“We will not be satisfying your dramatic expectations.”

Oh no.

Don’t be looking at them. Because they’ll be looking at you. Waiting for something to happen.

Drama is guaranteed, i.e., there won’t be any.

The latest offering from the bomb throwers at Liminal is now “playing” (if you want to call it that) down at the most rail accessible theatre in Portland.

The piece has a long Germanic name, which you don’t necessarily need to know or understand. All you need to know is that it’s on until November 22.

Please buy tickets and get there without delay.

Don’t blame us if nothing happens. Beckett does that all the time and people love the stuff.

Waiting for the drama.  Or not.
Waiting for the drama. Or not.

Liminal to produce Peter Handke’s OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE at Action/Adventure in November

True story. There we were, moments ago, perusing the somewhat luster lacking offerings for the fall 2015 Portland theatre schedule (with notable exceptions to be highlighted in a future post), wondering where oh where some proper theatrical shock and awe might issue forth.

When lo! What should ring into ye olde inbox but full details on the latest upcoming production from Liminal.


You know Liminal. If you don’t, please go review the long list of past productions that you missed and pray for forgiveness slash redemption. The group is one of Portland’s most relentlessly exploratory and hungry avant garde energy sources. They did a piercing OUR TOWN at Headwaters back in 2013 (the year seemingly every theatre company in Oregon except Portland Center Stage did OUR TOWN). And then SANTA this past December.

Apparently the not too far removed days when it might be years between Liminal events are now gone. Because Liminal is back yet again in November 2015 with OFFENDING THE AUDIENCE. That’s three shows, three years in a row!!

Come November, turn out and get offended.

Getting ready for that blurry line between life and OUR TOWN. Liminal at Headwaters in 2013.
Getting ready for that blurry line between life and OUR TOWN. Liminal at Headwaters in 2013.

+++press release below+++

November 6-22 | 7:30pm Friday, Saturday, Sunday; also 2:30pm Sunday
@ Action/Adventure, 1050 SE Clinton, Portland, Oregon
$10-25 sliding scale | $8 student-artist-industry | mature content
liminalgroup.org | facebook.com/liminalpdx | join our email list

In 1965, Peter Handke began work on the seminal work of anti-theatre, Offending the Audience: a stripped-down, genre-defying and hilarious verbal happening that shook the establishment of the day. 50 years later, Portland performance group Liminal creates an original multidisciplinary adaptation, reworking Handke’s avant-garde classic for the modern age of pan-surveillance and fractured media self-reflections.

In a fierce new adaptation that takes Handke’s experiments into the 21st century, Seattle-based polymath Misha Neininger and John Berendzen orchestrate a complex musical, visual and conceptual score out of the original bare-bones text: sonically, rhythmic sung-spoken textual textures interact with an electronic soundscape; surveillance technology confronts the audience fumbling with messy feedback loops in the dark.

This Gesamtkunstwerk will be performed and in German and English. There may or may not be subtitles. The ghosts of Edward Snowden, Rosa Parks and Samuel Beckett may perform acts of defiance and nude interpretive dances. WARNING: They really, really dance.

Will you be offended? Answers Handke, “You don’t have to feel offended. You were warned in advance. “Offending is one way to relate, adds Berendzen. “No one is offended by anything in the theatre anymore. Either way that’s not the point. We want to democratize the space between us and the audience, a level playing field. We want you to feel involved.”

Neininger came all the way from Berlin to find new audiences: “There is a real buzz from swarms of cyborg insects in the Northwest. People are getting pissed off. I watched people swatting drones with flip-flops. But who knows, the audience may turn out to be a dismal failure. For the audience to be a smashing success it needs to balance the fear of surveillance with the desire to be seen.”

In the end you may ask yourself: How do you look back at whoever is looking at you?

written and directed by Misha Neininger and John Berendzen
media and surveillance art by Misha Neininger
sound design and music direction by John Berendzen
electronic smart costumes by Jenny Ampersand
performed by Misha Neininger with returning founding member Amanda Boekelheide and Starr Ahrens, Evan Corcoran, Carla Grant and Alex Reagan.

Offending the Audience is the third installment in this year’s series on Peter Handke, following the premiere of Radioplay I (Hand2Mouth, June 2015) and The Innerworld of the Outerworld of the Innerworld (Imago Soiree, July 2015). “Liminal’s been waiting twenty years to interpret this piece. Finally, we think we’re ready.” says Berendzen.

Adds Neininger:

Sie werden kein Schauspiel sehen.
There will be no play.
Ihre Schaulust wird nicht befriedigt werden.
Everything will be open and transparent.

About Peter Handke
Best known for his screenwriting collaborations with Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire, Wrong Move), Austrian Peter Handke was a major voice among the anti-theatre experiments of the latter 20th century, along with Stein, Beckett, Fassbinder, Foreman and other theatrical subversives. Simultaneously linguistic clown and ontological terrorist, he eviscerates language itself in order to expose its comic failings, giddily exploding false theatricalities in order to reveal beneath the pure presence of the raw, exhilarating and liberating liveness of the performance event. This series marks Liminal’s third plunge into the depths of Handke, following 1998’s Handke Salmagundi (an amalgam of early writings) and The Hour We Knew Nothing Of Each Other (2000), a completely silent play.

About Liminal
Liminal is a nonprofit Portland-based network of theatre, performing, and media artists. Liminal is known both for its uniquely staged plays (as in 2013’s OUR TOWN), and also for its large-scale live walk-through performance installations (as in 2012’s Liminal presents Gertrude Stein). Liminal was founded in Portland in 1997 and has produced nineteen original full-scale projects. Liminal has received numerous Portland Critics Circle (Drammy) awards, including Best Original Production (2000, 2003, and 2005); Best Choreography (2003); Best Sound Design and Best Music Direction (2000 and 2003).

No joke: It’s the weekend

Baron Vaughan, aka @barvonblaq, MC's New Negroes opening night at Doug Fir in the 2015 Bridgetown Comedy Festival.
Baron Vaughan, aka @barvonblaq, MC’s New Negroes opening night at Doug Fir in the 2015 Bridgetown Comedy Festival.

While the booming Bridgetown Comedy Festival may be sucking up a fair amount of oxygen around Portland’s smaller scale performance scene this weekend, don’t limit yourself to non stop laughs with some of the best comics around for three days straight.

Because there’s plenty of theatre on tap as well.

Here’s a few picks.

Thru 5.9 Theatre Vertigo – THE SCHOOL FOR LIES by David Ives (review)
Thru 5.16 Post5 Theatre – TWELFTH NIGHT by Bill Shakestein
Thru 5.23 CoHo Productions – GROUNDED by George Brant
Thru 5.24 Third Rail Rep – STATIC by Dan Rebellato
Thru 6.14 Portland Center Stage – THE LION by Benjamin Scheuer
Thru 5.31 Triangle Productions – STOREFRONT REVUE: THE BABES ARE BACK
Thru 5.30 Action/Adventure Theatre – HOW TO STOP DYING by Noah Dunham
Thru 5.31 Bag & Baggage – OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Thru 6.20 defunkt theatre – THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY by DC Copeland

But don’t answer yet. You also get to keep your weekend alive for one more day…


Remember when Monday used to be an off night? Now it’s one of the best nights for smaller companies and performers to get an audience.

There are two great options for you this coming Monday. And if you’re a logistics nut like some people we know, you can even make it to both of them.

7 PM Hand 2 Mouth Theatre – Dramaturgy in Process

Monday night at 7 PM turn out to The Shout House for Dramaturgy in Process.
Monday night at 7 PM turn out to The Shout House for Dramaturgy in Process.

DRAMATURGY in process invites three of Portland’s most exciting dramaturgs to reflect on the role they play in the development of new work in theatre, dance, and devised performance.


Jess Drake, Resident Dramaturg and Company Member, Hand2Mouth
Luan Schooler, Director of New Play Development & Dramaturgy, Artists Repertory Theatre
Robert Tyree, Choreographer, Writer, and Researcher/ Dramaturg for Tahni Holt’s ‘Duet Love’

8 PM Entertainment for People – NEW SHIT SHOW in the studio at Portland Center Stage

From the good folks at Entertainment for People, a new and growing format that showcases new material from top Portland talents. The show will be on the existing set for THE LION – so expect some extra glam factor.

Who will be there? On stage – these people:

The lineup Monday night at PCS. Be there - or get a story together to explain to Vin Shambry why you weren't.
The lineup Monday night at PCS. Be there – or get a story together to explain to Vin Shambry why you weren’t.

And in the audience – you.

At a previous packed Entertainment for People show.
SOLD OUT. At a previous packed Entertainment for People show.

HOW TO STOP DYING by Noah Dunham at Action/Adventure opens May 7

Next up from the fun machine on SE Clinton, aka, Action/Adventure.


Written and Directed by Noah Dunham

May 7-30

Thurs – Sat at 8 PM

How to Stop Dying is a play in two acts. An ensemble driven comedy that explores the themes of death, loss, immortality, and paranormal activity. The project has been in development since October 2014 as Noah Dunham and his cast worked together to research themes, build story lines, and develop characters. What has come out of a five month devising & workshopping process is the story of a cynical Executive Producer (Sarah) whose recent loss of her father has led her and her Ghost Hunting reality show into the deep back country of eastern Oregon. Their reasoning? A recent submission from the owner of a funeral services company (Franklin Pine), who claims to have caught a real ghost on camera. A ghost that greatly resembles Sarah’s recently deceased father. Needless to say, this funeral home might be up to more than just burying the recently passed in rural Oregon.

Movement, music, and contemporary musings on the themes of death and loss will take center stage in this energetic and irreverent production that will have it’s World Premiere at Action/Adventure.

Starring: Nicole Accuardi, Katie Behrens, Matthew Dieckman, Jade Hobbs, James Luster, Gerrin Mitchell, and Evan Ward.



SIDEKICKS returns with season 2 at Action/Adventure Theatre

Run, don’t walk, to Portland’s other (aside from The Headwaters) light rail-friendly theatre, Action/Adventure.

Because the serial improv comedy form is back.

True – it never went away.

Season Two!
Directed by Pat Moran and Greta West

Cast: Leon Anderson, Jed Arkley, Nate Ayling, Noah Dunham, Matthew Hopkins, Aubrey Jessen, Brian Kuwabara, Emilie Landmann, Katie Michels, Tom Mounsey, Chris Murray, Jason Rouse, & Zoe Rudman

January 15th-February 8th 2015, Thursday-Sunday at 8pm
Action/Adventure Theatre, 1050 SE Clinton Street

Back by popular demand, Action/Adventure is pleased to bring Portland the next installment in their semi-improvised serial set in a world where super-humans exist and are attended by their not as super Sidekicks. Audiences need not worry about the ongoing storyline, while the saga of season one will continue, Action/Adventure promises an entertaining and inspiriting night of performance regardless of previous experience.

Each consecutive weekend of the show presents a new episode in a story of what it’s like to be a working class hero in a comic book version of Portland. Audiences have the opportunity to catch all four episodes in succession or stop in for just one dose of Action/Adventure’s unique and entertaining form of performance.

A combination of DIY theatre, improvised comedy, original storytelling, and innovative stagecraft, SIDEKICKS! is theatre that has something to please just about everyone. Tickets in advance are highly recommended, these shows are known to sellout quickly!

You want some?  Aubrey Jessen and her Sidekicks are ready for you. Photo: Pat Moran.
You want some? Aubrey Jessen and her Sidekicks are ready for you. Photo: Pat Moran.

FREE CHIPS & SALSA | Standup comedy showcase at Action/Adventure with Bri Pruett, Anthony Lopez, Alex Falcone on July 19

Do you need more action and adventure in your life? Do you restlessly scan event listings, wondering where your next laugh will come from? Do you fret that there is absolutely no way you’ll be able to spend that extra $5 you have in the shoebox in July unless you can find the right show?

Well fear not. From the ever burgeoning swarm of professional humorists that hang around the A/A clubhouse on SE Clinton 24/7, here’s your next option.

There’s comedy, free chips and salsa from Juanita’s, and appearances by Bri Pruett (Willamette Week’s 5 Funniest), Anthony Lopez (Bridgetown, Bumbershoot) and Alex Falcone (Portlandia, Live Wire! Radio, this press release).

But don’t answer yet. This thing also saws through metal pipes. (If you don’t need to saw through metal pipes, we still recommend you get this and keep it around the house – just in case.) You also get Helium favorite Sean Jordan (Funny Over Everything, Doug Loves Movies) PLUS renowned foot juggler (?!) Nick Landes and former child stars of the country music circuit The Famous Haydell Sisters.

July 19th at 9pm
Action/Adventure Theatre
1050 SE Clinton St

So there ye have it.

Action/Adventure’s INSPIRED BY is Saturday, March 24 at 9 PM

Here it comes. The blockbuster annual fundraiser for Action/Adventure Theatre.

It’s this Saturday night at Secret Society.

Note the start time is now 9 PM (doors open at 8:30)

Participating Inspired By… artists include…

The writers:
Chelsea Cain (NYT’s Best selling author or Heartsick)
Zachary Auburn (Love Is Not Constantly Wondering If You Are Making The Biggest Mistake Of Your Life)
Alexis Smith (Glaciers)
Cari Luna (The Revolution of Every Day)
Martha Grover (One More For The People)
TJ Acena (The Trials of Jude)
Alex Falcone (Host of LATE NIGHT ACTION)
Devon Granmo (Action/Adventure company member)

The performers:
Portland Playhouse (http://portlandplayhouse.org/)
Portland Experimental Theatre (http://petensemble.org)
Jason Rouse and Live Wire! (http://www.livewireradio.org/)
Ryan Sollee of the Builders and the Butchers (http://thebuildersandthebutchers.com/)
Matt Hopkins and Jade Harris of Werk Studios (http://vimeo.com/jadeharris)
Bob Ladewig
Anon It Moves (http://anonitmoves.org/)
Tears of Joy (http://www.tojt.org/)

The artists:
Dylan Meconis (http://www.dylanmeconis.com/)
Maggie Burant (http://artisawindowwasher.tumblr.com/)
Drew Laughery
Heather Binns (http://www.heatherbinns.net/)
Jenny Kroik (http://jenny.kroik.net/)
Jenna Lechner (http://jennalechner.weebly.com/)
Greg Bigoni
Carolyn Main (http://www.carolynmain.com/)