Tuesday, June 12, 2007

My Favorite Drammy

So, I went to the Drammies, too. Okay. I love you people. Really, I do. But, in groups of 2-10, at most, unless it's in a working cast, and they I can handle maybe double that number of theater people in one room. But, holy curdled cow, 600 theater types milling around in the same room and over compensating wildly for social anxiety endemic to artist-types is just plain exhausting.

My favorite recognition of the evening was 'Best Actress' for Gretchen Corbett, who gave a performance in A LESSON FROM ALOES that teared me up, even though I stood for the whole show at the back of the house, which was completely full. I was gratified to hear her say that she had been given more than a year to prepare the role. That made sense, and made her accomplishment a little less terrifyingly brilliant, though brilliant, nonetheless. If we all prepared our roles so thoroughly, what, then? I also got it, when she told the room that she found the role difficult to live with, and that she is still trying to disrobe from it. When I did THE BOYS NEXT DOOR, I discovered how uncomfortable living with a character can be; how much a character does get under your skin; how much an actor really does FEEL what a character feels. All of which deepens my respect for Ms. Corbett's work.

Congratulations to all 2007 Drammy winners! I saw many but not all these shows, but none of the winners I saw felt undeserving, to me. The best of our work in Portland theater is holding up, these days, and feels fresh. Thank you, everyone, for such a strong year!

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