PuSh Blog

PuSh Does Portland

October 08, 2009

Associate Producer Dani Fecko shares her adventures in Portland at the TBA Festival

Norman Armour and I drove down to Portland one uncharacteristically hot September afternoon. (It got up to 36 degrees on the Freeway). After an early morning start, a quick trip through the border and a Donair stop at Pike Place Market in Seattle, we arrived at our hotel in Portland at 5pm. After a 45minute e-mail and shower break, we were back in the car and off to our first show. The first performance we saw was called The Crumb Trail , produced by Pan Pan Theatre out of Dublin. It was a multimedia, modern age take on Hansel and Gretal that involved the use of five old school overhead projectors, a lighting console and sound board that the cast operated, a long metal bar that they all hung off of, and youtube videos being selected and projected from the stage. We then grabbed a quick bite to eat at the Theatre lounge and 40 minutes later saw Erik Friedlander, a cello playing storyteller or a story telling cellist, who, with the use of slides and moving images, musically accompanied his stories of family road trips as a child.
We spent that evening catching up with a good friend, Lane Czaplinski, the Artistic Director of On The Boards in Seattle. The next morning we woke up and headed into town to see Back to Back Theatre’s Small Metal Objects, which was part of the 2008 PuSh Festival. After a two hour lunch and catch up with Alice Nash, the company’s Executive Director, we met with Lane again to discuss pieces of theatre both he and Norman had seen and were interested in. We continued on to see Raimund Houghe’s Bolero and then on to The Works. The TBA festival had use of a beautiful old high school, which they turned into an amazing performance/gallery/meeting place. Many of the classrooms had contemporary art displays, installations or short films on a loop. The auditorium was a perfect fit for the bands or late night performance acts and the outdoor courtyard became a very busy, very hip festival bar. I saw a two great bands called Bugskull and Quasi as the chatting continued. For Norman, it was catching up with old friends and for me, it was making new ones. Early the next morning we hopped in the car and drove back up to Vancouver in time for me to see three shows at the Fringe Festival!
I must say that I learn more and more everyday here at PuSh, and TBA was a great initiation into the world of Festivals and networking. Having trusted and creative friends around the world is one of the most important parts of producing a festival. And having an amazing mentor is one of the most important parts of learning a job.
– Posted by Dani Fecko: Associate Producer of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival