Richard Justice (1961 – 2020)

Our beloved Drosselmeyer, Richard Justice, succumbed to Covid-19 on August 27. He was a most valued and important part of our ballet family. Our relationship spanned more than 30 fruitful years. He has performed on our stage as Drosselmeyer for the past five years. He portrayed a befuddled Van Helsing pursuing Count Dracula in the Company’s six productions of Dracula. He was most poignant in the speaking role of Friar Lawrence in Romeo and Juliet. He was a proud papa McCoy in Peter Powlus’ The Legend of the Hatfields and McCoys. In our Three Musketeers he created a very foppish King Louis XIII, deftly handling the theatrical sword play. Richard produced characters that were vivid and memorable. His knowledge of the theatre was extensive and his taste impeccable.

He and Debi Ballas pulled the Augusta Players from the ashes in the 1990’s. The organization’s rebuild was stunning. Richard worked tirelessly by Debi’s side to make the Players the success it is today. Richard was most certainly a renaissance man – actor, singer, director, designer. He was multifaceted and generously lent his talents to organizations like our company and the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre.

He was one of the founders of Le Chat Noir.

With all his creativity and talent, he excelled especially at being a remarkable human being with all the best of human attributes – kindness, empathy, integrity, and humor. He will be truly missed by the entire Augusta community.

Richard was a shining star yet he walked with such grace upon this earth.