The Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble—that’s PETE to their friends—stages inventive and unusual new works (Deception Unit, How We Learn) as well as fresh adaptations of more traditional fare (Uncle Vanya/a whole lotta Chekhov). But! PETE also offers a yearlong unique and intensive training program known as the Institute for Contemporary Performance (ICP). Each year’s cohort puts on a showcase at the end of their term. This year’s performance, Lost. Found., features the seven artists of the 2018/2019 cohort in an imaginative new work featuring clown ballet, an undetermined number of paper flowers, Ancient Greek stand-up, non-existent time, the grim reaper, and possibly 15-20 Styrofoam heads. We can’t wait!
We asked each cohort member a handful of questions about the show, their experience in the program, and the Portland arts scene.
Pieces: Mr. Blue
Artpunk Club: What is it about theater that really does it for you?
August Augustine: Theater is limitless in its potentials. Its connection to human culture from the beginning till now acts as an inside view towards human development as a species. It is provocative, imaginative, and most importantly fun! I am constantly having my expectations broken.
AC: What personal or professional goals inspired you to undergo an intensive yearlong training program?
AA: I was curious to explore more about what our human instrument can do. To push myself deeper into the various forms of creativity. I was ready to push myself from what I know into the world of the unknown to learn from what these forms had to offer. What I found is beyond my wildest dreams.
What should audiences expect from Lost. Found.?
That’s a tough question. What you can expect is to not see traditional theatre. The rest, I feel has to come from being open to what this art has to say about the world we live in now, how we define ourselves, and what to look forward to.
AC: As an audience member, what’s your favorite show from the last year of Portland theatre?
AA: I really enjoyed Anthem at TBA Fest. It pushed my understanding of simplicity in art. That all we need is the human body to communicate a million things and more.
AC: What’s next for you?
AA: I’m not too sure. I have some ideas about where I might want to go, but I feel like my next step is to listen to what the universe is telling me. Then I will know.
AC: You have 3 genie wishes to be used on the Portland Theatre Scene. What do you wish for? (No monkey paw catches)
AA: 1. Inspire more imagination
2. Clowntown all around
3. To stop wishing and make it happen
Lost. Found. has closed, but you can keep up with PETE’s latest work (as well as ICP and other training opportunities!) at www.petensemble.org