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Comment Archives: Stories: Theater

Re: “2017 Ostranders — Picks, Pans and WHO GOT ROBBED!?!?

No such thing as a small part? Clearly you've not taken a good look at our President.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/18/2017 at 2:00 PM

Re: “2017 Ostranders — Picks, Pans and WHO GOT ROBBED!?!?

"You wanna know my secret? I'm a liar. A flat out liar." - Mercy "Haint" (via me, via playwright Justin Asher)

Kudos to all the nominees, and huge props to everyone in the Memphis theatre community not nominated - in print. Not nominated in print. Without you, the nominees would not be nominees. This stuff is a team sport, and guess what: There really is no such thing as a small part.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michele Somers Cullen on 08/18/2017 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Jamie Farr, George Burns, Snow White: Halloran Centre Launches 3-Show Stage Series

I actually saw Jamie Farr play George Burns in the show once...weird. I also saw him play Oscar opposite William Christopher's Felix. I think he was one of the Nathan Detroit's that I saw in a Guys and Dolls tour once. Dude gets work.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John M Hemphill on 08/15/2017 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Irene Crist Honored with Eugart Yerian Award for Lifetime Achievement in Memphis Theatre

Don't you just love, Irene? I am so glad that the Women's Theatre Festival of Memphis honored her on last year! Congratualations to a well-deserving lady for her years of GIVING to theatre.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ruby O' Gray on 08/07/2017 at 11:52 AM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

Been sick, but Ok yawl- validation may be for the majority, and it's nice. The time, the place, the number of people who are utilized for such may vary, but to me- it's a personal satisfaction of doing what I want when I want since I know the larger ones won't accept it. Doing it well, teaching some of those who have gone on to win Memphis Theatre Awards that became the Ostranders. I think that what others want is something posted for them to know guidelines. Every theatre company has their own mission- don't get mad about it- some of us, including me- got awards way back from those very entities. What if we all got mad because there are ONLY male reviewers for all the shows in Memphis? Come up with your own, an addition; an alternative. It's legal! I do know that there have been some great Indies-I don't like all of them, and the same goes for some of the larger productions. That has to do with our personal tastes. There are newbys, who feel there is no place for them- so they make their own- and they, too, have to or need to learn how to do it better. At times I have not liked both,... but like TP, who is a billionaire- he found his audience and fed them what they wanted or needed- he did what he wanted. I was NOT the fan, but there are some on tape as movies that I did like. I don't have the time to get mad about such. Someone will come up with what the Indie sole artists need to be recognized; others, I would say, need to learn and "gleen" from those who have been doing it. Nothing will be wrong with that... look at it as not opposed to, but addition to whenEVER the other recognitions are created. Actually there is one, but I, like many, have never known the indie guidelines for Ostranders- kind of a well-kept secret, and I have asked and gotten passed on to others to find out- so I stopped. When you are in that BIG ballgame- sometimes you don't see the other games that are being played-JUST be patient. Some people who have never worked in Indie to see what it's like. I know it happened recently with me- but they may have discovered that they don't want to ever do that- again. That's okay, it won't deter us who know that that may be the way in this city for many reasons... somebody's got to. Be happy for those who got recognized, and to those who don't feel validated without that recognition- start taking more stock in yourselves and find alternate ways- Oh to those who think they bought the stage and paid for it and no one else can get on it but YOU- (I hope no one does) help somebody, it might be a nice project once a year to be benevolent to those who are trying. Getting mad is Too Much Wasted Energy.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ruby O' Gray on 08/07/2017 at 11:34 AM
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/04/2017 at 9:56 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

When we did Much Ado at BPACC and TM. It was always technically an independent production that Irene and I came up with. Sort of a Judy/Mickey "We have talented friends...and a barn...and Candy sews" Part of me wondered if Ostrander judges would have noticed had it been eligible but there was something quaint about just "doing it" without the concerns of a mainstream production. I am all for people doing their art. I mean to me that is art in it's purest form. I wonder though how non eligible independent companies could even be corralled. If Chris Davis wants to put up a production of such and such play people have to know about it and a governing voting committee must have a quorum to go and see it...and that still leaves out other productions that might not benefit from word of mouth or promotion. They would all still have to submit them for consideration. Someone smarter than me would need to figure out a system that would be fair...whatever that means. I'm all for it. So much talent in this town so any way that it can be brought to the forefront and garner appreciation is a good thing. But...like Chris said...many people who do independent theatre just want to do the play and awards don't enter into the thought process deserving or not. It might have to be another organization like Independent films do. Ostranders are already up to the brim with eligible theatre companies and judges to go see their offerings.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John M Hemphill on 08/04/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

Exactly, Bill. It's great that we have a community that produces one-offs as strong as Krapp's Last Tape. But the Ostranders don't (and shouldn't be expected to) account for one-offs. Or even two-offs. And I don't think anybody produces Beckett in Memphis hoping for a prize. On the other hand, if Tony Isbell is a Eugart Yerian honoree some day, his work on indie projects like Krapp, Thais, and other labors of love will figure into that. But as far as I know, established troupes with announced seasons, able to make assurances about dates and judge access can apply for consideration.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/03/2017 at 10:36 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

Please.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Andrews on 08/03/2017 at 10:06 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

I judged for 10 years, seeing 40-50 productions each year, all on my own time. Part of the game is to try to get most of the same people to see most of the same shows, which is of course challenging. Even with an expanded judging team in the last few years, the number of eligible productions has increased as well. So if you in this community want more shows in the mix, offer 30 or 40 evenings a year, give up family and rehearsal time,
and get in the pool with the big kids who are willing to play this hard.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bill Andrews on 08/03/2017 at 10:05 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

I will Chris because it does bother me that so much good work is not recognized though you did say last year you thought Krapp's Last Tape was a favorite of yours but wasn't eligible for the Ossies. I saw it and thoroughly enjoyed it. But there was so much more that somehow was ineligible. Ah, such are the fortunes of theater in Memphis - Peace dude - Hope you had a great birthday.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Martine on 08/03/2017 at 6:58 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

It has been. The awards are for companies, not individual indie productions. There are some requirements, but other indies have met them. It's unreasonable to expect everybody who puts on a show whenever to be considered, but only a few years ago changes were made in how judging takes place to make the Ostranders more flexible/inclusive of smaller companies with seasons/staying power. Check with the folks who manage the judges. They'll tell you everything you need to know.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/03/2017 at 6:45 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

I agree with Olivia Johnson. There are many excellent productions and performances that get short shrift by the Ostranders in independent productions. I don't see any reason why the Ostranders cannot add an independent awards division to the mix.

You have a college and university division which is wonderful. They need to be recognized for their good work. But much of the most progressive and edgy theater in Memphis is done by independent theater groups. More new works and writing are showcased in independent theater groups than among the major theaters, by and large.

So, can anyone at the Ostranders tell us why this can't or shouldn't happen. There are many of us who are actors, directors and writers who wonder why this issue has not been properly addressed. Or, if it has in the past (I'm unsure because I'm not a native Memphian), what the reasoning was for this unfortunate state of affairs.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Daniel Martine on 08/03/2017 at 6:34 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

Olivia, as a former indie producer I couldn't agree more about the importance of independent work. But why get insulted when you can get involved? Companies like New Moon and Voices of the South are also indies. There are requirements that I can't quote chapter & verse. But there are folks who can.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/03/2017 at 6:23 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

I feel that the omission of Independent Theaters period is an egregious error. We can never compete with the larger theaters with set construction/design, costumes, live musicians, etc. But we have some of the most talented people on those stages that never get recognized unless they go to the larger theaters. Independent Theater people are some of the hardest working and talented people I know and it's about time they are recognized. That is an insult to the theatre community to not include them.

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Olivia R. Johnson on 08/03/2017 at 5:17 PM

Re: “Irene Crist Honored with Eugart Yerian Award for Lifetime Achievement in Memphis Theatre

This is an astoundingly concise, yet complete, account of Ms. Crist's astounding influence on Memphis theatre.
Well done, sir! Most well done!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Gordon Ginsberg on 08/03/2017 at 5:09 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

I think the omission of a nomination for Chuck Hodges for Lead Actor in a Musical for Beauty and the Beast is an egregious error and an insult to his enormous talent and tremendous work as the title character.

2 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Pete Vescovo on 08/03/2017 at 11:38 AM

Re: “Goodbye Josie: The Memphis Theatre Community Loses a Beloved Educator

I worked with Josie during the summer of '65 at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre. I was 19 and knew it was, even while we were living it, a pivotal time in all our lives. We shared a great appreciation for Steve Malin and Henry Swanson (who had both been my teachers at the University of Florida.) I remember that Josie was willowy, mischievous, had a robust laugh, and was (as we all were) deeply committed to being completely present in her work and in her life. I never saw her after that summer, yet I knew she would make her artistic mark wherever she would reside. It was heartwarming to read of her accomplishments and to know how many lives she touched. ~ H. Richard Greene

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by H. Richard Greene on 07/20/2017 at 6:14 PM

Re: “Sneak Peek at "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"

It has turned out better than I could have imagined. I hope people will make the trip out east to give it a go.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John M Hemphill on 07/17/2017 at 12:46 PM

Re: “PRIZM Ensemble Co-Founder Lecolion Washington Tapped to Head Community Music Center of Boston

The community Music Center of Boston is getting an amazing leader.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nancy Walker on 06/23/2017 at 5:04 PM

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