With The Ways We Cope, Red Balloon Theater Collective (RBTC for short) declared that they were a legit experimental ensemble to be reckoned with, capable of multidisciplinary performances full of wit, insight, and humor. And in the theater season since, several Balloonists have done astonishing work onstage in other companies’ productions and solo shows. In short, they are Young Creatives To Watch, and helping to drive the Portland theater scene into newer, more explorative territories.
Yellow Yellow Yellow is their newest jam and promises to be a fun, emotional Venn diagram of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a big-top circus, and group therapy.
Artpunk Club asked RBTC and their Yx3 collaborators to answer a handful of questions about the show, their experiences in theater, and the Portland arts scene.
You may know Kayla Hanson from her electrifying one-woman movement masterclass in Act II of Third Rail’s Arlington (A Love Story), or her shrouded turn as Depression personified as a miming demon in Rutabaga Story Co’s An Irish Exit, or as the kind-hearted older brother in Vertigo’s A Dark Sky Full of Stars. Kind of a busy 2019.
What’s the best thing about theater to you as a performer?
The opportunity to consciously practice empathy and invite the audience to do so as well.
What is the best thing about theater to you as an audience member?
Having a real-time shared experience with a group of people, and being surprised (in any sense).
Which performances in the 2018/2019 Portland Theater season did you crush on the hardest?
(Note: please do not choose another Red Balloonist’s performance—too easy!)
Amber Whitehall in PETE’s Our Ruined House, because we all know I love movement + dancing, and Darius Pierce in Small Mouth Sounds at ART, because I *also* love having my heart shattered into a million pieces.
What should audiences expect from Yellow Yellow Yellow?
Expect your senses to be taken on a journey and played with. Expect to laugh. Expect to feel.
What’s next for RBTC?
On September 29th, we’ll be having our second “Red Poets” fundraiser at the Alberta Abbey. And after that, we’ll be cooking up a fully staged production of our last workshop “The Ways We Cope”, for the Fertile Ground Festival.
You have 3 genie wishes to be used on the Portland Theatre Scene. What do you wish for? (No monkey paw catches)
– Meaningful diversity
– Affordable rehearsal and performance spaces
– Honestly, if everyone made an effort to get weirder and more experimental with their art, that would just make my heart sing
Yellow Yellow Yellow has closed, but Red Balloon Theatre Collective is still creating. Keep up with their latest projects at redballooncollective.org!