roles.

In recognition of Mr. Pettibone's resignation as president, the event featured tributes from many in the regional theater community.

Hosting the evening were Thomas Libonate, Mark Fletch and LuAnn Leonard.

Among the guests of honor were Mayor Pat Murphy, Mr. Pettibone's wife, Susan Pettibone, a longtime director and player at the theater, as well as longtime News-Times theater critic Chesley Plemmons.

The role of TheatreWorks president has been assumed by Glenn Couture.

Mr. Pettibone will serve the theater in an ex-officio capacity with the Board of Directors.

-- Norm Cummings