We are a bit anxious that today’s post will be perceived as nagging, which is NOT the intent. So we are posting pictures of rescued kittens to mitigate any apparent harshness. The two above were found abandoned. Here they are sleeping off the anesthetic, after being neutered. Hmmm. Perhaps neutering doesn’t mitigate hurtful perceptions. Here they are again…well, one of them…sleeping soundly after eating a stolen prawn or two (about a pound, actually).
I think everybody should be feeling really mellow now, yes? So here we go.
It’s about that nine performance rule. No, don’t tense up. Everytime you feel your shoulders go rigid, look at the kittens again. And say “Awwww!” Now carry on.
Here’s the deal. We require NINE (9) full performances NOT including previews, for shows to be Drammy-eligible. We don’t like to see previews because the idea of previews is that things are not yet quite ready, and we want to give everybody a chance to be on top of his/her game. We often don’t do first nights also, because we like the idea of shows settling in. And we ask for nine performances because there are 17 of us trying to see as much as we can, so we need those shows to be spread over a reasonable period of time. If you have looked at our “About” page, you will see that we require an absolute minimum of committee members to see every eligible show, for nominations to be considered. Currently that minumum is SEVEN, but truthfully we try always to have way more of us than that seeing a show, so that all opinions can be heard, considered, valued, counted. So we aren’t just being arbitrary, I promise. With 17 people, 8 just wasn’t enough. And honestly if you pack nine into two weekends, it’s just as hard as if you only offered 8. So we truly hope you will spread those shows over as long a period of time as you are able. That helps enormously.
Are you feeling irritated? I hope not. Here is a kitten sitting atop the goldfish bowl, just in case you feel your tempers rising.
I hope so. I’ll go on.
Here’s the other issue. And this one applies particularly during busy, busy periods, such as the recent (wonderful) Fertile Ground. Because we have so many shows to see, we tend to schedule our trips well in advance. I am going to use the personal pronoun here (I just did, I guess). I know there is no “I” in Drammy, but there are seventeen “I”s in Drammy CommIttee, all with busy lives, so fair enough, I think. I personally tend to schedule my theatre visits in two month chunks. And I know other people do likewise. It takes quite a time to reserve all the tickets in advance, as you can perhaps imagine. There’s no sort of official calender. We all individually (as “I”s) work from newspaper listings and whatnot, which can have omissions (I rely heavily on portlandtheatrescene.com, which is wonderful, though even THAT doesn’t list absolutely everything). So, speaking personally again, I tend to schedule those shows that I note, in advance, from my various sources, have those NINE performances. Then, if there’s room, I try to fit in other shows that suddenly crop up out of nowhere, with the necessary requirements (as in Fertile Ground).
So…if a company with a six, seven, or eight performance show suddenly decides it is doing well, and, in the last few days of the run, decides to add a couple more, making the total suddenly up to nine, the chances of my being able to get there are frankly Slim to None, and Slim is out of town…as may well be many of the Drammy Committee members. Yes, if we hear there are now enough performances, we might well try to go. But there can be no guarantee, because our Dance Cards are probably already full!
And I may as well add that if a show is scheduled for five or six performances (which means we won’t schedule, unless as private, ticket-buying audience members) and then comes back a couple of months later and does four or five MORE performances at that much later time, well, then that wouldn’t count, because the second go would be a re-run. In other words, we really need the nine performances to be in a single run, scheduled in advance! And the more notice we have, the better.
Oh dear. Does it sound like I’m complaining? Can you hear those soulful violin strings being played? I promise that is NOT what is happening. It is a joy, a privilege, and an honor to be on the Drammy Committee and to see your wonderful work. But we hate people to be disappointed, we really do. And all this is an attempt to see as much as possible, so we can celebrate it all.
Of course you will often see Drammy Committee members attending shows that have fewer than nine performances. But that means that they/we are there simply as audience members, and that we will have paid for our tickets like anyone else (or taken advantage of industry nights, or invitations that are NOT Drammy related, etc).
Please ask if you have any questions. We really hope we haven’t annoyed you. And if you have…and if you don’t find kittens a softening, mitigating factor…here’s a picture of my little old dog Guido, who will surely make you feel happy. Isn’t he sweet?
See you at the theatre.