June in the PacNW: Seattle’s NW New Works & Portland’s Risk/Reward

From Jessica Jobaris's (center) piece at NWNW

I may live in NYC now, but I have a special place in my heart for Seattle’s contemporary performance community, where I learned the ropes, and in particular for the NW New Works Festival at On the Boards. A two-week festival of new dance, theater, and music, from Seattle and the larger Pacific NW’s performance community, NWNW is one of OtB’s oldest and most beloved programs. The vast majority of new experimental work coming out of the region is first seen in 20-minute form at the festival; what audiences see from 16 companies over two weeks will be filling out the next couple years’ seasons of original, challenging work. I sat on the festival selection panel for the 2010 fest (an awesome and humbling experience), and this is the first time in five or six years I won’t be there for it. The trailer only does it partial justice, so check the OtB blog for reviews and more info. Also, for all the Portland readers we (hopefully) have, some of the artists, like Jessica Jobaris, will be headed south to Portlandia two weeks from now for Risk/Reward, the local performance festival produced by our good pals Hand2Mouth Theater, who understand that the key to healthy arts in a city is building institutions to showcase and support the diversity of work happening there, so please, support their efforts.

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