June 2018

Love’s Labor’s strikes up the band

ASHLAND – One of the great joys of seeing plays in repertory at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival is seeing the same actors in multiple roles, showcasing the rare abilities of repertory company members. This is on display nowhere more clearly than the

Inclusion and exclusion in St. Louis

By SAMSON SYHARATH When theater companies of color from across the country witness a performance including red face, yellow face, and brown face, questions arise regarding activism and its relationship to art. Every year the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization

DramaWatch Weekly: Summerfest!

A year ago, when Sayda Trujillo approached Jessica Wallenfels about directing a solo performance she was developing, she had a particular contribution in mind. “She did come to me with a very specific ask: ‘I want this to be physically demanding and

DanceWatch Weekly: World Beat!

Twenty-one years ago, two stay-at-home moms, Kathleen Fish and Mona Hayes, created the World Beat Festival in response to growing racial intolerance in Salem, Oregon. Today the festival, which opens Friday evening, June 29, has grown dramatically and involves more than 1,000

MusicWatch Weekly: festivalpalooza!

Acclaimed piano duo Stephanie & Saar once again return to Northwest Portland’s Vestas building Thursday to collaborate with Portland Percussion Group and other Portland performers in a five-hour marathon show. This time, the Makrokosmos Project 4: Dadapalooza program features one of the

Suddenly, a major music festival

McMINNVILLE – When I agreed this spring to come aboard as the Yamhill County correspondent for Oregon ArtsWatch, the first thing I did was to create a calendar. I’m a wordsmith by trade, but I like my information visualized so I can

Improv meets ASL

When actor Blake Wales first watched a performance by the improv comedy group J Names, he was deeply impressed. There was just one problem. He wished that his father, who is deaf, could have the opportunity to enjoy the show. “I remember

Art review: Richard Diebenkorn figures it out

Thirty years ago I saw The Drawings of Richard Diebenkorn at the Museum of Modern Art. It was an amazing show of works that seemed effortlessly done, works that left me wondering how he could always, (at least in those drawings) always

The Art of the Pandol

By MARIA CHOBAN and BRETT CAMPBELL One hour to sunset. Beaverton’s Sri Lankan New Year festivities known as Vesak pick up momentum. Cashew curry, dal curry, fish balls crowd the counter while coconut sambal and a pot of spiced rice march up

Growing Voices

By ANGELA ALLEN “I’m not feeling the high note now,” says Karsten George, shaking his head while rehearsing at Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall one late-May afternoon. He’s singing a song from Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, and he isn’t quite nailing the

Brian Doyle and the language of the stage

Language, says Portland director Jane Unger to explain why she spent two years pursuing the stage rights to Brian Doyle’s loquacious and widely beloved Mink River, a summary-defying novel stuffed with plotlines, descriptions, lists and riffs on everything from the different types

And the Drammy goes to …

How about that gong? This year’s Drammy Awards ceremony Monday night at The Armory may have been an epic affair packed with tearful acceptance speeches, technical difficulties and even bingo, but the unofficial star of the night was the golden, disc-shaped gong

‘World Builders’ review: when worlds collide

As the audience files in, Whitney and Max sit silently at opposite corners of the stage, lost in thought. In fact, we soon learn they’re deeply immersed in their respective fantasy worlds — the condition that, Whitney informs us in relatively clunky

Dance review: The 10th New Expressive Works residents performance

The New Expressive Works tenth residency cycle has just been completed, and according Suba Ganesan, the residency’s founder, “it’s the strongest example of my vision coming to life.” The four choreographers come from all ends of the movement spectrum, but the danced

A safe space for deep criticism of art

In a recent discussion with manuel arturo abreu (they/them) the co-founder of a Portland-based pop-up art school called home school, a fundamental question surfaced—a question that directly relates to the relevance of this very platform: Why would someone hate art? For abreu, a

Devising ‘Very Poorly Indeed’

It begins, as these things often do, at the nexus between worlds, the juncture, the crossroads of realities, with the audience and the performing area both in light and both in darkness. On the stage, just on the other side of a

Take a letter, kill a lumberjack

These are not your grandfather’s secretaries. Unless, of course your grandfather was a lumberjack in the fictional town of Big Bone, Oregon, in the 1990s. In that case, the women at the center of this latest Profile Theatre production very well could

DramaWatch: Chekhov, Drammys

For eons, the theatrical arts, apparently lacking a good graphic designer, have been identified by the twinned masks of comedy and tragedy, the facial features mirthfully upturned in one, curdled in anguish in the other. But what’s the mask for the great

MusicWatch Weekly: festival season

It’s not just the thermometer that’s heating up — summer music festival season is officially underway, bringing with it music by Oregon composers. Wednesday’s Astoria Music Festival concert at Astoria’s Clatsop Community College Performing Arts Center, 588 16th Street, features a dozen

Dance review: ‘Waters of the World’ is a liquid love story

The Fair-Haired Dumbbell building on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and East Burnside is one of Portland’s newest and funkiest creative office spaces. The New York Times described its exterior as “florentine wallpaper” and the dumbbell-shape design features multiple

Sign up for our newsletter