OEAs, O’Neill, and One-Handed Psychos

After attending the festivities of the OEA Awards this past week, I’ve decided it’s time for the creation of an “OEA Awareness Committee”. Of all the winners of from Sunday’s ceremony, less than half were actually in attendance, leaving the Artistic Directors of the respective theatres on the hook to go up numerous times to graciously accept awards.  This is not to say that the evening was not well attended, it was. It also is not an indictment on area actors, designers, and directors’ enthusiasm for the event. It seems that more often than not, many people either don’t know where the awards are or are unaware that they are even nominated for an award in the first place.

It goes all the way back to the very first OEA Awards 7 years ago (wow it was that long ago?). I can recall being on my way to the awards and contacting fellow cast member Stephen Michael Shelton about whether he wanted a ride to the event. His response was simply, ‘What event?” Upon finding out about the awards and his subsequent nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Play, Shelton rushed down from work to the awards and sat down just in time for his name to be announced as the winner.  A memorable moment to be sure, but one that seems to play out more often than not these past few years at the awards.

Some reasons of non attendance surely can’t be helped. We’re in the middle of the theatre season and many talented nominees are hard at work rehearsing or performing in new shows.  But what about those that never knew they were nominated? Is the solution an email list? A free membership to some OEA online organization? If you have suggestions, feel free to send them to coldcream@thereader.com

As for this week, Omaha patrons are once again spoiled with what appears to be fantastic options for theatre.

Bluebarn Theatre opens Behanding in Spokane this weekend with the always entertaining Thomas Becker in the lead role of Carmichael.  Martin McDonagh has long been one of this writer’s favorite playwrights, and after getting a glimpse of the set and seeing the other names on the cast list (Vincent Carlson-Brown, Olivia Sather, and Raydell Cordell III) it’s hard not to get excited about this show.

Equally intriguing is the opening of Long Day’s Journey into Night opening at Brigit St. Brigit Theatre. This was one of the first shows ever directed by Cathy Kurz for the theatre years ago. During that first show, a cast member was injured and  the director Kurz had to pull double duty also playing Mary Tyrone. This time around she’s quite excited to sit solely in the director’s chair and direct a talented ensemble in their Downtown Dodge Street location.

UNO Theatre also continues its Play Festival with the opening of Archeology of Dreams by Caridad Svich.

Cold Cream looks at theater in the metro area. Email information to coldcream@thereader.com

posted at 02:55 pm
on Monday, February 18th, 2013

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