Debbie May was a unique person who touched many people in many different ways. Debbie was an educator, a mother, an actress, a director, and above all a confidant to her friends, family, and students. Debbie once told me that she didn’t mind if people thought of her as a diva on stage, but did mind if people called her that outside the theatre.
When it came to her art, Debbie was demanding, but fair. She wanted her fellow actors to become the best that they were capable of.
Debbie’s canon of theatre involvement covered several decades and many different theatre organizations. Among her credits:
- Colonial Theatre: Man of La Mancha(Aldonza)
- SLOC: Chicago(Mama Morton), Anne of Green Cables(Marilla Cuthbert), and Man of La Mancha( The Housekeeper)
- SLOC: Damn Yankees(Director)
- Not So Common Players: Guys and Dolls(Director)
- Schenectady and Albany Civic Players
- Scotia-Glenville Senior High School (Director of yearly musicals)
- The year of her retirement she directed, Brigadoon
Debbie’s contributions to the community are still being felt. Just listen to the stirring words spoken at her memorial service at Schenectady Civic. The emotion could be felt as fellow thespians and students spoke of her influence on their lives. As her special friend, Bill McColl eloquently stated, “It isn’t fair.” Debbie left us way too soon, but the personal mark she left, lives on through her sons and family. The courage she showed in battling her illness is a testament to her character.
Finally, as Chairman of Guidance at Scotia-Glenville High School, Debbie touched the lives of numerous students. Whether they were theatre buffs or not, Debbie made a difference. She made a difference to them in this sometimes confusing world. That is Debbie May’s legacy.