As our email list subscribers already know, the Drammy Committee has decided, after long and productive discussions and debates over weeks, months…yes, even years!…that for the 2014 Drammy Awards, we are returning to the system of pre-announced nominees, with the winner to be discovered on the night! This is obviously a huge deal for us, and we are very excited. We hope you are too!
As this is Thanksgiving week, and we are up to our armpits in pecan pies, mashed yams, and turkey stock, we really don’t have time at this juncture to go into lots and lots of detail. Please bear with us! We promise we will provide more information once this particular holiday is over…at which point we will also update the “About” page on the website. But for now, let’s just say that we will be announcing FOUR nominees in each of the major categories before the ceremony. At some point we will even list what we consider “major categories,” but for now, just think Tony awards and you will be close (you know, actor in play, actor in musical, actress ditto ditto, supporting actor ditto ditto, production ditto ditto, director, designers…you know the kind of list I am talking about, right?)
As to what are usually the smaller, “special” categories, if we have a BUNCH of nominees in any given year in a particular category (let’s say “ensemble,” because sometimes there are masses of those and sometimes only one or two), that category will move up into the majors for that year. But if there are only a couple or so (as is often the case for, say, mask work, or puppets, or what-have-you), we will simply announce that awards will be given in “the following special categories,” with a list of the categories themselves, rather than nominees. You can probably expect only one “winner” per small category. In the event of ties in any category, of course, there will be two “winners,” though we don’t hope or predict that ties will happen often (I know some people don’t like the word “winner,” which is why I am using “”, but I am really busy right now and can’t think of a better word, so please indulge me, okay?)
As many of you know, we have wrestled with this idea for ages. But now we have a strong majority on the committee in favor of this process, which also (according to anecdotal data) seems best to reflect the will of the community. We know we can never please everyone, whether on the committee or off, but we do want you to know that we work very hard to do our best to live up to our own, and everyone else’s, high standards. We really do. So we ask RIGHT NOW for your support in this new/revived endeavor. I have heard it suggested by some, that folks who aren’t nominated won’t turn up at the ceremony. BUT I DO NOT FOR ONE MOMENT BELIEVE THAT IS TRUE! I think that the supportive, giving, caring community that is Portland theatre will rejoice for the folks who ARE nominated, and will turn up in droves to cheer them, and to see who ends up with the trophy (we will most likely give all nominees a certificate…details are still being ironed out). Think of all the bets we can place!!!! Personally, I feel that the party will be even more fun than it already is, with some of the tension removed. So please let’s give this a go! If it fails, why then, we can rethink the whole thing. And I promise faithfully that we will do so.
We are also working really hard to improve our voting processes. We have always striven to be fair, balanced and unbiased, we truly have. But we are now working on a system where, after considerable public discussion…which we always have…voting itself will be strictly private. None of us will therefore know how other members voted. This should remove even the perception of influence by any one member on another. Again, we know that there’s no truly scientific, objective way to judge ANY art form, let alone live theatre (just look at the differences of opinion among educated critics and reviewers). Unless we restrict ourselves to very few shows per year, and make sure every committee member sees them all (preferably on the same night), there will be elements that cannot be strictly controlled. But we are trying to be as fair as humanly possible. Again, we ask you to bear with us, and to understand that all our efforts are directed towards celebrating the work done in the Portland theatre community, in all its infinite variety.
As I say, more will be posted about this entire process once the last pie crumbs have been set out for the birds. We will also soon post the list of productions we considered at yesterday’s meeting (Monday, 25 November, 2013), just as we did at the end of our first session for this season. For now, we wish you a happy, theatrical (in the best way) Thanksgiving. For ourselves, we are simply grateful for the wonderful work you do. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of that, and to celebrate your achievements with you.
Remember that if you too want to be the first to hear important news such as this, all you have to do is sign up to our email list, via this website. We send out VERY few missives (this news was only the second email in about 3 months). And of course hit the “follow” button if you want all our blog posts delivered right to your inbox.
See you at the theater!