Thursday, May 29, 2008


JAW: A Playwrights Festival turns 10! And to celebrate we are pulling out all the stops. For two crazy weeks in July, from July 8-20, JAW: A Playwrights Festival takes over the Armory – and its environs. We will begin on the 8th with readings of hot-off-the press new scripts by Oregon’s own:

Cloud Bangers

by Matthew B. Zrebski

July 8

All the clouds are cumulonimbus in this heady mix of meteorology, migraines and steamy romance. Only an air-clearing storm will reveal who’s zoomin’ whom.

Starvation Heights

by Ginny Foster

July 9

On a lake near Seattle a century ago, lady doctor Linda Hazzard opens a sanitarium with some “advanced” ideas about treatment. When her clients start leaving her care feet first, a mysterious figure known only as Nanny arrives, determined to save two particular patients.

Willow Jade

by Hunt Holman

July 10

Nowheresville, Washington state. Four aging chums attempt to stave off incipient middle age by reviving their high school rock band. That is, if they can keep from killing each other during a disastrous game of D&D – in costume.

And of course there’s more. Our You Are There (site-specific) presentations will spill into the streets. The popular Theater Fair will take on a fresh twist. Promising Playwrights will offer new works created by local high school students especially for the Festival. Three new Community Artists Labs allow you some one on one time with featured guest artists to pick their brains and practice your craft. And our anniversary kick-off event will draw on playwrights from the full span of JAW’s ten fabulous years to create a Commission!Commission! event open to all for the first time. So stop by on July 11 to see familiar faces and help us kick off the public weekend.


We are proud to announce we’ve expanded the Festival’s centerpiece readings on the main stage of the Gerding Theater this year another workshop -- a one woman musical by Portland’s very own Storm Large. JAW received a record number of submissions this year, and although this was not our intention, the festival will have all female playwrights. As a young female artist working in the theater community it is inspiring to see so many accomplished women.

Paradise Street
by Constance Congdon
Jane arrives at her new university post ready to set academic feminism on its head. But when her mind goes wandering, everyone has to improvise, which brings her doddering mother out of semi-senility and inspires an uneducated drifter to impersonate Jane on the lecture circuit. Along the way they all discover that contrary to popular belief, parallel lines do sometimes meet.

by Carson Kreizer

Meet Temple Grandin, engineer and high-functioning autistic, and Bruno Bettelheim, whose book The Uses of Enchantment is notorious for its penetrating analyses of fairy tales. They lived and live on, but this is no mere documentary; as their lives interweave to create a startling, disturbing and effecting dramatic narrative, you may never think of life and its consequences quite the same way again.

Crazy Enough

by Storm Large

Drawn from Storm’s life and music, this musical one-woman show is bracingly frank and revealing in a way that only our take-no-prisoners chanteuse can deliver. Her story promises to be as rock and roll as the diva herself.

by Sally Oswald
You’ve seen these people on the streets and wondered who they were. Now meet them face to face, before they shape-shift. Gender lines merge, twist and double back in this tale of six souls in search of identify that starts where Woyzeck left off.

A Brief Narrative of an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits
by Colin Denby Swanson
Coming up with names is a problem for Mare when she starts giving birth to an endless stream of bunnies. But that’s only the start of her problems, as a whole family of guilty consciences comes to the fore. Who can she turn to? Enter The Stork: raconteur, impresario and OB-GYN, all rolled into one.

JAW is truly my favorite time of year and the 2008 outing is really a must-see, as the art and creation will be exploding out the building. I hope to see you all there!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My New Love

I have been obsessing...and I mean REALLY obsessing about getting a dog for a couple months now. I decided I wanted to adopt a dog instead of buying a puppy because I felt that there were enough dogs that needed a good home. My day would begin and end with me searching the internet for the perfect companion. I would start by checking the Oregon Humane Society, Craigslist, Multnomah Animal Control, the Oregonian and The Willamette Week classified ads.

One day I was so stressed out that I took the bus to the humane society and fell in love with this Brittany Spaniel/mix at the Humane society. She was a year and a half and house broken. She was brought in because the family had a baby and the dog was not getting along. What appealed to me the most about her is that she looked like a big dog but was only 30lbs. I lost her. I didn't have an apartment or anywhere to keep her.

I love big dogs and have no interest in small dogs. I was raised with two labs, Maggie (a yellow lab) and her son Pierre (a black lab). We got Maggie as an incentive to move to Oregon.

My parents promised that we could get a dog when we moved from L.A. to Portland, Oregon (where it snowed...something else we were very excited about. ) We picked up Maggie from a breeder in Bend and she traveled the whole way home asleep on my lap. She was my sister. A few years later we decided to breed her and she produced a litter of 5, one of which was Pierre, who we kept.

Her son Pierre was beautiful and perfect from the beginning. He was the blocky headed black lab who was my brother's since Maggie was mine, but in reality both dogs were really my father's. Last year, Maggie was put down and Pierre passed away right behind her. It broke my heart because he was so sudden. All of this colored my decision not to get a lab; it would be too hard.

Next I decided Cavalier King Charles were the dog for me because they had the personality of a retriever but were small dogs, breed to be lap dogs. I had to get over my snobbery of small dogs because apartments and my lifestyle required them to be no bigger than 30lbs. I loved that they were not hard-wired to hunt or heard or anything like that. These dogs are expensive and have a long list of health problems. All breeds are prone to certain health problems, but this one takes the cake. So then I decided, I would just leave it up to fate. I wouldn't focus on a certain breed or hybrid I would just wait for a dog to say, I'm yours.

Well, it happened. And it happened a little sooner than I expected. I was looking at craigslist and I saw this ad for a cocker spaniel. I hadn't thought much about cocker spaniels and everything anyone had told me was bad, so I was hesitant. But I took one look at this picture and new I had to get this dog. So I contacted the family to ask them why they would give away such a beautiful dog. The mother said that she didn't realize how much her husband didn't like dogs and was sad that the dog had to spend it's life outside. They didn't feel that it was fair and that he would be much better suited to be an indoor dog. Perfect. I would love an indoor dog and he has already been socialized by a family. Things were looking up.

But then things were looking down...because I didn't have an apartment and he was too young to bring to work right away. So I dropped the idea. But I kept dreaming about him and about our life together. These dreams were so vivid that I thought he was actually mine. A day later at work, a friend convinced me to go out to see the dog. Then another co-work joined the conversation and told me I had to at least meet him. I had to know what he was really like. Well we all know how this story ends. I fall in love. He loves me, I love's happily ever after.

But not quite...cause I still didn't have an apartment and my parents weren't being supportive. I stuck with it and finally found a solution: We would live with my parents at their house (they totally came around) and then move into my apartment June 1st. Victory! I picked him up on Tuesday.

I was nervous and scared to be a dog mommy, but we bonded so well and he is such a little gentleman. He continues to surprise me with how lovely he is. He is just happy to be with me. And he's pretty smart too! He is going to be such a mamma's boy...It surprises me how much I love this dog and that makes me pretty happy.

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Portland Center Stage’s


invites you to a concert reading of


a new play by Karl Gajdusek


May 17, 2008

Noon to approximately 2 pm

@ Portland Center Stage

128 NW Eleventh Avenue (between Couch & Davis)

in the Rehearsal Room

Admission is free, but space is limited

Please email Megan Ward at

to reserve your seat


Mary lives amid the boxes her abused mother left behind. Her husband David tries desperately hard to stay young and hip. Meanwhile, best-bud Richard is on the road not taken and Sylvia’s along for the ride. But when Mary is the victim of an unprovoked act of violence, it leads them each down different paths of addiction and realization. Four people trying to recognize the people they have become in a time that’s totally F.U.B.A.R.

Karl Gajdusek was born in San Francisco and now lives in San Diego with his wife and son. He writes plays, screenplays and television. He has taught Playwriting at San Francisco’s School of the Arts, UCSD, ISOMATA and The Playwrights’ Center. He has a BA in Literature from Yale University and an MFA in Playwriting from the University of California at San Diego. Karl’s other plays include Fair Game, Silverlake, Minneapolis, Dr.S F.S in the Terminal Ward, Big Sun Setting Fast, The Gilded Garden of Patcheww, Malibu, and Waco, Texas, Mon Amour. Screenplays include Higher, 9 Days Wonder, Widow’s Walk, Reunion, Woderman, The Next Best Thing (not the one with Madonna), and the independent film 58, which he wrote and directed. Story Editor for the Showtime show Dead Like Me. He founded the script publication service Big Sun Publication. He is the recipient of the 1991 Jacob K. Javits fellowship, 1996-97 & 1998-99 Jerome Fellowships, the 1997 McKnight Screenwriting Fellowship, and the 2000 MAG fellowship. When not writing for the theater, Karl spends his time surfing So Cal breaks, writing movies for pro wrestlers, and lovingly changing diapers.

Our outstanding cast includes:

Brittany Burch, Mario Calcagno, Paul Glazier,

Natalie Knapp and Tom Walton.

Stage Directions by Teddy Roisum