CLOSING: OBT Roar(s)
7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, Keller Auditorium, $29–115
Oregon Ballet Theatre kicks off its 30th anniversary season with a trio of visionary works from decades past: In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, William Forsythe’s fiercely off-kilter 1987 piece; Stravinsky Violin Concerto, George Balanchine’s abstract, introspective work from 1972; and the revival of Dennis Spaight’s Scheherazade, the first ballet choreographed for OBT.
OPENING: Sasha Waltz: Körper
7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sat, Newmark Theatre, $30–70
For the first time, White Bird brings Sasha Waltz & Guests to Portland, the only place you’ll catch their work stateside this year. In Körper, bodies are pushed together, piled up, pinched, thrown, move in unison, and apart, are witnessed, explored, and divorced from the language we use to describe them. In a show that’s both energetic and architectural—images from the opening night are still flashing behind my eyelids—Sasha Waltz’s adept cast offer an intimate, expressive insight into the physical nature of being.
7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sat, 5:30 p.m. Sun, Shaking the Tree, $15–35
The classic Greek tragedy by Euripides is given new life at Shaking the Tree by poet and classicist Anne Carson and director Samantha Van Der Merwe. If you want to watch an almost 25 century old reality TV show, this is it: the play, outrageous for its time and still subversive today, explores gender and sexuality with the always-troublemaking Dionysus at the helm.
7:30 p.m. Fri–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, New Expressive Works, $20–30
Corrib, Portland’s contemporary Irish theatre company, takes on Patricia Burke Brogan’s Eclipsed. Set in the 1960s at a Magdalene laundry in a fictional Irish town, Eclipsed examines the treatment of unwed mothers under the Catholic church's misogynistic mantle. Corrib's is a fierce and deeply felt (if uneven) production that examines cruelty and solidarity among women pushed the fray.
7 p.m. Thurs–Fri, 12 p.m. & 6 p.m. Sat–Sun, Undisclosed Location, $25
Boom Arts consistently brings captivating performances from around the world to Portland, and up next is this show from France’s Begat Theater, copresented by local troupe Hand2Mouth. Set on the city’s streets, audiences will don headphones, privy to a handful of stories as they traipse through downtown in what Begat calls “an invisible performance” exploring secrets and anonymity.
7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, The Armory, $25–80
When Quiara Alegría Hudes (who since went on to win a Pulitzer) teamed up with Lin Manuel Miranda (you may have heard of him), the rhythmic, salsa-steeped result was In the Heights, a musical set in Washington Heights which bagged them four Tonys and has been produced all over the world, from Tokyo to Melbourne to Lima. Now PCS brings it to Portland in a high energy, sweetly affecting production.
7:30 p.m. Sat–Sun, The Armory, $21–42
Former Profile artistic director Adriana Baer directs a reworked, all-female version of The Scottish Play, edited by buzzy New York Obie winner Lee Sunday Evans. Evans’s script has been produced before, and the New York Times called it an “irreducibe, transcendent” adaptation that “commands engagement.” Tickets are running low, but most performances still have several seats available.
CLOSING: Mother, Come Home
7:30 p.m. Thurs–Sat, 2 p.m. Sun, CoHo Theatre, $15–25
When his mom dies, 7-year-old Thomas finds solace in a fantasy world. His dad, meanwhile, spirals into delusion. That’s the premise of Paul Hornschemeier’s Mother, Come Home, a graphic novel published in 2003 by Portland’s Dark Horse Comics. Now, Third Rail delivers a multimedia workshop adaptation to the stage—it's a little unpolished, and suffers from fealty to the source material, but it's also moving and tough to shake.
Thurs–Sun, 1 p.m.–7 p.m., Ori Gallery, FREE
A collaboration between Portland’s Lisa Jarrett, Chamori writer and artist Lehua M. Taitano, and artist Jocelyn Kapumealani Ng that examines cross-cultural histories with audio and large-scale photographs. Check out our preview here.
10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thurs–Fri, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, Portland Art Museum, $17–20
Hank Willis Thomas’s work focuses on bias, institutionalized discrimination, and inequality through a pop culture lens—one of his most recognizable works, “Branded Head,” displays a Nike swoosh carved into the side of black man’s skull. All Things Being Equal, a new show that opens at PAM before heading to Ohio and Arkansas, will feature more than 90 multimedia works from the span of his career.
12–5 p.m., Thurs–Sun, Disjecta, FREE
The Portland Biennial showcases the work of visual and performing artists from across Oregon—consider it an eye-popping opportunity to check the pulse of contemporary art in our state. Expect 18 artists at different stages in their careers, with work taking on indigenous identity, black life in Portland, traffic sound, and more.