Tuesday, June 17, 2008

event: new writing - theater

Portland Center Stage (PCS) has an annual event, Just Add Water (JAW), in which new plays are rehearsed intensely for a week and then are open for viewing - for free. There are many entrants and only a few are selected to participate in this feast of new writing on stage. Because of the large number of applicants from Oregon, and their skill, PCS started a "Made In Oregon" pre-JAW festival event. It looks like a good line-up with a lot of talent behind the scenes, too (directors and dramaturgs). Mead Hunter adds interesting behind the scenes information about the plays at MrMead's Pupu Platter blog.

Other than Mead's description, I am not familiar with the work of the first and third writers. I do, however, know Ginny Foster and highly recommend her work. I had the pleasure of seeing a few short 10-minute scripts in their development and as staged readings. She has a gift of putting words together so that you are drawn into the story. Her characters are real (and I heard her write a really wide variety of characters and challenge herself, very successfully) and you want them to tell you more. Unfortunately, I have to miss her play, but will keep my eyes out for a later production of it somewhere in town! Go if you can, I'm sure it will be a worthwhile experience. An added bonus is that Karin Magaldi is directing; more information about her is available via Mead's blog. I have experience with Karin, as well, and she is passionate about what she does, is clear and very intelligent, with a good eye and ear ... she knows her stuff and I would see anything she works on. She is a talented writer, director, instructor, dramaturg (and more, I'm sure) - with a warm and open heart for what she does and the sensibilities to make it all flow. What a dynamic combination that is not to be missed - and I mean that in all seriousness, despite the use of cliches.

The plays JAW : Made in Oregon
"Script-in-hand readings by three of Oregon’s own. All Made In Oregon readings begin promptly at 7:30pm in the Ellyn Bye Studio Theater at Portland Center Stage."

The Cloud-Bangers
by Matthew B. Zrebski
July 8
All the clouds are cumulonimbus in this heady mix of meteorology, migraines and steamy romance. Only an air-clearing storm will reveal who’s zoomin’ whom.

Starvation Heights
by Ginny Foster
July 9
In this adaptation of the true-crime novel by New York Times best-selling author Gregg Olsen, lady doctor Linda Hazzard opens a sanitarium with some unorthodox treatments. When her clients start leaving her care feet first, a mysterious figure known as Nanny appears, determined to save two patients in particular.

Willow Jade
by Hunt Holman
July 10
Nowheresville, Southwest Washingon. Meet four aging chums with a good idea: stave off middle age by reviving their high school rock band. Bad idea: coming to terms with their past during a disastrous game of D&D – in costume.
photo of the White Stag sign on Burnside
from OregonLive.com On Stage 6/9/08