Current Season 2018

Held at The Old Church Concert Hall
1422 SW 11th Avenue
Portland, OR 97201

Tuesday October 16th
7pm to 9pm FREE

D’marginalizing the Margins: A Spotlight on Equity in Theatre

Theatre was meant to tell the truth about life and the social situation (Stella Adler). What if theatre is not telling the truth about life? What if theatre is not relevant to the social situation? Artists who live and work in the margins of mainstream theatre will talk about the obstacles that they experience and their perseverance in making socially conscious art. Join us for an inspiring and transformative conversation as we spotlight equity as the cornerstone of art and of humanity.

Guest Moderator & Host

Jane Vogel is an actor, an activist, and recently retired clinical psychologist. Jane founded Advance Gender Equity in the Arts  (AGE), a social justice movement that empowers women in the arts. Founded in 2014, AGE has awarded $100,000 to Portland professional theatres that produce art through an intersectional equity lens. This means that leadership roles in theatre, such as playwriting, directing, acting and designing, include women, older women, women of color, trans and nonbinary persons, and women with disabilities. Jane was born in Indonesia, lived in the Netherlands, and became a naturalized US citizen in 1967. Her world view and passion for equity are informed by her life experience as a refugee/immigrant and a trauma psychologist.

Guest Speakers & Panelists

Dmae Roberts is a two-time Peabody winning public radio producer/writer and the executive producer of MediaRites, a nonprofit dedicated to multicultural productions. Her Peabody award-winning documentary Mei Mei, a Daughter’s Song is a harrowing account of her mother’s childhood in Taiwan during WWII. Dmae received the Dr. Suzanne Ahn Civil Rights and Social Justice award from the Asian American Journalists Association and was selected as a one of the first United States Artists (USA) Fellows. Her book The Letting Go Trilogies: Stories of a Mixed-Race Family was released in 2016. Dmae has performed in more than 30 stage plays on Portland stages and has won two Drammys. Dmae is the co-founder of MediaRites’ project, Theatre Diaspora, Oregon’s first and only Asian American theatre company.

Yasmin Ruvalcaba is the Community Engagement Coordinator of Advance Gender Equity in the Arts  (AGE). She earned a BA from Williams College where she directed and acted in plays for the student-run theatre, Cap&Bells.  Yasmin realized the lack of diversity and representation within the Williams’ theatre department and chose to direct plays such as El Nogalar by Tanya Saracho, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson, and Los Vendidos by Luis Valdez.  Yasmin recently joined the Bag & Baggage Productions team as the Problem Play Project Manager and has directed play readings for Milagro Theatre. 

Rusty Tennant is the Artistic Director of Fuse Theatre Ensemble. They have an MFA in Directing and Performance from the University of New Orleans. Rusty serves as the Technical Director at Reed College and is a regular adjunct faculty and guest artist at multiple local colleges and universities. They are also the Producing Artistic Director of The OUTwright Theatre Festival, a celebration of the LGBTQI+ contribution to theatre that is held annually in Portland, OR.

Damaris Webb is a theater maker as social justice advocate. She has created new works for the stage with diverse communities around the US and internationally; her work lives in the intersection of contemplative dance, improvisational performance art, and contemporary theater. It is often seen in non-traditional performance venues such as late night parties, warehouses and church basements, it is sometimes epic and may involve zombies or superheroes or sock puppets.  Ms Webb holds her MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University, and her BFA from The Experimental Theater Wing of New York University. Recent Portland directing/producing credits include The Box Marked Black: Tales of a Halfrican-American Growing up Mulatto. With sock puppets!, American King Umps: A Midsummer Night’s Melodrama on the Tragedy of Slavery, Cottonwood in the Flood, Left Hook and The August Wilson Red Door Project’s Cop Out. She is the co-director of The Vanport Mosaic.

7pm program, 6:30pm doors

Screenings of socially conscious art, a talk by the artist Anya Pearson, and a panel discussion which ask the question: HOW DO WE HEAL FROM TRAUMA?

Anya Pearson is an award-winning actress, playwright, poet, producer and activist living and working in Portland.

Anya is the author of the choreopoem, Made to Dance in Burning Buildings, which is a fusion of poetry, theatre, and violent and visceral contemporary dance which explores PTSD and trauma. The showcase production of Made to Dance in Burning Buildings recently played to a sold-out house at Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater in New York City. NY Theatre Critic, Anthony J. Piccione, called it a “standout.” The World Premiere of Made to Dance in Burning Buildings will take place at Shaking the Tree Theatre in Portland in February 2019. She is also producing a documentary, which follows the development of the play as well as her passionate quest to empower other survivors. The documentary will also feature the stories of other survivors.

7pm program, 6:30pm doors

Programmed by the Native Arts & Cultures Foundation, seven Native American artists share their perspectives through their art. The first half of the program will focus on the individual artists through film, art, performance and stories.

Topics in the panel discussion include an exploration on how the artists’ work address issues around visibility, identity, essentialism and stereotype. The discussion will also focus on how the artists’ work addresses justice issues that affect Native communities locally.

Cassandra Frost, Actress, Member of The Cheyenne River Sioux of South Dakota
Anthony Hudson, Multidisciplinary/Performer, Grand Ronde
LaRonn Katchia, Filmmaker, Tribal member Warm Springs Indian Reservation
Jacqueline Keeler, Writer, Navajo/Yankton Dakota Sioux
Brenda Mallory, Visual/Textile, Member of the Cherokee Nation
Isacc Trimble, Film producer, Flute maker, Apache/Yaqui
Shirod Younker, Traditional/Multidisciplina y, Coquille & Coos 

7pm, Doors 6:30pm
Empowerment through the Arts – Dance, theater, fashion, storytelling, song and self-care on the path to healing and self actualization. We honor the journey, and explore the complex roles Black Women play within their immediate communities and the world at large.