Photo: Russell Young
Yes! We are beyond thrilled, honored, and delighted to announce that this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award Winner is the amazing, talented, and much beloved Tobias Andersen! I can hear the tumultuous applause, hurrahs, and assorted cheers from here!
Well, he’s an obvious choice, when you think about it! (And even when you don’t!). I mean, the man’s bio in his own words begins, “Tobias’ professional career began in 1965 in the Colorado Rockies where he was “discovered” (while playing dastardly villains and true-hearted heroes in one of the many area melodrama theaters) by Randy Sparks of the famed New Christy Minstrels. Sparks reasoned that “mellers” (i.e. melodramas) would be a perfect fit on the stage of Ledbetter’s, his Westwood night club. He brought Tobias to California to both act in and direct “mellers,” sharing the stage with folk-singing acts.
That’s right! “Began in 1965…” Even a math-challenged person such as myself can see that means FIFTY YEARS! And in Tobias’s case, they are 50 GLORIOUS years. You can get just a sense of what he has done over that half-century by clicking right here. But there’s more…
You will be able to read all about him in the Drammy program, in an essay penned by the incomparable Marty Hughley. Meanwhile, you can click on this link to read what Tobias says about himself. Your minds will be blown, I assure you. For example, I bet you know something of his work at Clackamas Rep, or Mt. Hood Rep before that, and about his one-man show The Illustrated Bradbury, his solo play of Ray Bradbury stories, coauthored with the eminent author himself. But did you know, for example, that he acted in “Destroyer with Anthony Perkins, and as a reluctant priest in The Empty Cup, which was filmed in the Bolivian Andes among the Aymara Indians.” Or that “His critically acclaimed portrayal of famed American jurist Clarence Darrow in the one-man play Darrow has been seen throughout the US and in 1997 was selected by the US Information Agency (USIA) to represent the United States at the Second International Drama Festival in Pakistan, where the play was performed in Islamabad before members of the Pakistani Government and Supreme Court.”
Would you even begin to guess, given his spare and wiry frame, that one of his favorite roles ever was…Falstaff? Yup. The portly knight himself.
Make no mistake. Tobias Andersen is a man of many parts. Here are just a few pictures that capture some of his life and work. And he is certainly not done yet! At the time of writing, Tobias is about to appear in Anne Washburn’s Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play at Portland Playhouse, which runs from May 13 to June 7, 2015 (too late for inclusion in this year’s Drammy eligible shows, but among the first to be considered NEXT year). And there are other great roles to come…in 2016, he will take on the role of King Lear for Post5 Theatre. We can’t wait!
We are so glad that he is accepting this well-deserved award from us. Make sure you join us to honor him on June 29. We can’t wait to show him how much he has captured our hearts.
(Please note: We have collected several photos of Tobias…see below…and would like to acknowledge the photographers where possible. Please let us know if you can help. You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you)
We now know that the headshot, top right of the photos below, is by Riley Caton.
The Harvey portrait (bottom left) was painted by Katherine Allegri.