PICA’s TBA & Artists Rep Partner to bring
Becca Blackwell for the West Coast Premiere of
They, Themself and Schmerm
Kicks Off Artists Rep’s 2017/18 FRONTIER SERIES Season
CO-PRESENTERS: Artists Repertory Theatre, PICA’s Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival 2017
WHAT: They, Themself and Schmerm
Written and performed by Becca Blackwell
WHEN: ONLY FOUR PERFORMANCES: September 8-11, 2017
Friday-Saturday @ 8:30pm; Sunday-Monday @ 6:30pm
WHERE: Artists Repertory Theatre, Morrison Stage, 1515 SW Morrison, Portland
TICKETS: $30 regular price; $75 for full 3-show FRONTIER SERIES
Buy Tickets: 503.241.1278 or www.artistsrep.org
SPECIAL EVENT: PICA TBA:17 “Dialogue” series
Becca Blackwell with Shawna Lipton and bart fitzgerald
Tuesday, September 12:30pm-1:30pm | FREE
PNCA: Shipley/Collins Mediatheque, 511 NW Broadway, Rm 107
HUFFINGTON POST INTERVIEW: HERE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE. Portland, Oregon | August 22, 2017. Artists Rep and PICA’s Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival 2017 partner to co-present They, Themself and Schmerm, written and performed by New York’s Becca Blackwell, directed and developed by Ellie Heyman in collaboration with Jill Pangallo and Jess Barbagallo. This one-weekend production, the first of Artists Rep’s 2017/18 FRONTIER SERIES bringing new work in performance to Portland, will run for four performances September 8 through September 11, 2017.
Part standup comedy special, part teen zine confessional, They, Themself and Schmerm is Becca’s disturbingly hilarious personal tale of identity, abuse, sexuality and gender. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll question what bathroom to use.
“I am delighted to work with PICA to bring Becca Blackwell’s work to Portland audiences,” said FRONTIER SERIES curator, Jerry Tischleder. “Becca is an incredibly charismatic artist whose performance rides a fine line between loving confrontation and disturbing comedy. Their first-person stories of navigating public restroom choices, children’s questions about gender and other daily encounters offer a unique glimpse into one amazing human being’s journey to be their authentic self.”
SPECIAL EVENT: As part of PICA’s TBA 2017 programming, Becca Blackwell will share insights into the creation of They, Themself, and Schmerm, including themes of gender and transition, strategies of humor, and forms of comedy and personal narrative. Blackwell will be in dialogue with TBA Guest Scholar bart fitzgerald and Shawna Lipton, Chair, MA in Critical Studies, Pacific Northwest College of Art. The conversation will take place Tuesday, September 12 from 12:30pm to 1:30pm at Pacific Northwest College of Art’s (PNCA) Shipley/Collins Mediatheque at 511 NW Broadway, Room 107. Admission is free.
“They, Themself, and Schmerm is – to my mind – an affirmation of value attained via an acceptance of a tangled life spent coloring outside the lines. And it is an affirmation that feels important to witness.”
“Blackwell is remarkable in their ability to be opinionated and forceful, while being open, conscientious, and curious at the same time.”
—Russell Janzen, Medium
“…despite your strict warning that nothing you said should inform our understanding of the LGBT community, your audience emerged from the theater last night with a greater awareness of a sociocultural transformation underway…”
—Amber Power, BOMB Magazine
“Blackwell’s They, Themself and Schmerm sucker punches its way out of the one-person show genre, gifting the audience not only VIP access to the life of a talented trans actor, but also an education.”
—Sarah Matusek, New York Theatre Review
ABOUT BECCA BLACKWELL
Becca Blackwell is a NYC based trans actor, performer and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun “they,” Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expand our sense of personhood and the body through performance. Some of their collaborations have been with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller’s Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, Sharon Hayes, Theater of the Two Headed Calf and Lisa D’Amour. Recently seen in Erin Markey’s tour of A Ride on the Irish Cream and Richard Maxwell’s Samara, Becca is also a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award 2015.
ABOUT FRONTIER SERIES
Artists Rep offers the second year of their groundbreaking FRONTIER SERIES which presents internationally acclaimed artists who are reimagining how theatre is created and shared. The 2017/18 series features three bold new works: They, Themself and Schmerm by Becca Blackwell (New York), The Holler Sessions by Frank Boyd (Seattle) and White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour (Iran). These are limited, one weekend engagements, offering Portland audiences access to fresh touring performances from around the world. The Frontier Series is curated by Jerry Tischleder, Artists Rep ArtsHub Director and Artistic Director of Risk/Reward Festival.
2017/18 FRONTIER SERIES
September 8-11, 2017
THEY, THEMSELF AND SCHMERM written & performed by Becca Blackwell
Co-presented with PICA’S Time-Based Art (TBA) Festival
March 8-11, 2018
THE HOLLER SESSIONS written, directed & performed by Frank Boyd
Created in collaboration with the TEAM
April 12-15, 2018
WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT by Nassim Soleimanpour
ABOUT ARTISTS REPERTORY THEATRE
Artists Repertory Theatre’s mission is to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for artists and audiences of varied backgrounds to take creative risks. Artists Rep is Portland’s premiere mid-size regional theatre company and is led by Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez and Managing Director Sarah Horton. Founded in 1982, Artists Repertory Theatre is the longest-running professional theatre company in Portland. Artists Rep became the 72nd member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT) in 2016 and is an Associate Member of the National New Play Network (NNPN).
Artists Rep’s 2017/18 season of play selections for the company’s 35th anniversary season can be found here.
Artists Rep offers the FRONTIER SERIES, presenting internationally acclaimed artists who are reimagining how theatre is created and shared, again for the 2017/18 season. The second year of this groundbreaking series features three bold new works: They, Themself and Schmerm by Becca Blackwell (New York), The Holler Sessions by Frank Boyd (Seattle) and White Rabbit Red Rabbit by Nassim Soleimanpour (Iran). These are limited, one weekend engagements, offering Portland audiences access to fresh touring performances from around the world. The FRONTIER SERIES is curated by Jerry Tischleder, Artists Rep ArtsHub Director and Artistic Director of Risk/Reward Festival.
Artists Rep has become a significant presence in American Regional Theatre with a legacy of world, national and regional premieres of provocative new work with the highest standards of stagecraft. The organization is committed to local artists and features a company of Resident Artists, professionals of varied theatre disciplines, who are a driving force behind Artists Rep’s creative output and identity.
Artists Rep is committed to developing new work through its new play development program Table|Room|Stage. With T|R|S, Artists Rep strives to empower and support Oregon-based playwrights while also creating a Portland home for writers from around the country to develop their work. Additionally, this program strives to make a meaningful impact on diversity, equity and inclusion in the theatre field by mandating opportunities for women writers and writers of color, and cultivating the next generation of theatre- goers by creating work specifically for young people (13 and up). Artists Rep makes a vital impact on the Portland arts community with its ArtsHub, creating space and offering a home to 12 multidisciplinary arts organizations within its facility.
RESIDENT ARTISTS – Artists Rep productions feature the work of a core group of over two dozen multidisciplinary theatre professionals. Hailing from around the country, our Resident Artists are nationally renowned and award-winning actors, directors, writers, designers and educators who have chosen to make Portland and Artists Rep their artistic home. Working together and independently, they create inventive and theatrically rich experiences for our audiences while playing a major role in defining Portland’s cultural landscape.
TABLE|ROOM|STAGE – Established in 2015, Table|Room|Stage (T|R|S) is Artists Rep’s robust new play program that offers development opportunities for local and national playwrights, and ensures that underrepresented voices are heard on stage. With this program, Artists Rep is committed to bringing the work of exciting women, transgender and non-binary writers and writers of color to its stages. Artists Rep’s first completed T|R|S commission was The Talented Ones, by Yussef El Guindi. The will produce Larissa FastHorse’s The Thanksgiving Play as part of their regular season in April. Current playwright commissions include: Linda Alper, Larissa FastHorse, Hansol Jung, Dael Orlandersmith, Steve Rathje and Andrea Stolowitz. The works created by these writers through T|R|S will establish Artists Rep and Portland as an engine for new play development and will enrich the national new play landscape. To learn more about all the projects, playwrights and programs of Table|Room|Stage visit here.
ARTSHUB – Artists Rep is also home to the growing ArtsHub, where 12 arts organizations find a home in the building. A diverse range of artists and arts organizations can thrive here with access to affordable administrative, performance and rehearsal space, as well as a myriad of support services. The ArtsHub serves as a community arts center, where its performance venues and lobbies buzz with creative energy and Portland’s arts-loving audiences can gather. Over the last year, more than 500 performances, events and happenings by Portlanders found a place in Artists Rep’s building. To learn about the arts organizations Artists Rep’s ArtsHub visit here.
The 2017/18 Artists Repertory Theatre season is presented by sponsors Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, Ronni Lacroute, David & Christine Vernier, James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, Regional Arts & Culture Council, and WorkForArt.