Something’s coming, something good!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen! For yet another reason, we are lucky to live in Portland! While other cities experience January and February as months where the ground seems dead and the breath feels heavy, here the air is full of the promise of spring, of new life, of richness, of artful fecundity! Yes, it’s Fertile Ground time, here in the rainy city where our pools and puddles nurture new life and nourish incipient art. We hope you have bought your passes already. Portland’s amazing festival of new works is not to be missed, and we Drammaholics love it!
Of course, it’s something of a busman’s holiday for us theatre junkies at Drammy Towers! In addition to our more official duties, we see lots of Fertile Ground shows just as regular Portland theater-goers and audience members, but of course we know that they aren’t “Drammy eligible.” Yes, they are locally produced. And many of them, we know, will grow, flourish, blossom into fully fledged works that will take home all kinds of awards in future years. Part of our fun is spotting those we think will make it to the Drammy Big Time! But we go to Fertile Ground readings, and short runs, just for the fun and the thrill of it. And we hope you will too.
Some shows, of course, are eligible already…usually those that happen in the longer established theater companies, who use this time to feature new works as part of their regular season. But that’s not often the case for the tucked-away venues that frequently carry the seeds of huge excitement to come, but use January/February to focus on ground-breaking work for a short, breathless, exhilarating run. And it is that “shortness” that takes those runs out of the, er, running.
Could this perhaps be a good time to remind everyone that, to be Drammy-eligible now, shows must have those nine performances we require as part of our rules?
Yes, you read that correctly. Nine. Not eight. Nine. From 1 January, 2014, as we warned you earlier, we require that productions offer NINE full performances, not including previews, to qualify for those lovely awards.
Why, oh why? I hear you cry! We aren’t just being arbitrary, honest. With so many new companies springing up all over the place, and so many shows to see, it can be quite hard for a critical mass of us (POSITIVELY critical, of course!) to get to everything that qualifies. We are hoping that this additional performance requirement might ease the situation. And we secretly hope that companies won’t simply add an extra matinee or two. As many of us work in the theatre ourselves (and remember that we are all volunteers with busy lives, and families, and friends, and occasional out-of-town trips planned), we can find it quite difficult already to get to shows that cram eight performances into two weekends…nine performances in two weekends wouldn’t necessarily alleviate that, though we are hoping for now that even THAT would help a little. We do our best, of course, and always will, as we hope you know. But we do hope that the NINE performance requirement will spread availability out over time, though we haven’t made that a stipulation We want to increase YOUR chances of being seen by as many of us as possible. So, fingers crossed!
Meanwhile, there are passes to buy, calendars to consult, schedules to make, and shows to see. And while you are looking at YOUR calendars, please do feel free to let us know about any upcoming shows you are planning or of which you are simply aware, for the festival or otherwise, that you think we may not know about already. It helps us enormously if you give us a heads up. Don’t be shy! We want to hear from you.
Here’s to artistic, theatrical, dramatic fertility! That’s grounds for a shout-out! Enjoy!