CoHo Lab

Intimacy//Heaven//Honey

Public Showing August 28 @ 8pm

Intimacy//Heaven//Honey

The Intimacy Project by Sasha Blocker

Heaven or Helen by Vanessa Hopkins

The Honey of His Music Vows by Danielle Frimer, Avital Shira, Maria Difabbio and Susannah Jones

Lab Work August 15-27, 2016


The Intimacy Project

by Sascha Blocker: Performer, Director, Producer & Creator of Original Work

Current Performers/Devisers: Beth Summers, Stephanie Woods, Clifton Holznagel, Jane Ferguson, Caitlin Fisher-Draeger, Laura Loy, Carlos Adrian Manzano, Veronika Nunez & Alison Crowley

ABOUT THE SHOW

The Intimacy Project is a theatrical experience that blurs the line between audience members and performers to provoke moments of intimacy, whether that is sharing a secret, embracing a spontaneous dance party or holding hands with a stranger.

Audience members will choose their level of participation as they physically navigate the performance space. This will be facilitated by performers and prompted by design elements. The performance will integrate movement, dance choreography, scripted and improvised text, and multimedia to create an evening that allows each audience member to co-create their experience.

Sascha Blocker is an associate artist with Push Leg Theatre Company, which won two Drammy awards in 2014 for Nighthawks (Best Devised Production and Movement Choreography). Sascha was awarded a 2016 RACC project grant to produce an immersive theater project, which focuses on the theme of intimacy. She is a founding company member of Das Collectivnost de Teatro y Ridicule International, which premiered work in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Bilbao, Spain. Locally Sascha has worked with Imago, Hand2Mouth, Third Rail, CoHo, Post 5, Liminal Performance Group, the Portland Actors Conservatory, and has produced work for the Fertile Ground Festival. Sascha earned an MFA in Performance from the London International School of Performing Arts in conjunction with Naropa University. Sascha teaches Communication Studies classes at Portland State University and Clark College, classes include: Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, & Communication in the Workplace. She also teaches Improvisation, Movement, & Devising Experimental Theater at Portland Community College (Cascade Campus).


Heaven or Helen 

 by Vanessa Hopkins 

Sound Design by David Chandler

A segment of an original piece inspired by the true story of Helen Dora Kohn (aka Helen Shucman), the cantankerous woman who wrote (channeled) the world renowned, “A Course in Miracles”.

While a professor of Psychology at Columbia University in the mid 1960’s, Helen teamed up with the esteemed Head of Psychology, Dr. William Thetford for over 7yrs to “Scribe” this manuscript which she was instructed to by a “Voice” that consumed her. Her name was not associated with the book (by her request) until after her death. Helen lived a dual life, struggling greatly during those years during the book’s dictation and fearing for her sanity as well as her reputation.

This impressionistic multimedia production will present abstract interpretations on the themes of religion and science through out time– toggling back and forth between the ecstasy and insanity of transcendence to the confines of the everyday “civilized” ego mind. The interplay between the reptilian brain and the “evolved” frontal lobe– the higher and lower self which is unified in both atheist and believer alike.

Vanessa Hopkins is a lifetime performer received  scholarship in both Dance and Theater at Santa Monica College. A near fatal car accident at nineteen deepened her passion for the healing arts and yoga, which continues to inspire her to create works of art that make the metaphysical and healing experience more accessible to a wider audience. After attending ACT, she spent years exploring and performing experimental theater, dance and music in the Bay Area, New York, LA and Europe. Vanessa has trained with Diego Pinon(Butoh), The SF Butoh Festival, Jess Curtis of Contraband, Suzuki/Viewpoints and Devising with SITI Co and PETE, Clown with Philip Cuomo and Advanced Acting with Jeffrey Tambor. Some favorite roles include: Mephistopheles (Shotgun Players), George Sand (L.A. Ovation Award “best actress”, City Garage Theater), Masha (Circus Theatricals), Audrey Wood (Ashland Contemporary Theater). She’s acted in several independent films, TV and commercials, as well as performed in her own video sketches. As a director in theater: Edge Of Nowhere, Mr Williams and Miss Wood,  and The Rocky Horror Picture Show . Currently, Vanessa is writing a feature narrative film while in post-production for her first  documentary film, Sky Dancer.


The Honey of His Music Vows

Created and Performed by Danielle Frimer, Avital Shira, Maria Difabbio and Susannah Jones

A musical performance about love, Shakespeare and text messaging. This piece will focus on the times in our lives when we are seduced by language, the feverish moments when we crave the heightened language of poetry, and the moments when words totally and utterly fail. There is only one serious question. And that is: Who knows how to make love stay?

Danielle Frimer is an actor, singer and writer and a recent graduate of ACT’s MFA Acting program. At ACT, her roles have included Nell in Indian Ink, Teresa in Napoli, Annabelle in A Christmas Carol, Ophelia in Hamlet and Victoria/Edward in Cloud Nine. In Portland, she has played the Princess in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Post 5 Theater, dir. Avital Shira), and Olivia in Twelfth Night (Portland Actors Ensemble, dir. Avital Shira). Frimer currently works at an interactive entertainment technology company in San Francisco called PullString, where she writes and voices conversational characters. She also writes songs and performs them at open mics. She has a B.A. from Yale University, where she was the recipient of the Branford Arts Prize.

Avital Shira Originally from Portland, OR, Avital Shira is a director who has a particular passion for heightened language and the blending of music and language in devised work. Directing credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost (Post5 Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (LA Athletic Club), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Disjecta), Phantomwise (NYC Fringe Festival), and Twelfth Night (Portland Actors Ensemble). She has directed staged readings for theatres including Corrib Theatre, Jewish Theatre Collaborative, the GirlsWrite Festival and the Theatricians, and has often collaborated with playwrights to co­devise and/or dramaturg developing work. Avital has assisted directors around the country at theatres including Lincoln Center Theater, Denver Center of Performing Arts, Writers Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Avital is a graduate of Yale University, where she was awarded the Branford Arts Prize and the James S. Metcalfe prize for her direction of Much Ado About Nothing. She is a member of the 2013 Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Maria Difabbio is a singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. She wrote and performed with the Portland based folk band “Skidmore Bluffs,” and her songs were featured in What Is Left, a poetry/performance piece directed by Avital Shira. Most recently, she sang on Laura Gragtmans new album “Hug The Lonely Cactus.” She is also a stage manager, and has worked with Portland Center Stage, Post 5 Theatre, PAE, and Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT.

Susannah Jones is a New York based actress, singer and audiobook narrator. Recent credits include Mother in the national tour of A Christmas Story: The Musical, Olivia in Twelfth Night with Mainestage Shakespeare, and Susan in Company at The Bucks County Playhouse. In Portland, she played Miranda in The Tempest and Lady Catherine in the workshop of The Admirable Crichton with The Portland Shakespeare Project. She is a series regular on the webseries Plant, and received the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series at the LA webfest in 2014. Susannah is a graduate of NYU Tisch and received the Stella Adler Studio award for excellence in 2011. For more info, please visit www.susannahjones.info.



Matter//Counting//Broken

Public Showing August 14 @ 8pm

Matter//Counting//Broken

Matter is Mother by Julia Bray

Counting Pebbles by Faultline Ensemble

Broken Heart Story by Tracy Cameron Francis

Lab Work August 1-13


Matter is Mother

Created and Performed by Julia Bray

Costumes by Hailey Desjardin and Jane Staugas

Vocal Recordings by Ronald Peet

Matter is Mother is a one ­woman show set in a private resort in the Bahamas where a mythic sea monster named “Lusca” is said to dwell. Throughout the show the audience is coaxed in to this tropical world through character­-driven monologues, recordings, dances, and songs as each character uses Lusca’s presence to reflect their relationship to the feminine. Drawing a parallel between the collective pressure we’ve placed on females in our society and the mindlessness in which we’ve treated the ultimate feminine force, Mother Earth, this piece offers science cloaked in raucous comedy and solutions for healing wrapped in poetry and performance.

Julia Bray is a performer, writer, singer, dancer, producer and teacher who has lived and created in New York City for the past 10 years. She has performed Off Broadway in multiple productions (including two New York Premiers), and appeared on television in “Law and Order SVU”, HBO’s “How to Make it In America” and “Boardwalk Empire” and MTV’s sketch­comedy show “Hey Girl”. In January 2015 Julia founded “ALL BOATS” a bi­-monthly variety show that features new work in theater, film, dance, song, comedy, performance art and beyond. Julia’s writing and solo­ shows have been seen at Dixon Place, Fresh Ground Pepper, Theater in Asylum, The Habitat Theater Company and the variety shows “New Skin” and “All Boats”. She produces and directs the music videos for her comedic rap group “Sister Wives”, and is a founding member of two sketch comedy troupes “Thanks For Coming Comedy” and “Emotional Pizza”. She graduated from NYU Tisch and is currently exploring a bi-­coastal lifestyle between her hometown of Portland, OR and her Brooklyn turf. She teaches ballet and Kundalini yoga to adults and children. https://julia-bray.com/


Counting Pebbles

By Faultline Ensemble

Directed by Taiga Christie

“If there’s one thing first responders do, it’s tell stories.”The Code Green Campaign

First  responders  working  in  Emergency  Medical  Services  (EMS)  are  ten  times  more   likely  to  contemplate  suicide  than  the  national  average,  and the most  common  reason   responders  leave  the  field  is  burnout  and  psychological  trauma.

Created in partnership with the Code Green Campaign, this devised  performance  will explore experiences of first responders struggling with and finding paths through trauma. The piece will draw  on interviews, anonymous stories collected by Code Green and  art  by EMS workers to weave a story of shared  trauma, pride and resilience.

Taiga  Christie  is  a  Portland-­‐based  playwright  and  director  of  collaborative  original   works.  She  is  the  founder  and  director  of  Faultline  Ensemble,  an  ensemble  dedicated   to  creating  theater  that  increases  community  health  and  resilience,  and  has  studied   community-­‐based  theater  for  social  change  at  Dell’Arte  International  Theater   Company,  Cornerstone  Theater  Company  and  Sojourn  Theatre.  She  also  works  as  an   EMT  and  health  educator,  and  is  a  collaborating  artist  with  Children  of  the  Wild,   company-­‐in-­‐residence  at  Double  Edge  Theatre  in  Ashfield,  MA.      Taiga’s  past  original,  collaborative  works  include  “Six  Billion  Utopias,”  a   documentary  performance  about  mental  health  access  for  sexual  and  gender   minorities,  and  “Holding  onto  the  Sky,”  a  community-­‐based  play  about  disaster   preparedness  and  health  access  in  Portland.  “Six  Billion  Utopias”  toured  in  New   England  in  2013,  in  partnership  with  nonprofits  working  to  increase  minority  access   to  care.  “Holding  onto  the  Sky”  was  recently  remounted  in  Portland  due  to  the   popularity  of  its  first  run  in  2014.  Her  work  centers  on  pieces  that  incorporate  a   multiplicity  of  marginalized  voices,  conflicting  points  of  view,  and  an  anti-­‐ oppression  analysis.      Taiga  is  also  an  Emergency  Medical  Technician,  a  practitioner  of  trauma  support   work  in  the  healthcare  field  and  a  community  health  trainer.  She  aims  to  use  theater   to  explore  the  tension  between  varied  experiences  of  trauma,  and  to  raise   awareness  and  sensitivity  to  individual  and  collective  trauma  throughout  our   culture.

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