Fertile Ground 2015

Fertile Ground logo

PDX Playwrights proudly upholds our reputation as “the festival within the festival” with a dynamic array of exciting new plays in staged readings for Fertile Ground. Scroll down for a veritable feast of imagination. With 26 plays of various lengths by 18 area playwrights in 9 events, our lineup once again promises something for nearly everyone. Locavores with an appetite for creativity should consider a Festival Pass – and designating PDX Playwrights at the end of the pass purchase transaction lends support to our talented participants without any extra cost to you.

Plays are listed below in order of performance. Read these enticing play descriptions for a sense of the impressive variety of voices in our work. Two free noon teaser samplings of short plays or excerpts will appear Friday, Jan. 23 and Friday, Jan. 30 at the Portland Center Stage Mezzanine at the Armory, 128 NW Davis St. All other festival events by PDX Playwrights will appear at Hipbone Studio, 1847 E Burnside. Tickets for Hipbone performances are available at the door and in advance Box Office Tickets online or by phone: 800-494-8497 (TIXS). We look forward to seeing you!

Noon Friday, Jan. 23
A Teaser for Weekend I — by PDX Playwrights
Tickets: Free | Venue: Portland Center Stage Mezzanine

Whet your appetite for new work with this sampling of the new plays PDXP will debut the first weekend of the festival at Hipbone Studio.

7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 24
Daisy Dukes Shorts Night 
— by PDX Playwrights
Directed by Dave Chapman
Tickets: $10 | Online or 800-494-8497 (TIXS)

Good things come in small packages, especially these short shorts written on the theme Fertile Ground and chosen by PDX Playwrights from submissions. Alphabetical order by playwright: Brad Bolchunos — Cracking Rulers; Dave Chapman —Taking it All In; Gary Corbin —Papacino’s; Miriam Feder —Bird First; AJ Haslett — Grounds More Fertile; Remi Newhouse — Culinary Discourse; Nick O’Connor — Club 13; Matt Russell — Caressing the Earth; Sharon Sassone —Kama Sutra Wednesdays; and John Servilio — Scar and Buzzkill.

1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25
In Search of the Red Skull — by Katie Bennett
Tickets: $10 | Online or 800-494-8497 (TIXS)

When Lady Emmeline’s baby sister is snatched, the prime suspect is a band of women pirates led by the vicious beauty Red Hart. When Emmeline asks for help from the pirate known as Charmin’ Zan, a map he discovered in his youth leads them to a secret in his past and unexpected trouble. Don’t miss this piratical romantic adventure romp.

3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25
Unmediated — by Brad Bolchunos
Tickets: $10 | Online or 800-494-8497 (TIXS)

When reporter Hal Turnin investigates a cult-like group near a small town, his life tumbles out of control. He unveils mysteries about a piece of property, investigates hints of harm to public safety, and confronts unsettling powers of a strange woman tied to it all. His search sends him down a path fraught with questions about the nature of truth and fear of the unknown. The backlash threatens far more than he ever imagined.

6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25
Alan’s Confectionery — by Alan Alexander III
Tickets: $10 | Online or 800-494-8497 (TIXS)

“Some folks can snatch the sweetness out of the cake and never crack the crust.” Alan’s entrepreneurial spirit has navigated the family through the Great Depression and World War II. But at least one of his children is plagued with an unanswered question from the past: “What happened to Mama?” This is a musical mystery about Family.

8 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25
Greg and Lauren — by Sunbear Theatres
Bereavement — by AJ Franks
Tickets: $10 | Online or 800-494-8497 (TIXS)

Greg and Lauren are young at heart. They fall in love at first sight at the age of seventy, much to the disapproval of their adult children. A light-hearted comedy with strong language, strong opinions and strong determination. From the author of Cate Darringer, Hail! and Zombiella.

Bereavement is a dark comedy portraying the life and limitations of a man pushed past his breaking point. Les has been a doormat for those around him. His manipulative wife, condescending Mother, arrogant Son and sadistic boss have sucked him dry of any passion he once felt for life. Though he finds little solace in staying at home, he frequently misses work to avoid his boss and eventually uses every last vacations and sick day available to him. When painful secrets are revealed, judgments aired and resentments expressed, Les begins to feel there is no escape. Then he develops a plan that just may solve all his problems.

Noon Friday, Jan. 30
A Teaser for Weekend II — by PDX Playwrights
Tickets: Free | Venue: Portland Center Stage Mezzanine
New work continues to sprout in this sampling of the plays PDXP will premiere the second weekend of the festival. All of the shows are at Hipbone Studio.

7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30
The Conditions of Unconditional Love — by Sharon Sassone
Threshold — by Redmond Reams
Threshold directed by Gary Corbin. Additional show at 9 p.m.
Tickets: $10 | Online or 800-494-8497 (TIXS)
The Conditions of Unconditional Love: An adolescent girl makes an unannounced visit to her grandmother’s house for no reason at all–she claims. The grandmother may be old but she ain’t stupid and the unraveling of the reason may prove to be a major turning point in the girl’s life. Award winning actress ShaSha steps out of retirement to play the Grandma as well as being the playwright.

Exploring the world outside the safety of our families is one of the most exciting and scary activities we do. Threshold explores how it is for Mark, a five year-old boy previously abused as a baby in his birth home who found safety in a loving adoptive family at age 1. Mark is terrified of the outside world. His adoptive parents are in conflict on how best to support Mark. Now that he is in school, the school does not understand Mark’s special needs. Mark takes desperate steps to try and stay safe in his mind, but it places him in danger in ways he never imagined.

An additional showing of Threshold is scheduled at 9 p.m.

7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 31
Short and Sweet: Short Plays by P Town Playwrights
— by Susan Faust, Miriam Feder, Heather Thiel and Rich Rubin
Tickets: $10 | Online or 800-494-8497 (TIXS)
Susan Faust — Technocchio: When a teen refuses to communicate except by iphone, can puppet therapy turn him back into a real boy? What’s the World Coming To? One woman’s absurdly funny struggle to keep up in a world that always demands more.

Miriam Feder — Those Bastards: Maybe you can tell more about a person in a crisis than you can from a dating profile.
We’re Just Stuffed: Every young woman needs a confidant or two when it comes to love. But they don’t have to be human, do they?

Rich Rubin — Eggs Over Easy: A breakfast ritual between two old friends ranges from the ridiculous to the sublime.
Will’s Dramaturg: When a dramaturg makes a suggestion, what’s a playwright to do?

Heather Thiel — Future Past Tense: A mother and daughter compare methods –from beer to technology “for finding love.”
Cannonball Antiques: Is the past ever truly said and done? A quirky antique seller tries to make sense of her brother’s life. But will customers ever stop interrupting the seance?

Thank you for your interest in PDX Playwrights. We’ll see you at at the festival!