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: Lady in Pink, Palindrome Machines
Artpunk Club: What is it about theater that really does it for you?
Claire Rigsby: The constant search for presence in a set container. Trying again and again and again.
AC: What personal or professional goals inspired you to undergo an intensive yearlong training program?
CR: I knew I wanted to be more in my body. I knew I wanted to dedicate more time to my creativity. I knew that I couldn’t ignore the fire I felt when I took PETE’s Viewpoints/Suzuki intensive. BLAM.
AC: What should audiences expect from Lost. Found.?
CR: Seven pieces with completely different aesthetics that were created by different people at different times that somehow overlap and echo each other in the most amazing and surprising ways.
AC: As an audience member, what’s your favorite show from the last year of Portland theatre?
CR: I can’t name favorites, but I’m excited by all the young folks out there making work and taking risks (Red Balloon Theatre Collective, Jake Simonds, Clifton Holznagel, Shadow Tender, Bedrock Theatre etc.). Also anything and everything TBA Festival. Especially NIC Kay’s PUSHIT!
AC: What’s next for you?
CR: SoLow Fest PDX! I also just finally got permission to share that I’ll be playing Julia in 1984 at Artist’s Rep this fall!
AC: You have 3 genie wishes to be used on the Portland Theatre Scene. What do you wish for? (No monkey paw catches)
CR: More “untraditional” spaces.
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