Artists Rep presents The Holler Sessions, written, directed and performed by Frank Boyd in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based theatre ensemble, the TEAM. This one-weekend, limited engagement production is the second of Artists Rep's 2017/18 FRONTIER SERIES that brings new work in performance to Portland. The Holler Sessions will run for only four performances March 8 through March 11, 2018.

Staged as a live radio show, The Holler Sessions centers around one man's burning obsession for American jazz. An explosive Kansas City DJ named Ray broadcasts his articulate, profane and impassioned love of jazz from his shoddy studio for an 80-minute music-filled interactive experience that ends with a surprise live musical performance. Ray's maniacal rants, razor-sharp insights and mildly scatological humor are interspersed with truly gorgeous music and plenty of space for listening. The Holler Sessions serves as a jazz primer for the uninitiated and an irreverent love letter to the best thing America has ever created - and forgotten.

"I've always wanted to get The Holler Sessions to Portland because I think of Portland as a place that holds art, creativity and general-weirdness as core values," said Frank Boyd, writer, director and performer of The Holler Sessions. "And since this is a show about a weird guy obsessing over the creation of art - specifically American jazz music - I'm expecting the show will feel wildly at home there. The Holler Sessions is also a show about obsessing over America itself. For me, jazz is the best articulation of America and our history. So, in addition to laughing their asses off and tapping their feet, I'm hoping our audiences have themselves a patriotic experience. As a Pacific-Northwesterner myself, I'm just thrilled that the Frontier Series at Artists Rep exists. But to be a part of it this year, and to be programmed alongside Becca Blackwell and Nassim Soleimanpour, well that is totally crazy and I'm truly honored."

"I've been itching to bring Frank Boyd and The Holler Sessions to Portland for years - it is truly a transcendent work of art," said Jerry Tischleder, Frontier Series curator. "I first caught The Holler Sessions in Seattle, back in 2015, and loved it so much that I sought it out again in New York the following year. Audiences in both cities were mesmerized by the experience, as evidenced by the instant standing ovations at both performances. I didn't have much previous exposure to jazz at the time and The Holler Sessions converted me into a regular listener. Frank's character, Ray, has an infectious passion for the music, the history and the great icons of jazz that can please the most hardcore fan and those with no previous contact with the form. The way Frank simultaneously breaks down the music and personalities, along with several chances to deeply listen and let entire songs wash over you, is as satisfying as any piece of theatre I've ever seen."

ABOUT Frank Boyd | Writer/Director/Performer
Frank Boyd is a Seattle-based actor and writer. He is a member of the NYC ensembles Elevator Repair Service and the TEAM, with whom he has performed in Gatz, The Select, Architecting and Particularly in the Heartland. Frank has also toured with Young Jean Lee's Theater Company in Straight White Men. He has also performed in Red Speedo (Studio Theatre DC, dir. Lila Neugebauer), The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (Book-It Rep, Seattle Times Footlight Award) and A View From the Bridge (Seattle Rep). TV and Film credits include: Z-Nation, Almost Family, and B.U.S.T. Frank is currently creating a new show with Libby King called Patti & The Kid, a post-apocalyptic western with Nerf guns that will premiere at On the Boards in Seattle in April 2018. More information about The Holler Sessions can be found here.

Rachel Chavkin |Consulting Director

Rachel Chavkin is a director, writer, dramaturg, and Artistic Director of Brooklyn-based ensemble, the TEAM. She is a three-time Obie Award winner, a Drama Desk Award winner, and was nominated for a Tony for her immersive production of Dave Malloy's Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 which was nominated for 12 Tony Awards and won for the Scenic Design and Lighting Design of a Musical categories. Her production of Bess Wohl's Small Mouth Sounds, which had two highly acclaimed runs in NYC, is currently touring nationally.

Josh Aaseng |Consulting Director

Josh Aaseng is a director and writer based in Seattle, and the associate artistic director of Book-It Repertory Theatre, where he's developed several new works, including his adaptations of Welcome to Braggsville (co-adapted with Daemond Arrindell) and Slaughterhouse-Five. Josh is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Eric Southern |Lighting & Set Design

Eric Southern's credits include, Off-Broadway, The Harvest, Bull in a China Shop, Ghostlight (LCT3); Sell/Buy/Date (MTC); Pocatello, Indian Summer (Playwrights Horizons); Rimbaud in NY (BAM, The Civilians); Steve (New Group); Tell Hector I Miss Him, Good Television, 10×25 (Atlantic Theater); Buyer and Cellar (London, CTG, New York, & National Tour); Collected Stories: Memoir with David Lang (Carnegie Hall). His work with the group 600 HIGHWAYMEN has been seen throughout the US and Europe.

Matt Hubbs | Sound Design

Matt Hubbs credits with the TEAM include: Anything That Gives Off Light, RoosevElvis, Mission Drift, Architecting, Particularly in the Heartland, a Thousand Natural Shocks. Other designs: Indecent (The Cort Theatre, The Vineyard, La Jolla Playhouse, Yale Rep); The Royale (Lincoln Center, Old Globe), Time and the Conways (Old Globe); Stage Kiss, 100 Saints You Should Know (Playwrights Horizons); Marie Antoinette (ART, Yale Rep, Soho Rep); Three Pianos (NYTW, ART).

the TEAM

The TEAM is a Brooklyn-based theatre ensemble dedicated to creating new work about the experience of living in America today. Since 2004, they have created 10 original and award-winning pieces of theatre.

Development History/Partners

The Holler Sessions premiered at On the Boards in 2015. Development of The Holler Sessions was supported by On the Boards, the TEAM, Seattle Repertory Theater and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture. Early material for The Holler Sessions was developed as part of a work created by the TEAM and Sojourn Theater. Additional touring support received from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.

Artists Rep offers the second year of their groundbreaking FRONTIER SERIES that 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.


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


Artists Repertory Theatre's mission is to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for artists and audiences to take creative risks. Artists Rep is Portland's premiere mid-size regional theatre company, and is led by Artistic Director Dámaso Rodríguez. 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 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.

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. 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. Artists Rep is committed to bringing the exciting work of women, transgender and non-binary writers and writers of color to its stages with this program. Artists Rep's first completed T|R|S commission was The Talented Ones, by Yussef El Guindi. They will produce Larissa Fasthorse's The Thanksgiving Play, by Larissa Fasthorse (Sicangu Lakota), 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 performance venues and lobbies buzz with creative energy and Portland's arts-loving audiences can gather. Over the last year, Artists Rep hosted 324 rehearsals and more than 602 performances, events, and other happenings by 51 groups. To learn about the arts organizations of Artists Rep's ArtsHub visit here.

The 2017/18 Artists Repertory Theatre season is presented by Ronni Lacroute, David & Christine Vernier, and The Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation. Other season support comes from The Collins Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission, Oregon Community Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, The Renaissance Foundation, Regional Arts and Culture Council, The Shubert Foundation, Work for Art, and Media Sponsor The Oregonian.

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