Portland Area Theatre Alliance Fertile Ground Portland Oregon

DramaWatch Weekly: Double Chekhov, Ghost Hunters


Hello. The holidays are over and now plays can be about anything again. Next week brings Fertile Ground, brimming with homegrown theater offerings of every conceivable topic and timbre. There’ll be almost too much to mention then, so this week by comparison is short to summarize.

For those who can’t wait ’til next week, a couple of plays are opening early that you can Chekhov your list.* Northwest Classical Theatre brings Patrick Walsh’s adaptation of The Three Sisters to its old stomping grounds the Shoebox (with a familiar face from last season’s Playhouse Creatures gracing the cast). I, for one, miss the days when NWCT used to hang their collection of velvet cloaks in the Shoebox’s breezeway. Glad they’re back.

Dainichia Noreault as Irina, Elizabeth Jackson as Masha, Christy Bigelow as Olga in Northwest Classical Theatre Collaboration’s “Three Sisters.” Photo: Gary Norman

Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble presents Štĕpán Šimek‘s “visceral, in-your-face” take on Uncle Vanya at Reed College. Expect surprises. (Though in the context of Chekhov, what does that mean? A gun not firing? Who knows?)

PETE’s “Uncle Vanya,” with music. Photo: Owen Carey

Irish theater co. Corrib continues its girls-on-boats series (just kidding, but two shows in a row that focus on women’s migration by sea are worthy of mention, no?), following up Belfast Girls by rowing Nicola McCartney’s all-ages-friendly Lifeboat into Northwest Children’s Theater. Looks like Kayla Lian is aboard, and her talents are certainly precious cargo.

The Overland Party in 2017’s “Astoria: Part One.” Now, on to Part Two. Photo: Jennie Baker

At the Armory, Portland Center Stage expounds on its Astoria series by remounting Part I and adding Part II. Think West Coast Hamilton: same short pants and brass buttons, less rap, fewer laws, and the odd scrappy trapper.

Savira Kambhu and Samson Syharath in Theatre Diaspora’s “The Brothers Paranormal.” Photo: Alex Haslett

Finally, Theatre Diaspora debuts a staged reading of The Brothers Paranormal, a drama about Thai American brothers who start a ghost-hunting business. With talkbacks by playwright Prince Gomolvilas and a score by beatific looping violinist Joe Kye, this should get interesting.

Real-life ghost hunting note: Portland Oregon Paranormal Society makes house calls and will gladly investigate your specters. Don’t ask me how I know.


Portland Opera The Snowy Day Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon



*I know. I’m sorry.

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