ONE FLEA SPARE opens Feb 28 at Shaking the Tree

Next up at Shaking the Tree, Naomi Wallace’s widely produced and acclaimed play about plague-besieged London in 1665, ONE FLEA SPARE.

Wallace is an interesting figure. And though her most recent play, THE LIQUID PLAIN, produced last season as part of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s US History Cycle, was near unwatchable, she has had a number of big successes, this being one of them.

With a stellar cast including Dave Bodin and Jacklyn Maddux, you can expect another memorable experience at one of the current leading lights in Portland’s Off Burnside theatre scene.

“In plague-ravaged 17th century London, a wealthy couple is quarantined in their home with a young girl and a sailor. Confined in such close quarters for 28 days, the only thing these strangers fear more than the Plague is each other. Tension, mistrust and a clash of cultural, social, and sexual boundaries rise to the surface in this fiercely intense dark comedy from Naomi Wallace.”

February 28 – March 22.



50 words: WILDE TALES at Shaking The Tree

Stunning. Looking for theatricality in all the right places. Shaking The Tree once again shows how much can be created from the human body and a story. Stellar cast. Add an imagination with no limits (Wilde) and you’ve got one magical production. Hand crafted, locally owned and operated. 100% unmissable.


Thru November 9

Shaking The Tree receives three year SEED operating grant from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation

Portland’s Shaking The Tree has been recognized as one of 20 ground-breaking small arts organizations in the US with a three year SEED operating grant worth $30,000 from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (RRF). The awards are new this year and were announced on Monday, November 12.

RRF made awards in “5 key geographies: Atlanta, Detroit, New Orleans, Portland and Providence. These organizations did not apply for the grant but were identified by local cultural leaders, researched by RRF and highlighted through this national effort to focus and support great work across the United States. The SEED grant award will provide these organizations $10,000/year for three years in much needed operating capital.”

In Portland, Performance Works Northwest and Conduit Dance also received awards.

The announcement came as something of a (good) surprise to Samantha Van Der Merwe, Artistic Director of Shaking The Tree. The grant “is such a blessing for a small company like Shaking The Tree,” Van Der Merwe said.

Shaking The Tree is known for producing outstanding work and has been honored with several Drammy awards in recent years. Their most recent production of FAR AWAY by Caryl Churchill in August showed the company’s tradition of excellence is alive and well.

Theater Review | Shaking The Tree – FAR AWAY by Caryl Churchill


Every year, many of the most genuine and interesting nights of Portland theatre are found in the city’s smallest spaces.

On a final perfect August night, moments before the main 2012-13 season kicks off, Shaking The Tree signaled that this tradition is alive and well by opening a terrific, taut 51 minute production (and perhaps something longer?) of Caryl Churchill’s FAR AWAY in their studio on SE Stark. Direction is by Samantha Van Der Merwe.

Patricia Hunter, Annabel Cantor, Beth Thompson and John San Nicolas. Photo: Sheri Earnhart.

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