Friday, January 8, 2016

Fertile Ground Festival—Artists Rep., et. al.—Portland area

Seeds of Creativity

This is a city-wide festival for new works ranging from stage readings, story-telling, musicals, events, to full-blow productions.  And they are playing at different venues throughout the Portland area beginning January 21st.  A Festival pass is $50 which comes up to less than a dollar a show!  For more information, go to their site at

I was lucky enough to sit in on an event where artists of some of these productions pitched their projects to media people.  Out of over 60 productions slated under this banner, I was fortunate enough to have chatted with over 15 of them during the allotted time period.  And this was all due to PATA, the blessed Ronnie Lacroute, Virginia Oshel, Howard Cutler, et. al. and Artists Rep. with the Festival’s director, the amazing Nicole Lane.

I can’t begin to describe all the eclectic types of people, productions or ideas that were pitched that evening but know that Art is in the best of hands in the Portland area.  What did I learn from this adventure?  That mustaches can be eatable; that I actually got to meet the “real” Baba Yaga from folklore; that troubled youths have a voice; that even Frankenstein has a point of view (and a feminine one at that); that cabaret, “ole chum,” is becoming another way to present music and stories; and that one does not need to sell his soul to get noticed.

After reading the material for all the shows to be presented and listening to pitches from some of them, my reaction briefly would be, innovative…imaginative…educational…entertaining…enriching…a feast for the eyes and ears and mind, an opportunity to go, perhaps, where no human has gone before….  But enough of my inadequate ramblings as the Queen of the crop, Nicole Lane, has said it best:  …”get out there, take a chance, go visit undiscovered nooks and crannies of all sorts, expand your art-growing repertoire and see theatre, clown, dance and more…most certainly you will feed your arts yearnings, grow your perspective and embrace your sense of adventure as you participate in Portland’s unique culture…‘grow’ out on a creative adventure….” 

Some of these events are selling out fast so I would recommend going to the website mentioned above very soon.  Also the Festival Pass is certainly the most economical way to go.  And, as always, if you do attend, please tell them Dennis sent you.

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