Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland Emerges as Theatre Hub

by Jacob Coakley


The 80,000-square-foot Artists Repertory  Theatre building
The 80,000-square-foot Artists Repertory  Theatre building

Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, Ore., wanted to turn itself into a hub for emerging and long-established arts organizations and artists and in the past two years has taken significant strides to making that a reality. Artist Rep’s 80,000 square-foot building, which houses two performance spaces and plenty of room for art installations, also houses Portland Shakespeare Project (performances and admin offices), Profile Theatre (ditto), the Traveling Lantern Theatre Company (performing) as well as administrative offices for Polaris Dance Theatre, Portland Area Theatre Alliance, Portland Revels, The Red Door Project, and seven resident artists.

Artists Repertory Theatre
Now home to a hotbed of arts organizations
Within Red Walls -- Under ONE Roof

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – July 23, 2013. Creative fires are burning brightly at the busy Artists Repertory Theatre facility. The big red building at the corner of SW 15th and Morrison has become a bustling arts campus, housing a diverse group of EIGHT complementary arts organizations that now make their home within Artists Rep’s red walls.

Over the past two years the goal of turning Artist Rep’s building into an important hub for both emerging and long-established arts organizations and artists has come to fruition. Relationships and activities that began informally, from long-term administrative residencies to rotating art installations featured in the Morrison Stage Lobby, to hosting a wide variety of performances by guest producing entities in its two spaces, has resulted in nearly non-stop activity and opportunity for artists and audiences alike.  The development of the facility as a shared home for the arts has been embraced as a core value by the organization's board of directors and staff.

“It’s thrilling to see this facility become a true community resource for the arts,” said Sarah Horton, Managing Director, “and I know we’ll all be stronger organizations for it.”

Recently appointed Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez continues, “These residencies yield not only practical benefits and creative opportunities for our resident companies, but for Artists Rep.  The leadership of each of these carefully chosen organizations values an emphasis on partnership, synergy and collaboration.  Over time, I expect we’ll discover countless ways for our organizations to share resources and further our individual missions.”

Recent arrivals to the building are Profile Theatre, Polaris Dance Theatre, The Red Door Project and Traveling Lantern Theatre Company. We are continuing our relationship with Portland Shakespeare Project, Portland Revels and Portland Area Theatre Alliance.

Performing at Artists Rep:

Portland Shakespeare Project celebrates its third summer season performing two plays in repertory at Artists Rep.

Profile Theatre has newly relocated administrative offices in the building and will begin its 16th season profiling the work of Sam Shepard on Artist Rep’s stages in January.

Traveling Lantern Theatre Company will begin weekly Saturday morning performances of interactive theatre for children in the Alder Lobby on August 17.

Administrative offices at Artists Rep:

Polaris Dance Theatre has recently moved its offices to Artists Rep, but will continue to perform right up the street at Polaris Contemporary Dance Center at SW 15th & Taylor.

Portland Area Theatre Alliance continues to serve the theatre community out of its office at Artists Rep.

Portland Revels, longtime tenant on the East side of the building, will remain and continue to produce at the Scottish Rite building across the street.

The Red Door Project is a recent office space addition to the facility’s growing community.

Artists Rep’s 80,000 square foot building takes up a city block nestled between downtown and Jeld-Wen field in the emerging Goose Hollow district.

Artists Repertory Theatre

Founded in 1982, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theatre company in Portland.  Artists Rep is committed to world-class acting, directing, design and stagecraft that support new playwriting and aspires to embody great literature, moving audiences to truly feel— to experience —storytelling in a way that only the best live theatre can.

Portland’s premiere mid-size regional theatre company is led by Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez and Managing Director Sarah Horton. For the 2013/14 season Artists Rep will offer nine bold and entertaining new plays written by internationally acclaimed playwrights, and guided by esteemed directors. Artists Rep productions will feature the work of a core group of accomplished Resident Artists, each with a shared history and a shorthand for collaboration, working alongside guest artists from Portland and beyond.

Resident Artists include: Kristeen Crosser (scenic & lighting designer), Michael Mendelson (actor/director & artistic associate), Vana O’Brien (actor & co-founder), Rodolfo Ortega (sound designer & composer), Allen Nause (actor/director & former artistic director), Jeff Seats (scenic designer) and Todd Van Voris (actor & artistic associate).

Our Mission: Artists Rep strives to challenge artists and audiences with plays of depth and vibrancy in an intimate setting.  Artists Rep explores the strengths, frailties and diversity of the human condition primarily through regional premieres, commissioned works and selected classics appropriate to contemporary issues.