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.
Portland Actor/Director Patton SmallPortland Actor/Director Patton Small
Pieces: Mountain Goats, Falling Man
Artpunk Club: What is it about theater that really does it for you?
Patton Small: The liveness of it. I love sharing an experience with other people in real time. There is
something visceral and electric about that. Also playing with my imagination. I never wanted to
stop being a 5-year-old, so I’m doing my best to embrace my inner child as an adult.
AC: What personal or professional goals inspired you to undergo an intensive yearlong training
PS: I wanted to develop my practical skills. I’ve spent quite a bit of time working with theory and
books and I just wanted to do some doing. And I’m just looking for any excuse to roll around
on the floor for 20 hours a week.
AC: What should audiences expect from Lost. Found.?
PS: AN EXPERIENCE!!
But hopefully one that helps them expand their imagination and their view of theatre’s potential.
AC: As an audience member, what’s your favorite show from the last year of Portland theatre?
PS: Either Anthem from the TBA festival last fall or Ordinary Devotions by Linda Austin. Both were truly spectacular and inspiring dance pieces.
AC: What’s next for you?
IPS: ‘m probably moving to Bhutan for a year to help facilitate research around Buddhist masked dance festivals. I harbor a deep love for the academic field of Performance Studies.
AC: You have 3 genie wishes to be used on the Portland Theatre Scene. What do you wish for? (No monkey paw catches)
PS: 1. More grant money!! Infinite grant money!!
2. More communication and collaboration between the dance and theatre worlds! All
performers are great.
3. More free open training spaces where artists can meet up and bounce ideas off of each
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