Douglas Rain died three months ago, but I was away and did not know of if until I got back to Kelowna in late January. Doug was my boss at the National Theatre School, and I have had great respect both for his work there and as one of our finest actors. Here is my response to his life.
Ninety at death, but not in memory.
Great actor, one of our best.
His work so pure, exact, revelatory.
Like a fine classical statue
Shaped to reveal the essence of the shape,
All necessary, nothing extraneous,
So his characters, deeply understood,
Lived for us in deceptive clarity.
His work with student actors
A miracle of skill, example,
Whether describing to a class
What he had learned of a character
In brilliant summation
After three months study,
Three months yet before performance,
Or in class acting with them
As Duke Frederick, the usurper,
Stony faced, self-contained, guarded,
Each word considered before spoken,
But betrayed by the secret twitching
Of an errant hand.
Let him now join
The other giants of this ancient art.