CoHo has pioneered an unique collaborative model of co-production. CoHo invites local theater artists to propose projects for production. CoHo’s co-producer is principally responsible for the artistic and technical aspects of the production; CoHo equips the venue, raises funds, promotes the show and provides administrative support. This co-production model motivates theater artists to excel because they are treated as partners, not hired hands, and encourages creativity by challenging artists to propose and produce their own projects.
The History of CoHo Productions
CoHo’s first show, Bodyhold, took place in the basement of the Benson Hotel in 1995. Penned by Gary Cole and directed by Robert Holden, the company’s co-founders, Bodyhold enjoyed a colorful and successful run, in part fueled by solid beverage sales and the arrival of the Portland police one evening in response to a hotel guest’s worry over hearing gun shots (the play was set in the middle of a Third World revolution!). It was quite the auspicious beginning for a theater company whose first production literally opened “on Broadway”.
Two Pearl District storefronts, one empty warehouse, one art gallery, a business office and one NW storefront later, you sit tonight in a former bookbindery that became CoHo’s permanent home in 2000. Partial credit for the search for a real home must be given to the poor actress who was forced to quit the last storefront production halfway through the show’s run due to an asthmatic reaction to dust and grime.
Now in our 17th season, CoHo can boast 48 productions, 13 world premieres, and 23 Drammy awards. Our productions have represented well-established playwrights like David Mamet and Eugene O’Neill but have also provided a forum for local Portland luminaries like William S. Gregory and Ebbe Roe Smith to bring their work to life. Our stage has been the early stomping grounds for once fledgling companies like Third Rail Rep who have gone on to their own tremendous successes in the world of Portland theater. And finally, our NEW X NW new play competition, now in its fifth year, has celebrated the writings of home grown playwrights by providing professionally directed staged readings during the annual Fertile Ground festival. We are very proud to say that our 2011 NEW X NW winner, Susan Mach’s A Noble Failure, is now receiving a full production as part of Third Rail Rep’s main stage season.
CoHo Productions – truly an adventure in COlaborative HOme-grown theater! Our sincere thanks for joining us on this journey as you, our audience members and supporters, have always been a critical part of that collaborative process.