Liminal channels Fassbinder Dec 8-11 at Disjecta

The thing about interesting theatre activities in smaller markets is you have to be ready and watching ALL THE TIME or you might miss something good.

You can’t say, “I do not need to hear about any more remounts of ALMOST, MAINE in Estacada or Wagontire – so I’m going to tune out everything now.”

Guaranteed if you do that you’ll miss something you should have seen.

Here’s a tip. Liminal is back and planning a four day only blitzkrieg at Disjecta.

Only 40 people per show! Translation: This thing is going to sell out faster than Donald Trump’s transition team.

So get on it.  NOW.

How to not be bored

These people are hear to disrupt your programming.

Behold the new: Liminal returns with “Marilyn Monroe contre les vampires”, an immersive video opera by Fassbinder


In the theatre world we have, a handful of franchised shows from New York play regional theatres struggling for relevance.  As the lights go down on that mass produced version of BAD DATES, VENUS IN FUR, etc., you could be anywhere.  Welcome to Olive Garden.

In the theatre world we need, instead of taking up the assignment as conveyor belts in a creaky colonial system, local companies instead create their own new work – stuff you can find nowhere else.  They engage with their community.  They make place and time specific art.  Their shows then travel the OPPOSITE direction –  from the hinterlands toward larger cultural centers, where audience members feel they have sampled something original.  Something authentic.  Welcome to Higgins, Pok Pok, Lincoln.

On that note, the noise in the underground laboratory of one of Portland’s unique theatre groups has been steadily increasing, and smoke and sparks have been seen shooting out of taped over windows late at night.  That’s because they’re working on a new show in there.  One that has never been seen.  And in a few short weeks – just in time for Christmas – you will have a chance to behold the new.  Bonus: it’s at one of the coolest venues in town.

That’s right – the next show from Liminal is coming down the tracks.

Continue reading “Behold the new: Liminal returns with “Marilyn Monroe contre les vampires”, an immersive video opera by Fassbinder”

“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 | | 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).

Liminal brings SANTA by e.e. cummings to Backdoor Theater December 4-21

They’re back.

They had the winning entry in Portland’s OUR TOWN-palooza derby last fall.

And now they’ve got SANTA by that Christmas cheer icon, e.e. cummings.

THEY – is Portland’s original avant garde performance group: Liminal.

The cast includes Jeff Marchant, Leo Daedalus, Carla Grant, Alex Reagan and Delilah Fox.

Directed by John Berendzen.

Backdoor Theater

Dec 4-21


Liminal is back | You’ll remember, in December – When one of Portland’s most exciting theatre groups brings [watch this space] to Portland

After several months of disuse, we weren’t sure if our T.E.W.S. (Theatre Early Warning System) was still working.

But lo – the thing just sputtered into life with some very exciting news.

Namely, Liminal, one of Portland’s theatres to watch, is coming back with a December production of [information has been automagically removed and sold to big data consumers by Sergey Brin]. That’s right, they’re doing the almost never seen [information has been automagically removed AGAIN and sold to big data consumers by Sergey Brin].

Which is pretty damn exciting.

Now we’re going to just assume you know who Liminal is and that you of course saw their stunning production of OUR TOWN last year. Because if you don’t or didn’t – then we’d have to send round an ebola-gram to your house.

Liminal is one of those groups that make you remember why you go to the theatre.

So expect something novel round about December.

Photo:  Leo Daedalus and Ryan Mooney.
Liminal’s 2013 production of OUR TOWN. Photo: Leo Daedalus and Ryan Mooney.