COCK by Mike Bartlett at Defunkt Theatre

4-stars

Terrifically exciting. Fantastic cast. Killing design and direction. Thank god for defunkt. Portland’s unpredictable, uncompromising black box tears into the most exciting season in town with fascinating study of exactly what Jon wants. Boy or girl? Or both. Neither? A completely satisfying night in the hands of blindingly bright playwright.

Thru Nov 15

Sarah Kane’s “feast of filth” finally hits Portland | BLASTED at defunkt theatre in February 2016

Perhaps you’re one of those twisted theatre types who have Google alerts set up for some variation of “Blasted by Sarah Kane”.

Every now and then, someone somewhere decides to produce this notorious piece of mind-bending mid 90’s theatre. It’s always fun to see who does it – and how it is received.

But it has never been done in Portland.

Until now.

defunkt theatre will do “this feast of filth” (as the play was called by one London critic) in the middle slot of its 2015-16 season.

Prepare to suffer.

Weekend watch: Mr. Burns is back in town, TADADA!, Three Days of Grimm

The weekend is coming. And with it, your roster of entertainment possibilities. Which are legion.

Just about the most exciting thing on the spring calendar is finally here: Portland Playhouse takes on Anne Washburn’s MR. BURNS. You’ll travel indoors and out to three different sets for this epic. Opening night is Saturday.

Mr. Burns is back in town. And he's taken up at Portland Playhouse.
Mr. Burns is back in town. And he’s taken up at Portland Playhouse.

Also jockeying for position on Saturday night is PICA’s 20th anniversary gala: TADADA!. Come for the dinner if you’re feeling flush. But whatever you do, don’t miss the after-party helmed by Pepper Pepper. It’s all happening at The Redd, Ecotrust’s new event space on SE Salmon Street.

The Redd.  One of the biggest parties of the year is going to be right here in two days.
The Redd. One of the biggest parties of the year is going to be right here in two days.

And still ANOTHER Saturday night gem is a remount of David Saffert’s Liberace pageant at Curious Comedy.

Mr. Fabulous is back.  One night only at Curious Comedy.
Mr. Fabulous is back. One night only at Curious Comedy.

And for your Sunday night, perhaps you’ve heard of a certain play by Richard Greenberg coming to town? No, you probably haven’t heard of it that way. But you probably have heard that two TV stars from Grimm are in a show at Portland Center Stage. Ah yes. That one. Sunday night is the first preview.

And if you’re the pro active, plan ahead type – next Monday at PCS the Improv All Stars are back.

Your options

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
5.13 – 6.7 Portland Playhouse – MR. BURNS, A POST ELECTRIC PLAY by Anne Washburn
5.16 PICA – TADADA! Gala Benefit and After-Party
5.16 Curious Comedy – David Saffert’s LIBERACE: A BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION!
5.17 – 6.21 Portland Center Stage – THREE DAYS OF RAIN by Richard Greenberg
5.18.2015 Portland Center Stage – IMPROV ALL STARS

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…

Monday

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.

Featuring:

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.

50 words: THE SUBMISSION by Jeff Talbott at defunkt theatre

Awkward profanity renders characters less real. Plenty of self-dramatizing huffing and puffing as straw men of racial and sexual outrage wearily set up, but central character’s clueless insensitivity implausible. Ample melodramatic shouting. Too much inside baseball (theatre). Despite material, Matthew Dieckman and Andrea White are fabulous in defunkt’s small space.

2-stars

Thru November 16

THE SUBMISSION by Jeff Talbott opens October 11 at defunkt

Alright, enough already with the warm fuzzy nostalgia plays, jolly musicals, and eat-pray-love performance pieces.

Don’t mean to burst your bubble. But it’s time to start some trouble.

Good theatre should make you as mad as an underemployed, overshared poster on PDX MyStage.

So to puncture that shiny happy bubble you’ve been so busy decorating, here’s defunkt theatre’s production of THE SUBMISSION by Jeff Talbott.

The Story A struggling white gay playwright writes a wonderful play about an African American family trying to escape inner city poverty. To increase its chances of getting produced he submits the play to a prestigious theater festival under the pseudonym of Shaleeha G’ntamobi. When it is accepted, he hires an African American actress to assume the role of his invented pen name. What follows is a searing, no holds barred exploration of racism, homophobia, sexism, affirmative action and hypocrisy in modern America. An electrifying new play from a fresh new voice in American theater, The Submission is the winner of the 2012 New York Outer Critics Award for Best New Play and a Portland Area premiere.

kaboom

Let the shit storm begin. Photo: Andrew Klaus-Vineyard.
Let the shit storm begin. Photo: Andrew Klaus-Vineyard.

October 11-November 16 2013
Thursdays – Sundays at 7:30 pm (no show Sunday October 13 or Thursday October 31 )
At the Back Door Theater • 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR
Pay-what-you-can Thursdays & Sundays, Sliding Scale $15-$25 Fridays and Saturdays
Special post show Talk Back Event October 26 with The August Wilson Red Door Project

CAST:
Danny…………………. Matthew Kern
Trevor…………………..Matthew Dieckman
Pete……………………..Bjorn Anderson
Emilie………………….. Andrea White

directed by Andrew Klaus-Vineyard

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION TEAM:
Stage Manager: Elizabeth Esch Brown
ASM/Technical Director: Zachary Hryndej
Scenic Design: Megan Wilkerson
Lighting Design: Vanessa Pearl Janson
Costumes: Lori Sue Hoffman
Sound Design: Ron Mason Gassaway
Props: Elizabeth Esch Brown
Violence Design: David Bareford
Dramaturg: Sarah Armitage

interview: Matthew Kern – defunkt theatre

Interview number five. Matthew Kern has been Artistic Director of defunkt theatre since 2010. Before that he worked as an actor around town and also as a piano player. You may remember him as the house pianist for the downtown Nordstrom back when they had live music. He currently plays on the Portland Spirit, Hobo’s and at many a wedding and holiday party. A graduate of the Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre in California, and Bard College in New York, he has appeared locally with Artists Repertory Theatre, Tears of Joy and several now truly defunct theatres.

Matthew Kern as Lenny in THE HOMECOMING by Harold Pinter. Photo: Andrew Klaus.

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