June 23 2010
After bicycling to Oregon Humanities to lead a weekly staff yoga session, our fearless yoga leader Maggie admitted that she was wearing borrowed pants. Not from her sister or her... More
June 09 2010
There’s an old joke: Did you know that in China they call Chinese food “food?” We could revise this joke to consider our current love affair with “local food.” It would go... More
June 01 2010
Last month, Sweden-based wikileaks.org published a classified US Army helicopter gun-camera video on youtube, and my inbox immediately filled with friends and acquaintances and... More
May 24 2010
When my family moved back to Haiti, I was fourteen, the reluctant daughter of a missionary. When I was six, Haiti had felt like paradise: mangoes fell ripe from trees, kamion... More
April 26 2010
There are some days that roll out like a promise. Other days you turn the corner to unexpected joys. And still others where the people you meet along the way surprise you into... More
April 15 2010
I’m reading Bill Bishop’s The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like-Minded America is Tearing Us Apart. I’d been meaning to pick this book up for about a year now and, as soon... More
April 08 2010
I recently completed the Humanity in Perspective (HIP) course and am proud of the accomplishment. It isn’t merely that I completed the course, received the certificate or the... More
April 01 2010
I was halfway through my shift on a quiet night at the bar. To be fair, they were all quiet nights at that bar. I might as well have been tending in a dry county. You’d think a... More
March 25 2010
I’m sure most of you have heard of Annie Leonard—creator and host of the insanely popular short animated film The Story of Stuff (now at more than 10 million views worldwide).... More
March 18 2010
We live in a noisy and intrusive society. Cell phones and electronic devices summon us non-stop. They are addictive. They must be obeyed. But no electronic device I know of can... More
Observations from our staff and colleagues.
Theater as an Act of Communion
The act of gathering together to worship is nothing new. Sometimes that worship takes the form of praising a higher power. Sometimes it takes the form of humans role-playing the lives of other humans. Portland Playhouse in northeast Portland is melding the ideas of worship, community, and shared humanity into an energizing and intimate experience.
Housed in a former church, the Portland Playhouse just wrapped up a forty-show run of August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. They originally scheduled twenty performances, which sold out so fast they doubled the run. The theater held talk back sessions (supported in part by a Public Programs Grant from Oregon Humanities), during which the audience discussed the play with the actors, achieving powerful results.
Other plays this season addressed Abu Ghraib (Dying City) and how American society deals with the severely disabled (Telethon). Portland Playhouse also works with local alumni of Portland Center Stage’s JAW: A Playwrights Festival. This is community theater in its best sense. What plays have you seen this season that you’ve loved?
03 June 2011 | Community Grants
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