Since 1979, the Drammy Committee has striven to promote live theatre in Portland by recognizing and rewarding the outstanding work of Portland-area actors, directors and designers. An all-volunteer group of critics and theatre artists, we attend over 100 local productions each year, culminating in an awards ceremony in June.
Please click on the links below for more information.
What are the Drammy Awards?
When were they started?
What are the criteria for a production to be eligible for Drammy consideration?
What is the timeline?
What is the process?
What is the protocol for work created by an artist who is sitting (or who has a family member) on the Drammy Committee?
Are there pre-published nominees?
When are the winners announced?
How many shows does the Drammy Committee review each year?
Why doesn’t my play show up on the list of productions reviewed?
When and where is the next ceremony?
How much does it cost to attend? Who pays for the event? Are the Drammys a non-profit organization?
How can I make a donation to support the Drammys?
Who is on the Drammy Committee?
How are members selected? How can I get on the Drammy Committee?
How do I get the Drammy Awards website to link to my theatre’s website?
How can I volunteer to help with the awards ceremony?
How do I make a correction to an error on this website?
How do I offer feedback on the Drammy Awards?
Where can I read “My First Year on the Drammy Committee” by Barbara Conable?
For all other questions, please contact us at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHAT ARE THE DRAMMY AWARDS?
The mission of the Drammy Committee is to increase the attention paid to live theatre produced in Portland by recognizing, rewarding, and celebrating outstanding work at a public event.
WHEN WERE THEY STARTED?
The Drammys originally began as “the Willies” in 1979, initiated by Stephanie Oliver and Bob Sitton of Willamette Week. Today, the Drammy Committee continues as a loosely organized group of professionals representing various areas of the industry who volunteer their time.
A history of the Drammy Committee can be found in 25yearsandcounting by Richard Wattenberg, part of the 2004 25th Anniversary Program.
For the awards to be as inclusive as possible, the Drammy Committee currently maintains the following requirements for consideration:
- The production is locally produced. Company members may come from out of town, but the production itself must be developed here. We define “local” as within in the Portland city limits. The only exceptions (for historical reasons) are Lakewood Theatre and Broadway Rose; both of these companies also widen our ability to include musical theatre in our awards process.
- AS OF JANUARY 1, 2014, we require that productions run locally for a MINIMUM of NINE (9) performances (not including previews) in a single run, to be eligible for Drammy consideration. PLEASE NOTE that we can never GUARANTEE Drammy coverage, though we try our best to ensure that all eligible shows are covered. We do request that you announce upcoming productions with as much lead-time as possible. Compressed schedules (i.e. 9 performances over a very few days) practically ensure that sufficient committee members (a minimum of SEVEN) cannot schedule attendance (see below, under WHAT IS THE PROCESS?)
- The producing company provides two complimentary tickets per Drammy Committee member. Committee members are sensitive to ticket availability and will try to attend performances with lower attendances, or occasionally request one ticket per member for selling-out shows, so as not to displace paying customers.
- Revivals may be considered for awards if there are substantial changes from the original production, e.g., new cast, new design, significant script revisions, etc. Only the new elements will be eligible for consideration.
- NEW REQUIREMENT: Starting in the 2014-2015 season, we will no longer attend shows in locations without safe wheelchair access. Companies wishing to know more about these requirements should contact the RACC and Oregon Arts Commission for assistance in understanding and meeting the standards.
- Given our limited resources, we have also chosen not to cover productions that are a direct product of a school curriculum, nor genres of opera, readers’ theatre, performance art, cabaret, sketch comedy, improvisation and movement or dance theatre. We also do not cover shows that are still being work-shopped, or “works in progress,” for the same reason that we do not attend previews; we want to give all productions the best possible chance of an award.
The Drammy season runs from mid-May to mid-May. A production must have closed before mid-May in order to be considered for awards presented the same year. Shows still running by mid-May will be included in the following season.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
The Committee provides the current roster of its members to all theatres. Members individually contact box offices or designated “Drammy contact people” to make reservations. Please let us know if you have someone designated to deal with Drammy ticketing.
Each season, at least two Drammy Committee members are assigned to each established theatre company. It is the obligation of these members to attend that company’s productions early in the run of each show. This serves to make sure other committee members are aware of those shows, and thus ensure that enough members attend in the event of potential nominations. PLEASE UNDERSTAND that the role of these scouts is to encourage attendance, not the opposite. With so many productions to cover, we do not want anything to slip through the cracks. We continue to monitor theatre listings to identify and cover new companies throughout the year. New companies are encouraged to contact us at email@example.com if they wish to be considered for Drammy awards.
The Committee meets several times during the season to discuss productions that have closed by each meeting time, thus giving each production a timely review. In May the entire season of work is examined and discussed.
To be considered for an award, a work must have been seen by an absolute minimum of SEVEN Committee members.
WHAT IS THE PROTOCOL FOR WORK CREATED BY AN ARTIST WHO IS SITTING (OR WHO HAS A FAMILY MEMBER) ON THE DRAMMY COMMITTEE?
Any Drammy Committee member involved in a production will recuse himself/herself from all discussion and voting regarding that production, and any committee members whose affiliations — familial, professional or other — with artists under consideration may compromise the impartiality of the adjudication process will recuse themselves from all discussion and voting regarding such artists’ work.
On Monday, 25 November, 2013, the Drammy Committee decided, by majority vote, to return to a system of pre-published nominees. So in 2014, for the first time since 1999, there will be four pre-published nominees in each of the major categories, all of whom will receive a certificate, with the actual Drammy Award recipient announced on the night. For the 1999-2013 procedure, click here.
Major categories will always include (but not necessarily be limited to…):
Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Director, Production for plays, with all those same categories for musicals.
Young Performer, for all shows (not breaking out musicals)
All Major Design Categories: Costumes, Lighting, Scenic, Sound for all shows (not breaking out musicals).
As before, Children’s theatre will compete directly in all categories in the correct genre.
In addition, certain categories…such as Ensemble, Original Script, Choreography, etc….may or may not be deemed“major” categories, depending on the number of elements nominated during the course of the year. These categories will be assessed each May. If they do not have enough nominees to be “major” categories, they will join the list of…
…Special Categories. These usually smaller categories (any of which could join “major” categories in a given year)…might include, for example, Fight Choreography, Props, Masks, Video, etc… and could produce a winner (probably a single winner) without published nominations. A list of these categories will, however, be pre-published, with wording such as “Awards will be given in the following Special Categories.” These categories will be determined in May of each year, according to elements nominated during the season.
WHEN ARE THE WINNERS ANNOUNCED?
Winners are announced at the annual Drammy Awards ceremony, traditionally held the second Monday after Memorial Day. A list of winners is published the following day on the Drammy Awards Web site and is usually carried by local media.
Some statistics from recent seasons:
- 2011-2012 – The Committee considered 110 productions, from which 150 finalists were selected, 59 of whom received awards. 28 productions received awards, representing 18 companies.
- 2010-2011 – The Committee considered 123 productions. 37 awards were given, representing 24 productions by 16 companies.
WHY DOESN’T MY PLAY SHOW UP ON THE LIST OF PRODUCTIONS REVIEWED?
The list of shows reviewed during the season is updated after each meeting of the Drammy Committee. If your show qualifies for consideration (see above), the Committee makes every effort to see it. Sometimes, a show escapes our notice, particularly those with a compressed run.
WHEN AND WHERE IS THE NEXT CEREMONY?
The annual Drammy Awards ceremony is traditionally held the second Monday after Memorial Day. Our current home is McMenamin’s Crystal Ballroom in downtown Portland. Details — including venue — will be announced here on the Drammy Committee Web site and in local media about one month prior to the event.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO ATTEND? WHO PAYS FOR THE EVENT? ARE THE DRAMMYS A NONPROFIT ORGANIZATION?
The Drammy Awards ceremony is free and open to the public. The costs of the event are covered through reserved table and program ad sales, cash contributions, in-kind donations, and a great deal of volunteer support.
The Drammy Committee is a program of the Portland Civic Theatre Guild, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. In addition, the Drammy Committee is sponsored by the Culver Glass Company and Melvin Mark Companies. Our media sponsor is KZME. We are also grateful to the law firm of Tonkon Torp LLP for the use of their wonderful conference room for committee meetings.
HOW CAN I MAKE A DONATION TO SUPPORT THE DRAMMYS?
To make a tax-deductible donation to support the Drammy Awards, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com. Currently we can only accept checks. Donations are acknowledged by return mail.
HOW ARE MEMBERS SELECTED? HOW CAN I GET ON THE DRAMMY COMMITTEE?
Vacancies are filled in late spring for the following season. Typically, candidates are nominated by sitting Committee members. Candidates are interviewed and approved by consensus of the Committee. Attention is given to balance representatives from each industry field (e.g., technical theatre, performance, directing, etc.).
HOW DO I GET THE DRAMMY AWARDS WEBSITE TO LINK TO MY THEATRE’SWEBSITE?
To link your theatre’s website to the Drammy Awards website, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or to email@example.com
Please click on this link for Barbara Conable’s essay, “My First Year on the Drammy Committee.”