Remembering Ernie Casciato

ArtsWatch Weekly: In praise of the beloved actor and teacher, dead at 67. Plus: Healing art, stage & screen, more.

Stage moms storm the gates

ArtsWatch Weekly: Storm Large and 3 Leg Torso make a movie, Chamber Music NW goes live, the Joy of words.

Two tales in black & white

It’s 1949, in the Jim Crow town of Halifax, North Carolina, and a private atrocity that threatens to destroy a close-knit family is going down. It’s 2014, in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, and a white cop shoots and kills a black teen-aged man, setting off a firestorm of rage. It’s 2018, at […]

DramaWatch: Imago flies again

What’s up at the theater? Funny you should ask. Last May a wonderfully peculiar vision flew onto the Portland theater scene, and far too quickly, before all but a few people had had a chance to see it, flew off again. Well, spring’s arrived, and To Fly Again, Jerry Mouawad’s dancerly swan of a play, […]

Speed-dating at Fertile Ground

And lo, on the third day of the New Year, a great clamor fell upon the multitude, and the dread Pealing of the Four Minutes rang out, and the people scurried from line to line, taking their spots in the sun, pitching their pitches, eager to be heard. And a mighty clatter and confusion arose, […]

Black Nativity: The joy is now

Fifty-seven years ago, Langston Hughes, Alvin Ailey and Carmen de Lavallade decided the world needed a celebration of Christmas apart from re-runs of It’s A Wonderful Life and myriad adaptations of A Christmas Carol and The Nutcracker in various mediums. What was needed, they surmised, was something with a little color to it, a little […]

DramaWatch: Holiday Edition!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! If you’re into that sort of thing. Tradition holds that the next few weeks will be dominated by Christmas cheer — and likely by Christmas hype, Christmas stress, and when it comes to the world of theater, Christmas cliche. What starts in autumn as a theater season […]

Festivals, awards, a college dies

It’s not quite summer, but it’s festival season – and Wilsonville, just a short skip south of Portland on the freeway, is leading the charge. Coming up Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3, is this year’s Wilsonville Festival of Arts, which will spread out over the city’s Town Center Park with contemporary music, dance, visual art, […]

DramaWatch Weekly: Be yourself?

Caroline, or change? Pretend. Play-acting. Make believe. The actor’s art is a curious challenge: Use your heart and mind, body and soul, to appear to be someone else. Fine actors do it often. And yet, something in that seeming contradiction at the essence of the art sometimes results in an odd response: “Oh, yeah, he’s […]

DramaWatch Weekly: Hamilton-plus

Don’t look now, but the two-ton elephant’s about to plop down in the living room. That’s right: Hamilton, the touring version of the Broadway mega-hit, opens on Tuesday, March 20, in Portland’s Keller Auditorium for 24 performances through April 8, and if you don’t have your tickets yet – well, good luck. That pencils out […]

Two Trains, hambone not included

“I want my ham!” a fellow named Hambone shouts as he stands near the entrance of Memphis Lee’s diner in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. He pauses, gathers energy, then shouts again, louder and more intense this time, in a voice that could shatter steel: “I WANT MY HAM!” In Two Trains Running, PassinArt: A […]

Portland’s August occasions

We’re in the middle of August Wilson Week in Portland, which is a very good place to be. On Friday, PassinArt: A Theatre Company opens the great American playwright’s Two Trains Running at the Interstate Firehouse Center. On Monday evening before a packed audience in the Newmark Theatre, the August Wilson Red Door Project held […]