Saturday, August 31, 2013

Remembering Julie Harris

My first ten minute play, "Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep," was written under the guidance of the Provincetown Theatre Company's Playwrights' Lab and accepted for production in a newly created Playwrights' Festival in the Spring of 2000.  When no suitable actor auditioned for the part of the mother, one of the other playwrights commented that Julie Harris would be great in the part.  Julie Harris!  The recipient of more Tony Awards than anyone?  That Julie Harris!  My colleague was a dear friend of hers and he said he'd get the play to her; if she liked it maybe she'd agree to perform it.  I stayed up all night revising, revising, worrying, revising.  My friend delivered the play.  Julie called to tell him she liked it.  She liked it!  She would perform the part of Laurel Drushell in my play!

That Julie Harris would lend her extensive talent to a small theater company at the end of Cape Cod surprised no one.  She was a tremendous supporter of theater all over the Cape.  All of us are saddened by her death this week because we were so enriched by her life.  Last night, Cape theaters dimmed their lights at the openings of our shows in tribute to Julie Harris.  But our memories burn brightly of this wonderful woman who so generously shared her gifts and made our work shine.

Left to Right: Candace Perry, Playwright; Julie Harris, Actor; Sewall Whittimore, Actor; and Margaret Van Sant, Director of "Meryl Streep, Meryl Streep"