The Latest in Portland Arts News—The Oregon Symphony's Record-Smashing Season

Plus Summer Cannibals' new video, Corrib Theatre's new season, lottery tickets for WICKED, and the arts organizations your arts tax is funding

By Fiona McCann July 30, 2015

The Oregon Symphony's Record Smash

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Mayor Charlie Hales and Oregon Symphony President Scott Showalter at the Symphony's 2015 Gala. Photo by Mario Gallucci

The Oregon Symphony sold more tickets, brought in more total ticket revenue, sold out more concerts, had more first-time ticket buyers, more donors, more donor contributions and raised more at its annual gala last season than in any previous season in its close to 120 years of existence, it announced this week.

All this bodes well for Symphony President Scott Showalter, for whom 2014/15 was his first year at the helm. For a taste of next year’s delights, mark September 3 on your calendar for the Symphony’s annual Waterfront Concert, the largest free concert in Oregon. Last year’s concert drew—wait for it—record numbers, so get there early this year for a good spot and make sure to stay put for the grand finale, which promises Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, with fireworks and military cannons.

 Corrib Launches First Full Season

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Image from Corrib Theatre's production of The Hen Night Epiphany. Photo by Owen Carey. 

Portland’s nascent Irish-focused theater company Corrib is coming into its own, launching this week its first full season for 2015/16. Having begun with stage readings of plays by contemporary Irish playwrights, this year the company will have three full productions as well as two readings. The season kicks off with Elaine Murphy’s Little Gem, a co-production with CoHo Theatre that had a successful run at Kells Irish Pub earlier this year. Christian O’Reilly’s Chapatti, a love story between two people in their sixties, will also be staged in earl spring, while Nancy Harris’s Our New Girl, a drama about the darker side of modern parenthood, closes out the season next June. The reading series will showcase works by Ursula Rani Sarma, an Irish-Indian playwright, and Mirjana Rendulic, who is Irish-Croatian. More on the upcoming season here

Oregon Playwright Gets a Kilroys List Honorable Mention

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Photo credit: Owen Carey

Artists Rep Resident Artist Andrea Stolowitz has been adding to her accolades. Hot on the heels of her Angus L. Bowmer Award for Drama, given at this year’s Oregon Book Awards for her play Ithaka, she’s now got an honorable mention on the Kilroys List for her new play Antartikos. The Kilroys are a group of LA-based playwrights and producers, and their annual List is intended to showcase plays by women and trans playwrights they feel are worthy of production.

Wicked Tickets Lottery Announced

If you've been trying and failing to get WICKED tickets without forking out the full price—note: turns out sorcery and magical thinking don't work— then put your magic wand away. The powers that be have just announced a day-of-performance lottery for a limited number of orchestra seats that could nab you tickets for the price of just $25 a pop. Interested? You need to turn up to the Keller Auditorium two and a half hours before each performance to get your names in the lottery drum. Thirty minutes later, names will be drawn for the seats. You need a valid photo ID and cash in hand to claim your prize.  See? Magic. Sort of.  

Who's Getting Your Arts Tax Money?

 You’ve paid your arts tax (right?), but where is it going? Well, part of it is going to sixteen Portland-based arts organizations, chosen by the Regional Arts & Culture Council as recipients of some of the city’s “arts tax” proceeds. The sixteen organizations awarded the grant for General Operating Support divide the spoils—$215,886 in public funding, which comes from the City of Portland general fund and Multnomah County as well as the arts tax—between them. Oregon Children's Theatre received the biggest slice of the pie with $51,160, with $44,740 going to Artists Repertory Theatre, $29,845 going to Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and $21,953 to Third Rail Repertory Theatre. Other recipients of the grant were: Chamber Music Northwest, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Echo Theater Company, Ethos Music Center, Imago Theatre, Independent Publishing Resource Center, Live Wire! Radio, NW Documentary Arts & Media, Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra, Portland Piano International, Profile Theatre Project, and Write Around Portland.

 Summer Cannibals And Exploding Heads

Need we say more? The band's new video has dropped, just in time to convince you to catch them at Pickathon this weekend. . . .

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