Good summer theatre festivals featuring real plays is something Portland could use more of. All over the country, summer festivals are where some of the very best stuff happens. A few examples are Intiman Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Contemporary American Theatre Festival and the truly unbelievable New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater at Vassar. If you’ve never heard of Powerhouse, check it out. Wow. And of course there is Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which is now an almost year round phenomenon.
A real festival typically offers multiple plays in rep. Having multiple shows on at once strengthens the draw for travelers from afar. A single location can help foster a concentrated festival atmosphere.
Well hold on to your hats. Here comes a very cool offering from Third Rail’s Mentorship Company that could be the start of something special. For ten days in June, the company will put on alternating offerings (A and B series) of three fully staged plays at Action/Adventure. There’s also a reading of a new play. Festival tickets are only $25.
This has a lot of potential and could easily expand in future.