Storytelling and Theatre Pack the Weekends at This New Festival

The first-ever Portable Performance Festival at 18th & Union is in full swing, with another 20 or so shows still to come over the next two weekends.  

Schedule subject to change. View festival calendar and show info here


For this festival, designed to be the first of an annual event, 18th and Union staff members Jasmine Flora, Peggy Gannon, K. Brian Neel, Sarah Ross, and Zenaida Smith have selected a varied lineup with something — and probably plenty of things — for everyone.


Lewiston: a workshop play 

What: Considering modern developers, historical land-stealers, and family secrets, from a roadside fireworks stand.

Who: By Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Andy Walker. Performed by Imogen Love, Lindsay Welliver, Mark Emerson Smith, and Stephanie Roman.

When: 9/14


Dinosaur Arms: a solo performance 

What: A mother recalls her son’s diagnosis of Autism and how it saved his life.

Who: Created and performed by Tracy Leigh; directed by Bret Fetzer

When: 9/15, 9/24 (Integrate shorts); past: 9/9 


He Hawai’i Au: a film 

What: A story of reinvention, as a Native Hawaiian woman leaves her home for Seattle.

Who: Daymien Nainoa Bunao

When: 9/15, 9/21; past: 9/10 


Your Best American Girl: a short work   

What: Individual and collective reflections on identity, body, and home, told through music, poetry, and prose.

Who: Laura Kim, Anis, Yuna, Jordan Alam, and Serina Chang

When: 9/16 (Interrogate shorts)


‘O Wai ‘Au? (“who am I?”): a short work 

What: a Native and queer coming-of-age story, in Hawaiian chant, poetry, and prose.

Who: Leilani Kepo’ikai Bostock

When: 9/16 (Interrogate shorts), 9/22 (Breathe shorts); past: 9/10


Navel-Gazing: a short work  

What: Investigating body and exploring femme, non-binary identity with improvised movement.

Who: Created and performed by Kara Beadle.

When: 9/16 (Interrogate shorts), 9/22 (Breathe shorts); past: 9/10


To, From, Sincerely: a short work   

What: Spoken word via self-talk, when the hardest part of the day is getting up.

Who: Written and performed by Taylor Melville.

When: 9/16 (Interrogate shorts), 9/22 (Radiate shorts); past: 9/10


After Lightning: a short work  

What: Inspired by real lightning, a dance retraces an evening’s steps after metaphorical lightning strikes.

Who: Choreographed by Juliet Waller Pruzan; danced by Alex Ung.

When: 9/16 (Interrogate shorts), 9/22 (Breathe shorts); past: 9/10


Four Black Women Talking: stories  

What: Through conversation and song, Black women reveal personal inspirations, achievements, and experiences with racism across the country.

Who: Performed by Jo Lute-Ervin, Helen Collier, Minnie Collins, and Jaye Ware, with vocals by Ashanti Proctor.

When: 9/17, 9/24


La PerraKa Baretera: a collage 

What: Exploring eroticism, religion, death, and transformation, through dance, theatre, and storytelling.

Who: Created and performed by Zara Martina Lopez.

When: 9/17 (with Exesive; performed in Spanish), 9/24 (with Moonyeka); past: 9/10 (with Lola Meraz)


Who We Were, How We Failed, What We Wore: a storytelling duet 

What: ’90s kids tell growing-up dreams and coming-of-age stories through fashion choices.

Who: Written and performed by Claire Koleske & Roland Carette-Meyers.

When: 9/17, 9/18; past: 9/9 


Bastard Love Child: a workshop musical 

What: A performer workshops her own origin story through this musical-in-development.

Who: Written and performed by Marcy Rodenborn

When: 9/18


Gold: a staged reading 

What: A teenager goes on an epic road trip to visit her late grandfather’s mistresses after inheriting his little black book.

Who: Written by Marcus Gorman, directed by Jasmine Joshua. Performed by Zandi Carlson, Doug Fahi, SJ Geiger, Megan Huynh, Dan Posluns, and Jessica Robins.

When: 9/18


What Sounds at Night: a strings duet 

What: Two musicians perform and contextualize favorite compositions, spanning 400 years.

Who: Libby Phelps (violin) and Kayleigh Miller (viola)

When: 9/18; past: 9/8


Catslut: a solo performance 

What: Amid theoretical debates over bodily autonomy, a woman tells her own story of false agency.

Who: Written & performed by Katherine Jana; directed by Carly Cipriano.

When: 9/21


The Prescription: a short work 

What: In this short play, a person arrives in a big-box store’s pharmacy, but it’s not clear what they’re trying to fill.

Who: By Christine Deavel. Performed by Cecelia Frye, Mariah Lee Squires, and Meleesa Wyatt.

When: 9/22 (Radiate shorts), 9/24 (Integrate shorts)


Reginald: a short work

What: In this solo performance, a picture of a crab brings new meaning to life and death.

Who: Written and performed by Maddy Nibble.

When: 9/22 (Radiate shorts), 9/24 (Integrate shorts)


SkullKat: a short work 

What: A brew of post-punk, metal disco, and cat jokes.

Who: Angelina, Kat, and guest artists.

When: 9/22 (Radiate shorts), 9/24 (Integrate shorts)


Preexisting Conditions: stories 

What: Mental health professionals recall stories from those they’ve met.

Who: Performed by Troy Mink and Ken Ryan; directed by Randy Dixon.

When: 9/23, 9/24; past: 9/10


Portable Performance Festival  runs through 9/24 at 18th & Union in the Central District. Tickets are $10-$50 (sliding scale available for all) per show, with multi-show packages available, here. Accessibility notes: restroom is gender-neutral, single-stall; theatre can be made wheelchair accessible with a ramp, but the restroom is not — please contact venue ahead of time to ensure smooth access.

View all shows on NWT’s Performance Calendar here.

Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.