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Thursday, November 19, 2009

Directions in Portland Contemporary Performance

We were so thrilled with the response to this event and hope to provide more opportunities for discussion and action in the future.  There are still so many issues to address specific to making new work in Portland.

How do we communicate the value of new work as a whole while also articulating  our individual missions?   What  new systems of support are necessary to maintain and grow this community?  What are we doing now that is and is not working?  How can we ensure that when people talk about Portland as a creative, vibrant,  progressive city, they understand the role and potential of the arts, particularly performing arts?

These are notes from the discussion that followed each artist presenting their history and process.

Directions in Portland Contemporary Performance
A community discussion and presentation hosted by Hand2Mouth Theatre
November 15, 2009

Artist presenters:
Linda Austin (Linda Austin Dance/Performance Works Northwest)
Mizu Desierto (Mizu Desierto Butoh)
Angelle Hebert (tEEth)
Trisha Mead (Fertile Ground Festival/Portland Center Stage)
Rikki Rothenberg and Kathleen Keogh (Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner)
Hannah Treuhaft (Sojourn Theatre)
Jonathan Walters (Hand2Mouth Theatre)

Moderator: Tim DuRoche (Portland Center Stage)

Trisha Mead: No one has all of these skills in equal measure.  Connect with others who can bring them to the table for you.

  1. Translation skills: understanding your work/vision and being able to translate it for others.

  2. Social skills: knowing 3 people who will bring 3 friends to your show is more important than any ad you’ll place in the Oregonian.

  3. Design skills: ability to communicate your work visually (photos, graphic design etc) and preparing it for publication.

Monday, November 16, 2009

On not being different from everyone else

One of my favorite bloggers is Penelope Trunk. She technically writes about career advice – but what she really writes about is her own life, what she’s learned and how she’s tried and failed and triumphed. She is unusual in that she is willing to be absolutely (sometimes brutally) honest about things that most people – especially people who write about careers – sweep under a smiling, soft focus exterior.

I just came across this post of hers from a while ago, about bloggers and the tendency to think of their field as unlike any other that has come before. She could just as easily be talking about our field – a field so strange and unique I’m not even sure what to call it. Aha! See how I do this without even thinking? I’m so special there isn’t even a WORD for what I do.

Here is what she says about this, and she is right on:
One of the most dangerous things you can do in your career is to think you are different from everyone else. The biggest validation of that idea comes in AA meetings – it is widely understood by this group that thinking you're different is just an excuse not to get help, an excuse to think you live outside what we already know to be true. It's a dangerous way to live because you are reinventing the wheel for yourself and you risk just spinning in place.

Also this:
Very few of us ever have a totally unique career problem. Most problems come down to five or ten situations that happen all the time. I think we get clouded by the specifics of our own story, and that makes us unable to see why we are just like everyone else. Each person's details are different, but the problems we have repeat themselves over and over again—especially in careers. That's why a community of people helping each other with their careers works so well.

Fact is, whether it’s theater or dance or dance theater or performance or live art or conventional or classical or experimental – it’s still

Friday, November 13, 2009

Check back for H2M Guest Bloggers!

CoffeeComputer-smlIn the spirit of all the great artistic social networking goings-on in the Portland blogosphere/twitosphere lately (see this and this and this) we've invited the "experts" to see Everyone Who Looks Like You and they are going to blog about it!  Over the next couples weeks, keep your eyes on H2M's blog for posts from some of our exciting guests:

  • Margaret Eichler: Assistant Professor in the Counseling Psychology Department at Lewis & Clark College, she is a Nationally Certified Counselor and her research interests include:  Creative therapies for children and adolescents,  and Relational Creative dialogues in counseling and supervision.

  • Jonathan Krebs: Performer and Marketing Coordinator with BodyVox, and all-around cool guy.

  • Trisha Mead: P.R. and Publications Manager at Portland Center Stage and Director of the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works. She is also a presenter at the upcoming discussion: Directions in Portland Contemporary Performance.

  • Steffen Silvis: Associate Arts and Culture Editor and theatre critic for The Willamette Week from 1996-2005; Writer/ Editor for The Prague Post from 2005-2009. Now Steffen has returned to the northwest and has something to say about our show.

  • Gordon Wilson: Portland native and photographer/videographer of countless local dance, theatre, and other performance arts events.  See his photos of Everyone Who Looks Like You here.

And more to come... (we'll update this post with additions over the next week.)
Also, try checking out these other great arts blogs/publications in town; perhaps you can catch some more chatter about our little family un-drama:

  • Bloggorhea - Blog of the infamous literary madman genius Mead Hunter

  • Neighborhood Notes - A perfect place to visit frequently for information and commentary on great events in all four corners of Portland. They already posted a fabulous EWLLY preview by Eve Connell and photos of the show by Ken Aaron.

  • Followspot - As close as PDX gets to an all-in-one-place performance listing, reviewing, and archiving site.  You have something you'd like to add to the conversation about the show? This is a great place to start.

  • Culturephile -  This Portland Monthly blog does a great job keeping an up-to-date and well-curated selection of local arts events and bonus: they give insightful commentary.

H2M Special Events Starting This Weekend!

You may think that after opening a show we'd be content to sit around sipping Mai Tais or watching football on our off days.  Well friend, let me tell you something.  H2M just don't quit!  Exhibit A:  workshops, Exhibit B: community discussion

|H2M Workshops|
@ Theater!Theatre, 3430 SE Belmont

Sunday, Nov. 15, 1 - 4 pm
ENSEMBLE THEATRE CREATION, led by Jonathan Walters, Artistic Director

Saturday, Nov. 21, 1 - 4pm
VOICE & SONG IN PERFORMANCE, led by Faith Helma, Company Member/Vocal Director

- Download the pdf of workshop descriptions and instructor bios.
- $15 each workshop or $25 for both with an "Everyone Who Looks Like You" program.
- $30 each or $45 for both, regular price
- Registration: email maesie at hand2mouththeatre dot org

|Directions in Portland Contemporary Performance|
Monday, November 16, 2009
7 - 9 pm @ Theater!Theatre!
Cost: $5 General Admission; FREE with "Everyone Who Looks Like You" program

Join Hand2Mouth Theatre for presentations and discussion with some of Portland’s most exciting performing artists and companies.

The evening will begin with short presentations from artists on their work and process and then move into discussion on our direction as a performance community and what needs are arising particular to creating original work.

Presentations by:
Linda Austin (Linda Austin Dance)
Mizu Desierto (Mizu Desierto Butoh)
Angelle Hebert (tEEth)
Trisha Mead (PCS/Fertile Ground)
Rikki Rothenberg and Kathleen Keogh (Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner)
Hannah Treuhaft (Sojourn Theatre)
Jonathan Walters (Hand2Mouth Theatre)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"Everyone Who Looks Like You" Media Roundup 1

The reviews are starting to come in!

Carol Wells at the Oregonian says "The accumulation of the play's evolving sense memories transcends the specific and elevates us to the universal. This is where we enter the realm of authentic, groundbreaking art."  Why thank you very much!

Read the entire review here.

Over at Neighborhood Notes, Eve Connell wrote an awesome preview article on the show with photos from the rehearsal room by Ken Aaron.  Ken also joined us for Thursday's final dress.  His gorgeous shots really showcase the work of our incredible design team.  See them all on Flickr.

Photo by Ken Aaron
Photo by Ken Aaron

Photo by Ken Aaron
Photo by Ken Aaron

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Live with Dmae Roberts

Check out this rocking live KBOO Stage and Studio interview from this morning. Thanks KBOO and Dmae, we love you!