Seventh annual event pushes boundaries of art, music, dance and theater

by: COURTESY OF TIM SUMMERS, RISK/REWARD - In the Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance, Seattles Ilvs Strauss performs Manifesto, a solo show with minimal costumes and a few props.Opening night can be pretty interesting at the Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance. Nobody knows what to expect at the micro-fest until the artists charged with creating new work start performing onstage. Lively conversation takes place as performances take place one after another in the festive environment.

It’s the beauty of Risk/Reward, which takes place for the seventh time, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, June 20 and 21, and 5 p.m. Sunday, June 22, at Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 S.W. Alder St. Tickets are $14 to $18 in advance or $20 at the door and available at

There’ll be six committee-selected acts at Risk/Reward pushing the boundaries of live performance in

20 minutes or less, described as the following:

• Laura Heit, Portland, theater/puppetry/animation/video, “The Letting Go” — She says: “My intention is to build a performance that is constantly transforming our perceptions between live/recorded and the living/departed to create new perpetually shifting in-betweens.”

• Ilvs Strauss, Seattle, dance/theater/performance art, “Manifesto” — A solo show that employs a California red sea cucumber as a vehicle for exploring the topic of womanhood, with no set, minimal costumes and a few props.

by: COURTESY OF RISK/REWARD - Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble presents (afterthought) at Risk/Reward, a play for the image-hungry designed in a visceral soundscape.• The Neutral Fembot Project, Portland, theater/movement/performance art, “Untitled # ______” — Visual artist Cindy Sherman explores performance, asking, “What are the moments in between images? How does disguise reveal vulnerabilities, iconic personas and the real self?”

• Erin Pike, Seattle, theater, “That’swhatshesaid” — Pike challenged playwright Courtney Meaker to write a one-person performance with only female dialogue from popular American plays, and the result is a brutal theatrical exercise in isolation.

• Lucy Lee Yim, Portland, dance, “Tunnel” — The solo dance stems from an interior point of movement, starting with an action that evolves with time, rarely resting, even in stillness, and all performed in silence.

• Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, Portland, theater/movement/music, “(afterthought”) — It’s a play for the image-hungry, a story of boys seeking fresh air, designed in a rigorous physical and visceral soundscape.

The festival’s goals are to support new works by artists with full assistance, introduce audiences to new works, provide networking opportunities, and to promote creative excellence.

— Jason Vondersmith

Contract Publishing

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