Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Oregon Children's Theatre Presents ART INTERRUPTED

OCT will honor last season's canceled performances in this four-part video series.

Oregon Children's Theatre announces a new, four-part series entitled Art Interrupted. In this series, artists who had their performances canceled in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic will meet virtually and discuss the experience, sharing joys and challenges, hear their stories and inspirations, and discuss what it means to have their "art interrupted."

Additionally, each piece will be tailored for the audiences that those productions were designed for and will be as different from each other as the plays themselves: featuring behind-the-scenes footage, conversations with the creative teams and actors, musical numbers, crafting and more, making each part of the series a unique viewing experience.

The project was inspired by Ken Yoshikawa, an actor and poet who portrayed the lead role in last spring's The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, and his deeply personal story about the profound impact the show's cancelation had on him as an artist. This series will focus on four productions from the 2019-2020 season-The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, Last Stop on Market Street, and the Young Professionals Company's production of The K of D-giving audiences a behind-the-scenes look into the productions that weren't completed.

"We wanted to create this series as a way to provide closure to the artists and show respect for their work, even though these productions were unfinished," explained Artistic Director Marcella Crowson. "The decision to cancel the end of our 2019-2020 season impacted not only our audiences; it deeply affected the artists who were in the midst of creating, rehearsing, and performing. They were never able to complete the artistic process. They never had their final curtain call."

However, the series is also deeply inspirational for the artists: "Over the last year we have all had reasons to mourn together; but also, we have found joy in new ways to collaborate, working together to keep art alive, and telling stories in new and exciting ways," Crowson continued. "As we move forward together, we want to celebrate and honor the work-and the artists-who abruptly stopped their creative process."

The first video in the series will feature the cast and creative team from The Journal of Ben Uchida: Citizen 13559 in a retrospective conversation (including photos and videos from the production) and panel discussion on the show's themes such as anti-Asian racism, segregation, concentration camps, and how those themes are still relevant today. This video would be an ideal "add-on" experience for audience members and classrooms who were able to see the show before it abruptly closed, but will also be an enjoyable and insightful presentation for those who were unable to see the production.

Second, the cast and creative team of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show will perform "Brown Bear Brown Bear" from the production, followed by a puppet-making workshop led by Director Tony Fuemmeler.

Last Stop on Market Street, a hip-hop musical that was at the very beginning of its creative process, will feature members of the creative team sharing their ideas and visions for the production, what excited them about the production, and what it was like to have it closed before it started rehearsals. It will also give audiences a taste of the extraordinary music from this production, a read-aloud of the children's book on which the production is based, and an interactive craft activity.

The final video in the series will feature a reading from The K of D with six members of the Young Professionals Company, followed by a talkback about the show, and discuss the impact of the show's cancelation on teenage performers.

The Art Interrupted series is the latest virtual production for Oregon Children's Theatre since last summer, which have included several online productions, a first-ever virtual improv performance, and an original children's series. Art Interrupted will be free of charge, but will be ticketed and require a unique viewing link. Donations are encouraged to help offset production costs and can be made online at octc.org/donate.


Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes, and More from Your Favorite Broadway Stars

Related Articles View More Portland Stories

More Hot Stories For You