Students at Portland State are afforded some pretty cool opportunities – like having fanatics compete for your religious preference in the Park Blocks and seeing single digits in your checking account. Tuition bites back, baby! Luckily, being a student affords a few good things too. Theater and performance art are just a few of the fun opportunities just waiting to be grasped.
Each term, with the exception of summer, the theater arts department produces one major show performed on the main stage. This fall, that show is The Two Gentlemen of Verona, directed by Karin Magaldi. Typical of Shakespeare’s comedies, this play is a farcical love story, with tangled twists and turns that barb the way for two besotted young men, Valentine and Proteus, and their romantic counterparts, Sylvia and Julia. With laughs ranging from witty to bawdy (and some that are a little of each), The Two Gentlemen of Verona is sure to be a night of rollicking entertainment for anyone who likes humor. There will be a low-cost preview on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., followed by opening night on Nov. 11 and running for two weekends.
Winter term will be a little less comical with Hedda Gabler, directed by Glenn Gauer. Written by Henrik Ibsen, a playwright often referred to as the “father of modern drama,” Hedda Gabler is a classic that any theater-lover should see. Even though it was written over a hundred years ago, the play vigorously investigates relevant issues of power, gender roles and the price of freedom. This performance will open on Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. and run for two weeks.
Spring will offer a contemporary play written by Caryl Churchill, ostensibly about the 17th-century English witch-hunts. Directed by Devon Allen, Vinegar Tom‘s contemporary take on the era draws sharp parallels to issues in our modern world. Destined to be a very powerful production, Vinegar Tom opens May 24.
For more information on all of the Lincoln Hall main stage productions, check out www.theaterarts.pdx.edu. The Thursday before opening night is generally an inexpensive preview, and reliable ushers are always appreciated and given free admittance for their time.
The Studio Theater in Lincoln Hall may be tiny, but the shows performed there still pack a punch. Currently on the stage for just two more performances is Stop Kiss, directed by Drew Robinson.
One of the next events in this black-box-esque space is the first of three installments of the Dramatic Writing Project presentations on Nov. 3 and 4. Following immediately thereafter (Nov. 13 and 14, specifically) is a production of The Rope, written by Albert Camus and translated from French by Niko Izambard, one of Portland State’s own. Several more productions are in the works for winter and spring terms, with a production of Cabaret planned for next summer.
One item that’s quickly approaching is the kick-off of the PSU White Bird dance series. In collaboration with Reed College, the work of four international women choreographers will be showcased throughout the school year. The first show, performed Oct. 12-14, is the work of Mexican choreographer Tania Perez-Salas. Since the brochure proudly announces “ADULT CONTENT. CONTAINS NUDITY,” each performance is sure to be entertaining. Next in the dance series is Compagnie Tche Tche from the Ivory Coast, followed by Gina Gibney Dance in January, and it finishes up in March with Conny Janzzen Danst from the Netherlands.
So, in the midst of scurrying from class to work, catching catnaps during lecture, and hoping it doesn’t rain on the days you forget your umbrella, take some time out to enjoy a few of the benefits of life as a student.