Fertile Ground Portland

A Festival of New Works Blog

Look What Artists Rep is Contributing to Fertile Ground 2010! July 28, 2009


Artists Repertory Theatre has just announced that they will be partnering with dancer-writer Susan Banyas to premire her new work The Hillsboro Storyduring the 2010 Fertile Ground Festival.

Here’s an excerpt from Banyas’ description of the piece:

The Hillsboro Story opens in Hillsboro, Ohio on July 5, 1954 when the “colored” elementary school went up in flames. The fire sparked a “school fight” led by five African American mothers that became the first test case for the Brown v. Board of Education decision (May, 1954) in the North. Ms. Banyas was in the third grade, and the memory of those times sparked this cultural detective story — a lively mix of voices, images, and narration backed by an evocative sound score.

The work is directed by Rebecca Engle, a 2009 Kennedy Center National Teaching Artist, with choreography and visual design by Gregg Bielemeier, and an original music score by jazz composer, David Ornette Cherry. The stellar cast of performers include LaVerne Green, Paige Jones, Jennifer Lanier, Harold Phillips, and Kenneth Springs, with Susan Banyas.

Sounds absolutely FASCINATING.

Want to get an early sneak peek? They will be doing a workshop reading of the piece on August 9th at 7:30 pm at Artists Repertory Theatre (1515 SW Morrison). The August performance will also serve as a fundraiser, by donation ($2-$2000) to raise money for the full production in January, a co-production of SO&SO&SO&SO Inc. & Artists Repertory Theatre.


Welcome! July 27, 2009

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This blog will serve as the greenhouse for our Fertile Ground community: a place to plant ideas, spark innovation and collaboration and share the progress of your world premiere project with the audience and our regional and national colleagues.

All Fertile Ground participants will have the opportunity to post thoughts, progress reports, questions, resources and opportunities on this blog. We hope you will use it as a resource to build community, find collaborators, and share your development process with the world.

Before we begin, however, I thought you might enjoy a look back at the 2009 Inaugural year of the festival:

Matt Zrebski and Eugenia Woods at closing party{Playwrights Matt Zrebski and Eugenia Woods at the closing party, 209.}

Fall of the House Cast

{The kids from Action/Adventure, whose serial semi-improvised soap opera was a festival highlight.}

Patron at lunchbox reading{Patrons at one of the Lunchbox noon readings at the Armory.}

Apollo reaching webready

{Nancy Keystone’s World Premiere Apollo, on the Armory Main Stage}

Boxes 2008 by Gabriel Darling{The cast from Jessamyn Rae’s Boxes, an investigation of gender identity and family politics that received a workshop reading at the festival.}

Breaking and Entering{The playwrights of Breaking and Entering, the collaborators behind Foreplay at the Someday, a project that sold out the Someday Lounge.}

Shelly, Laura and Patrick at closing party{Vitriol and Violets playwright Shelly Lipkin, actress Lara Kobrin and Open City playwright Patrick Wohlmut at the closing night party.}

Tommy Twimble{Performance artist Thomas Schroyer as Tommy Twimble during the Late Night Hothouse series.}

Heart of the City copy{Bobby Bermea, playwright and performer of Heart of the City, with fellow performer Jamie Rea.}

Ohana - Jojopatamus1{The Kim Berstler and Katie Ortolano, the girls of Ohana SE PDX Children’s Theater in The Adventures of Jojopotamus and his Best Friend Ralphred.}

There’s much more, I’m sure. Send me your production photos (and your impressions of each other’s work) from last year’s Fertile Ground Festival to trisham@pcs.organd I will be happy to post them here.