Sunday, June 22, 2008

Micro Fest!

With JAW still weeks away, Portland is already a hotbed of startling new work, and has been for months. To mention just a few recent hijinks: Hand2Mouth’s deliriously hallucinatory collaboration with Polish company Teatr Stacja Szamocin, From a Dream to a Dream; Fever Theater’s experiential The New Believers; and my latest addiction, the End of the Pavement Micro New Works Festival.

Yes, that’s right. So this is how we relax when not working for PCS, you think reproachfully.

Guilty as charged. Even though it's that time of year when my every waking moment of consciousness seems to be oriented toward JAW, I have been indulging in the busman's holiday of attending the Micro Fest. It’s an extra-special occasion, since it marks the end of Pavement Production's EIGHTEEN fabulous years of producing theater. Not for lack of spirit or funding or creative juice, either, but because .... “it's time to move on,” sez co-founder Steve Patterson.

Mr. P, always one to go out with a bang, is gracing us with Pavement's final foray, the above-mentioned celebration of original work. It's readings, and ambitious ones, with Nick Zagone and Matt Zrebski having treated us on the past two weekends. All the work, from the writing to the acting to the -- let's just acknowledge it -- the producing has been superb.

That's what good producing is, you know: when a sense of integrity suffuses all aspects of a creative effort. Steve's a class act, and it shows everywhere in the Micro Fest.

Next up is a new piece by Steve himself, and the final showing on the Fifth of July is a romp called Ubu Lives! -- eight short plays inspired by Jarry's manic monster. With titles such as ubu's last krapp (that one's by james moore), the Micro Fest's climax promises to be a total roaratorio.

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