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Meet the Playbill Collector
Article by: Athena Osborne
When the show is over, the life of a playbill goes on. Mary Shaw, a retired special education teacher, gathers her playbills like offspring. “I just kind of like knowing they are there”, she remarks, when asked about her collection. Since bringing home her first playbill, dated October 2006, Mary has collected from a plethora of local theaters including the Artist Repertory Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and Oregon Children’s Theater. Though modest about her collection, the numbers speak for themselves. Since 2006, Mary has collected more than 137 playbills and she doesn’t intend to stop.
At first, Mary’s motivation was purely practical. If an actor looked familiar, she could look him up in her “library” and put a face with the name. Now, her hobby seems to have morphed into something more. “I’m sorry now that I didn’t start keeping them earlier”, she says. They have become an integral part of her ritual when visiting a show.
Growing up in rural California, attending live theater became part of Mary’s very fibre. As a youngster, her parents took her to see Mary Martin in Peter Pan at a local theater in San Francisco. She carried the theater tradition with her into adulthood and adamantly believes it should be an integral part of anyone’s childhood. When her grandchildren lived in Portland, she subscribed to the Oregon Children’s Theater and Northwest Children’s Theater so that they could enjoy the shows together. She supports youth on the stage and attends live productions at Jesuit High School…Read the rest of the Article
Click the Playbill cover to view the issue.
A Christmas Carol| Portland Playhouse
Noises Off | Third Rail Repertory
Xmas Unplugged | Artists Rep
It’s A (Somewhat Wonderful Life) | Bag&baggage
The Santaland Diaries | Portland Center Stage
Foxfinder | Artists Rep
A Night In New Orleans| Oregon Children’s Theatre
Lucy Guerin | White Bird Dance
Maguy Marin | White Bird Dance
Detroit | Portland Playhouse
Sweet and Sad | Third Rail
The Great Gatsby | Bag&Baggage
Aspen Santa Fe Ballet | White Bird Dance
Mistakes Were Made | Artists Rep
Live Show | Live Wire! Radio
Fiddler on the Roof | Portland Center Stage
The Big Meal | Artists Repertory Theatre
The Mountaintop | Portland Center Stage
Julius Caesar | Bag&Baggage