A few more things about Kate (from Peg)

Sunday night I was lucky enough to take part in a celebration of Kate Singleton’s life at the Garden Theatre in Winter Garden. This really was a celebration, and it was marked by some real eloquence from a bunch of Orlando-area theater people.

Peg O’Keef couldn’t be there (she’s opening Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Mad Cow on Friday), but she sent along these lovely remarks:

Kate used to be “Kathy”… back in the days I was “Peggy”… And we were both very fresh freshmen at Rollins when we met. I say “both of us”… but Kathy was by far the fresher … at least in the sassy sense.

Even then — at a mere 17 or 18 — she commanded attention. I’ve always said Kate could change the atmosphere of a room just by walking into it. When Kathy crossed the portal, you knew you were going to have to access your A-game … That is, if you dared to step into her circle.

Most often, I just skirted the sideline … and looked in with admiration as she ushered in a wit that was as courageous as it was quick.

She could render a whole green room of so-called smart people helpless with laughter from a casually dropped bon mot.

Or she might slip into a spontaneous story, complete with multiple voices and postures (her more ambitious ones included songs and dance) … At the end of one of these remarkable arias, you might really believe you were entertained by a whole troupe of players rather than by one solitary, albeit wildly colorful, soul.

As is the case with smart and capable social-observers and actors — of which Kate was a spectacular example — she could work on many levels, employing tools with finesse.

She could offer a volume of comment by simply raising an eyebrow. She could kill with a sideways glance. She could throw a desperately needed lifesaver by simply pursing her lips or offering a comforting half-smile from across the room.

She wasn’t always “nice and ladylike”…  and she was rarely “appropriate” … But she contained a courage that inspired awe.

And a brain so big I wonder how she held it up.

And, as some of us know, in the shadow of that quick mind, only barely hidden lay a heart so huge and soft that it defied containment.

So from all those years ago, shy and awe-struck “Peggy” offers sassy “Kathy” heartfelt thanks for throwing that lifesaver …

And “Peg” wishes “Kate” godspeed.

2 responses to “A few more things about Kate (from Peg)

  1. Hey Peg, I worked with you and I know your energy and inspiration…I wish I had known Kate. She is up there watching every thing you do on stage. I am certain she is the same way. I can only pray to be as talented.

  2. That really did not come out the way I wanted it to. Too many thoughts through the brain… See through the bad ‘type’; please.