Tuesday, July 1, 2008

JAW: If you have to ask you'll never know...

If you are not sure what JAW is please read below and/or click here. For those in the know, I think you might all agree that it is truly the most wonderful time of year. Better than Christmas! And I would hate for the rest of you to miss out on all the uber-fabulous things because you just didn't know...wake up Portland. Come! Be renewed, inspired and bask in the powerful creative rays of JAW!

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:

The 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
In this adaptation of the true-crime novel by New York Times best-selling author Gregg Olsen, lady doctor Linda Hazzard opens a sanitarium with some unorthodox treatments. When her clients start leaving her care feet first, a mysterious figure known as Nanny appears, determined to save two patients in particular.

Willow Jade
by Hunt Holman
July 10
Nowheresville, Washington state. Meet four aging chums with a good idea: stave off middle age by reviving their high school rock band. Bad idea: coming to terms with their past 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.

Crazy Enough
by Storm Large
July 19 & 20, 2:00 pm in the Ellyn Bye Studio; seats for this events are very limited.

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.

A Brief Narrative of an Extraordinary Birth of Rabbits
by Colin Denby Swanson
July 19, 4:oo pm on the Main Stage
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.
Promising Playwright Curtain Raiser by Phillip A. Schallberger

Paradise Street
by Constance Congdon
July 19, 8:00 pm on the Main Stage

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.
Promising Playwright Curtain Raiser by Jordan Beck

by Sally Oswald
July 20, 4:00 pm on the Main Stage

On the other side of the woods from Woyzeck, Pony lives in a queer microcosm. Marie conjures a killer, Stell wants Heath’s transgendered body, and Cav is forever on the border looking in. Sexual boundaries merge, twist and double back in this tale of five souls in search of identity.
Promising Playwright Curtain Raiser by Blue S. Dieter

by Carson Kreitzer
July 20, 8:00 pm on the Mainstage

Meet Temple Grandin, engineer and high-functioning autistic, working to make the slaughter of cattle more humane; and Bruno Bettelheim, ruining lives with his theory that the “cold mother” is the cause of autism. They lived and live on, but this is no mere documentary; as their lives interweave to create a disturbing and effecting dramatic narrative, you may never think of life and its consequences the same way again.
Promising Playwright Curtain Raiser by Daniel Felder

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* Promising Playwrights are four exceptionally talented young writers, drawn from our Visions & Voices programs at Cleveland, Lincoln, Wilson and Alliance High School’s FOCUS program. These writers spend all 10 days of the festival working alongside professional actors, directors and dramaturgs, who show them the inside workings of the theater.

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!