It’s a classic: Vertigo stays east

The displaced company joins NW Classical Theatre in the little Shoebox space

Robert Wyllie, Paige Jones & Matthew Kerrigan in “Mother Courage.”/Theatre Vertigo

Robert Wyllie, Paige Jones & Matthew Kerrigan in “Mother Courage.”/Theatre Vertigo

Theatre Vertigo is staying on the East Side.

Vertigo, one of three Portland theater companies losing their home later this spring at the Theater! Theater! Building on Southeast Belmont, will move in with Northwest Classical Theatre Company in the little Shoebox Theatre at 2710 S.E. 10th Ave. Profile Theatre, which is also losing its lease on Belmont, had already announced it will share the Artists Rep space in downtown’s West End. The third company, Fuse, hasn’t yet announced its plans.

Vertigo made its announcement Monday night during its annual benefit auction and season announcement party. And staying on the east side of the Willamette played a role in the company’s decision. “We are committed to this community,” board president Joe Shallenburger said in a prepared statement. “It is our priority to provide cutting edge, professional, and affordable theater in this part of the city.”

Early scuttlebutt had Vertigo headed for the CoHo Theater in Northwest Portland, but that talk shifted. Now Vertigo will be in partnership with NWCT in the tiny Shoebox space, and will keep its roots in Southeast. Both companies expect the move, but not the collaboration, to be temporary. They are already exploring options for eventually developing a larger arts center together on the East Side. Vertigo will add Sunday performances to its Thursday-Saturday schedule to help make up for the Shoebox’s smaller capacity.

Vertigo’s final show on Belmont will be Naomi Iizuka’s “Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls,” opening May 10. It’ll produce its annual Anonymous Theatre—this year, Thornton Wilder’s “The Skin of Our Teeth”—on Aug. 12 at the Gerding Theatre in the Armory.

Then it’ll open its 2013-14 season in the fall at the Shoebox. It announced a three-show season: Jeffrey Hatcher’s new adaptation of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”; Craig Jessen’s “The End of Sex”; and, pending rights, David Ives’ new farce “The School for Lies.”

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