entire contents copyright © 1995 - 2014 The Theater Mirror.
All Rights Reserved
Wasn't sure who to contact about this but I wanted to bring something to your attention.
Perhaps this is just an oversight of some kind but in today's announcement of the IRNES there is a category for Best Actor Fringe AND Best Actor Midsize but only a Best Actress category. It was also this way last year.
My feeling is that if this category is to be included BOTH genders should be represented, or if the committee simply cannot add another category the Best Actor Fringe category should be eliminated.
I think it is problematic to award the males in a theatre category and not the females. They should both be included or neither should be recognized.
As you know issues of gender equality in theatre are very close to my heart and I wanted to bring this to your attention. Please let me know who I might get in touch with on the committee to discuss this further.
I'm sure no one on the committee was intentional in excluding Fringe Actresses but I would like to do all I can to change this.
Thank you so much for your time and unending support of the Fringe.
Erin Eva Butcher
The category was this:
Only Six Nominations.
For BEST ACTOR Mid-Size there are six; for BEST ACTOR Fringe there are Eight.
That looks like a serious case of gender prejudice, doesn't it?
But if you glance down to the BESTs in Smaller Company MUSICALS you will see that NONE of the categories are split between Mid-Size and Fringe.
For an honest answer I must explain how the dozen IRNE Reviewers bring the Awards Ceremony into being every year.
Every January everyone is given a list of categories and asked to suggest ONE play/production/person in each one. A person/play must be suggested by Three Reviewers to appear on the final ballot.
Usually, since they often see the same shows, many categories/nominees are "over-suggested" while other categories are anemic.
On the basic truism that a Nomination is often as important as an Award, a steering-committee of about six then meets to suggest work that may have been seen by too few reviewers get added to thin categories. The aim is bring each category up to about five nominees --- but critics are a loud and uncompromising bunch, and often votes must be taken to winnow a large number down to five, or to expand a category to even more than that. (The phrase "a blood-spumed bear-pit" is frequently not inappropriate here.)
When the long night is over, a final ballot is attained; and then all 12 members are asked again to cast votes for ONE in each category --- and not to vote unless they Have Seen the show they vote for.
And now, some history is necessary:
The IRNE Awards are the brainchild of Beverly Creasey and Geralyn Horton, who rightly noticed that good work being done by smaller theatres, like The Reagle Players or SpeakEasy Stage or in places like the old Actors' Workshop, the BCA or The Factory was consistently ignored by newspaper reviewers. They envisioned a sort of Boston version of the OBIE Awards, and I agreed with them. We worked for a full year, and got nowhere, until Jules Becker suggested that, if we were going to recognize Good Work, if we left out the local Equity Houses and Broadway in Boston, no one would take us seriously --- and he was right.
Initially, all levels of theatre were competing in every category --- until the Big Barn people complained that being lumped with Reagle (who beat them more than once) was unfair, and awards were split between Larger and Smaller venues.
Then --- just last year --- Fringe Theatres complained that Mid-Size houses, which could afford advertising, were at an unfair advantage.
So IRNE agreed that, if the mix of Mid and Fringe produced enough nominees to mean four or five IN EACH, a split between them would in a sense double the number of categories. This worked best for most NON-musical than for Musical productions.
For two years running, the category of "BEST ACTRESS Smaller Companies" (i.e., Mid AND Fringe combined) has failed to turn up enough nominees to split the category --- and That is why it is not split this year.
That is a bitter pill, but unfortunately the IRNE Awards are intended to Reflect reality --- much as we hoped and still hope to change it. Both Mid-Size and Fringe companies still choose plays, and playwrights still write plays, that are mainly about MEN with women relegated to Supporting Roles.
From both camps, the dozen reviewers nominated only a total of SIX Best Actresses --- and when the steering committee came to the category, they couldn't remember a single performance they could add.
I suppose the category Could be split, with only THREE nominees from each camp.
That would reflect truth, but it wouldn't change anything.
What Might change things will be a March-long Focus on Woman, and a company like MAIDEN PHOENIX, "a Boston Fringe Theatre Company committed to telling stories about women."
We can hope; we can try.
When the multi-re-named IRNE Awards started, we wanted to change people's minds about the wealth and variety and scope of excellent theatrical work done here in the Boston Area. Since then, even the Norton Committee has changed its mind, somewhat, about their own recognition of theatrical excellence.
I guess all we can say right now is something familiar to Bostonians:
Just wait'll Next year, gang!
"Intimate Apparel" **** till 14 March Reviewed by Sheila Barth
"All My Sons" **** till 1 March Reviewed by Tony Annicone
"Our Town" **** till 22 February Reviewed by Tony Annicone
"The King of Second Avenue" **** till 1 March A Review by Sheila Barth
"Summer And Smoke" **** till 22 FebruaryReviewed by Tony Annicone
"Father Comes Home from The Wars" Parts 1, 2, And 3 **** till 2 March A Review by Sheila Barth
"Seminar" **** till 22 February Reviewed by Tony Annicone
"Middletown" **** till 22 February Reviewed by Tony Annicone
30 GLOBES Hath September
THAT WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS
New Greenroom Mail
Stories by Larry
The Horton PODCASTS
The HORTON Connection
Theater Mirror Resources
For information call 781-871-2787
30 Accord Park Dr.
Norwell, MA 02061
(781) 871-2787 (ARTS)
Well, I just published:
Larry Stark, 125 Amory Street #501, Roxbury, MA 02119
A note of pure obstinant pedantry:
THEATER is an art.
It is practiced in THEATRES.
If you'd like to tell us what you think about The Theater Mirror,
My name is Larry Stark my e-mail address is email@example.com
Design, Fabrication, Upkeep and Systems Engineering firstname.lastname@example.org
You are visitor
Counter kindly provided by
as a courtesy to the Theater Mirror.