Friday, June 29, 2007

One Night Only, One Night Only.....

What is the Many Hats Collaboration? As Alison Hallett described it in the Portland Mercury:

Many Hats is a theater company founded by three out-of-towners, women who have worked in New York and California, did time at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, and came together in Portland in 2004 around an interest in iconoclastic, challenging theater.

This coming Monday, July 2, 2007, the fabulous performance Many Hats unveils Rest Room. This is a piece the company presented last year as a site-specific piece for PCS’s Just Add Water Festival (JAW), where it caused an immediate sensation. Because the play took place inside a tiny women’s restroom, only a cupful of people could be in the “theater” with the actors. But many more could watch from outside the facilities, thanks to a live video feed.

Rest Room ran six times during the portion of JAW known as You Are There (the site-specific anthology). Between performances, the video feed was left trained on the row of stalls inside the restroom, and it was amusing to watch the consternation of patrons who approached the monitor only to behold a series of toilets. Most hastened away, lest something take place they would rather not see.

Now Many Hats unveils a new version of the play on July 2 as a benefit for the company. The short piece explores issues of women and addiction in an intriguing and surprising way. This is a great opportunity to witness the work of one of Portland’s most inventive ensembles.

Catch it while you can. Five performances only, all on this one night, in the eternally twilight atmosphere of the Armory’s spacious women’s restroom on the Gallery level.

Times: 7:00pm, 7:30pm, 8:00pm, 8:30pm, 9:00pm
(the first two “seatings” are wait-listed at this writing)

Location: The Gerding Theater at the Armory
128 NW Eleventh Avenue (at Davis)

Suggested donation: $10

Reservations: 503.952.6646

See you there.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Oregon playwrights, check this out!

All right, so I'm bad. I've been so caught up with JAW preparations that I've neglected my own blog. And consequently I'm just now reminding you of an important deadline that happens to be, um......tomorrow.

June 29...yeah. This is the last day to submit an application to the fab people at Literary Arts for an Oregon Literary Fellowship in Drama. I'm appending all the details below, which I posted some time ago on PDXbackstage and on the PATA board, but I meant to put it here long ago. Just in case any one ever looks at this blog. Does anyone ever look at this blog?

Anyhow. If all this is news to you, not all is lost -- at least not if you happen to live in Portland OR, or nearby enough to walk your application in to the Literary Arts office.

Details below, and buona fortuna.


I want to make sure you’re aware that a terrific opportunity awaits you, as an Oregon playwright, through the Oregon Literary Fellowships. Administered by Literary Arts, Fellowships are awarded to writers in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, young readers literature -- and drama -- as well as to independent publishers.

Although the Fellowships for drama are awarded annually, the category gets relatively few submissions. Therefore I urge you to apply --the odds are good! Applying costs you nothing, and winning this distinction can bring you a little money and a lot of visibility.

Several aspects of the Drama Fellowship are different from previous years:

• The minimum amount for each Fellowship, Drama included, is now $2,500.

• Drama now has its own judge – a notable theater practitioner -- meaning that your script will be read by a real live theater person, rather than a literary figure from a different discipline.

• Drama means work written for the stage, but your submission does not have to be produced already.

Guidelines and applications are available at, on the Oregon Literary Fellowships page, or by contacting Susan Denning at But please note: applications are due in the Literary Arts office (not just postmarked) by 5:00 p.m., June 29.

Yes, that’s right. You have 10 scant days left to fill out your application and get it in to Literary Arts. But the application is E-Z, and now is a better time than ever to cast your bread upon the waters. So do it. Show our friends at Literary Arts that playwriting is alive and thriving here.

Best of luck,


Friday, June 1, 2007

!! The incomparable Adam Bock wins an Obie !!

Recently the talented and pulchritudinous Adam Bock was awarded a well-deserved Obie for playwriting, the occasion being his play The Thugs. The announcement made me whoop for joy, which scared my dog and made the neighbors look up at my office window -- I was that happy. Adam's a singular talent whose playwriting I've been reading since he was a slip of a lad at Brown University some years ago. And while I've always admired his work, over time he's honed what he's up to with putting performative work on the live stage, to the point he's achieved total heavyosity. He knows exaclty what he's doing. His scripts are perfect blueprints for actions whose meanings are only fully revealed in the doing of them.

Actors love Adam's work because he honors their instincts as observers of human nature. His language is staccato, abrupt, fragmented -- scavenged from orts of human language in which people speak in shorthand, assuming the rest of their commmuications are understood even when they're incompletely voiced.

And ALL RIGHT, I'm especially gladdened by Adam's distinction because we worked on The Thugs with him in 2005, during PCS's summer festival of new work, JAW. After a week of workshopping, we presented Adam's play as a rehearsed reading, and it generated tremendous excitment in the audience. That reading was directed by Rose Riordan's, who is PCS's Associate Artistic Director; she also directed the full production in the current PCS season, when we presented the play as a late night offering. So it feels good indeed to have our belief in Adam's work ratified by an Obie.

Outstanding! Congratulations, Adam.