I’d like to propose a toast…
Here’s to the lady of the hour!!
JANE ORANS is more than just a sentient human being. She’s an idea. A philosophy of life. A force that is unstoppable. Simply put: I would totally choose Jane Orans over John Cena if I ever needed an assist during a fight. (He’s like the Gaston of professional wrestling for those of you struggling with the WWE reference.)
This woman means a lot to me. Shall I count the ways? I had no idea how much my life would change in June of 2005 as I started my Quisisana journey (6 consecutive years thank you very much) up in Center Lovell, Maine, but my gratitude has proven itself immeasurable. I was a nervous nincompoop who was hundreds of miles away from home, but Jane always made me feel taken care of – emotionally, creatively, spiritually, and let’s be real – financially. Quisisana is the greatest place I’ve ever greased my elbows and I miss her magic on the daily.
One of my favorite things about Jane is that she’s a wild card – a box of chocolates, if you will. A woman after my own heart. She paints life with ALL the colors and you MUST keep on your toes because she does not suffer fools. As soon as I heard her read the infamous “If You Give A Moose A Muffin” on the first day of the Quisi summer, I knew that she was my people. As we sat cross-legged on the floor of the Music Hall overlooking the gorgeous Kezar Lake, I think we were all a little befuddled when we were introduced to this charmingly sweet and generous lady reading us a children’s book about a moose. Little did we know that it was only mere foreplay, for the pièce de résistance that she read to us all on the last day of summer was none other than “If You Give A Bitch A Biscuit” – which by this time we had all learned was way more Jane’s speed. Classic and hilarious.
One of my favorite moments with Jane was when the dining room staff decided to go Christmas caroling during Quismastime: a good excuse for yet another theme party in July. Plus, who doesn’t want presents made out of glitter and sticks we found in the woods? We all poured our heart, souls, and dirty little minds into transforming your ole traditional Christmas carols into horrifically biting Quisisana-centric glad tidings. Yes, we went to a few guest and staff cabins but we really couldn’t wait to ambush Jane’s porch. Would she be offended at our raunchy ditties? Would she even be up at this late hour? Will she love it? Will she banish us from the premises? As we approached her cabin, some of us first took off our pants and then proceeded to sing these nasty carols at full voice. I have never seen Marshall and Jane laugh harder than that night. She couldn’t get enough of our terrible renditions – poking fun of everyone (especially the dreaded guests!) and we were so elated to do Mama Jane proud.
What I love most about Jane is that she is ferociously loyal to her staff, theatre kids, family and friends. I have far too many stories about how bottomless her generosity well is. There are numerous examples of people who owe parts (big and small!) of their lives to Jane. Because of her, people have had a place to safely come out of their shell and meet their tribe, found the loves of their lives, gotten married, found themselves part of unforgettable shenanigans, as well as a part of an extended family of truly outrageous and gorgeously talented people. All carefully curated to perfection by Jane Orans.
It may sound like I’m giving Jane too much credit, and that would perhaps be true if this was written about someone else, but none of these experiences would have happened to any of us – without Jane.
Jane, like Quisisana, has my heart.
– Dana Craig (2005-2010)