GENUIS by Sean Bowie at Headwaters Theatre

Bowie has some good stories, but in a landscape of logarithmically increasing self-referential one person narratives, the challenge is how to make shows like this more for the audience than the performer. Either the content or delivery here needs to tick up a few more notches to cross that border.


Water in the Desert receives lifetime gift of $25K each year for the next 25 years

25 x 25.

It’s never a bad thing for a small arts organization to receive a donation of $25,000. An amount like that can make all the difference between merely surviving and thriving.

By what about getting $25K a year every year – for the next 25 years?

That’s just what’s happened for Water in the Desert, one of Portland’s leading art outfits and the brainchild of Mizu Desierto. WITD announced the gift in an email on Friday afternoon.

Desierto runs the avant garde Headwaters Theatre performance space in NE Portland, traditionally home to several of any season’s most memorable performance works. Headwaters has been quieter than normal this fall, but the schedule looks to be picking up.

The new WITD endowment is sure to produce a steady future stream of much needed alternative works in the red shed next to the tracks on NE Farragut.

The Headwaters.  Your home for live performance in Portland.
The Headwaters. Your home for live performance in Portland.

Getting ready for the big one | HOLDING ONTO THE SKY by Faultline Ensemble at Headwaters Theatre

Extremely promising exploration of life in Cascadia after major earthquake. Documentary style setting in community shelter is gripping. The real gas in tank here is the power live performance has when it addresses important social issues. Some of the interpersonal stories less compelling, and occasional tremors of melodrama are felt.

HOLDING ONTO THE SKY by The Faultline Ensemble | Headwaters Theatre November 14-22

After a long and somewhat unnerving silence (remember the crazy string of great shows that were on last summer and fall there?), at last the lights are coming up at Headwaters. And it sounds interesting – as you would expect.

by The Faultline Ensemble
Headwaters Theatre
Nov 14-22


“Set in a fictional post-disaster Portland, this new performance explores how communities respond to disaster and the destruction of infrastructure, and the ways individuals come together to create networks of support. As neighbors turn to one another in the aftermath of the unthinkable, they share stories that question the nature of disaster response, the effectiveness of our healthcare system, and the resiliency of our communities.”


Headwaters alert | Spring offerings at vibrant NE Portland space start this weekend

All hail the newly refurbished Headwaters. There’s action aplenty at this above the radar, on the map, right side of the tracks NE Portland hot spot.

It’s spring, so time for new things to grow.

WITD presents Mexican Ritual Dance Theatre Artist, Diego Piñón. Professional BRM Ensemble Performances + Solo Performance as part of a 6 week residency at The Headwaters Theatre.

About The BRM Ensemble: a developing North American ritual dance-theatre company, guided under the direction of International artist, Diego Piñón. Ensemble members come from throughout North America and currently include: Sheri Brown, Amelia Burns, Mizu Desierto, Nathan Montgomery, Leslie Castellano, Christopher Mankowski, & Kevin Cochran. During their second residency at The Headwaters Theatre, the company will spend 10 days of research and development towards the creation of a new work. Audience members will be invited to join the company for 2 evenings of a final offering from the company.

3.27-30 RHINOCEROS by Meshi Chavez
4.18-19 Headwaters – North American BRM Ensemble
5.11 Solo Performance – Diego Piñón

Workshop Performances:

April 27th, 6pm: Workshop performance of integrative dance participants

May 10th, 7pm: Workshop performance of intensive workshop participants


April 3: Community Outreach Workshop for Latino/a artists and immigrants

April 4-6: Introductory BRM weekend intensive (15 hours)

April 24: Community Outreach Workshop for At-risk youth

April 25-27: Performance Workshop for Integrated Dance (mixed ability, 15 hrs.)

May 3-10: Intensive Performance Workshop (56 hours)

Headwaters shows off new renovations just in time for TRAVEL HOME by The Honest Liars Feb 21-23

The Headwaters has been busy upgrading. And now this exciting Off Burnside space is set to reopen just in time for the next show.

Did you enjoy almost hitting 100 degrees inside the theatre during this summer’s performance of DIARY OF A MADMAN? Those days are gone.

“WE ARE UPGRADING THE THEATRE! Thanks to the Portland Development Commission and a Community Livability Grant, we are adding better heating and cooling systems, better security lights, and a few new aesthetic lights to the outside, lobby and theatre space. We can’t wait to keep you warm when we open up again later in February!”

Next up is TRAVEL HOME by The Honest Liars, Feb 21-23.

So don’t delay. If you have not yet discovered this crucial performance venue, start researching how to find it now. And then get ye North by Northeast to Farragut in two weeks.

Next up at The Headwaters.
Next up at The Headwaters.

50 words: AMERICAN ME by Mizu Desierto at Headwaters

Headwaters keeps the streak alive. Using butoh, dance, slow motion, projected image, spoken word, recycled junk food packaging, TV’s, feathers, flags, and the occasional piece of clothing, Mizu Desierto and crew swish down a visual runway of Americana myth, reality, and nightmare. Excellent accompanying soundscape. Not a kid’s Christmas pageant.

Thru December 14