CoHo Productions http://www.cohoproductions.org Co-producing innovative, up-close theatre in NW Portland's Slabtown neighborhood. Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:16:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 http://www.cohoproductions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-CoHoProductions_logo-1-32x32.jpg CoHo Productions http://www.cohoproductions.org 32 32 67263138 A Timeline of Technology and Intelligent Watsons http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/timeline-technology-intelligent-watsons/ http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/timeline-technology-intelligent-watsons/#comments Wed, 06 Sep 2017 22:30:38 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6466 CoHo Productions presents The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George CoHo Season 22 September 8 – September 30, 2017 How Did We Get Here? Wires, Wisdom, and Watsons. January 6, 1838 Samuel Morse sends America’s first telegram[...]

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CoHo Productions presents
The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence

by Madeleine George

CoHo Season 22

September 8 – September 30, 2017

How Did We Get Here? Wires, Wisdom, and Watsons.

January 6, 1838
Samuel Morse sends America’s first telegram across two miles of wiring.

July 27, 1866
The first translatlantic telegraph is completed, allowing the first transatlantic telegraphy communications.

March 10, 1876
Alexander Graham Bell places the first telephone call, answered by his assistant Thomas A. Watson. 

1878  
The first manual switchboard for telephone communication debuts in Boston.

1881
The first long distance phone service is available in the USA.

Winter 1887                    
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle publishes A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes story, with narration from Dr.  John Watson.

June 16, 1911                 
Thomas J. Watson, Sr. founds the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (CTR).

1924                                   
CTR becomes International Business Machines (IBM)

1944                                   
IBM co-develops its first computer, the Automated Sequence Controlled Calculator (Mark I) with Harvard University.

1946                                   
IBM provides a translation system for the Nuremberg trials.
The first mobile car-based telephone system is introduced. It weighed 80 lbs.

1952                                   
Thomas J. Watson, Jr. becomes president of IBM.

1956                                  
The term “artificial intelligence” is coined. 

 

1964-1966                        
ELIZA, and early natural language processing computer program, is created at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory by Joseph Weizenbaum. ELIZA simulated conversation by using pattern matching to create the illusion that the program understood and could respond appropriately to human language.

1973                                   
The first non-car mobile phone (DynaTAC) appears.

1981                                   
The IBM Personal Computer 5150 debuts, a landmark in the transition of computing from the province of the military and big government to everyday people.

1989                                   
The first flip phone is released. It cost $3,000.

1996                                   
The first Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) system is introduced, allowing telephone calls to be made via the internet instead of analog telephone lines. There will be 1 billion VoIP users by the end of 2017.

1997
IBM’s Deep Blue beats Garry Kasparaov in a chess match.

2007        The iPhone debuts.

February 16, 2011        
IBM’s Watson computing platform defeats human champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter on Jeopardy!

2014 and beyond         
IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence technology is being used in automobiles, healthcare, education, retail, business, and law enforcement applications around the world. 

 

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Meet the “Watson” Cast http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/meet-watson-cast/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 20:09:56 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6432 CoHo Productions presents The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence by Madeleine George CoHo Season 22 September 8 – September 30, 2017 CoHo’s 22nd Season begins with Madeleine George’s Pulitzer Prize nominated The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, a time-traveling[...]

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CoHo Productions presents
The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence

by Madeleine George

CoHo Season 22

September 8 – September 30, 2017


CoHo’s 22nd Season begins with Madeleine George’s Pulitzer Prize nominated The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, a time-traveling love triangle between the head, the heart, and the machine. Directed by Producing Artistic Director Philip Cuomo, Watson features a trio of talented actors both familiar and brand new to CoHo audiences.

Sarah Ellis Smith is making her Pacific Northwest debut as Eliza, a brilliant computer engineer specializing in natural language processing systems and innovative late night snack combinations. Sarah’s previous credits include work with the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, Swine Palace (Baton Rouge, LA) and Gainesville Theatre Alliance in Georgia. Some of her favorite roles include Rita (Educating Rita), Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Cordelia (King Lear), and Nora (A Doll’s House). She founded Compleat Stage, a non-profit organization in Louisiana focused on multidisciplinary collaboration and arts education. In addition to her work in theatre, Sarah’s most recent film and TV credits include Into the Badlands (AMC), American Horror Story (FOX), Treme (HBO) and The Host (Chockstone Pictures). Sarah holds an MFA from Louisiana State University and a BA from Brenau University.

Portland theatre stalwart Gavin Hoffman returns to CoHo where he previously co-produced and directed Marsha Norman’s ‘night Mother and acted in Annie Baker’s Body Awareness. He plays Frank Merrick, an intense and slightly rage-y lawyer/local political candidate/Eliza’s very recently ex-husband. Some of Gavin’s Portland credits include Duncan McDougall in Astoria Part 1, Joe in Great Expectations, Ligniere in Cyrano, Iago in Othello, and Karl/Steve in Clybourne Park at Portland Center Stage; Ted in American Hero, Harry in The Understudy, and Dieter in The Monster-Builder at Artists Repertory Theatre; Ellard in The Foreigner at Lakewood Theatre; Wolf/Red in To Cape, The Tripping Point at Shaking the Tree; Ken in Fifth of July at Profile Theatre; Hank in A Noble Failure at Third Rail. He has guest-starred in The Big Easy (USA) and Leverage (TNT), co-starred in Grimm (NBC), and appeared in Portlandia. He is the recipient of four Drammy Awards, a graduate of PCPA, and has a BFA in acting from Ithaca College. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

Eric Martin Reid joins us as Watson, the multifaceted being who is Jeopardy champ/IT dweeb/sidekick to Sherlock Holmes/co-inventor of the telephone all in one. He is a member of SAG-AFTRA, a graduate of the Professional Actor’s Training Program at the Dell’Arte International School for Physical Theatre, and he went on to study Advanced Meisner with Laurel Vouvray at the Actor’s Avenue Studio. Eric has worked onstage with theatres including Insight Out, Sojourn Theatre, Sowelu Theatre, Imago, and CoHo. TV and film credits include a guest starring role on NBC’s Grimm, Leverage, Portlandia, and Extraordinary Measures. As a writer and first time director Eric’s short film Kidz won Best Comedy at the 2014 NW Short Film Festival. He recently wrapped on the film Six Nights, which he also co-wrote for Limbo Films. Eric teaches at The Studio Northwest and with Acting for Kids and Teens.

Full subscriptions and individual tickets for Season 22 are available now!

 

 

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CoHo Season 22 http://www.cohoproductions.org/coming-soon/coho-season-22/ http://www.cohoproductions.org/coming-soon/coho-season-22/#comments Tue, 25 Jul 2017 01:47:17 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6157 CoHo Productions is proud to announce CoHo Season 22, featuring four artist-led co-productions of contemporary plays in the main subscription season for 2017-2018. Subscriptions are on sale now. Subscribe to #CoHoSeason22 to see all 4 shows for under $100 September 8[...]

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CoHo Productions is proud to announce CoHo Season 22, featuring four artist-led co-productions of contemporary plays in the main subscription season for 2017-2018. Subscriptions are on sale now.

Subscribe to #CoHoSeason22 to see all 4 shows for under $100

September 8 – September 30, 2017
The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence

by MaWatson-Ticket-Webdeline George
Directed by Philip Cuomo
Featuring Gavin Hoffman, Sarah Ellis Smith and Eric Martin Reid

 

 

October 27 – November 18, 2017
Year of the Rooster

by Year-of-the-Rooster-Ticket-WebOlivia Dufault
Co-produced by Rolland Walsh; Featuring Michael O’Connell and Rolland Walsh
Directed by Alexandra Kuechler-Caffall

 

 

February 9 – March 3, 2018
This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries and This Girl Does Nothing

by FinThis-Girl-Ticket-Webegan Kruckemeyer
Co-produced by Tamara Carroll & Beth Thompson; Directed by Tamara Carroll; Featuring Alex Ramirez, Jennifer Rowe and Beth Thompson

 

 

April 20 – May 12, 2018
Luna Gale 

Luna-Gale-Ticket-Webby Rebecca Gilman
Co-produced by Jason Glick and Danielle Weathers; Directed by Brandon Woolley; Featuring Sharonlee McLean, Danielle Weathers, and Jason Glick

 

 

Each year, CoHo accepts project proposals from local artist-producers. CoHo’s Artistic Council carefully reads and considers each submission, then conducts group interviews with finalists before deciding on a main season based on each production’s promise of artistic vision, professional merit, thematic relevance and its potential to connect with CoHo audiences.

cropped-CoHoProductions_logo-1.jpgCoHo Season 17/18 TICKET PRICES
$98 Season Subscription
$80 Season Subscription +65/-30
$32 Standard Single Ticket
$25 Single Ticket +65/-30
$20 Thrifty Thursday Ticket

September 8 – September 30, 2017

CoHo Productions presents
The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence

by Madeline George
Directed by Philip Cuomo
Featuring Gavin Hoffman, Sarah Ellis Smith and Eric Martin Reid

The Watson Intelligence #CoHoSeason22

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

The (curious case of the) Watson Intelligence is an emotionally-intelligent drama that follows a time-travelling love triangle between the head, the heart and the machine.

“Mr. Watson, come here – I want you!”

From the Victorian age to the 21st century, ‘Watson’ is the perfect partner. Mr. Watson was on the other end of the wire when Alexander Graham Bell sent the first communication by telephone. Dr. Watson accompanied each step and anticipated every need of fiction’s greatest detective. Watson’s the name of IBM’s natural language-processing supercomputer, winner of the famous Jeopardy! match in 2011. And Josh Watson is the IT guy with a friendly fix for crashed technology and broken hearts, uncommonly trustworthy and aiming to please. All the Watsons want to give you what you need, but do you want what you need in a partner?

REVIEWS

“MARVELOUS AND FILLED WITH MARVELS. In the Stoppardian world of The Watson Intelligence, Madeleine George’s human, dramatic play takes surprising turns.” – New York Magazine

“juggles deep themes with grace, wit and intellectual verve” – Time Out New York

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

Madeleine George’s plays, including Hurricane DianeThe (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award), Seven Homeless Mammoths Wander New England, Precious Little, and The Zero Hour, have been produced at theaters around the country.  She was a founding member of the Obie-winning playwrights’ collective 13P (Thirteen Playwrights, Inc.), and is a resident playwright at New Dramatists.

Madeleine is the recipient of a Whiting Award, the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship, and two MacDowell Fellowships, and she holds commissions from the Sloan Foundation/Manhattan Theatre Club, the Big Ten Theatre Consortium, and the Children’s Theater Company in Minneapolis. She  is currently the Mellon Playwright in Residence at Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey.
http://www.madeleinegeorge.com/


October 27 – November 18, 2017

CoHo Productions and Rolland Walsh present
Year of the Rooster

by Olivia Dufault
Directed by Alexandra Kuechler-Caffall
Featuring Michael O’Connell and Rolland Walsh

Year of the Rooster #CoHoSeason22

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Year of the Rooster is a furious, foul-mouthed, comedic attack on heavy-weight subjects like rural poverty, animal cruelty and toxic masculinity in America.

“Ya gotta have winners and losers in this world.”

Gil is a loser in a loser town. He still lives with his mama, with no friends or future plans, just the 19-year old manager at McDonald’s who bullies his broken spirit while dreaming of Disney World and world domination. Gil’s chance at winning the American Dream is a nightmare until he gets a prize-fighting rooster named Odysseus Rex. Cockfighting was invented by the ancient Greeks (just like Democracy); now illegal in all 50 states. The stakes are life and death, the rooster is on stage – what are you willing to bet he wins?

REVIEWS

“…astonishingly entertaining…The stakes are high; under the humor,
Dufault has laid a foundation of pathos.” –New York Times

“…the play deals with hardscrabble folks in an unspecified Southern state. But it doesn’t indulge in cheap humor at their expense. And without ever being preachy, Dufault has a lot of sharp things to say about what we do to each other – and to animals – and about bullying.” – New York Post

“…it’s about the consuming drive to be a winner, especially when that drive becomes absurd or impossible and instead leads to mindless rage…we sense the real vulnerability that lies at the heart of these characters as the powerful are revealed to be pathetic, and vice versa.” – Austin 360

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

Olivia Dufault’s plays include Year of the Rooster (New York Times Critics’ Pick), The Tomb of King Tot (New York Times Critics’ Pick), The Messenger, and For Want of a Horse. Her plays have been performed at the Ensemble Studio Theatre/Youngblood, Clubbed Thumb, the Flea Theatre, and the Marin Theatre, amongst others.

She is the 2015-16 Rita Goldberg Playwrights’ Workshop Fellow and 2013=14 PoNY Fellow, as well as the recipient of the 2015 Playwrights of New York Fellowship, the 2013 David Colicchio Emerging Playwright Award, the 2010 Lipkin Playwriting Award, and the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Harle Adair Damann Playwriting Award. She currently writes for the AMC television show Preacher. She is a member of New Dramatists, the LCT Writers in Residence, and the Youngblood Playwriting Group.


February 9 – March 3, 2018

CoHo Productions with Tamara Carroll & Beth Thompson present
This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing

by Finegan Kruckemeyer
Directed by Tamara Carroll; Featuring Alex Ramirez, Jennifer Rowe and Beth Thompson

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing #CoHoSeason22

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing is an expressive, cyclical fable fit for all ages, especially for the brave, curious ones who follow their heart to find home.

“Thrice upon a time, a girl was born.”

10-year-old triplet sisters are abandoned in the woods by their heartbroken father on a snowy night. Beatrix follows the direction of her departed dad and the setting sun, believing her own bright energy can warm anyone’s heart. Albienne has a strong appetite for cakes and battle, and goes off in the opposite direction to explore the unknown. Carmen cannot move forward or back, she is best at staying still, oddly silent, helpful to others in need. So the sisters separate, but remain connected, while facing fantastical, touching adventures: they wage wars, win wealth, make homes and travel in lighthouses under the sea. Seasons change, years pass, and they become grown women – eventually returning to the same but different place, reunited as family.

REVIEWS

 somewhere between hilarious and human” – Luca, age 9, Big Kids Magazine

“Fables stay with us our entire life because they continue to teach and inform us., clarify choices when we come to crossroads early on in life and unveil what is to be gained in times of turmoil.” –StageMilk

‘Children demand imagination and clarity while adults deserve it. This is the secret of fables and fairy stories and it’s the standard by which theatre for children can best be judged. By that measure – and plenty of others beside… ‘This Girl Laughs’ succeeds admirably’. – The West Australian

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

Finegan Kruckemeyer has had 81 commissioned plays performed on five continents and translated into six languages, and was an inaugural recipient of the $160,000 Sidney Myer Creative Fellowship. This year 46 seasons (including 14 premieres) are presented worldwide. In Germany, he is represented by Rowohlt Agency.

To date, Finegan’s plays have had seasons in: over 100 international festivals; all Australian states/territories; ten US national tours; five UK national tours; and at the Sydney Opera House (six works), Ireland’s Dublin Theatre Festival (two works), Scotland’s Imaginate Festival (two works), Shanghai’s Malan Flower Theatre, New York’s Lincoln Center for the Arts and New Victory Theater (three works), and DC’s Kennedy Center for the Arts (three works)…

Finegan was born in Ireland, and came to Adelaide, Australia aged eight. In 2004, he moved with his wife Essie to Hobart, Tasmania, from which he now writes for national/international companies. He is committed to making strong and respectful work for children, which acknowledges them as astute audience members outside the plays, and worthy subjects within. http://finegankruckemeyer.com/


April 20 – May 13, 2017

CoHo Productions with Jason Glick & Danielle Weathers present
Luna Gale

by Rebecca Gilman
Directed by Brandon Woolley; Featuring Sharonlee McLean, Danielle Weathers, and Jason Glick

ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

Luna Gale is a suspenseful, ethically-blurry play offering a candid look at an intra-family custody dispute for the right to raise a minor child, determined by cases of addiction, assault and conflicting religious beliefs.

“Are you Luna’s mother?”

Social worker Caroline is over-burdened by desperate cases at an under-funded Child Protective Services agency, especially when her gut instincts contradict by-the-book protocol. In one case, infant Luna Gale is hospitalized and removed from her stressed-out teenage parents Karlie and Peter, who are court-ordered to attend rehab groups for methamphetamine abuse – but the waiting list is too long. Karlie’s divorced mother Cindy, a nurse’s assistant and born-again Christian, seeks to adopt Luna with her Pastor’s guidance, but against her daughter’s wishes. Unspoken motives surface through unconventional methods while belief systems and best intentions are tested as all question how to best take care of children.

REVIEWS

“Smart and absorbing” –New York Times

“One of this year’s most valuable additions to American drama…exploration of beaten up characters desperately searching for miracles, from drugs, from God and, yes, from even the DHS, where a social worker tries to heal her own wounds through helping others in distress.” –LA Times

“Social workers are rarely portrayed on stage and films as anything other than instruments of unfeeling bureaucracies. “Luna Gale” reminds you of what a thankless but essential job they do, with only the equivalent of watered-down Elmer’s Glue to patch cracks and fissures in a dysfunctional society.” –Seattle Times

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

Rebecca Gilman is an Artistic Associate at the Goodman in Chicago. Ms. Gilman’s plays include Luna Gale, A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Dollhouse, Boy Gets Girl, Spinning Into Butter, Blue Surge (all of which were commissioned and originally produced by the Goodman), The Glory of Living, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and The Crowd You’re in With.

Ms. Gilman is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, The Harper Lee Award, The Scott McPherson Award, The Prince Prize for Commissioning New Work, The Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, The Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, The George Devine Award, The Theatre Masters Visionary Award, The Great Plains Playwright Award and an Illinois Arts Council playwriting fellowship. Boy Gets Girl received an Olivier Award nomination for Best New Play and she was named a finalist for the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for her play, The Glory of Living.

She is a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild of America and a board member of the ACLU of Illinois. She received her MFA in playwriting from the University of Iowa. Ms. Gilman is an associate professor of playwriting and screenwriting at Northwestern University as part of its MFA in Writing for the Screen and Stage program.  She is the recipient of a Global Connections Grant by Theatre Communications Group and an American Scandinavian Foundation Creative Writing Grant for the development of a new play in conjunction with Göteborgs Dramatiska Teater in Gothenburg, Sweden: Rödvinsvänster (Red-Wine Leftists): 1977.


CoHo’s Mission

cropped-CoHoProductions_logo.jpgFor 22 years, CoHo Productions has pioneered artist led co-production as a model of creating theatre. Each season, CoHo solicits scripts and project proposals from Portland’s community of theatre professionals and selects three to produce in partnership. The artistic vision is democratic, reflecting the tastes of the Portland theatre community from the ground up. Seasons are diverse and unpredictable; the sole quality nurtured and insisted on is excellence.

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Third Rail Presents LUNGS http://www.cohoproductions.org/guest-rental/third-rail-presents-lungs/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:31:44 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6361 Guest Renters Third Rail Repertory Theatre Presents: Lungs by Duncan Macmillan August 4- 26 At the CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh St.  Directed by Rebecca Lingafelter Featuring Darius Pierce and Cristi Miles  Photo by Owen Carey   How exactly does[...]

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Guest Renters Third Rail Repertory Theatre Presents:

lungs-promo5Lungs

by Duncan Macmillan

August 4- 26

At the CoHo Theatre, 2257 NW Raleigh St. 

Directed by Rebecca Lingafelter
Featuring Darius Pierce and Cristi Miles
 Photo by Owen Carey
 
How exactly does one decide to bring a child into this world – with the oceans, and the climate, and the, you know, everything else? Surely the kid’s Eiffel Tower-sized carbon footprint is reason enough not to. But what if baby grows up to solve the world’s problems? Then again, what if baby grows up to be a mass murderer? Or what if…? And what if…? If…? What begins as an odd question for a couple in line at Ikea soon becomes much more as they grapple with existence itself as a moral question, in Duncan Macmillan’s timely and startlingly funny Lungs.

Visit The Third Rail site for more information and production details.

Contact the Third Rail Box Office at 503-235-1101

 

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False Narratives & Chilled Vodka http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/false-narratives-chilled-vodka/ Tue, 11 Jul 2017 22:17:17 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6345 Deception Unit #CoHoSummerfest Week 5 Photo Credit Owen Carey by Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble July 13 – 16, 2017 Unreliable Narrator. Suffocating Subtext. Lies, all lies. Kitchen sink realism is slowly suffocated with a pillow of subtext, and the narrative goes[...]

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Deception Unit
#CoHoSummerfest Week 5

Credit Owen Carey
Photo Credit Owen Carey

by Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble

July 13 – 16, 2017

Unreliable Narrator. Suffocating Subtext. Lies, all lies.

Kitchen sink realism is slowly suffocated with a pillow of subtext, and the narrative goes into witness protection. A fake Polish punk band takes over as the protagonist, but whoever’s been translating their lyrics is deeply unreliable. A celebration of false narratives and radical fraudulence, Deception Unit revels in the ways we’ve been fooling ourselves all along.

Deception Unit

_____________________>>>SUBtexT

 

 

ViRTuaL || Re@liTy <<<<—————-

 

>>>>>>>>p0liTe DiNN3r C0nVers@Tion

 

HOTLICKS

 

 

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^
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                                             [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[Cold WAR]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]

CHill3d V0dk@ ∞∞

rAdical FraUduLeNC3

–*———————***——————— illusioN ——–*———————    

····Deep·Ly UnR3liaBl··E

JOiN Us PlE@se  

…..~~ De/CepT/iOn >>..////

“…unapologetically experimental, technically sophisticated, and engaged with questions about what role theater can play in contemporary culture.” – Portland Mercury

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Eric Davis on Pushing Boundaries and Reining in Red Bastard http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/eric-davis-pushing-boundaries-reigning-red-bastard/ Mon, 03 Jul 2017 21:01:27 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6333 Red Bastard: Lie With Me #CoHoSummerfest Week 4 Red Bastard: Lie With Me by Eric Davis July 6 – 9, 2017 Despicable. Embarrassing. No Happy Ending. What kind of monster would have an affair? You’re about to find out… Every-single-one-of-you. A[...]

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Red Bastard: Lie With Me

#CoHoSummerfest Week 4

Red Bastard

Red Bastard: Lie With Me

by Eric Davis

July 6 – 9, 2017

Despicable. Embarrassing. No Happy Ending.

What kind of monster would have an affair? You’re about to find out… Every-single-one-of-you.

Red Bastard: Lie With Me

A comedy monster. A diabolical clown. A whore, a fascist, an anarchist. Red Bastard has been called all of these things while simultaneously receiving international critical acclaim for his notorious self-titled show. Sellout crowds at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and beyond have been cajoled, provoked, pushed, seduced, and dared to participate under the Red Bastard regime. But Eric Davis, the man behind Red Bastard, knows that even a bulbous bouffon can take a softer approach when it comes to love. In Red Bastard: Lie With Me, July 6-9 at CoHo Summerfest, Davis explores the lies we tell our lovers and the bastards who made us lie in the first place with wry humor and twisted tactics. We asked Davis about his own relationship with Red Bastard and pushing the boundaries of performance to create a theatre experience like no other.

COHO
The CoHo office staff is equally delighted by, enthusiastic about, and terrified of Red Bastard, which seems appropriate because you’ve called him a whore, an anarchist, and a fascist. The performances can be a pretty polarizing experience for the audience. Do you find that Eric Davis the performer and Red Bastard the character have contrasting goals when interacting with the audience? How do you and Red Bastard work together to figure out what each audience needs/wants during a performance?

ERIC DAVIS
Now that LIE WITH ME is coming together, I realize it’s a very different type of show than RED BASTARD (though it has the same character). It will have different tactics. It deals with love which must be more gentle.

Ultimately, Red Bastard is a part of me – not the whole – obviously, so he gives voice to my id, I believe. So I must be Super Ego.  Red Bastard would have endless appetite. I keep the reins on him, though. Somebody sane must be in charge. I was in a mask workshop where someone was performing in a mask, and was unable to take it off in the end. They’d given way to the mask and the instructor had a very difficult time bringing them back. It literally ended in convulsions and a wrestling match.  It made an impression on me. Someone has to be in charge and keep things grounded.

COHO
What famous person, living or dead, would Red Bastard most like to meet? And how would that interaction play out?

ERIC DAVIS
Jesus Christ. I think Red Bastard would give him a few warnings of what people were going to do in his name. Better write it all down yourself. Before they fuck it all up.

Red Bastard doesn’t mess around, and neither should you. Lie with Davis and Red Bastard before they return to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this August – if you dare.

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Mike Pence at the Intersection of Art and Activism http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/mike-pence-intersection-art-activism/ Tue, 27 Jun 2017 21:56:24 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6324 #CoHoSummerfest Week 3 Come to the Table, Mike Pence A Visual and Aural Feast by Shaking the Tree June 29 – July 2 Politicians. Pomegranates. Dinner is served. There are some things Mike Pence will never do. He definitely won’t[...]

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#CoHoSummerfest Week 3

ShakingTheTree_MikePence credit Sophie Van Der MerweCome to the Table, Mike Pence

A Visual and Aural Feast

by Shaking the Tree

June 29 – July 2

Politicians. Pomegranates. Dinner is served.

Come to the Table, Mike Pence

There are some things Mike Pence will never do. He definitely won’t have a meal alone with a woman who isn’t his wife, and he won’t support the public funding of or personally donate to Planned Parenthood.

Or…will he?

Shaking the Tree extends an enticing invitation to America’s Vice President to do both in Come to the Table, Mike Pence opening June 29 at CoHo Summerfest. Whether he accepts the invitation or not, their profits from the weekend’s performances will be donated to Planned Parenthood.  

pence_defundPence is notorious for his staunch anti-abortion stance and his opposition to the public funding of Planned Parenthood, prompting women across the country to donate to the women’s health organization in his name. Hundreds of women have also left detailed messages about their menstrual cycles for the VP in a movement known as “Periods for Pence.” Additionally, his personal no dinner with women policy has generated controversy because it implies that women should continue to be excluded from positions of power. He is reportedly conservative with his dessert choices as well, opting for a fruit plate after dinner instead of a decadent slice of chocolate cream pie. 

In Come to the Table, Mike Pence, three undeniably powerful women challenge Pence’s personal and political convictions with intelligence, guile, and a whole lot of sexy fruit. At the intersection of art and activism, the production dares to question a high ranking government official while offering financial support to one of his least favorite causes. A kind of progressive troll, if you will. Director Samantha Van Der Merwe chose the characters and the actors portraying them to simultaneously challenge and appeal to facets of Pence’s belief system. Eve (played by Anya Pearson), the first woman and the original temptress, appeals to Pence’s Evangelical Christian sensibility, but will he bite that apple? Salome (played by Rebecca Foster) has the dangerous ability to seduce, and the power to destroy those fighting against sin. Elizabeth I (played by Matthew Kerrigan) is one of the most formidable women in history, wielding governmental might and cultural influence in a masculine manner Pence can only dream of. How can he refuse a meal with her?

Tickets for Pence’s sumptuous, seductive feast are available now. And if you’re in the mood to tempt and tantalize the VP yourself, support Shaking the Tree by purchasing the phallic or yonic food item(s) of your choice here.

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Kelly Kinsella on anxiety, cake, and one person shows http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/kelly-kinsella-anxiety-cake-one-person-shows/ Thu, 15 Jun 2017 17:43:09 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6311 #CoHoSummerfest Week 2 How to Do a One Person Show by Kelly Kinsella June 22 – 25 NYC Comedian. Panic Attack. Beautiful Realization. The New York Times has called solo performer Kelly Kinsella “terrific and zany” and so she has[...]

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#CoHoSummerfest Week 2

Kelly FinalHow to Do a One Person Show

by Kelly Kinsella

June 22 – 25

NYC Comedian. Panic Attack. Beautiful Realization.

The New York Times has called solo performer Kelly Kinsella “terrific and zany” and so she has been invited to a theatre near you to do a one person show about anything she wants! In her “slinky and smart” way (BackstageNY), Kelly shares her panic about not actually having a show by creating one in front of us. It’s a Ted Talk gone wild. Through the journey of learning how to create a show she comes to the beautiful realization of why do a one person show. Oh just come, there will be cake.

How to Do a One Person Show

If the prospect of sitting through a one person show complete with labored character voices, a coat rack full of wacky costumes for quick changes, and a Carrot Top-style trunk of zany props gives you tingles of apprehension, you’re not alone. But fear not! The sparkling and hilarious Kelly Kinsella delivers a one-person show about the panic-inducing challenges of doing a one-person show without resorting to the usual gimmicks of the one-person show while creating a one-person show right in front of you in How to do a One Person Show. Also, there will be cake!

Kinsella is known for her one person shows, having now created four of them for herself in addition to leading workshops for artists interested in making their own. Few can match her skill as a solo performer who makes being human both relatable and highly comedic. CoHo asked Kelly about her upcoming performances as part of Summerfest, anxiety brain, funny women in elevators, and, of course, cake.

COHO
One person shows are rarely conceived and executed by just one person, and you’ve collaborated with Padraic Lillis often. How did your creative relationship begin? What is your collaborative process like?

KELLY KINSELLA (KK)
Pad directed me in a college production of The Caucasian Chalk Circle – I love working with Pad because he is so intelligent and patient and respectful of actors and the process. My shows are comedic so Pad is there to remind me of the poetry and vulnerability that a theatre piece desperately needs to make the comedy shine -like a diamond. We go to the dark side and then emerge with treasures- like Indiana Jones does with whoever his partner in crime is for that particular movie. On his own he gets into trouble, but with a partner he makes it out alive and ready for the next adventure! 

COHO
You were last onstage at CoHo in 2016’s Summerfest with When Thoughts Attack, your one person show about living with anxiety. Does your anxiety brain cooperate with you while you’re performing, or is it just a constant buzz of “oh my god I’m the only person on this stage and everyone is looking at me and what if I trip”?

KK
On good days I’m channeling. The anxiety gets me onto the stage and in a zone and then I run with it. On bad days, if I feel I haven’t grabbed my audience early in, I start to panic…well…at least question my abilities. And yes, that’s when the existential shit comes up and I start to psyche myself out. But that can happen to me while driving a car so…I don’t like to blame the stage for it.

COHO
One reviewer referred to you as “a young Amy Sedaris,” which is a pretty great compliment. If you had to describe yourself as “a young (fill in the blank)” who would you fill in that blank with and why?

I love Amy- it is a great compliment. I run into her in the elevator at my therapist’s office in NYC all the time and I want to say- “Hey, will you come to my show? I think you’d like it. People say we’re a lot alike.” But instead I smile and say “Hi Amy,” ….like a creeper. Now if I say to her “We’re a lot alike!” …I think she’d pull the emergency STOP and kick me in the pu—y.

Anyway, I would compare myself to -dare I say- the GREAT Cloris Leachman! She is a comic actress. She can pick up a script and immediately apply her unique interpretation. I look forward to the days when I will be back working with an ensemble on a script where I can put my stamp on it, you know, change it up a bit to suit the needs of my particular contribution to the story…without having to write the whole damn thing myself!

COHO
There’s cake in the show. People seem to like cake. Can you describe the best cake you’ve ever had?

KK
Wow! I LOVE cake!!!! But my favorite kind is traditional white on white wedding cake. I always have at least two slices. That’s because I’ve never been married and I want to make sure I get my fill.

If you’re in need of a little pre-cake before getting your fill of How to Do a One Person Show, we recommend this vanilla cupcake recipe from Kelly’s elevator buddy Amy Sedaris. And we recommend you reserve your tickets to see Kelly Kinsella now!

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Diana Lynn Small on Audiences, Story Development & Goat Videos http://www.cohoproductions.org/blog/mad-goats-diana-lynn-small-shares-thoughts-audiences-story-development-goat-videos/ Mon, 05 Jun 2017 18:20:19 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6303 #CoHoSummerfest Week 1 Mad & A Goat by Diana Lynn Small June 15 – 18 Student Loan Debt. Goat Farm Cult. Beer & Biscuits. MAD & A GOAT is a two-women show about one woman who, to free herself from[...]

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#CoHoSummerfest Week 1

Mad & A Goat

by Diana Lynn Small

June 15 – 18

Student Loan Debt. Goat Farm Cult. Beer & Biscuits.

MAD & A GOAT is a two-women show about one woman who, to free herself from college debt, joins a Wyoming goat farm she inherits from her occult-leader birth parents. There is seduction. There is beer. There are biscuits. And let’s not forget about the goats.

Mad & A Goat

From fresh local goat cheese at the farmer’s market to goat yoga in a barn, Oregonians love their goats. Back in the good old days (2011) Portland even hosted a charming herd of urban goats on SE 10th and Belmont in a 2-acre meadow that is now home to the oft maligned Goat Blocks apartment building. If you’re among the lovers of spirited, eat-anything, bleating, four-legged friends and don’t mind them mixed with a heavy dose of snark, seduction, cult-leader parents, student loan debt, and beer, Diana Lynn Small’s Mad & a Goat is right up your alley.

Small’s two-woman show, featuring actors Heather Johnson and Paige Tautz, kicks off a stellar CoHo Summerfest with four performances June 15-18. Small, Tautz, and Johnson have honed this bizarrely funny story into an intimate, intricate, synchronized world where biscuits are plentiful and relationships are questionable. Mad & a Goat debuts in Portland following acclaimed performances at the Fort Collins Fringe Festival (CO), Austin Frontera Fest (TX), Crossroads Denver Theater (CO), The Cohen New Works Festival at UT Austin (TX), Westmont College Santa Barbara (CA), and Brooklyn Yard (NYC).

We asked Small about the play’s development process, audience responses, and, most importantly, internet goat videos.

COHO: What is the strangest response you’ve gotten from an audience member about Mad & a Goat? What is the loveliest?

Diana Lynn Small (DLS): The audience response to Mad & a Goat consistently surprises me. The play’s tone is very slippery between high absurdity and deep sincerity, so audiences will laugh at moments of the play that can be very shocking to me. One audience member found himself weeping at the end of the play and sourced it to a line in the play that I find to be very meaningful to me, but is rarely recognized in the audience response. Finding an audience member who is moved in the same way as me at a point in the play reminds me of the significant and beautiful union between theater maker and watcher. One time a couple in the audience howled with laughter almost throughout the entire play and then after the show told me they used to own a goat farm in the south. Their relationship to the play took on this whole biographical significance for them.

COHO: You both wrote and directed Mad & a Goat – did you make any discoveries about your play as a director that you weren’t aware of as a writer? Or vice versa?

DLS: When I was first developing the play with Heather Johnson, I also acted in it. We performed that version of the play twice (in Fort Collins, CO and Austin, TX) and I recognized that I loved the show so much and wanted it to have a good, long life that I could not make that happen while wearing, really, four hats because I am also the producer (enter the fabulous Paige Tautz). But being inside the play helped significantly in the sharpening of the play’s narrative and clarity; it bonded Heather and I in a way that actors can where Heather felt completely comfortable interjecting during practicing a scene to ask questions about story holes and make suggestions as to how to punctuate moments. We felt like equals in the rehearsal room, both having a very clear passion for the project, but a kind of senselessness as to what the hell we were doing (we were literally rehearsing for a wall in Heather’s garage since the “director” was inside the play, too).

The opportunity in directing my own play is I could compose the physical and text languages of the play at the same time. I often make edits during a rehearsal and sometimes those edits will be cutting language to replace it with action and there was no one I had to double-check with about that. The play changes every time we perform it; that was a deal we made from the beginning. In this way, in directing and writing Mad & a Goat, it has become a piece that strengthens my writing and directing each time I return to it. I think this is also true for Heather & Paige as performers.

COHO: When you google “mad and a goat,” nine of the top ten results are about your play, and one of them is a youtube video entitled Angry Billy Goat Terrorizes Town.  Have you seen this video? Are there other goat-related videos you wish would show up with the “mad and a goat” google search?

DLS: I haven’t seen that video or I don’t remember! I didn’t do a lot of online research to write the play. I was lucky enough that my collaborator, Heather Johnson, was working on a small goat farm at the time I was writing the show. We would have Skype dates where she would share goat-farming best practices with me, as well as encounters with the goats that were particularly strange or significant to her. Then, when Paige Tautz & I toured the show to Heather’s hometown of Fort Collins, CO, we visited that goat farm, meeting the goat residents. But since touring the play, I get a lot of goat videos shared with me and it’s always a little startling because the goats in Mad & a Goat are more surreal in my imagination than real and it’s startling to be reminded of what and how a goat actually is.

If anyone needs a reminder of what and how a goat actually is, the CoHo staff recommends the following:

  

We also recommend getting your tickets for Mad & a Goat! Individual tickets and Summerfest passes are available now!

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Deception Unit http://www.cohoproductions.org/archives/deception-unit/ Tue, 30 May 2017 23:28:11 +0000 http://www.cohoproductions.org/?p=6290 #CoHoSummerfest Week 5 Deception Unit by Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble July 13 – 16, 2017 Unreliable Narrator. Suffocating Subtext. Lies, all lies.   Kitchen sink realism is slowly suffocated with a pillow of subtext, and the narrative goes into witness[...]

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#CoHoSummerfest Week 5
Credit Owen Carey
Credit Owen Carey

Deception Unit

by Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble

July 13 – 16, 2017

Unreliable Narrator. Suffocating Subtext. Lies, all lies.

 

Kitchen sink realism is slowly suffocated with a pillow of subtext, and the narrative goes into witness protection. A fake Polish punk band takes over as the protagonist, but whoever’s been translating their lyrics is deeply unreliable. A celebration of false narratives and radical fraudulence, Deception Unit revels in the ways we’ve been fooling ourselves all along.

“…unapologetically experimental, technically sophisticated, and engaged with questions about what role theater can play in contemporary culture.” – Portland Mercury

Deception Unit

Production Credits:

Created by Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble (PETE)

Directed by Jacob Coleman
Text by Robert Quillen Camp
Performer/Creators: Rebecca Lingafelter, Cristi Miles, Amber Whitehall and Jim Vadala

Sound design by Mark Valadez
Scenic/Video design by Peter Ksander
Lighting design by Miranda K Hardy
Costume design by Jenny Ampersand

Design Tech by Trevor Sargent
Stage Management by Kristina Mast
Asst. Stage Management by Rosie Lambert
Costume Assistance by Hannah Edelson

Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble

Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble is a company of theatre artists dedicated to creating new plays that reify the relationship between audience and artist. We develop original performances and produce innovative interpretations of classical text. We challenge established notions of theatrical form and content with innovative modes of practice, presentation, and organization to create work that is visceral, raw, and revealing.

PETE has been making performance since its inception in 2011, with work including the sea-shanty cabaret Drowned Horse Tavern (2015), All Well, a sound-play in darkness (2015), Juli Crockett’s [or, the whale] (2016), Procedures for Saying No, developed with Robert Quillen Camp (2016), Fornes’ Enter THE NIGHT, with director Alice Reagan (2015), the premiere of a new English translation of Chekhov’s The Three Sisters, with translator/director Stepan Simek (2014), R3, a new adaptation of Shakespeare’s Richard III (2013), and a performative lamentation, Song of the Dodo (2013). PETE’s work has been produced at Summerfest, Risk/Reward, On the Boards, Caldera, and PCS’s JAW Festival. Coming next: the world premiere of a new English translation of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya with translator/director Stepan Simek, to open in January 2018.

PETE is Jenny Ampersand, Robert Quillen Camp, Jacob Coleman, Miranda Hardy, Peter Ksander, Rebecca Lingafelter, Kristina Mast, Paige McKinney, Cristi Miles, Mark Valadez, and Amber Whitehall. More at www.petensemble.org

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