Drag, Shakespeare and More Slated for CoHo's Summerfest 2016; Lineup Announced!

CoHo has announced its Summerfest 2016 lineup.

Four shows in four weekends will feature an unknown drag legend, a masked Shakespearean fanfic, an acrobatic Downton Abbey, and laughable panic attacks.

June 23 - 26
FRANK: to be frank

June 30 - July 3
Venus and Adonis

July 6 -9 (Weds-Sat)
Bella Culpa

July 14 -17
When Thoughts Attack

The festival runs June 23 - July 17, 2016, with shows Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. All performances are at 7:30pm at the CoHo Theater, located at 2257 NW Raleigh St., Portland, OR 97210. Call (503)-220-2646 or visit www.cohoproductions.org for more information.

SUMMERFEST TICKETS: $60 4-Show Pass; $45 3-Show Pass; $30 2-Show Pass; $20 Single Ticket. SUBSCRIBE: $80 Season 21 Pass; $69 Season 21 Pass +65/- 30; $135 Season 21 Pass with Summerfest Pass; $124 Season 21 Pass with Summerfest Pass +65/-30.

CoHo Summerfest 2016:

JUNE 23 - 26

FRANK: to be frank

Emily June Newton

World-renowned! The Rat Pack's 17th member! America's most entertaining entertainer! A very special leading man's interactive live "life retrospective." FRANK will grab you by your shoulders and make you nostalgic for a star you never knew!

Emily June Newton is a theater maker and comedian specializing in the areas of cabaret and character creation. With years of MC (Master of Ceremonies), comedy and cabaret experience, Emily loves audience interaction and strives to entertain and provoke through her own style of character performance.

Originating from Australia, her time in Melbourne saw her complete a Diploma of Arts - Small Companies and Community Theater and appear in the annual Moomba Festival and The Short and Sweet Festival 2006. She was a founding member of the physical theater trio The Ladder Co-operative (3D Fest '04 CUB Malthouse/Victoria University). Her time in Tasmania saw her perform in various shows, events and groups including: The Second Echo Ensemble, Dream Masons, founding member of The Short Back and Side Show. Emily performed regularly as characters 'Madam Goulash' and 'Maurice Lombardo' at various comedy and cabaret nights, and private functions both locally and interstate. In 2010 Emily traveled withTerrapin Puppet TheatER to Shanghai, China to devise and perform When The Pictures Came, and resulting tour to the Come Out Children's Festival, Adelaide and 10 Days on the Island Festival, Hobart. Emily also toured state-wide with the company with The Waltzing Tree. Emily was seen as part of the Festival of Voices 2011 and 2012 at Voices of Vice where she showcased her original comedic characters to sell out houses.

In 2014 Emily completed her MFA in Ensemble Based Physical Theater at Dell'Arte International School of Physical TheatER in California USA. During her MFA, she appeared in many cabarets, festivals and was employed by the Dell'Arte Theater Company for their productions of Comedy of Errors, Babes in Toyland and Korbel.

After graduation, Emily and her clown group The Defenestrators, performed at the 2014 FURY FACTORY Festival of Ensemble Theater, in San Francisco and most recently at Fertile Ground in Portland, Oregon. Emily now resides in Portland, Oregon and is currently creating a new solo show with her character 'Frank' under the direction of Deanna Fleysher (aka BUTT KAPINSKI). She can also be found roaming the city as PAT MCKENSIE.

JUNE 30 - JULY 3

Venus and Adonis

Shaking the Tree

Sex-goddess Venus is obsessed with petulant pretty boy Adonis. He rejects the offer of being her divine toy boy, preferring to go boar-hunting until finally giving in to her advances. He ends up gored by a ferocious wild boar, and Venus curses love for ever more. Matthew Kerrigan and Rebecca Ridenour deliver Shakespeare's most famous fanfic poem... in mask!

Shaking the Tree's Performance Group are an artistic collective of collaborators with a strong connection to the mission, values and aesthetic of Shaking the Tree Theatre. Performance Group members are ambassadors of Shaking the Tree out in the world, and are connected to STT in many ways, offering their time and expertize where applicable. In return STT offers opportunities for collaboration on projects, teaching, and use of space, as well as resources (such as fiscal sponsorship), for individual projects presented at Shaking the Tree's venue. www.shaking-the-tree.com

Samantha Van Der Merwe (Director) is the founder, Artistic Director and teacher at Shaking the Tree Theatre, where she directs theatrical productions and teaches drama classes for children aged 5 and up. She is a Licentiate of Trinity College, London and holds an (LTCL) Teaching diploma in Speech and Drama. She founded Shaking the Tree in 2003, and after a few years as a thriving art and drama studio, she began directing.

Since joining the performance group in 2013, Matthew Kerrigan (Actor) has performed with Shaking the Tree in Wilde Tales, One Flea Spare, Masque of the Red Death, Suddenly Last Summer, The Dissenter's Handbook (Summerfest 2014 premiere), and The Passion Play. Matthew's magnetic presence and intuitive physicality on stage make him a perfect collaborator and conduit for Samantha Van Der Merwe and Shaking the Tree's unique approach to theatrical storytelling.

Rebecca Ridenour is delighted to be working for the first time on CoHo's stage. Portland credits include: Actor 5/Sarah in We Are Proud To Present... with Artists Repertory Theatre, Judith in Equivocation at Post 5 Theatre, Constance Leadbelly in Good Night Desdemona Good Morning Juliet with North West Classical, Miss Foxhill in Suddenly Last Summer with Shaking The Tree, Gender Tree with Post 5 Theatre, Ophelia in ¡O Romeo! with Milagro Theater, Susan Brady in Playboy of the Western World with A.R.T, Goneril in Lear and Brutus in Julius Caesar with Bag and Baggage, Nancy in Hard Times Come Again No More with Sowelu Theater, and Spectravagasm I,II,III, VI,VII,VIII. Rebecca is from Santa Barbara, CA and a graduate of Portland Actors Conservatory class of 2012.

JULY 6 - 9

Bella Culpa

A Little Bit Off

Downton Abbey meets The Three Stooges. Follow two peculiar servants in an Edwardian manor as they bustle around, trying in vain to complete all of their chores. A Little Bit Off's latest original slapstick comedy is a mess of silver buckets, a slew of uninvited furry guests and impressive circus-style acrobatic flair.

Co-founded by Amica Hunter and David Cantor, A Little Bit Off began as a theatrical collaboration between two acrobatic clowns dedicated to bringing wonder and laughter to the audiences of the world. Drawing inspiration from the old american vaudevillians, and work of French artist James Thierree, ALBO has grown to produce two fully developed shows with carefully selected themes, hilarious characters, intricate relationships, mind-boggling tricks, and a very quirky, off-beat flavor. ALBO has performed for audiences all over Europe and the United States, captivating audiences of all languages with their dialogue-free approach to storytelling.

Amica Hunter has been an artist all her life. She grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she spent her time vaulting, acting, painting, sculpting, swing dancing and climbing trees. Amica moved to Portland, Oregon in 2010, where she received training in aerial silks, static trapeze, theatrical improvisation, stilt-walking, unicycling, and partner acrobatics. After putting together a few multidisciplinary comedic performances, Amica packed up her things and moved to San Francisco to study clowning in the new Clown Conservatory professional program at the San Francisco Circus Center under under director Joe Dieffenbacher , and teachers Dan Griffiths, Natty Justiniano. While in the program, Amica gained quality instruction in the disciplines of clowning, bouffon, Commedia Dell'Arte, dance, mime, slapstick, and improvisation. She also trained in acrobatics under Xiaohong Weng, contortion with Xia Kemin, and worked on flying trapeze during her time at the Circus Center.

Born and raised in New York, David Cantor was touched by the magic of the circus as a child when he was fortunate enough to see the world renowned Big Apple Circus. As he grew up and his life brought him into the world of experimental theater, he found himself re-enamoured with the circus. Since then, he has performed and taught across the country, has been featured in some of the most respected object manipulation showcases. He has sought out training in Clown and Acrobatics with some of the biggest names in those fields, and is recognized as one of the most innovative and technical Fire Spinners in the world. David co-authored the Vulcan Tech Gospel, a seminal work in the field of object manipulation. He has performed as a member of the Vulcan Crew fire spinning and object manipulation troupe, with Circus Momentus, and as a solo performer. He has created duets with a number of legends in the fire spinning world, including Corey White and Noel Yee. David graduated from the Clown Conservatory class of 2009, and has studied clown from Jeff Raz(Cirque Du Soleil) John Gilkey (Cirque Du Soleil), Jonas Woolverton (Cirque Du Soleil), Dan Griffiths (Big Apple Circus) and Ronlin Forman (D'el Arte). He has also studied acrobatics under Master Lu Yi (Former Commissioner of Acrobatics, China), Xia Ke Min (Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe) and Xiao Hong Weng(Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe).

JULY 14 - 17

When Thoughts Attack

Kelly Kinsella

A play about anxiety. Never has the act of ordering lunch been so entertaining.

Writer, actor, comedian Kelly Kinsella is an artist in residence at The Cell Theater in Chelsea, NY. Though fully entrenched in a performer's life and her 400 square foot, centrally located New York City apartment, she often fantasizes about packing up her Murphy bed and moving to the country where she can read books and plays by her inspirations: Edward Albee, Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller and Martin McDonagh. Kelly made out with Martin McDonagh when his play The Pillowman was nominated for a TONY award. He didn't win. Kelly has also made out with, or has thought about making out with Jeff Goldblum, David Shiner and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Always on the lookout for a New York City bargain, Kelly is taking the slow, cheap, and complicated path to success, which includes performing in hallways, fringe festivals, the woods (amongst the rage of a Rennaissance Faire), colleges, and in closets, which is why she takes her Murphy bed wherever she goes. Her performance style has been described as "terrific and zany," "slinky and smart," and "she thrums with the aggressive humour of many male comics but underneath is the neurotic charm of a still unmarried woman." The New Oxford American Dictionary definition of 'thrums' is: continuous rhythmic humming. Also, Kelly would totally make out with Arthur Miller, too. But, he's dead.

Despite dreaming of doing yoga the rest of her life on top of a mountain by the sea while rehearsing one woman shows in her Murphy bed, she is too busy performing on the New York City stage to do so. Instead, she finds solace and contentment as an amateur gourmand, sharing her culinary masterpieces with her boyfriend, friends and family, and, oddly enough, performing stand up comedy in New York and Los Angeles.

If you come see her show, she might make out with you.

For 21 years, CoHo Productions has pioneered artist led co-production as a model of creating theatre. Each season, CoHo solicits scripts and project proposals from Portland's community of theatre professionals and selects three to produce in partnership. The artistic vision is democratic, reflecting the tastes of the Portland theatre community from the ground up. Seasons are diverse and unpredictable; the sole quality nurtured and insisted on is excellence.

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