Portland Actor’s Ensemble: A Winter’s Tale

We traveled to Concordia University (not far from our house) to take in our second PAE outing this summer.

The jealous King Lontes

There’s always good people watching at outdoor Shakespeare

A very pregnant Hermione talks with her ladies.

I was obsessed with this audience member’s perfect summer sundress.

I also noticed that the Hermione on the program (sitting in the middle) did not match the Hermione in our production.  I wonder what happened to her?

As with most Shakespeare plays, the “rustics” were fun to watch. It was a good season of outdoor Shakespeare.

Troilus & Cressida at Lone Fir Cemetery

It’s summer Shakespeare season. We’ve seen Portland Actors Ensemble shows at Lone Fir before and so go there early to claim our space.  We caught the end of rehearsal, when guns were scattered about.

This was a robustly military production of the often-not-seen Troilus & Cressida.

I enjoyed what this percussionist–seemingly not mentioned in the program?–added to the story.

There were good performances by all, with some actors having incredibly fun expressive faces.

I wasn’t the only person taking photos.

In the audience tonight was the woman who has been designing the PAE t-shirts.  She was working a quilt to commemorate her work.  I love this quilt!  She’s a great designer.  I used to have the top row, second-from-the-left shirt.

Portland Actors Ensemble: Coriolanus

I forgot my camera, which was unfortunate as there were times in this play when my fingers itched to be grabbing photos.  These two were taken with my phone. (And one of them doesn’t want to load in its correct orientation)IMG_20160709_184133


We made this not-often-produced play a priority and I’m glad we did because the location of Pettygrove Park was a good one.  The sculpture “The Dreamer” and the hills where the audience sat added a lot to the setting. Fun Wikipedia fact:  the mounded hills inspired this park’s nickname: Mae West Park.  Further opinion:  I’m not sure anyone actually uses this nickname anymore. Or if they ever did.

The sculpture was used as a device to manufacture sound.  One of the actors “played” it with rubber mallets during battle scenes which added  a lot to the action.

The play was tight and held my attention, despite the intermittent rain. Arthur Delaney was a solid Coriolanus.  We’ve seen him before in other productions.  I also enjoyed Allison Rangel and Heidi Kay Hunter as the two tribunes.

Aside from the rain, this performance provided us unique theater-in-the-park experience.  During the climax, a passerby wandered into the action, first touching Ken Yoshikawa on the back during an intense interchange with Arthur Delaney.  Ken turned to see what was happening and then turned back and kept going.

The man retreated to sit with the audience on the hills talking loudly to himself, with a woman–possibly the stage manger–trying to coax him away.  Just as the cast erupted into the final fight scene the man ran into the fray, grabbing Arthur Delaney by the back of the neck.

“Back the fuck off, asshole!” Allison Rangel’s voice rang out as she broke character advancing on the man as everyone stopped.  He retreated immediately.  “That’s right, keep going,” she yelled as he disappeared.  Everyone, actors and audience, stared, following his retreat.  “I apologize,” she continued, addressing the audience, “That’s my boyfriend,” she said, meaning Delaney.

In the manner of all unexpected situations things were quiet for a beat before one of the actors asked, “Shall we start the fight scene over?” There was a mutter of agreement, the cast reset and we watched Coriolanus be killed for his betrayal.

Rangel’s quick action in a scary situation and the actors carrying on while most of them must have been completely freaked out brought home what a solid production this was.  We won’t soon forget Coriolanus.