Monday, July 24, 2006

Just Add Water/West

Portland Center Stage
July 22-23, 2006 plus various related events

In addition to the show-specific comments listed below, I offer here space for general impressions of the overall event as well as a home for feedback on related events, such as the playwrights’ slam, etc., that I wasn’t able to attend. For me, JAW/West left me hopeful, reassured, re-energized, excited.


Anonymous said...

Overall: frenetic, engaging, and fun. A chance to reconnect with local theatre colleagues and meet some new folks. The mainstage plays were very different from each other (though a thread of lonliness and melancholy ran through all of them--perhaps reflective of living through a time of violence, fear, and uncertainty). The actors were superb. The staging was impeccable. And the young playwrights showed so much promise that a lot of established playwrights should be looking over their collective shoulders.

It's passing strange, another smoky whiff of hope and sadness, that the same week we say goodbye to Stark Raving Theatre (and 18 years of wicked-crazy windmill-tilting in developing new work and achieving some memorable successes despite the odds), a whole new slate of engaging work appears on the scene. To call upon an overused Northwest similie, like salmon, playwrights, directors, actors, and designers simply cannot ignore the drive to return to the source and spawn, despite the brutal currents and habitat destruction.

So, Bravo, Center Stage, and thank you, Stark Raving. And so long: one for another year, the other...forever.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, that--of course--should be "simile."

Harlan said...

Well Said, Anon 9:44. I'm sorry to say that I, once again, missed JAW/West. I'm afraid my patronage of local theatre tends to be more of a bottom up affair, so I don't see as much stuff at Portland Center Stage or ART (not just because of ticket price) as I do at companies like Miracle or Theatre Vertigo. But I should really try to prioritize this festival next year.

Anonymous said...

An exciting weekend. Lots to see and many people to meet. A good weekend to spend in a dark air-conditioned space, as it turned out.

"Reading" significantly underplays the amount of work that went into these stagings. They were all as good as almost any full production in town this year.

What really stood out for me: the actors. I don't have the program in front of me, but there many excellent performances. Plus you got to see the same person in several different pieces over the weekend.

I think the actors really made a few of the pieces - for example Telethon.

All in all, refreshing, provocative, fun.

Sonny said...

Bob Hicks offered a great wrap-up in today's (Sunday's) arts section of the Oregonian.

Anonymous said...

This was a blast. Best new work I've seen in town in a logn time