• Boom Arts imagines new social and political possibilities through live performance


    About Us:

    Boom Arts, based in Portland, Oregon, is a boutique presenter and producer of contemporary theatre and performance from around the world. Founded in 2012, Boom Arts has reached nearly 10,000 Portlanders with innovative presentations of vital and timely plays and multidisciplinary performances from countries like Japan, Egypt, Chile, Russia, Uganda, and the US. We’ve produced performances in theatres, galleries, public parks, living rooms, and other sites around the city. We’ve deepened the impact of our work through partnerships with local and regional arts and community organizations, colleges, and universities. Through performances and accompanying workshops, lectures, post-show discussions, community gatherings, and other events, Boom Arts is building cross-cultural bridges, sparking community conversations about important issues, connecting Portland performing artists with their national and international counterparts, and contributing to our city’s culture of compassion, curiosity, and creativity.


    "...an heir [to] a century-old tradition in theater that attempts to make us think, repair our insularity, make us experience a reality that we are not always exposed to and serve as a call for activism."

    -- Oregon ArtsWatch


    "There’s only one arts organization in town producing this sort of multi-faceted, immersive, and intellectually captivating theater: Boom Arts.... it’s a small-scale, flexible model that lets this imaginative curator do essentially whatever she wants, on her own terms."

    -- Portland Monthly

  • OUR 2019-2020 SEASON

    Click HERE for the latest news about leadership transitions and more at Boom Arts

    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A multi-generational choir of diverse ethnicities singing together on stage.


    Nassim Soleimanpour (Iran)

    April 4th (Barbie Wu) , 11th (Ayanna Berkshire), and 18th (Bobby Bermea) at 7:00pm

    Shouthouse 210 SE Madison St. #11

    Boom Arts is proud to present BLANK the new theatrical experiment by acclaimed Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour. As inventive as it is engaging, BLANK reverses the typical theater experience. A different performer takes the stage each night, and is handed a script for the very first time, but the script is not complete. The audience must help to fill in the blanks as they come together in an intimate experience that celebrates the collective imagination of community.


    For three consecutive Saturdays, stalwarts of the Portland theatre scene will take the stage: Barbie Wu (April 4), Ayanna Berkshire (April 11th), and Bobby Bermea (April 18th). Each night they will embark on a vastly different journey with the audience, as they determine the fate of the play’s characters together. For those wary of audience participation, passive viewing is also fine.


    A follow up to his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, which has been performed over 1,000 times in 20 languages including a 2018 run at Artists Rep in Portland. Nassim Soleimanpour is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran. His work has been awarded the Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe) as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award.



    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A multi-generational choir of diverse ethnicities singing together on stage.


    June 25-28

    Venue: Gateway Discovery Park and other outdoor sites around Portland

    This summer we are bringing the performances to you with a a three-day outdoor festival featuring international, national and local outdoor theatre, site-specific performance, and circus. Presented in partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation.


    Featured Performances include:


    The Wait Room: by Flyaway Productions (San Francisco) A site-specific aerial dance honoring woman with incarcerated loved ones. photo by Austin Forbord


    Les Soeurs Kif-Kif (Quebec City) Family friendly clown and street theatre/circus duo from Quebec City, Canada.

    Full Festival Line-up will be announced this spring! 


    This presentation is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Oregon Cultural Trust, the Miller Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission.

    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A multi-generational choir of diverse ethnicities singing together on stage.


    Created and performed by

    Ifrah Mansour (Somalia/U.S.)
    In partnership with the

    Cascade Festival of African Film
    @ Portland Community College

    February 8th at 1:00pm & 9th at 5:00pm

    Minnesota-based Somali playwright and performer Ifrah Mansour revisits her childhood memories during the 1991 Somali civil war to confront violent history with humor, and provide a voice for the global refugee stories of children. How to Have Fun in a Civil War, is a one-act multimedia play, which explores war from an idyllic viewpoint of a seven-year-old Somali refugee girl. The play weaves puppetry, poetry, videos and multiple oral stories taken from community interviews to tell a captivating story about resilience while pushing the audience to engage in a healing process that is still raw for survivors of the war.

    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A multi-generational choir of diverse ethnicities singing together on stage.

    Climate Change Theatre Action

    Community dinner discussion featuring play readings from the CCTA 2019

    November 25th at 6:30pm

    Zocalo 525 SE Start

    Generously hosted by Milagro

    Featured playwrights include: Saviana Stenescu (Romania), Hassan Abdulrazzak (Iraq), Kamil Haque (Singapore), Mirilo Nunez (Chile) and more!


    Join us for an intimate community dinner discussion featuring staged readings of plays from the 2019 Climate Change Theatre Action. About the CCTA: Founded in 2015, Climate Change Theatre Action is a worldwide series of readings and performances of short climate change plays presented biennially to coincide with the United Nations COP meetings

    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A multi-generational choir of diverse ethnicities singing together on stage.


    Begat Theater (France)

    Co-presented with Hand2Mouth

    October 10,11, 12, & 13 2019

    Venue: Downtown Portland…(secret location will be revealed after ticket purchase)


    “A completely new experience which must absolutely be seen.” -L’Impartial (SWITZERLAND)

    Hidden Stories [Histoires Cachées] is an outdoor immersive performance where the city is transformed into a sound stage, the audience’s eye is the lens of a camera, and the spectator themselves is the editor, choosing which images to synchronize to the sound track being played in their ears. Featuring two Portland natives, Karin Holmstrom and Dion Doulis, and an original soundtrack by Peter Holmstrom of the Dandy Warhols; the audience, supplied with headphones, is temporarily endowed with the power to hear the thoughts of certain passers-by and to follow them into the unknown.


    This presentation is supported by WESTAF, and FACE Contemporary Theater, a program developed by FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States with the support from the Florence Gould Foundation, Institut français-Paris, the French Ministry of Culture and private donors. Additional support for women artists has been provided by Fondation CHANEL.


    Photo credit: Frank Seret


    Your gift to Boom Arts sparks positive change!


    With your gift today, you’re saying that bold, smart, experimental, and politically-engaged arts programming matters. Whether it’s a gift of $25, $500, or $1000, you are sparking public engagement with big issues and creating opportunities for artists and community members to catalyze positive change together.


    It's easy to make a gift:

    Mail in a check to Boom Arts, 3121 SW Moody Ave, 2nd FL. Portland, Oregon 97239

    or click on the DONATE NOW button give online!


    Thank you!






    Board of Directors


    Pancho Savery, Chair
    Professor, Reed College
    Erin Zollenkopf, Treasurer
    CEO, Susan Matlock Jones & Associates

    Ruth Ballin, Secretary

    Ballin Public Relations

    Ruth Juliet Wikler

    Director of Circus Programming, TOHU

    René Deras

    Controller, Portland Art Museum

    Kate Merril

    Executive Director, Central Eastside Industrial Council



    Tracy Cameron Francis

    Artistic Producer




    Advisory Board

    Lane Czaplinski

    Wexner Center for the Arts

    Elyse Dodgson (In Memoriam)

    Royal Court Theatre

    Norman Frisch


    Frank Hentschker

    Martin E. Segal Theatre Center,

    City University of New York

    Morgan Jenness


    Melanie Joseph

    The Foundry Theatre

    Kate Loewald
    The Play Company

    Claudia Norman

    Celebrate Mexico Now

    Michael Rohd

    Sojourn Theatre/Center for Civic Practice

    Tanya Selvaratnam

    Cathy Zimmerman




    Individuals, foundations, businesses, and public agencies make our work possible by providing crucial financial and in-kind support. Thank you, Portland, for helping Boom Arts bring relevant, global theatre to our community!

    Boom Arts Founding Circle

    Boom Arts gratefully acknowledges the support of its Founding Circle, a group of individuals gathering in support of Boom Arts’ vision, values, and potential to contribute to the cultural life of Portland by helping to sustain the organization in its first years of public programming.


    Founding Circle/Season Sponsor 2019-2020

    Ronni Lacroute

    Founding Circle Members


    Linda & Scott Andrews

    Don & Mary Blair
    Theo and Nancy Downes-Le Guin

    Dania Caron

    Lisa Donoughe

    Harold Goldstein & Carol Streeter
    Fred & Cheryl Grossman

    Kamla Hurst & Mark Yamagishi

    Steve & Michaela Lipsey

    The Mancini Family

    Lynn McDonald & Michael Edwards

    Francie & Michael Royce

    Stanley & Susanne Penkin

    Pancho Savery

    Jane Schiffhauer

    Jennifer Schuberth & John Urang

    Howard Shapiro

    Al Solheim

    Matthew & Gail Starr

    Daniel Wikler & Sarah Marchand

    Erin & Henk Zollenkopf

    Institutional Supporters of Boom Arts

    Special thanks to the following foundations, companies, & public agencies for supporting our work:


    Foundation & Nonprofit Supporters:

    Age and Gender Equity in the Arts

    The Philip S. Harper Foundation

    The Jubitz Family Foundation

    The Kinsman Foundation

    Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation

    The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation

    National Performance Network

    The Oregon Community Foundation

    Oregon Humanities

    Precipice Fund, the Calligram Foundation/Allie Furlotti, and the

    Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts

    The Puffin Foundation Ltd.

    The Schpee Fund of the Oregon Community Foundation

    Spirit Mountain Community Fund

    Theatre Communications Group

    Western Arts Alliance


    Public Agencies:

    Multnomah County Cultural Coalition

    National Endowment for the Arts

    Oregon Arts Commission

    Oregon Cultural Trust

    Regional Arts & Culture Council

    Western States Arts Federation

    Work for Art


    Corporate in-kind

    Special thanks to local businesses who have supported our work

    Corporate Sponsors (In-Kind):

    Escape from NY Pizza

    Le Bistro Montage

    New Seasons Market


    The Oyster Bar

    Tony's Chocolonely

    The Allison Inn & Spa

    The Painted Lady Restaurant

    Brasada Ranch


    Steven Smith Teamaker

    Stumptown Coffee Roasters



    Big 5 Sporting Goods

    Title IX

    Trisaetum Wine


    Upfor Gallery

    PDX Ice

    Brasada Ranch

    Jupiter Hotel

    Hey Love

    Lille Boutique

    Nomad PDX

    Han Oak

    Blossom Bros.

    Scott Paul Wines

    Revolucion Coffeehouse
    Woven Wine Works







    Sign up for our email list, Like and Follow us on social media, or reach out via email or phone!








    Email list: Sign up!


    Mailing address:

    Boom Arts Inc.

    3121 SW Moody Ave. Ste 200

    Portland, OR 97239



    Box Office:

    (971) 303-8977

    Office: 971-303-8977

    Box Office:

    (971) 303-8977



    Created & Facilitated by the TEAM (NYC)

    May 10-11*, 2019


    Venue: The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave, Portland

    * ASL Interpretation on May 11

    “Eclectic and inventive… in union there is strength.” — The New York Times


    Join Boom Arts and Brooklyn-based theatre and performance ensemble the TEAM for two unique interactive evenings of song-sharing and community celebration at the Old Church, inspired by the TEAM’s choral concert project Primer for a Failed Superpower. TEAM artists Zhailon Levingston, Orion Johnstone, and Nehemiah Luckett, joined by Portland-based musician and choir director Ben Landsverk (OK Chorale, Wonderly), will join Boom Arts, local artists and activists of three generations—with different guests each night, so come for both!—and you the audience to celebrate the power of song in the imagining of a new tomorrow. Tap into the TEAM’s unique process with song sharing, devised group conversation, and communal celebration as we honor and join with those among us who are living out the hope for tomorrow… today!



    May 10: Arietta Ward and Holcombe Waller

    May 11: Mic Crenshaw and Kasey Anderson


    A Social Justice Fair featuring local activists and organizations follows each performance!


    Age Recommendation: All ages - Children encouraged to attend


    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A song-sharing event hosted by the TEAM.

    Photo credit: Em Watson



    In the spirit of radical hospitality, Boom Arts is offering 3 ticket pricing options for Tomorrow Will Be...

    Choose the ticket option that best suits your budget!

    • GENERAL ADMISSION ($10) includes 1 general admission ticket
    • GENERAL ADMISSION PLUS ($20) includes 1 general admission ticket and a Pay It Forward ticket
    • BENEFACTOR ($50) includes 1 general admission ticket, 1 Pay It Forward ticket, and adds additional support to help Boom Arts make these events possible

    Thanks to Pay It Forward ticketing, no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.



    Silencio Blanco (Chile)

    Contemporary puppet theatre returns
    February 2-3 & 8-9, 2019

    February 2nd & 8th*: 7pm

    February 3rd & 9th: 3pm

    School-Time Performance on February 7th (educators please contact us for tickets)

    Run time: 1 hour

    Venue: Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave, Portland

    *Live Audio Description on February 8

    Educational Outreach Programming presented in collaboration with Young Audiences Inc.

    Gresham Library: Puppetry Workshop for Families, February 6, 4-6pm

    “…these young creators take another step along the silent and romantic path of rescuing the beauty of simple, everyday things.” Bio Bio (Chile)
    Chilean contemporary puppetry ensemble Silencio Blanco returns to Portland after their celebrated Spring 2017 début. Did you experience Chiflón: The Silence of Coal, with its unforgettable images of miners’ wives waiting for the return of their husbands? Come back for more with Pescador (Fisherman), the company’s puppet essay on the nearly extinct character of the artisanal fisherman. In Pescador, man once again encounters the immensity of nature in pursuit of a trade that’s been nearly forgotten in the age of trawling and industrial fishery. In Silencio Blanco’s visually arresting trademark style, vaguely figurative, simple papier-mâché puppet figures co-exist with actor-puppeteers, dancing their way through stormy seas. “By far one of the best pieces of art I've ever seen.” – Portland audience member on Chiflón by Silencio Blanco, Spring 2017


    Age Recommendation: 8+


    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: [The main character, a white papier-mache puppet, from Pescador.]

    Photo credit: Nathaly Arancibia



    Penny Arcade (NYC)

    Conceived, Written, and Performed by Penny Arcade (NYC)
    Designed and Directed by Steve Zehentner and Penny Arcade
    Back by Popular Demand
    November 29-December 1, 2018
    Venue: Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave, Portland

    Sponsored by Jane Schiffhauer

    • November 29—The Faghag and Her Friends in the Summer of Love (work-in-progress) - 7:30pm
    • November 30—Longing Lasts Longer - 7:30pm
    • December 1—Longing Lasts Longer* - 7pm 
    • & The Girl Who Knew Too Much (work-in-progress)* - 9pm

    *ASL Interpreted performance

    "I laughed, I cried, I remembered, I dreamed, I longed, I saw the light... There shouldn’t be an empty seat in the house!" – Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, February 2018

    After a sensational Portland début in February 2018, New York’s undisputed queen of the underground is BACK! Boom Arts presents a one-weekend-only return engagement by electric performance art icon Penny Arcade at Imago Theatre, featuring two encore performances of the show you loved last season, Longing Lasts Longer, plus two new works-in-progress. Portlanders called Longing Lasts Longer, Penny's internationally acclaimed critique of the post-gentrification landscape, “Fun… Thoughtful… Irreverent.” Come find out what the fuss was about—and bring your friends! Ready for more? Penny Arcade famously crafts her new work in front of an audience, so you can be part of this exciting process. In The Faghag and Her Friends in The Summer of Love, Penny invites us on a journey through 1960s gay bars in Provincetown and New York. In The Girl Who Knew Too Much, Penny brings her own history to bear on the #metoo movement, rape culture, and the normalization of self-censorship. Come try one, two, or three—you won't be disappointed.


    Age recommendation: 16+


    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: [Penny Arcade holding a giant cupcake with sprinkles on it and a grenade topped with a sparkler.]

    Photo credit: Steven Menendez


    Teatr-Pralnia with CCA Dakh (Ukraine)

    On tour as part of Center Stage

    October 19-20 & 26-27**, 2018

    All shows 7:30pm/Doors 6:30pm

    Fridays: All Ages / Saturdays: 21+ only*

    Venue: The Paris Theatre, 6 SW 3rd Ave, Portland

    Outreach programming in collaboration with World Oregon

    Ticketed After Party on October 27 at the Paris with Chervona

    Free Library Event October 23


    Sponsored by Don & Mary Blair

    “Often playful, but also mournful and even foreboding.”- The Guardian

    Boom Arts proudly presents Teatr-Pralnia (Laundry Theatre) with CCA Dakh of Ukraine in their first-ever US tour. This fearless music-theatre ensemble, sister troupe to the international sensation DakhaBrakha, draws on real time events, Facebook feeds, iconic Ukrainian poetry, catchy vamps, and improvised action to bring their audacious, super-charged puppet cabaret production TseSho?/What’s That? to life. Through live music, projections, puppetry, and original text and songs, they ask: How do we understand the world around us? Who can we trust in a world of “fake news,” corruption and propaganda? Can we discern truth from deception? As one ensemble member told The Guardian newspaper: “Our performances are like a mirror of things that are happening… We want our performance to be like an injection for people’s minds.”


    Age recommendation: 14+ (21+ on October 20 & 27).


    Library presentation:

    "Fresh Voices from Ukraine: Meet the Artists of Teatr-Pralnia (Laundry Theatre)"

    Tuesday, October 23, 6-7:30pm at Central Library
    Presented in partnership with World Oregon, featuring guest Professor Stepan Stimek of Lewis & Clark College.

    Taking Kiev -- and the world -- by storm ever since graduating from the puppetry program of Ukraine's national theatre school in 2015, Teatr-Pralnia create fresh, unusual performances that evoke what it means to make art in a constantly changing society. Their multidisciplinary projects are now housed at CCA Dakh, Vlad Troitskyi’s cultural center in Kyiv, also home to the ethno-chaos quartet DhakaBrakha, and performance festival GOGOLFest. Free; No reservation needed. First come, first served.


    Closing Night After Party at the Paris with Chervona:

    Start your evening on October 27th with the closing performance of "TseSho/What's That?" and finish it Odessa Speakeasy-style with Chervona's Murka Halloween Party! One event follows the other, both at the Paris Theatre. $35 buys you general admission to both events (15% off!)


    This project received support from WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


    The presentation of Teatr-Pralnia with CCA Dakh is part of Center Stage, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations, with support from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, and the Trust for Mutual Understanding. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.


    IMAGE DESCRIPTION: [Members of Teatr-Pralnia playing instruments on stage.]

    Photo credit: Zhenya Lulko



    Touretteshero (United Kingdom)

    May 4, 5, 11, & 12 at 7:30pm
    Echo Theater, 1515 SE 37th Ave.

    “An absolute delight: moving, warm, generous and sparkling with the absurdly hilarious interjections of a woman who has both Tourette’s syndrome and an extremely Pythonesque sense of humour.”The Guardian


    Four one-of-a-kind evenings of highly irreverent stand-up from one of Europe's most distinctive voices in arts and disability justice, accompanied by varying programs of short performances by local and visiting artists:

    • Friday, May 4: Jan Derbyshire, Vancouver-based comedian and facilitator/consultant for Canada’s Deaf, Disability, and Mad Arts sector
    • Saturday, May 5: Disability Art & Culture Project, Artistic Director Kathy Coleman, and the Inclusive Arts Vibe Dance Company 
    • Friday, May 11: Portland-based multidisciplinary performance project Wobbly Dance and documentary filmmaker Cheryl Green
    • Saturday, May 12: Portland-based performer Little Clown Big Shoes

    For kids & families:
    Heroes of the Imagination
    Sunday, May 6, 2-5pm at Echo Theater

    An afternoon of free, fully accessible, multi-sensory drop-in activities for disabled and non-disabled children (and their grown up sidekicks) created and facilitated by Touretteshero and featuring superhero-themed activities. Heroes of the Imagination is wheelchair accessible; a roaming American Sign Language interpreter and an audio describer will be on hand to make sure everyone can get involved; and a “chill space” will be set up for anyone who needs a break. Over the course of the afternoon, children will discover their powers, create their own superhero identity, and use their imaginations to change the world.

    Library presentation:

    "Laughter, Access, Diversity, & Inclusion: Jess Thom, Changing the World One Tic at a Time."

    Tuesday, May 8, 6-7:30pm at Central Library
    Presented in partnership with Disability Arts & Culture Project as part of

    Dis/Representation: Evolving Disability Conversations series. .

    In her thoughtful, funny, and groundbreaking presentation, Ms. Thom will speak about making visible the hidden barriers that exclude people with disabilities, and others, from public spaces. Whose responsibility it is to adapt to our culture? What are our preconceptions about disability? How can disability be reconceptualized as a springboard for creativity and spontaneity? How does diversity and inclusive thinking benefit all of us? Together, Ms. Thom argues, we can ‘change the world one tic at a time.’


    All events are "Relaxed": move or make sound as you need to

    Wheelchair-accessible venue

    ASL interpretation provided

    Audio Description available on May 5th

    Scent-free: we request that those attending refrain from using scented body care products

    Boom Arts, Echo Theater, and Disability Art & Culture Project are committed to creating fully inclusive environments for all attendees. Please contact the Boom Arts team with any additional requests at info@boomarts.org.


    This project is sponsored by Don and Mary Blair.
    This project is made possible through project support from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, Oregon Arts Commission, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and Work for Art.



    Erik Kaiel, Choreographer

    April 27 at 7:30pm; April 28 & 29 at 3pm

    Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway

    "a work of inventive artistry, looking at how to fit together or strike out alone, using courage, creativity and acceptance to do so." -- Londondance.com


    Experience award-winning international contemporary dance for kids & their families in this special presentation! Portland-born, Netherlands-based choreographer Erik Kaiel and dancers share their interactive, physically supercharged dance quartet inspired by the game Tetris, which asks: how do we connect with one another? For kids 6 and up and their families.

    Workshops in partnership with Multnomah Arts Center:

    Workshop for Teaching Artists: Friday April 27th from 1-3pm

    Creative Movement Workshop for Youth & Families:

    Saturday April 28th from 10am-Noon


    Teatro Línea de Sombra

    (US Premiere)

    Teatro Línea de Sombra (Mexico)
    March 16 & 17 at 7:30pm and March 18 at 2pm
    The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St.

    "...in sync with much of serious Mexican art: raw, tragic, unsparing, poetic, vibrant." -- Seattle Times
    Celebrated cutting-edge theatre company from Mexico City Teatro Línea de Sombra (Amarillo, Baños Roma, Durango66) presents a moving documentary theatre portrait of a small town in Colombia built and inhabited by women displaced by violence.


    Post-Show Discussions with the artists & invited guests:

    Saturday, March 17: Ridhi D'Cruz, Co-Director, City Repair, and Lisa Larson, Community Advocate

    Sunday, March 18: Patrick Hiller, Conflict Resolution Program, Portland State University, and Paloma Ayala Vela, Oregon Peace Institute

    + Boom Arts Global Voices Lab in-depth WORKSHOP OPPORTUNITY
    with Teatro Línea de Sombra for Portland area artists of all disciplines.


    Feature article on Howlround:

    "Teatro Línea de Sombra Connects with Portland, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest"


    Penny Arcade

    Conceived, Written, and Performed by Penny Arcade
    Designed and Directed by Steve Zehentner and Penny Arcade

    February 1, 2, 8, & 9, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.
    Co-Presented with Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
    PICA, 15 NE Hancock St.

    "She alternates her charm with wake-up calls, her humor with rage. Arcade in her marvelous middle age is a lovely example to us all. Yes, you've got to tell all your truth to power, but you don't have to stop dancing to do it." Time Out New York

    Boom Arts and PICA present the Portland performance début of New York’s undisputed queen of the underground, Penny Arcade, with Longing Lasts Longer, an unflinching critique of the post-gentrification landscape offered through the eyes of a legendary American feminist performance artist.



    Workshop with Penny Arcade:
    “Speak Truth to Power: Cultural & Political Activism.”

    Tuesday, February 6th from 6-9pm at PICA, 15 NE Hancock.

    "True power comes from knowing the absolute truth ourselves, and that takes ruthless honesty." -- Penny Arcade

    In conjunction with her performances of Longing Lasts Longer: A workshop for artists of all disciplines and others who are seeking to increase their authenticity and integrity in their life and work, led by Penny herself.


    Post-show Discussion programming:

    February 2: Internationally acclaimed Portland-based musician and performance maker Holcombe Waller calls Penny his mentor and inspiration. Join us for a special conversation between these two unique artists.
    February 8: Many Portlanders got their first glimpse of authentic NYC counterculture thanks to Howie Bierbaum, who introduced many now-iconic artists to Portland beginning in the 1980s. With over 70 years of performance experience between them, Howie and Penny meet in conversation for the first time.
    February 9: Longing Lasts Longer goes deep into the impact of gentrification and displacement on independent artists and thinkers. Portlanders are no stranger to this phenomenon. Portlanders are no strangers to this phenomenon. Join Penny and invited guests Subashini Ganesan, Creative Laureate of Portland & Founder/Director of New Expressive Works, and artist and journalist Donovan Smith of Gentrification is Weird to contemplate where we’re headed--and how to keep creating and stand up for what we believe in.


    Soomi Kim & Suzi Takahashi

    Co-Created by Soomi Kim & Suzi Takahashi

    Performed by Soomi Kim & Company

    Directed by Suzi Takahashi
    December 7-10, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.

    *Please note that December 7th is a preview performance.
    The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St.

    "Chang(e) alternates between reality and illusion, and its visual and aural environment is so alluring you want to bathe in it..." - The New York Times

    Korea-born, Beaverton-raised, NYC-based performing artist Soomi Kim and co-creator/director Suzi Takahashi examine the life and vision of Philadelphia-based performance artist and activist Kathy Change (formerly Kathleen Chang) in their visually and aurally sumptuous docudrama, the latest in their trilogy of theatre works based on under-recognized Asian American visionaries whose lives were cut short.


    Post-Show Discussions:

    Friday, December 8th with Chisao Hata,

    Portland-based artist and past collaborator with Soomi Kim

    Saturday, December 9th with Mary Gabriele, Cottage Grove-based MD and past collaborator with Kathy Change, and Paul Susi, Portland-based artist and social worker

    Sunday, December 10th, co-presented with Age & Gender Equity in the Arts, with AGE Founder Jane Vogel & Courtney Rae, Portland's Resistance


    Additional Activities:

    In partnership with the Multnomah County Library:

    Performing Asian American Lives: Artist Talk by Soomi Kim

    at the Hillsdale Library Saturday, December 2nd at 2pm - FREE


    From Boom Arts, Theatre Diaspora & APANO:

    Devising Performance with Soomi Kim

    A Workshop for Portland Area-based Performing Artists of Color

    At Sunnyside Community House Saturday, December 9th at 1pm


    evalyn parry (Canada)

    Created & Performed by evalyn parry
    Directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones
    November 10 & 11, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. (full show)

    & November 12 at 2 p.m. (for family audiences)
    Triangle Productions!, 1785 NE Sandy Blvd.

    “Part theatre, part musical gig, part spoken-word poetry and part documentary…whatever it is, it is brilliant.”Toronto Star
    Award-winning Canadian theatre artist, songwriter, and spoken-word poet evalyn parry brings us her acclaimed tribute to the bicycle as muse, musical instrument, and agent for social change, played on the bicycle as a percussive instrument.


    Friday, November 10th:

    - Bike to the show with The Street Trust!

    - Pre-show performance by The Sprockettes at Voodoo Donut Too, 7-7:15pm

    - Post-show discussion with Linda Ginenthal, Sunday Parkways Program Manager, Portland Bureau of Transportation


    Saturday, November 11th:

    - Bike to the show with Gladys Bikes!

    - Pre-show reading by Elly Blue (Taking the Lane, Biketopia)

    - Post-show discussion with Janice Dilg, History Built


    Sunday, November 12th:

    - Family Matinee performance followed by interactive kids' activity, ages 8+


    Boom Arts' presentation of SPIN is Sponsored by Mikki & Steve Lipsey.

    Presented in collaboration with the Myrna Loy Center in Helena, Montana



    Created & Performed by Reverend Billy & the Stop Shopping Choir

    Directed by Savitri D.
    Music Director Nehemiah Luckett

    October 6 & 7, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.
    The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave.

    Talen’s message resonates with the words W. H. Auden wrote on the eve of World War II during another age of anxiety – ‘We must love one another or die.’” – The Village Voice  

    Boom Arts launches its sixth season with Obie Award-winning performance artist and activist Reverend Billy and The Stop Shopping Choir. The “activists-who-sing” bring humor, music and their unique DIY spiritual life to the daily struggle of today’s Earth crisis. Is the Church of Stop Shopping a political rally? Is it really a church? Is it a comic theatre piece about a televangelist with big hair?


    Dahlak Brathwaite


    Created & Performed by Dahlak Brathwaite
    Directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph & Sean San Jose

    Commissioned and produced by Youth Speaks
    April 21-22 & 27-30*, 2017*

    *April 21-22 performances part of Soul'd Out Music Festival

    *April 29 performance will be ASL-Interpreted

    Plus: HIP HOP HISTORY FOR KIDS on April 23

    Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, 8371 N Interstate Ave, Portland, OR 97217


    Boom Arts presents Def Poetry Jam alum Dahlak Brathwaite’s hip hop theatre meditation on drug policy, racial profiling, and human imperfection. Spiritrials flows seamlessly between rap, song, and storytelling, accompanied by beats and samples spun live from the turntable by DJ Dion Decibels. Experience Mr. Brathwaite’s virtuosic and fiercely original creation, co-directed by Marc Bamuthi Joseph with lush projections by Joan Osato.


    **NEW: CALENDAR OF EVENTS: (All events at Disjecta unless otherwise noted.)

    • Friday, April 21st: post-show reception with DJ Dion Decibels.
    • Saturday, April 22nd post-show discussion with JoAnn Hardesty, owner of Consult Hardesty & President of the NAACP Portland Branch.
    • Saturday, April 22nd: late-night official Spiritrials afterparty at Dante's, where Soul'd Out Music Festival presents Dead Prez. DJ Dion Decibels will spin an opening set. Boom Arts subscribers attending Spiritrials on April 21st and 22nd get in free; all others must purchase a separate ticket HERE..
    • Sunday, April 23rd, 2pm: Adapting History: Hip Hop History for Kids , family-friendly Performance at Disjecta (age recommendation 7+). You love Hip Hop music. But do you know where it came from? Experience the musical and social history out of which Hip Hop emerged in this family-friendly performance. Beats, rhymes, and spoken word combine in this powerful performance about the intersection of musical form and historical struggle. Tickets are $20 General Admission/$8 for 17 & under at www.boomarts.orgCreated & performed by Dahlak Brathwaite and made possible through a commission by the Montalvo Arts Center.
    • Tuesday, April 25th, 6:30pm: public workshop: Life as Primary Text :Free Public Workshop for Teens & Adults at the North Portland Library
    • Thursday, April 27th:  pre-show poetry: arrive by 7pm to catch a pre-show poetry reading by two of Portland’s young bright lights: Alexis Cannard, winner of the 2017 Portland August Wilson Monologue Competition and 2015 Youth Poet Laureate, and Baqi Coles of the Afrikan Hip Hop Caravan. Curated by Mic Crenshaw.
    • Thursday, April 27th: post-show discussion on faith and religion within Spiritrials with Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo of Interfaith Muse
    • Friday, April 28th: pre-show reception: visit Kenton's newest local record store with a pre-show reception at Speck’s Records & Tapes, 8216 N. Denver Ave. Ste C. Spiritrials attendees will get 10% off your purchase from 6-7pm.
    • Friday, April 28th: post-show discussion with Dahlak Brathwaite. 
    • Saturday, April 29th: pre-show poetry: arrive by 7pm to catch a pre-show reading by young Portland poets curated by S. Renee Mitchell of Spit/WRITE.
    • Saturday, April 29th: post-show discussion with Pancho Savery, Professor of English & Humanities at Reed College.
    • Sunday, April 30th:  post-show discussion with Hip Hop artist and activist Mic Crenshaw, Boom Arts’ Youth & Community Liaison.

    Post-show programming for Spiritrials is made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program.


    Boom Arts’ presentation of Spiritrials is supported by the Oregon Cultural Trust.


    Boom Arts’ presentation of Spiritrials is supported in part by.grants from the Oregon Arts Commission; WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation; the National Endowment for the Arts; and the Regional Arts & Culture Council and Work for Art. Boom Arts' 2016-2017 Season is made possible by season sponsor Ronni Lacroute, members of the Boom Arts Board and Founding Circle as well as many other donors, and the Collins Foundation.. For more information & logos please see HERE.

    (The Silence of Coal)
    Silencio Blanco

    Created & performed by Silencio Blanco (Chile)

    March 8 & 9, 2017 at 7:30pm

    Free & open to the public - seating is limited.

    Greenwood Theatre, Reed College, 3203 SE Woodstock Blvd, Portland, OR 97202

    Free public programs:

    An Evening with Silencio Blanco at Central Library, Monday March 6th at 6:30pm

    Taller de títeres con Silencio Blanco (en español) para toda la familia, at Centro Cultural of Washington County, Tuesday March 7th at 6:30pm

    "An homage to coal miners...an incentive for the memory and history of our country... artistically and socially delicate and feelingful." Diario La Nación, Chile

    Internationally acclaimed Chilean puppet theatre company Silencio Blanco performs their deeply moving, hauntingly gorgeous puppet play about a Chilean miner and his wife. For 60 spellbinding minutes, watch as Silencio Blanco’s perfectly crafted, faceless white papier mâché puppets wordlessly navigate their tiny, simply and beautifully rendered world. Chiflón, based on a novella and developed through the company’s residency in the Chilean mining village of Lota, is a modern tragedy: a fable about hope, loss, and love, set in a contemporary context of poverty, risk, and exploitation.


    Boom Arts’ presentation of Silencio Blanco is sponsored by Harold Goldstein & Carol Streeter and presented in partnership with Reed College and Department of Theatre and with support from Reed’s Division of Literature and Languages, Department of English, and Office of the Dean. Tour support for Silencio Blanco’s Chiflón, El Silencio del Carbón is made possible through Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional touring support is made possible in part by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chile/National Council of Culture and the Arts, and the Performing Americas program of the National Performance Network with funding provided by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.  Boom Arts' Spring International Series is supported by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. Boom Arts' 2016-2017 Season is made possible by season sponsor Ronni Lacroute, members of the Boom Arts Board and Founding Circle as well as many other donors, and the Collins Foundation.




    February 3-5, 2017 at Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre, Portland State University

    February 11, Cascade Campus, Portland Community College


    International plays in translation offer a unique window into global perspectives. This two-weekend Lab connects visiting and local theatre directors with dynamic contemporary international plays in translation. Join us for readings and workshop performances, followed by conversations with artists and scholars, on two Portland campuses:


    WEEKEND 1 at Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre, Portland State University, presented by Boom Arts in partnership with the School of Theatre & Film, College of the Arts, Portland State University & the World Affairs Council of Oregon


    by Elfriede Jelinek (Austria)
    Translated by Gita Honnegger
    Directed by Alice Reagan (NYC)
    Design by Jenny Ampersand
    Featuring JoAnn Johnson, AEA
    Workshop performance
    Friday, Feb 3 at 7:30pm

    Post-show discussion with Prof. Tamara Metz, Political Science, Reed College
    Sunday, Feb 5 at 11:30am – Bagels + Coffee Will Be Served!

    Post-show discussion with Prof. Stepan Simek, Theatre, Lewis & Clark College
    Austrian Nobel Laureate Elfriede Jelinek (The Piano Lesson) renders the iconic American first lady-- and codes of femininity in general-- in this unforgettably macabre verbal portrait.


    by Joned Suryatmoko (Indonesia)
    Translated by Barbara Hatley
    Directed by Jacob Coleman
    Staged reading
    Saturday, Feb 4 at 2pm

    Post-show discussion with Joned Suryatmoko, Playwright

    This quirky, subtly funny play explores the hopes, dreams and minor transgressions of three bathroom attendants working in the lobby restroom of a Bali hotel. Indonesian playwright Joned Suryatmoko will join us for the post-show discussion in person.


    At the Periphery
    by Sedef Ecer (Turkey)
    Translated by J. Simeon
    Directed by Elizabeth Huffman
    Staged reading
    Saturday, Feb 4 at 4:30pm

    Post-show discussion with Prof. John Bataille Hall, Economics, Portland State University

    This irreverent and moving play explores the illusions and hopes of generations of slumdwellers who live "at the periphery" of an urban center.


    [Dinner break for those attending all afternoon/evening!]


    The Captive
    by Luis Alberto León Bacigalupo (Peru)
    Translated by Mary Ann Vargas
    Directed by Nelda Reyes

    Staged reading
    Saturday, Feb 4 at 8pm

    Post-show discussion with Mary Ann Vargas, Translator (via Skype) & Prof. Elliot Young, History, Lewis & Clark College

    Experience this timely and controversial play looking back at Peru's violent recent past through the eyes of a young woman.


    WEEKEND 2 at Portland Community College-Cascade Campus:
    Presented by Boom Arts in partnership with the Cascade Festival of African Films & the World Affairs Council of Oregon

    Fishers of Hope
    by Lara Foot (South Africa)
    Directed by Damaris Webb
    Staged reading
    Saturday, Feb 11 at 3pm

    Post-show discussion with Prof. Elise Granek, Environmental Science, Portland State University

    Lara Foot, one of South Africa's most acclaimed contemporary playwrights, has been called the artistic heir to Athol Fugard. In this play, a community reckons with the impact of environmental degradation.


    Onions Make Us Cry
    by Zainabu Jallo (Nigeria)
    Directed by Tracy Cameron Francis
    Staged reading
    Saturday, Feb 11 at 4:30pm

    Post-show discussion with Prof. Sri Craven, Women's, Gender, & Sexuality Studies, Portland State University

    Winner of the National Theatre Studio London Africa Project, this poetic play about domestic violence from a woman's perspective is rich in metaphor.


    The Global Voices Lab is sponsored by Don & Mary Blair. Boom Arts' Spring International Series is supported by the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation. Boom Arts' 2016-2017 Season is made possible by season sponsor Ronni Lacroute, members of the Boom Arts Board and Founding Circle as well as many other donors, and the Collins Foundation.

    ADRIENNE TRUSCOTT’S ASKING FOR IT: A One-Lady Rape About Comedy Starring Her Pussy & Little Else!

    ADRIENNE TRUSCOTT’S A ONE-TRICK PONY ! (Or Andy K**fman Is A Feminist Performance Artist and I'm A Comedian)



    Created & Performed by Adrienne Truscott
    December 8-11, 2016

    The Headwaters Theatre, 55 NE Farragut St, Portland OR 97211


    "Firecracker wit, sophistication and luminous humanity.” –The Guardian 

    Following her electric Portland debut in 2015, Adrienne Truscott returns with encore performances of her daring, hilarious performance cocktail about rape culture, performed naked from the waist down and ankles up. See the show again—Ms. Truscott keeps it up-to-date, so it’s never the same piece twice--and bring your friends who missed it last year. Plus, catch Ms. Truscott's newest piece, Adrienne Truscott’s a One-Trick Pony:"a feminist masterpiece disguised behind dick-jokes and partial nudity. It’s brilliant!” (The Australia Times). Both works contain nudity.



    Kristina Wong

    Created & Performed by Kristina Wong
    Directed by Emily Mendelsohn
    October 13-15 & 20-23, 2016
    The Headwaters Theatre,
    55 NE Farragut St, Portland OR 97211

    “Politically charged art with unapologetic humor.” – Bitch Magazine

    Boom Arts presents the highly anticipated Portland debut of artist, activist, and comedienne Kristina Wong, whose hilarious travelogue/TEDtalk/solo show about making a difference in an unequal world was inspired by her volunteer work in Northern Uganda. On a set made of hand-sewn felt, Ms. Wong breaks down such complex issues as click bait, global poverty, privilege and economic theory, using uneasy-to-read charts, live hashtag wars, and riveting slideshows.


    Stay after the show for nightly post-show discussions at The Headwaters, featuring featuring the artists along with special community guests such as:

    • October 14: Candace Kita, Cultural Work & Development Coordinator, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) & Dmae Roberts, Writer/Producer/Media Artist & Executive Producer, MediaRites & Theatre Diaspora
    • October 20: Susan Addy, Obo Addy Legacy Project; Mic Crenshaw, Afrika Hip Hop Caravan; & Tracy Cameron Francis, Cascade Festival of African Films
    • October 21: Mic Crenshaw, Afrika Hip Hop Caravan
    • October 22: Pamela Santos, Producer & Host, Pacific Underground, KBOO

    And learn more about Kristina Wong and her work through the following programs presented by the Multnomah County Library:

    • A special Central Library exhibit on Kristina Wong and other artists whose work will be featured at CAATA, the Asian-American Theatre Festival (taking place in Ashland, OR prior to Boom Arts' presentation of The Wong Street Journal)
    • A free sneak preview of excerpts from The Wong Street Journal at Central Library on Monday, October 10th at 6:30pm.
    • A free community workshop for teens at 4pm on October 19th at the Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Ave. in Portland.

    This program is presented with project support from the Puffin Foundation, WESTAF, the Western States Arts Federation, & the National Endowment for the Arts.


    Matías Umpierrez (Argentina)

    Performances April 30-May 15th, 2016, 11am-9pm, 5 sites around Portland
    Accompanying exhibition & free public programs at c3:initiative in St. Johns

    VIDEO TRAILER (2 mins)
    TeatroSOLO Project Web Site

    c3:initiative Web Site
    More on TeatroSOLO (LONETheater) Portland


    Boom Arts and c3:initiative present TeatroSOLO (LONETheater), a unique site-specific performance project for one spectator at a time created by acclaimed Argentine interdisciplinary artist Matías Umpierrez. TeatroSOLO has captivated residents of global cities from Buenos Aires to Sao Paolo to New York with its highly personal approach to storytelling, in which the city becomes a stage and the ordinary is made extraordinary through the power of human connection.


    Where will your adventure begin? Choose from five locations including the Portland Art Museum; the Multnomah County Library; public transport (downtown stops); Portland Tennis & Education at the St. Johns Racquet Center; and a Pearl District office. Buy or reserve your ticket; follow the access instructions sent to you via email; and venture out—on your own—to discover five stories hidden amidst the everyday.


    TeatroSOLO (LONETheater) Portland is performed by Nancy Ellis, Paige McKinney, Alex Leigh Ramirez, Paul Susi, and guest actress April Sweeney (NYC).


    TeatroSOLO (LONETheater) is comprised of five “hidden stories,” each performed for one spectator at a time in a specified Portland location. Each performance requires a separate ticket and lasts approximately 30 minutes. Choose from:


    PORTRAIT (Retrato)
    Partner Venue: Portland Art Museum*

    A woman looks to the museum’s walls for guidance as she attempts to change the course of her life.
    *A TeatroSOLO ticket for PORTRAIT (Retrato) comes with complimentary Museum admission for the day.

    SON (Hijo)
    Partner Venue: Portland Tennis & Education (St. Johns)

    A teacher’s vivid memories return to him amid a classroom’s empty desks.


    WISH (Deseo)*

    Partner Venue: Private Office (Pearl District; ticketbuyers will be informed of address via email)
    The routine of a young office assistant shifts when she discovers a new dimension of her present and future.


    WITNESS (Testigo)
    Venue: Public Transport (Downtown stops; exact location sent to ticketbuyers via email)

    Observing the lives of others is fascinating, but what happens when those stories become reflections of our own lives?


    MYTH (Mito)*
    Venue: Multnomah County Library

    Inspired by legends and novels, a woman tries to reconstruct the mythical landscape of her existence.
    Library performances of MYTH (Mito) will be offered free to the public.


    *World Premiere


    Boom Arts’ 2015-2016 Season is generously supported by Ronni Lacroute, the Boom Arts Board, the Boom Arts Founding Circle, and many other supporters. Boom Arts’ Spring 2016 International Series is generously supported by grants from the Jubitz Family Foundation, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation’s Small Arts and Culture Program, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH's grant program. TeatroSOLO (LONETheater) is also supported, in-kind, by Watershed Communications.


    Anupama Chandrasekhar (India)

    March 3-6, 2016: Thurs-Fri-Sat 7:30pm/Sun 2pm

    Lincoln Hall Studio Theater, Portland State University


    Boom Arts presents a riveting, fast-paced play from today's India about adolescence in the digital age. Modern technology and old-world values collide when a middle-class, single-parent home in Chennai is torn apart by an indiscreet cell phone video gone viral. Don't miss the US premiere performances of this “gripping and insightful”* play, directed by Snehal Desai and performed by a dynamic LA-based cast including Anna Khaja (TV's Quantico) and Anil Kumar (TV's State of Affairs and The Cape; cult film American Desi).


    Performances will be followed by post-show discussions with community guests. March 3: Sri Craven, Assistant Professor of Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Portland State University. March 4: Vijendran Sathyaraj, teacher of History and Religion, Oregon Episcopal School. March 5: Anita Ramachandran, Co-founder of SAWERA & Social Entrepreneur at Mercy Corps. March 6: Priya Kapoor, Associate Professor of International Studies at Portland State University.

    *Time Out London

    by Anupama Chandrasekhar
    Directed by Snehal Desai
    Set/Costumes by Stephanie Kerley Schwartz
    Sound Design by Sharath Patel
    Lighting by Katelan Braymer
    Anna Khaja* as Malini
    Anil Kumar* as Ramesh
    Kavi Ladnier as Nirmala, Kokila, & Usha
    Karthik Srinivasan* as Santhosh
    & Kapil Talwalkar as Sharan

    *Appears Courtesy AEA

    Presented in collaboration with the School of Theater + Film, College of the Arts, Portland State University. Free Outgoing is Sponsored by Don & Mary Blair and Harold Goldstein & Carol Streeter. Boom Arts’ Spring 2016 International Series is generously supported by grants from the Jubitz Family Foundation, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Community Foundation’s Small Arts and Culture Program, Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH's grant program. Free Outgoing is also supported by project grants from the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Work for Art, the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, and the Oregon Cultural Trust.

    Film Screening: BASTARDY 

    + Discussion with Rachael Maza/ILBIJERRI Theatre Co. (Australia)

    Monday, February 1
    Reed College Performing Arts Building

    Reed College welcomes Boom Arts to campus for a free public screening of the acclaimed Australian film BASTARDY, by Amiel Courtin-Wilson. BASTARDY is an intimate portrait of Jack Charles, a residential school survivor and co-founder of Australia's first Indigenous theatre group whose struggles with drug addiction and homelessness lasted many decades. Jack Charles will introduce the film via Skype from Australia. Visiting director Rachael Maza-- Artistic Director of Ilbijerri, Australia's leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander theatre company--will be present to participate in a post-screening Q & A.

    This event is cosponsored by the Reed College English and Theatre Departments, and produced by Boom Arts with support from the Reed College English Department and through Boom Arts' participation in the Global Connections–ON the ROAD program, funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.


    Marco Martinelli/Teatro delle Albe (Italy)

    January 24, 2016
    Alberta Rose Theatre


    In a singular evening of timely international theatre underscored by new music by one of Portland's most exciting composers, Boom Arts brings attention to one of the most pressing international humanitarian issues of our time. Noise in the Waters is Italian theatre collective Teatro delle Albe’s homage to the many African migrants who search for a better future by making a treacherous journey across the Mediterranean. Bobby Bermea will perform the piece, about an Italian admiral stationed on a remote Volcanic island in the Mediterranean, in English translation and with music composed especially for this event by Ryan Anthony Francis.


    A pre-show lecture on the Mediterranean refugee crisis, past and present, was presented by World Affairs Council speaker Jamie Surface, doctoral candidate in the Public Affairs and Policy Program at Portland State University, whose research focuses on refugee and migrant affairs in the European Union.


    Text by Marco Martinelli/Teatro delle Albe (Ravenna, Italy)
    Translated by Thomas Haskell Simpson (Chicago)

    Directed by Cristina Miles

    Performed by Bobby Bermea

    Music by Ryan Anthony Francis


    Presented in Partnership with the World Affairs Council & Mercy Corps and supported, in part, by grants from the Jubitz Family Foundation, the Oregon Community Foundation Small Arts & Culture Program, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Oregon Humanities, (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH's grant program, & the Spirit Mountain Community Fund. Image: Friderike Heuer, "Crossing the Sea," used with permission


    Adrienne Truscott

    October 15-17 & 21-24, 2015

    Music & Comedy Preshow by Am I Right Ladies?, curated by Jen Tam, at 7:30pm/Asking For It at 8:30pm

    Venue: The Headwaters

    Wau Wau Sister Adrienne Truscott’s internationally acclaimed performance art/comedy hour Is performed naked from the waist down and ankles up. Truscott’s unforgettable roast of the rape jokes popular among mainstream male comedians has caused a sensation throughout the English-speaking world, receiving ecstatic reviews and more than a little heckling. London’s The Guardian praised the work’s “sophisticated confrontationalism” in its five-star review: “It's so exhilarating to see the ugliness of rape discourse taken on, and bested…with firecracker wit, sophistication and luminous humanity.” As Truscott writes: “Can you make jokes about rape? She plans to, all night long. Even if you tell her to stop.”


    Nightly preshow featuring local music & comedy starts at 7:30pm, courtesy of Am I Right Ladies?. Curated by Jen Tam.




    Bagel Benefit: A Conversation with Adrienne Truscott and Sarah Levy (Bloody Trump), on Saturday October 24 at 11:30 am. Bagels and coffee included; donations requested.


    Laryssa Husiak

    May 28-June 7, 2015

    Coho Theatre

    Learn more about the community-building aspects of this project here

    Listen to audio from She is King post-show discussions

    Watch Billie Jean King's Special Video Message for Portland

    Find out why Portland Monthly wants to crown Billie Jean King

    Find out how to take action on gender equity in sports!


    Boom Arts presents the West Coast premiere of She is King, a hilarious, heartbreaking multimedia documentary theatre production about pioneering American woman athlete and tennis legend Billie Jean King. In She Is King, acclaimed Minneapolis-based creator/performer Laryssa Husiak and New York director Katherine Brook recreate a series of King's real television interviews from the 1970s--complete with period video technologies, fake potted plants, and hairdos true to their time. As the cameras roll, we witness King’s resilience and courage as she boldly breaks the glass ceiling for women in sports amid rampant gender bias. Don’t miss this unique occasion to celebrate this true American hero and pass on an important part of women’s and sports history to up-and-coming generations.



    Mohammad Al-Attar (Syria)

    April 10-12, 2015 at Lincoln Hall Studio Theater, Portland State University


    “Fear is a human instinct, but the fear is no longer preventing people from doing things,” Syrian playwright Mohammad Al-Attar told The New York Times in June 2012. Now living in Beirut, Al-Attar continues to chronicle the human side of the Syrian conflict through his plays, commentary, and applied theatre projects. Find out how one brave artist is making a difference in this evening-length program of performance and discussion.


    Featuring actors John San Nicholas, David Meyers, and Alex Leigh Ramirez, under Tracy Cameron Francis' direction.


    Guest discussants:

    Friday, April 10: Dr. Patrick T. Hiller, Peace Scientist and Director, War Prevention Initiative, Jubitz Family Foundation; John Lindsay-Poland, human rights & peace activist; & Amy Spindler, Adolescent Girl and Youth Advisor, Mercy Corps

    *Special Post-Show Reception Friday Evening Sponsored by Nicholas Restaurant!

    Saturday, April 11: Dr. Thomas Bartlett, former President of the American University in Cairo, and Kanaan Kanaan, visual artist and educator

    Sunday, April 12: Dana Ghazi (Syria), M.A. Candidate in Conflict Resolution, Portland State University, and Pamela Slater - Program Officer, Middle East, Mercy Corps

    Tracy Cameron Francis will participate in all post-performance discussions. Mohammad Al-Attar will participate via pre-recorded video and/or Skype.


    Presented in partnership with the School of Theater and Film, College of the Arts, Portland State University, & the World Affairs Council of Oregon. Co-sponsored by the Arab American Cultural Center of Oregon.


    Presented with project support from the Jubitz Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and the Global Connections program of TCG Theatre Communications Group.


    Rodrigo García (Spain/Argentina)

    January 28-29 and February 5-7, 2015 at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center (January 28-29 performances are part of the Fertile Ground Festival)

    Read Robert Quillen Camp's special essay on Goya


    Boom Arts brings you internationally acclaimed Spanish-Argentine provocateur playwright Rodrigo García's Goya, a free-form, one-man fantasy about the value of art in a consumer society. Echoes of Ibero-American economic crises resound through García’s corrosive, poetic language as Goya asks how art can bring up the soul when the ATM has little left to give. Boom Arts' staging is inspired by UK director Jude Christian's explosive 2014 London production at the Gate Theatre. Starring acclaimed Portland actor Ebbe Roe Smith (Portlandia) and some very special porcine guests. Be shocked, surprised, provoked, intrigued: this piece is truly one of a kind.


    Running time is 45 minutes. Contains strong language and live animals.

    Play by Rodrigo García (Spain). Translation by William Gregory (UK). Directed by Jude Christian (UK). Featuring Ebbe Roe Smith (US).


    Post-performance programming:

    Reception after the show January 28

    Contemporary Theatre in Europe with Jude Christian after the show January 29

    Crossovers Between Theatre and Visual Art with Quill Camp after the show February 5

    Cross-disciplinary Viewpoints with art historian Abigail Susik (Willamette University) and economist Leopoldo Rodriguez (Portland State University) after the show February 6

    Economic Instability in Europe with economist John B. Hall (Portland State University) after the show February 7


    Boom Arts' presentation of Goya is generously sponsored by:

    Jan Valentine


    Presented with project support from Precipice Fund, the Calligram Foundation/Allie Furlotti, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

    Roland Schimmelpfennig (Germany)

    October 25-26, 2014 at Shout House

    Read the Portland Monthly season overview article here.


    "[An acquaintance of mine] charged me, though I couldn't conceive of it, to write something about illegal immigrants in Germany... These difficulties led to a critical reflection: how can one do this theme justice as a German theatre-maker?"
    -- Roland Schimmelpfennig on THE GOLDEN DRAGON, Theaterheute.


    Boom Arts teams up with Seattle’s Azeotrope Theatre and director Desdemona Chiang to bring you a Northwest premiere reading of The Golden Dragon, German playwright Roland Schimmelpfennig’s fast-paced, sophisticated rendering of contemporary life as defined by globalization and mass migration. An international sensation, The Golden Dragon is “a busy spider weaving a web of connections that spread right across the globe” (The Guardian, UK). Azeotrope Theatre, founded in 2010 by Seattle theatre artists Richard Nguyen Sloniker and Desdemona Chiang, creates spaces where audiences confront the marginalized and obscured, bringing visibility to the invisible.


    Play by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Germany). Translation by David Tushingham (UK). Directed by Desdemona Chiang (Seattle). Co-Production with Azeotrope (Seattle).

    Photo courtesy PortlandTheatreScene.com

    [Dialogue] Arts & Social Change: A Community Forum

    Saturday, September 20th, 11am-1pm
    FREE. No reservations necessary.
    At PICA, 415 SW 10th Avenue, Suite 300. Portland, OR 97205.

    A T:BA 14 Institute Festival Flight event
    Co-produced by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)


    60 artists, activists, and thinkers from Portland and beyond gathered for a participation-oriented community forum exploring ideas, practices, and possibilities within the shifting terrain of art and social change. More information here


    Alicia Jo Rabins

    February 6-9, 2014, Portland Playhouse

    May 8-11, 2014, Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre, Portland State University

    December 3-6, 2015, Disjecta

    Read the Oregon Arts Watch review here.

    Read the Oregonian article about the piece here.

    Read the Willamette Week article about the piece here.

    Listen to OPB's radio feature about the piece here.

    Watch an excerpt from the piece here.


    Rabins creates a "rich sensory tableau" that is "measured, empathetic and elegant. It’s as emotionally haunting as it is intellectually resonant"

    -- A.L. Adams, Oregon ArtsWatch

    "Completely enthralling, and refreshingly original... A triumph of personal creation."

    -- Win Goodbody, Portlandtheatrescene.com


    A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff is an original music theatre work by acclaimed Portland-based indie rocker, poet, and Torah scholar Alicia Jo Rabins. Through electro-acoustic music, documentary theatre, and meditative poetry, Rabins views Bernie Madoff and the system which allowed him to function through the lens of ancient Jewish and Buddhist texts on financial ethics, ecology, and cycles.

    Created & performed by Alicia Jo Rabins. Directed by Maureen Towey. Original animation by Zak Margolis. Sound design by Casi Pacilio. Stage managed by Amy Vaught. Curated and produced by Boom Arts.

    Show Sponsors: Linda & Scott Andrews, Harold Goldstein & Carol Streeter, & Stanley Penkin.

    [Residency] Guillermo Calderón in Oregon

    Meet Chile's premier playwright through programs produced by Boom Arts at Reed College & the Cinema Pacific Film Festival, University of Oregon.

    Calderón at Reed College: April 22 & 23, 2014
    Calderón at University of Oregon: April 24, 2014


    Public Events:
    Tuesday, April 22, 5pm: Staged Reading of Villa, followed by Q & A with Calderón, Performing Arts Building, Reed College, FREE
    Wednesday, April 23, 7pm: Screening of Violeta Went to Heaven (Screenplay by Calderón), followed by Q & A with Calderón, Performing Arts Building, Reed College, FREE


    Co-Sponsored by the Division of Literature and Languages, and the Departments of English, Music, Political Science, Spanish, and Theatre. Supported by the Office of the Dean of the Faculty and the Office for Institutional Diversity. Produced by Boom Arts by special invitation from Reed College.

    And: Thursday, April 24, 3:30 & 7pm, program at University of Oregon as part of the Cinema Pacific Festival

    Deborah Asiimwe

    April 11 & 12 at 7:30pm, April 13 at 2:00pm, 2014
    Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre, Portland State University


    Join us for workshop performances of Appointment with gOD, Ugandan playwright Deborah Asiimwe's funny, insightful exploration of the US visa process from an African perspective. A group of visa applicants anxiously await their fate in a US embassy waiting room in a developing country, and compare strategies and experiences with one another between appointments with the "gODs" behind the counter.


    These performances will follow a week-long Boom Arts artist residency at Portland State University with Asiimwe and her collaborator, NY-based director Emily Mendelsohn. They will feature dynamic Portland actors Victor Mack, Ithica Tell, and Damaris Webb, as well as drummer Alex Addy of the Obo Addy Legacy Project, plus student and community performers. Each performance will be followed by curated community conversations about what it means to encounter and enter the United States-- and the roads new Portlanders have taken to get here.

    Presented in partnership with Portland State University's School of Theatre and Film, College of the Arts, with project support from the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, the Oregon Cultural Trust, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, & Work for Art.

    [Dialogue] Theatre in Uganda & Rwanda: Commemoration, Complexity, & Collaboration

    An Artist Talk by director Emily Mendelsohn (NYC) & playwright Deborah Asiimwe (Uganda)

    Presented by Boom Arts, Lewis & Clark College Theatre Department, & the World Affairs Council of Oregon
    on the 20th Anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide
    Part of Boom Arts' Theatre of Global Engagement: International Collaboration and Social Change Arts & Lectures Series

    Monday, April 7, 2014, 7:00pm
    The Fir Acres Main Stage Theatre , Lewis & Clark College


    What does long-term artistic collaboration between the US and Africa look like? Hear from US-based director Emily Mendelsohn and her collaborator of seven years, acclaimed Ugandan playwright Deborah Asiimwe as they discuss their five-year, binational creation process for Cooking Oil, a play exploring the grassroots politics of foreign aid, as well as the upcoming work Maria Kizito, being developed in Rwanda by US, Rwandan, and Ugandan artists on the subject of the Rwandan genocide. Discover these artists' extraordinary work and learn what it takes to connect, listen, and create across cultures.


    [Dialogue] The Power of Performance: Theatre in Conflict Zones

    An Artist Talk by Joanna Sherman, Artistic Director of Bond Street Theatre
    Part of Boom Arts' Theatre of Global Engagement: International Collaboration and Social Change Arts & Lectures Series

    February 22, 2014 at 7pm

    Fir Acres Mainstage Theatre, Lewis and Clark College

    Co-presented by Boom Arts, Lewis and Clark College Theatre Department, and World Affairs Council of Oregon


    Joanna Sherman, internationally recognized pioneer in peacebuilding and the arts and Artistic Director of the MacArthur Award-winning New York-based ensemble Bond Street Theatre, presents a video-lecture exploring the impact and value of theatre as a tool for social improvement in global areas of conflict. For over three decades, Bond Street has used performance and theatre for healing and empowerment in some of the world’s toughest conflict zones, from the Balkans to the Middle East to Afghanistan. In her dynamic presentation, illustrated with riveting video footage, Sherman will show how Bond Street collaborates with local artists in high-need areas to apply "theatre-based" practices in working with communities such as street children, rural women, traumatized populations, and refugees. Discover why cross-cultural artistic conversation is crucial to mutual understanding, and how the practical applications of performance are a powerful means for bringing peace. Don't miss this chance to hear from a true visionary in the field of theatre and social change, speaking for the first time in Portland; one night only.


    The Natasha Plays:
    Yaroslava Pulinovich (Russia)

    Thursday-Saturday, November 21-23, 2013. 7:30pm.
    Lincoln Hall Studio Theatre, Portland State University.

    The Natasha Plays on OPB radio's State of Wonder (07:30-18:50)


    Boom Arts presents The Natasha Plays, two short solo plays on girlhood and the class divide in Russia by 26-year old Russian playwright Yaroslava Pulinovich. Karin Magaldi directed workshop performances featuring actresses Lily Burnett and Anneke Wisner. Presented in an English translation by John Freedman.


    Performance evenings included both short plays, followed by curated talkback conversations on themes including:Russian theatre today with Yaroslava Pulinovich via Skype (Nov 21); girlhood and gender in Russia and the US with gender scholar Ann Mussey (Portland State) and Russian literature scholar Tatiana Osipovich (Lewis & Clark; Nov 22); and inequality in contemporary Russia with political scientist Sarah Henderson (Oregon State University), co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council (Nov 23).


    The Natasha Plays
    By Yaroslava Pulinovich
    Translation by John Freedman
    Directed by Karin Magaldi
    Featuring Lily Burnett & Anneke Wisner

    Presented in partnership with Portland State University School of Theatre and Film and World Affairs Council of Oregon. Produced by special arrangement with Agency North Ltd, www.agencynorth.com.

    Guillermo Calderón (Chile)

    Young Chileans and the Legacy of Pinochet

    Sunday, September 15th at 3pm (Reading) + 4pm (Panel). Reception following.
    The White Box at the University of Oregon in Portland
    24 NW First Avenue, Portland
    FREE. First come, first served.


    As part of the TBA Festival (Institute) and in partnership with TBA and The White Box at the University of Oregon in Portland, Boom Arts presented a reading of Guillermo Calderón’s Villa (2011). Three young women debate the future of the site of a former villa turned into a torture barracks by the military dictatorship. Originally performed inside the infamous Villa Grimaldi, this “spare, intense” play by one of Chilean theatre’s fiercest new literary voices grapples with the legacy of atrocity using “stark lyricism and dreamlike imagery” (LA Times).
    The panel discussion that followed asked how a new generation of Chileans—including the children of activists targeted by Pinochet and other younger artists, journalists, and activists—is making sense of their shared past within a post-Pinochet climate.


    A reception was hosted by The White Box, University of Oregon in Portland.

    By Guillermo Calderón
    Translated by William Gregory
    Directed by Tracy Cameron Francis
    Dramaturgy by Sarah Rose Leonard
    Featuring Rebecca Lingafelter, Cristi Miles, & Dana Millican

    Guillermo Calderón (via Skype)
    Mariela Szwarcberg (Assistant Professor of Political Science at Reed College)
    Amalia Gladhart (Professor of Spanish and Head of the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon)
    Moderated by Ruth Wikler-Luker (Boom Arts).

    VILLA was originally produced as co-production between Teatro Playa and Santiago a Mil International Theater Festival.

    This event was co-sponsored by PICA and The White Box as part of the TBA:13 Festival:


    Teatro Línea de Sombra (Mexico)

    Community Screenings Project/OntheBoards.tv

    In collaboration with OntheBoards.tv, an online, on-demand site for the best of contemporary performance, Boom Arts produced screening and discussion events bringing OntheBoards.tv's HD film of Mexican theatre troupe Teatro Línea de Sombra’s immigration-themed work Amarillo to five Pacific Northwest communities from April-June 2013.These events were hosted and co-curated with local arts partners and included bilingual discussions with scholars and community leaders.

    Cinema Pacific Festival, Eugene, OR: April 17
    Tieton Arts & Humanities at Mighty Tieton, Tieton, WA: May 10
    Milagro Theatre, Portland, OR: May 22
    Columbia Center for the Arts, Hood River, OR: June 5
    Ross Ragland Theater, Klamath Falls, OR: June 20


    The Community Screenings Project was an extension of the live performance of Teatro Línea de Sombra’s Amarillo, and was made possible by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.


    Chisa Hutchinson

    Boom Arts' West Coast premiere production of Chisa Hutchinson's puppet musical for kids and families toured to two community music schools and five city parks around Portland, Oregon in Summer 2013.


    Book by Chisa Hutchinson. Music by Elliot Goldman. Lyrics by Sarah Gancher. Originally commissioned by City Parks’ SummerStage. Directed by Lava Alapai. Music Direction Ezra Weiss. Puppets by Anna Cosper & Afsaneh Aayani. Featuring Afsaneh Aayani, Lexie Hull, Jocelyn Seid, Blake Stone, Ithica Tell and Jon Roberts on trumpet.


    Kelly Clarke wrote of the production in the Willamette Week:
    "A wild array of funky puppets annoy, cajole and distract a talented 10-year-old trumpet player in this short, jazzy kids production from Boom Arts. Tunde (Blake Stone) has the heart to become a true musician, but first he must vanquish five challenges, including frustration and jealousy, in order to reach his potential. Powerful singer and storyteller Ithica Tell and live trumpeter Jon Roberts help anchor the can-do story, while puppets cleverly crafted from old piano keys, bungee cords and bedsheets charm grade-school-aged viewers."

    This production was supported by the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Work for Art, the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, the Oregon Cultural Trust, and the Boom Arts Founding Circle. It was presented in collaboration with Portland Parks and Recreation's Summer Free for All, Ethos Music Center, and the Community Music Center. In-Kind Sponsors: Putnam and Clackamas High Schools, Subway, Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre, Trinity Methodist Church, & Watershed Communications. Promotional Partners: August Wilson Red Door Project, Hand2Mouth Theatre, Northwest Children's Theatre, Oregon Children's Theatre, Portland Playhouse, Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre. Special thanks to Subway for providing complimentary sandwiches to family audiences at three parks performances.

    Salon Series 2012-2013: Living Politics

    Readings of four plays contemplating individual political identity, presented on the occasion of the 2012 election, October-November 2012.

    Staged in the living rooms of private homes:

    4000 Miles by Amy Herzog
    Elective Affinities by David Adjmi
    The Fever by Wallace Shawn

    Staged inside the visual art exhibition Kara Walker, More & Less, curated by Stephanie Snyder, at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College:

    Hollow Roots by Christina Anderson


    The readings of Hollow Roots were presented by special invitation and with support from the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery and the Office for Institutional Diversity, Reed College.


    Special thanks to our Salon hosts for 2012-2013.

    International Plays in Translation 2012-2013: Japan, Egypt, Argentina

    Staged readings of cutting-edge plays from around the globe.

    September 2012: Enjoy by Toshiki Okada at Portland Playhouse
    January 2013: Comedy of Sorrows by Ibrahim El-Husseini at Portland State University
    March 2013: The Coleman Family's Omission by Claudio Tolcachir at Portland Playhouse


    This series was co-sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Oregon and produced in partnership with PICA (Enjoy), Portland Playhouse (Enjoy & Coleman), & Portland State University's School of Theatre & Film (Comedy of Sorrows).