Shameless Promotion Edition

Excuse me while I plug Oregon Children’s Theatre, the performing arts company with which I am associated.

Tickets for the season opener, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” are flying out the door like winged crepes at the annual All You Can Eat Flying Hotcake Festival . OCT’s Artistic Director, Stan Foote, has loaded the show with fun gags and whiz-bang effects. The characters are familiar yet distinct from what you remember from the two famous movie adaptations. The set is a knock-out, as are the incredible costumes created by Sarah Gahagan (equal to her Drammy Award-winning costumes for last year’s “James and the Giant Peach”). Two 5:00 shows have been added on November 14th and 21st.

Read the Oregonian review, which called it a "sweet dream of a production." We also loved this review from NW Kids, including an interview with a six year old audience member.

Tonight is opening night for the thespians from OCT's Young Professionals program. A cast of ten talented teenagers will perform “Dis/Troy” in the company's black box studio at the Galleria. The play by Yokanaan Kearns is a contemporary adaptation of Homer’s Iliad that blends silly humor with lots of physical action. This production features some kick-ass fight scenes choreographed by John Armour, the aptly named fight director who has been responsible for much of the violence and mayhem you may have seen on Portland’s stages over the years. The production is directed by OCT’s own Marcella Crowson, who manages the Educational Theatre Program in partnership with Kaiser Permanente. Theater folks in town know and love her from her time as a stage manager for many productions at Portland Center Stage. Marci describes “Dis/Troy” as “not your eighth-grade teacher’s version of the Iliad.”

The show plays this weekend and next, with 7:00 p.m. performances on Friday and Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00. Location: Galleria, 600 SW 10th Avenue, Third Floor. $5-10 Admission. Box Office: 503-228-9571. “Dis/Troy” will also be performed in the rotunda of Hatfield Hall (1111 SW Broadway) as part of the PCPA’s “Brown Bag Lunch Series.” That show will be free.

On Monday, November 9th (7:00-8:30) Marketplace Money and Oregon Public Broadcasting will be taping an episode titled, “Financial Futures: Talking money with your tykes, tweens and teens,” in the Winningstad Theatre. What does that have to do with OCT? As part of the reporting on kids and money, the show’s host, Tess Vigeland, will talk to the young actors from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and from OCT's youth improv troupe, Impulse. Folks from Live Wire! Radio will be on deck as well. More information, including how to get tickets can be found here.

Speaking of money: OCT just learned that it will receive a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of its commission and production of a stage adaptation of "Small Steps." Novelist Louis Sachar has been working with Stan Foote to adapt his sequel to "Holes" for the stage. The play will feature original music by Karl Mansfield. I'll tell you more about it later. The money from the NEA is very helpful for the project, but so is the validation that the company is playing in the big leagues.

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