Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Fertile Ground, Day #6

Two readings today, Alaska, a monologue by a kid on an impromptu tour bus in Seward, and Strangest Yellow, a near monologue by a woman trying to recover from a miscarriage and the break-up of her marriage, by starting a vlog.  Only a near monologue, because she keeps getting interrupted by the ghost of her dead unborn baby, played by a man three times her size.  And I'm wondering: how the heck could they stage that?

Monday, January 22, 2018

Fertile Ground, Day #5

Petite Dames

Set on a plantation in Louisiana in late 1865.  A plantation that, in some unexplained fashion, had ended up as a refuge for slaves who had escaped from their owners and had hidden there until emancipation.  And were now charting out their new lives, now that they could come out of hiding.

The play was charitable towards whites, which was kind.  But not totally believable.  I know that it's unfair to compare the time just before reconstruction with the time that came after it, but I have problems accepting that a white person in Louisiana in 1865 would accept interracial marriage, or honestly consider that a black person might be his equal.

Matter is Mother

Set on a garbage-strewn beach at a ritzy time-share resort.  A series of vignettes in which the monologist became, in turn, a beer-guzzling dad, a resort maid, a realtor, a tourist, a small child, a soulless materialist inside the belly of the beast, and, finally, the beast herself - the Ur-Mother, who spawned all life, and now spends all of her time gobbling down all of the garbage that we dump in the ocean, as well as all of the worst parts of ourselves.

Fertile Ground, Day #4

Three Sisters, by Anton Chekhov
Northwest Classical Theatre Collaborative

This one was a bit of a stretch for a festival that's intended for new works.  But it is, at least, a new adaption, if only because the director couldn't find an existing translation that wasn't hopelessly old-fashioned, and so commissioned (wrote?) his own.

The language may have been new(ish), but the plot was unchanged.  No happy endings here.  And by the end I was emotionally drained.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cellar Door Roasters

A meet-up with other sketchers at a coffee shop near Ladd's Addition.

It had an intriguing machine - a coffee roaster, set up next to the door so that it could vent out the window.  I did two different views of it, one in color and one in black and white.

(There was a curtained doorway in one corner, which led to the stairway to the second floor apartments.  So the residents of the building have round-the-clock access to the coffee shop.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Fertile Ground, Day #3

 Portland’s Mini Musical Festival

Not so much a play, as a musical.  Or rather, a string of mini-musicals.  Spawning from reality TV, work friends, attempted suicide, high-school sweethearts.  I got an impression of a class assignment, where the teacher had pulled random situations out of a hat and had handed them out to his music composition students, saying: "Here, make a musical out of this."

They were all interesting.  Some were old-fashioned conventional musicals, while others were pushing the envelop a bit.

Kennedy School

We met in the Courtyard Restaurant.  I did one quick sketch on my phone while
waiting for my order,

and then wandered about the wings of the old school, looking for things to sketch.  A movie theater (in the former auditorium?), meeting rooms and hotel suites (in former classrooms), bars, an espresso stand, a gift shop, an outdoor heated pool.  There was a courtyard, but you had to go back through the restaurant to get to it.  And, for all the windows, the halls were remarkably dark.  I finally settled on a view across the courtyard to the windows of the restaurant (in the old cafeteria, maybe).

For the throw-down, we met in one of the bars.  Which hadn't opened until noon, which was good, as I could have spent hours sketching the ironwork in it.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Fertile Ground, Day #2

A reading of Grand Junction at Artists Rep at noon.

A full-length play that felt completed.  Abusive men, sibling rivalry and second chances all round.

Then, in the evening, a trek across the river to Milagro Theatre, for Bi-, an adaptation of Flatland.

Our seats were assigned, and I ended up front and center, with no way to sneak a sketch in during the show.  So I did one of a fellow audience member, as she checked her phone before the show began.