Fertile Ground Portland

A Festival of New Works Blog

What Inspires a Fertile Ground Project? The Answers May Surprise You… January 13, 2012

Filed under: the creative process — fertilegroundpdx @ 9:41 pm

  Artists from all walks of life convene to make work each year at the Fertile Ground Festival, and they often bring to their art incredibly diverse perspectives (its one of the things that makes every festival so richly rewarding for festival-goers and artists alike… all those new ways of experiencing the world rubbing up against one another for one week in Portland.

So this year we asked our festival artists to describe their moment of inspiration for the projects they are presenting. Where were they?

What were they doing?

How did inspiration strike?

Here’s what they had to say…

“We were in Campeche, watching the orchestra and realizing how much culture is woven into the fabric of our lives.” – Dañel Malán, B’aktun 13

“I was slightly intoxicated at a karaoke night somewhere in NoPo and a woman with fried-bleached hair and salt-n-pepper roots dressed in her stained pink and lime green athletic jogging suit (with the word PINK stretched across her posterior) told me her entire story simply thru her impassioned performance and her drunkenly free interactions with the audience. ”

-Rusty Tennant, Karaoke the Musical

“I was in a meeting with a woman in a nice restaurant who was showing me what she would be wearing (largely nothing except body makeup and a skirt of steak knives) in a dance piece we were working on.  – Mark LaPierre, 4X4=8

“I was inspired to tell my story when I saw another storyteller sharing the story of his failed marriage, and he was so alive on stage that it completely destroyed what I knew to be possible for a storyteller.” – Cory Huff, Redneck Mormon Thespian

“I was at my computer wondering what in the world I was going to do for this show, scared to death. Then I realized, that was it, Fear…I’ve been exploring my relationship to it for quite some time now.  It made perfect sense to dance about it.” – Laura Onizuka,  No Soy Bailarina

“In late winter of 2009, my girlfriend (now wife) and I had finished watching a movie that my brother had written and I declared something like: I’d like to see more storytelling like this in live theatre!” – Matt Haynes, Pulp Diction III

“On my couch, second cup of coffee, cats all cozy – finished yet another Grimm Fairy Tale to shock me with a harsh, stark ending – and i thought how hard it would be to find food for the first time after you’ve been banished from place you’ve lived your whole life.” – James W. Moore, Rapunzel- Uncut!

“I was in my kitchen, arguing with my deceased Greek ancestors about how to make the perfect spanakopita.” – Eugenia Woods, Famished

“I was walking in Mt. Tabor park late last July right after JAW, thinking about Tee Rose, a character from my play Blue Roses, wondering what she would be like in mid-life, when I suddenly realized that by then it would be the era of Civil Rights and she would stop working at the asylum and start her life as an activist.” –  Sandra de Helen, Asylum No More

“When I realized the statute of limitations expired, it was time to tell Teenage Commando.” – Augi Garred, Big Plastic Heroes

Got tickets yet? Check out the full line up of Fertile Ground Projects and get your festival pass here.


3 Responses to “What Inspires a Fertile Ground Project? The Answers May Surprise You…”

  1. Gary Corbin Says:

    My funny, irreverent, opinionated, wonderful and impossible Dad died a few years ago. I had long wanted to find a way to honor him. It occurred to me that the reason I was struggling was I never got to know him as well as I wanted. Thus, “Dad, I Hardly Know You” was born.

    – Gary Corbin, “Dad, I Hardly Know You”

  2. miriamfeder Says:

    I always knew I had to do something creative with the story of my Mother and her family during WWII. As she left this world I both was seized with urgency and received the permission to begin. Ephemory–by Miriam Feder, Jan 22 at 4 pm, HipBone Studio. What is legacy? memory?

  3. pdxp Says:

    Living in London on an expired work visa and thinking the thoughts of a 22 year old: How easy it will be to always come back and visit and be so free and young…
    -AJ Doherty, “Kookaburra”

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