mini-fest goes big

Preview: The Richard Foreman Festival

For its 10th and final year, the mini-festival embarks on 10 days of avant-garde tomfoolery. Runs Nov. 8–17.

By Aaron Scott November 7, 2012

For its 10th and final year, this beloved “mini-festival” is tossing aside the “mini” and going whole hog for a 10-day performance extravaganza based on the work of avant-garde theater pioneer Richard Foreman. This is how it works: fest organizer Performance Works NorthWest chooses a piece of text from Foreman’s online, royalty-free notebooks of dialogue and thoughts, makes up some random rules (for example, reference the body and use at least one rhyme), and then delivers the instructions to a number of daredevil artists, who get just 10 days to put together their performances. Festivals past have resulted in wildly eclectic multimedia adventures, from a performer pummeling a dummy covered in raw steaks to a couple of hysterical drag queens rolling on the floor interacting with direct video feeds.

To top off this farewell festival, the nine days leading up to the finale will offer a veritable buffet of absurd events—intimate car performances, fortune tellings, haunted houses—that recapitulate all of the Foreman texts used in previous years. These are a couple of the events that caught our eye (for a full schedule, go here). Don’t be intimidated by their wacky names. Actually, it'd be best if you embrace the wackiness.

Don’t Know (from 2006) 

Sunday, Nov. 11, from 3–7pm
(H)ence, (A)ccordingly, (E)rgo, (T)herefore. An afternoon of breaking important rules. Cocktail party, participatory slide-making and performance. James Yeary crafts cocktails with thunder from the hills; JC Schlechter hosts no sound, just the rolling, a participatory slide show; Linda Austin performs; Dora Gaskill sends in a video; Meg McHutchison explores all things a hand can be holding and special guests. RSVP: [email protected]. Suggested donation $10–20.

Rauch-Neo A (from 2008)
Waited for Spectacular Arrivals 

Tuesday, Nov. 13, from 6–9pm.
1-3 people per 30 minute performance.

A Foreman-infested trip. Intimate car performance. A matrimonial tourbus, performance van, exploration tank, and make-it-what-you want ride. Have you ever thought that a Honda CRV Hatchback would make for a perfect stage? Both sporadic and inconsequential, yet also structured and profound, waited for spectacular arrivals waits for you. Join three friends (Keyon Gaskin, David Krom, and Danielle Ross), their cars, and a Kaj-Anne Pepper guided tour/Mobile Disco for this unique trip around the city. Suggested Donation $5–5,000. Pickup at Director’s Park (SW Park and Yamhill).

Cafe (from 2010)
Terrible Title:  Temporwaryly: A Foremaunted Apartment
Thursday, Nov. 15, from 6:30–9:30pm.
A performance will begin every 15 minutes and last 20-30 minutes.

Even creepier than Richard Foreman looks, Temporwaryly: A Foremaunted Apartment (Yes, a haunted house after Halloween—it’s POST-modern) is a performance that makes use of sinister characters, odd images, eerie sound-scapes and rancid olfactory elements to scare your socks off. (Literally: you will be asked to remove your socks and shoes at the start. Don’t worry, we’ll return them…hopefully). Creepy Collaborators: Anthony Hudson, David Krom, Grace Nowakoski, keyon gaskin, Jen Hackworth, Natacha Ruiz, Rosanna Ybarra, and Paige McKinney. Frightening Fee: $3–300 sliding scale. Lucid Location: 257C N Ivy St. The basement apartment of the blue house, door to the right of the main porch down the stairs.

Buddah Pting (from 2011)

The Late Now Beach Blanket Foreman Fest

Friday, Nov. 16 from
For the TLN Late Now Beach Blanket Foreman Fest, that champion of unbridled, open curiosity devoted to inclusive ludic subversion, host Leo Daedalus plays quixotic jester in the court of commercial spectacle, co-opting late-night TV structures in service of the deeply interesting, the sharply ludicrous, the thoughtfully unexpected, and the rigorously uncategorizable. Join Leo for an interview with Linda Austin, instigator of the Richard Foreman Mini-Festival. Expect other Foremanic freakiness, which we may not know about until we read about it in the next day’s papers. Rumor has it that TLN’s own Unspecified Correspondent Dora Gaskill will make a video appearance. Plus music. Or, “music.”

BYO Beach Blanket. It wouldn’t be a TLN interview if it weren’t also a beach party, would it? (Never heard that? It’s a new rule, and certain to be very short-lived.) So bring your beach blanket, your little pail, a cushion, and ideally a walrus. Click HERE for more… Suggested donation $5–15; no one turned away; all proceeds go to Performance Works NorthWest. Division Leap, 211 SW 9th Ave.

Grand Finale Performance At PWNW
Saturday, Nov. 17.
Doors open at 7:30; first seating at 7:30pm; second seating at 9:30pm.

Hostess: Kaj-anne Pepper  
Installation: Karl Lind  + Jenn Keyser || Chris Piuma

7:30 Performance:
Artists: Linda Austin & the Boris & Natasha Dancers, Kristine Anderson, Gregg Bielemeier, Tiffany Lee Brown, Eric Nordstrom + Michael Davidescu, Drew Pisarra & Heidi Carlson, Alyssa Reed-Stuewe

9:00–9:30 Eat, drink, buy raffle tickets

9:30 Performance:
Artists: THE DECEPTICONS, Grace Nowakoski + Jeff Diteman, Weird Fiction, Justin Smith, Vanessa De Wolf + Syniva Whitney, Leah Wilmoth + Jason King, + Jonathan Russell, David Abel + James Yeary, Danielle Ross.

Here's an example from 2007 of the instructions given to the artists 10 days ahead of time with which to create their work:

OK, here goes.....drum roll>>>the TEXT for this year is "Collectionus." You can download it here.
The RULES for this year are as follows:
1-- use some part of the text that has to do with physicality or the body
2-- use at least one rhyme from one of the two rhyming poems in the piece.
3--have a good time!
Other than that, as much or little of the text as you like, in whatever form or mode. Pieces should be 4-8 min (more or less).

$15–30 sliding for one seating; $20–75 sliding scale for the whole show. Performance Works NW, 4625 SE 67th Ave. 503-777-1907. Tickets for the Nov. 17 show will be sold at the warm-up events and online at


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