On Thursday, November 1, 2012 CityRep Theatre hosted a benefit tribute to Lyle Dye Jr. The room at The Castle where the event took place was filled to the brim with the warmth that can only be generated by the heat of love stoked with respect. Everyone had one thing in common: Lyle Dye as a mentor, or as a mentor’s mentor. The event raised some important funds for CityRep but more importantly raised the spirits of everyone who remembers Lyle Dye Jr.
The man is someone you’d walk through fire for, or, in my case, eat it. Years ago when I first worked with Lyle I understood immediately his important contribution to my character as an actress and as a person. Here was a man who never expected you to be able to do the impossible. He did demand your best, and the best only looks impossible!
Ethics, humor, talent, empathy (shhh, that’s a secret) and dedication create a lasting legacy. Lyle Dye has created the legacy here in Oklahoma City, Akron, Ohio, New York City and Johnsburg, New York where he has just been named “Person of the Year.” He has a feather touch in the lives of all of us, and all those we touch as well.
There were many stories at the benefit remembered by many associates here in Oklahoma City. They all have the one thing in common that touches my soul. Lyle Dye Jr. is a man who loves the theatre, loves the people who love the theatre and never compromises his integrity. There is always a smile lurking behind his eyes as he develops each creative soul. Tears blurred the vision of all as he rose to express his thanks and love of every testament he heard and those he remembers from the old days as well as the new days. He remembers every face and every character, and even if he may not remember every actor’s name he remembers their triumph. He is glad to know that we credit him with the triumphs he saw then as well as the triumphs we see now.
His talent is large and evidenced by his great body of work. His heart is large and shown by the continued affection of the community. His soul is large and is clearly seen in the exactness of character each of us creates in the mirror as we imagine his reflection along with whoever we wish to become. So we all love him unreservedly.
Thank you sir, for those wonderful years in Oklahoma City at Lyric and the Oklahoma Theatre Center. Thank you for your contributions in New York, Ohio, New York and everywhere you touch. Your continued efforts are an inspiration to us now and forever. Have good shows back in New York at the beautiful Lyle Dye Jr. Theatre and never forget that you are remembered with love and respect.