Fertile Ground Portland

A Festival of New Works Blog

Passholders. If we dont know them, who are they? January 22, 2011

Filed under: Shows — jwallenfels @ 8:12 pm

Met two great ladies last night at Ostlund & Co. Talking heatedly about “My mind is like an open meadow.” after first eavesdropping on and then busting in to their convo, I (being a theatre maven and not recognizing them) asked why they’d bought passes. One used to do theatre with her own company in ca and the other used to and still dances a little. I thought it was so cool, and duh, that our audiences come from people that have experienced their own connection to the arts. It’s not nec how irresistible yr press photo is or how smart yr copy. These ladies had insightful discernment and love maintaining their relationship to arts as patrons. Hallelujah.


Stories from Portland’s Streets: Lunacy Stageworks

Filed under: Shows — fertilegroundpdx @ 12:15 am
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Lunacy Stageworks presents Stories from the Streets


My Mind is Like Whoa! January 19, 2011

Filed under: Shows — fertilegroundpdx @ 7:15 am
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Inside the Mind of the Elderly

If you’ve seen a Hand2mouth show in the last eight years, you’ve seen Erin Leddy: unforgettable presence, great moves, can make a small, human act heartbreaking or thump the hell out of some karaoke- Funkadelic.
While wearing a ridiculous, red white and blue getup.
This year’s Fertile Ground Festival sees the longtime company collaborator go solo, in a manner of speaking – she’s still directed by H2M artistic director Jonathan Walters, so she’s not going completely Lionel Ritchie on the company – in an original, one-woman show inspired by a year spent with her grandmother.
“My Mind Is Like An Open Meadow” is a performative meditation on memory and consciousness spawned by spoken memoirs Leddy recorded in 2001. Though she’s shown excerpts at On the Boards in Seattle, Portland Center Stage’s JAW Festival and H2M’s “Risk/Reward” series, Fertile Ground 2011 sees the whole enchilada for the first time. And Leddy’s provocative grey haired lady in waiting promo shot made her our Festival’s poster girl in American Theatre this month. (Hear a short excerpt read on KBOO’s “Stage and Studio” from Jan. 4).
Leddy’s work is supported by a sonic and visual landscape crafted by Chris Kuhl, Ash Black Buffalo, Holcombe Waller and Jane Paik. It’s a “strange control station of the mind,” according to the show’s press materials, in which songs, stories and dances come and go, intergenerational thoughts intermingle and heirlooms are redefined. Expect a fine art installation sensibility stitched into live performance elements floating around like cataracts over the pupils of our loved ones.
Legend has it Walters found Leddy, who’s played a key role in co-devising the company’s 14 original shows – in an open audition call for performers. Since then, the company’s work has taken on cross-cultural collaborations in Poland and Mexico, as well as touring extensively throughout the Northwest, San Francisco, and New York City. Leddy’s special focus has been on composing and choreography.
Leddy received a prestigious residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, New York, to develop ‘Meadow,’ and was later commissioned by On the Boards in Seattle, in addition to receiving support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Oregon Arts Commission and the William T. Colville Foundation.
“My Mind is Like an Open Meadow” runs January 20 – 30, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 2:00pm. All performances at the mOuth, 810 SE Belmont. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 at the door; of course FREE with Fertile Ground Festival Pass. Buy tickets here and join the company for a post-show reception Friday, Jan. 21.


Bridgetown: A Musical January 18, 2011

Filed under: Shows — fertilegroundpdx @ 6:02 am

Book by Karen Alexander-Brown
Music by Fred Gerard Stickley
Directed by Bruce Hostetler
The musical, BRIDGETOWN, is a celebration of all that is associated with the culture of Portland: local
boutiques, great music, activism, creativity, grassroots opportunities, nearby coastal beaches. However,
the musical also touches upon Portland’s less celebrated aspects: economic difficulties, unemployment,homelessness, the sex trade, feckless relationships, and the uneasy relationship between local and Big
Business. As in many classic plays, the relationships in the beginning are wrong matches destined to fail. However, their resolution in this musical is as original as Portland itself. Join us for an evening celebrating the uniqueness of Portland. Purchase a Voodoo donut or a glass of wine, and experience a musical about finding one’s place (or not) in the city of bridges. Adult language and mature themes.
Purchase tickets online or pay cash at the door.

This show is a part of the Fertile Ground Festival.

NOTE: Map location in Festival Brochure is incorrect. Conduit Dance is in downtown Portland. Please see map on the Fertile Ground Events page.


Check Out the Publicity for Fertile Ground! January 17, 2011

Filed under: Shows — fertilegroundpdx @ 7:37 am

If you haven’t seen all of the wonderful press coverage around Fertile Ground yet, you definitely should check out the Fertile Ground Newsroom.

The Oregonian’s A&E cover story, written by Marty Hughley, said,

“(Fertile Ground) Launched in 2009 by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, a volunteer-run service organization for local theater artists and organizations, the festival offers a veritable buffet of creative endeavor from across the city’s performing arts scene. Having branched out from plays and musicals to also include dance, comedy and various hybrids, this year’s 11-day event will feature 68 shows taking place in more than two dozen locations from the Pearl District to Tigard.”

Isn’t that amazing? 68 shows – ALL by local artists. That’s a lot of local talent. Excited yet?

Fertile Ground starts this Thursday with 11 productions across the city. If you haven’t picked your shows yet, visit the Calendar page.


The Festival Pass will grant admission to all participating Fertile Ground projects throughout the 10-day festival, including the late night “Hot House,” panel discussions and the “Down and Dirty at 12:30” lunchbox new work reading series.

After ordering a Festival Pass online you will be sent a receipt. On that receipt is a personal link that invites you to “view your order status”.  Click through to the order status and then select the “Manage Your Benefits” icon.  There you can easily select and reserve your seat to all of the offerings you’d like to attend during the 10-day Fertile Ground Festival. To order your festival pass, click here.

What shows are you looking forward to?


Nameless Playwrights: New Plays for Fertile Ground 2011 January 15, 2011

Filed under: Shows,the writing process — fertilegroundpdx @ 9:40 pm
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Portland, Or. – January 1, 2010 – Nameless Playwrights, a group of eight Pacific Northwest playwrights, is pleased to announce its participation in Fertile Ground 2011, the annual city-wide festival of new plays and other performance works, with a selection of staged readings of two full length plays and an evening of six 10-minute plays to be held at the Someday Lounge at 125 NW Fifth Avenue, Portland.

“We’re excited to participate again in Fertile Ground with examples of our latest work,” said Ellen West, a founding member of the group. “Last year, several of us put together Foreplay at the Someday, an evening of short plays about funny or strange things that can happen on the way to a relationship. This year we cranked it up a notch and will be offering two full-length plays, as well as shorter works.”

Nameless Playwrights kicks off its productions Saturday, January 22, at 7 p.m. with “Past Perfect” by Ellen West (Yearning for the one who got away, an older woman encounters a charismatic guru who claims he can manifest her lost love).

At 7 p.m. Sunday, January 23, audiences will see “The A List” a two-act play by Dalene Young (Caitlan, a Hollywood producer, has been given a deadline by the Studio Head tie up the deal with the star by Christmas Eve or the film is off. Instead, she woos a billionaire couple, hoping they will finance the film. By Christmas morning Caitlan’s marriage–and career–explodes).

And on Monday, January 24, at 7 p.m. Nameless Playwrights offers an evening of short works, all comedies: “Aged Meet” by John A. Donnelly (Seniors have found computer dating. But when they meet, do opposites attract?); “The Great Tit” by Gretchen O’Halloran (When a psychiatrist and her ornithologist husband go on their honeymoon, they find leaving their work behind is easier said than done.); “Food for Thought” by Rich Rubin (In the battle of the sexes, is food the ultimate weapon?); “Queen Victoria’s Secret” by Sue Parman (A sizzling 19th-century invention may have enabled the Queen to return to public life ten years after the death of her beloved Albert.); “Spoused” by Mark Saunders (A telemarketer for a small theatre company gets a quick lesson in the pitfalls of love, divorce and pitching the new theatre season.); and “Reality Lit” by Molly B. Tinsley (A young woman discovers a new writing genre and marvels at her own discovery.).

As seating is limited, early reservations are encouraged. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $8 at www.bumpintheroad.org or $10 at the door. Active theatre goers might prefer to buy a Festival pass, available at www.fertileground.org, for only $50 and enjoy unlimited access to shows and events throughout the 10-day Fertile Ground run.

Nameless Playwrights is in a fiscal partnership with Bump in the Road Theatre, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit. For more information about the playwrights or their plays, visit www.bumpintheroad.org or contact Ellen West at 503-680-4432.


I Was A Fat Kid: A Video January 14, 2011

Filed under: Shows — fertilegroundpdx @ 12:15 pm

Nathaniel Boggess says he was fat. Come see his show at Fertile Ground and learn how he dealt with it.



Fat Kid Shorts “Cheeseburger Phone call” from Nathaniel on Vimeo.