Saturday, August 9, 2008

event: Richard Foreman Mini-Festival

Sixth Annual Richard Foreman Mini-Festival
August 15 and 16, 8:30 pm


Performance Works NorthWest
4625 SE 67th Ave, Portland, OR 97206

Rikki Rothenberg & Katie Arrants of Woolly Mammoth Comes to Dinner
photo: Fawn Williams 2007

"Once again a scintillating array of Portland performing and media artists [see list of performers on the website link above] rise to the challenge of creating a piece in ten days by cutting, pasting, mangling or otherwise adapting text selected from avant-garde writer/director Richard Foreman's online notebooks."

This is a creative extravaganza. The performance artists are given a selection of Richard Foreman's text 10 days before the first show. They are also given instructions, such as which phrases or words from Foreman's writing must be used (otherwise they can cut or include whatever they want from the original), and they are given a few other restrictions (sometimes or maybe always this involves props) and then they have ten days to write, rehearse, create a performance piece. The results are amazing in their variety, especially when you consider they all start with the exact same pages. Some are funny. Some are dance. Some involve costumes. Some are poignant. Some are include film. Some leave you breathless and some leave you wanting more. It is all entertaining and a good night of real and live theater for a good cause.

There are different performers on each night (one group does perform both nights), so it is worth going twice. It would be worth going twice even if they were the same. Once you've seen all of one set, it would be fun to start back at the beginning and pick up the pieces of performance you missed the first time through ... such as trying to guess the required text and how they are all related.

Good fun. Good people. And there are snacks, as well as wine, beer, and soft drinks for sale.

A couple years ago PWNW threatened to stop the festival. I'm glad it is still being produced, as it is one of the highlights of my summer.

Click to see a map of PWNW.