Fertile Ground Festival of New Works


Photo: “Beethoven & Chopin Meet the Bride of Frankenstein” is a production from CoHo Productions that will be presented at the Fertile Ground Festival.

The Portland-grown Fertile Ground City-Wide Festival of New Works kicks off its 11th annual festival beginning on Thursday, Jan. 30 and continuing through Sunday, Feb. 9. Fertile Ground is set in a town boasting prolific playwrights, abundant actors, innovative dancers, talented designers and adventuresome producers. Over the past ten festivals, Fertile Ground has welcomed more than 1,100 “acts of creation” from Portland’s artistic communities that thrive on stages, nooks and crannies all over the city for 11 days.

Fertile Ground is an incubator for new work in all forms and stages of creation, offering theatre and dance, workshops, staged readings, readings and multidisciplinary events – for 11 days, at all times of the day, at venues across the city. Offering an astonishing breadth of creative work are seasoned theatre and dance companies alongside new art-creators of every ilk.

Since the inaugural festival in 2009, more than 70 Fertile Ground-originated works have gone on to further productions, locally, nationally, and in festivals worldwide.

Fertile Ground 2020’s myriad of new works span theatre in long and short form, musical theatre, puppetry, circus and aerial arts, sketch and improvisational comedy, animation, a wide variety of dance disciplines, social action through the arts, as well as the voices of youth, lesser-heard voices, and shows that are derived from audience participation or input. In addition to seasoned producers, dozens of emerging young producers, playwrights, choreographers and animators will offer their work in this collaborative Portland artistic showcase festival.

“Each year, I’m like a kid in a candy store as I look through the project listings for the first time, awash with delight at the inventive, thoughtful, diverse array of creative impulses they comprise,” says Nicole Lane, Fertile Ground Festival director. “This year is no different, and maybe even more exciting than some years. Looking at this year’s crop, and knowing that dozens of Fertile Ground projects over the past 10 years launched from this festival, it is gratifying to know that Fertile Ground truly serves the artists of our community in such a meaningful way. As an arts-going community, we give artists permission, and encouragement, to create by demonstrating our shared belief in the value of new work by being present and open to the unique adventure of Fertile Ground.”

Fertile Ground Festival – a project of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance – involves hundreds of artists and welcomes thousands of audience members. The festival offers artists a safe space for new work of all levels, to be seen and grown. Fertile Ground works to educate audiences about the process of developing new work, and introduce them to new artists and artistic genres. Artists are emboldened to take chances and share their artistic impulses, cultivate producing skills, and introduce their work to new audiences. The festival encourages all artists, of every background and discipline, to jump in to elevate the widest swath of voices and to generate an exciting array of arts-centric offerings.

Fertile Ground Festival of New Work 2020
Presented by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance

Dates: Jan. 30-Feb. 9

Venues: Citywide

Festival passes/tickets: Individual event tickets sold through each producer; all-access reservations available for $70.

Information: For a full schedule of event listings and descriptions, visit fertilegroundpdx.org.

Printed festival guides are available in many theater lobbies including Portland Center Stage, Lakewood Theatre, Broadway Rose, Northwest Children’s Theater, Bag & Baggage, CoHo Productions and other locations.

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