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Portland Playhouse Announces WONDERLAND Virtual Festival

Wonderland is a virtual festival of four short new works.

Portland Playhouse Announces WONDERLAND Virtual Festival

In a time of uncertainty for the country and for the arts, Portland Playhouse put out a call to local artists to open our hearts and broaden our perspectives. The result is Wonderland, a virtual festival of four short new works that directly engage with our current socio-political landscape from the perspective of WONDER.

Wonderland strives to give multidisciplinary artists a platform to respond directly to the current moment in our country and beyond. In turn, artists, community members, and viewers alike will be able to engage with specific issues and begin to find ways to listen, learn, and move forward together, all with a sense of curiosity and wonder.

An open call for submissions inspired dozens of artists to submit project proposals. A panel of seven judges chose four works to be commissioned for the festival. Portland Playhouse provides rehearsal and performance space, resources, and a videographer to record the final work as well as financial compensation for the lead and supporting artists.

"There is so much going on in our country and many communities are experiencing this moment in different ways. We really wanted to find a way to listen to and engage with artists at a time when all of our stages are empty and our spaces underutilized," said festival founder and Portland Playhouse Associate Producer Charles Grant. "We are excited to provide a platform to help support work inspired by this very unique time in our lives and to find a way to connect and share stories during the absence of live performance."

All Wonderland performances and live events are available free of charge. To see work like this remain accessible and fee-free for all, please consider making a donation to Portland Playhouse through the Willamette Week Give!Guide through December 31 or at www.portlandplayhouse.org.

Festival Productions

545 by Francisco Garcia

545 is inspired by the current events of the 545 migrant children who were separated from their families by the Trump administration and have yet to be reunited with their parents. 545 explores the hardship of two young sisters Luli and Oli, who are separated from their mother and held in custody, as they struggle to find hope in the darkest of places.
Featuring: Lulu Kashiwabara and Mila Kashiwabara
Available December 12, 2020 - January 10, 2021
Live event date: December 12th at 5:00pm PST

About Francisco Garcia
Francisco is a director, actor, educator, and playwright. His recent directing credits include the world premieres of Emilio Rodriguez's Swimming While Drowning and Olga Sanchez's Broken Promises for Milagro Theatre, Joan Cushing's Diary of a Worm, a Spider, and a Fly and Jose Cruz Gonzalez's Tomás & the Library Lady for Oregon Children's Theatre, and Naomi Iizuka's Anon(ymous) for Lewis & Clark College, where he also worked as a adjunct professor. In 2013, Francisco served as a guest playwright for CalArts' CAP program, where his adaptation of Fuente Ovejuna was performed at REDCAT Theatre. In 2015, he wrote Odessa, an adaptation of The Odyssey for Profile Theatre's Educational Outreach Program, which was performed in conjunction with Beaumont School. As an actor, his recent credits include NBC's Grimm, IFC's Portlandia, A24 Film's Lean on Pete, and JAW: Playwrights Festival for Portland Center Stage. He is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA and serves on the board of directors for Theatre Diaspora.

CATHARSIS by Fyndi Jermany

Catharsis is a short musical film that utilizes three main characters to explore the many social constructs around us. Each character represents and or disrupts social ideas such as identity, religion and violence through song, dance, and suspenseful enactments. Although sometimes comedic, Catharsis's intentness creates opportunity for viewers to ponder ideas of common practice and liberation.
Featuring: Fyndi Jermany
Available December 19, 2020 - January 17, 2021
Live event date: December 19th at time TBD PST

About Fyndi Jermany
Fyndi Jermany is a queer multi ancestral performing artist and creative who was born in Washington D.C and grew up in Portland, Oregon. She is inspired by her everyday life as well as history and pop culture; the traumas of her childhood encompass much of her work. As a child, Fyndi began immersing herself into theater, engaging in various performances into her adulthood. Whether impromptu or deliberate, her eclectic dancing style aims to engage the masses with introspective questioning. She looks forward to future creations as well as further artistic development.

PRIVATE CHAT by Ashley Mellinger

In an attempt to up her game, a young woman purchases some one-on-one time with a webcam model. When she decides to reveal her true identity, the two of them have a conversation about intimacy, desire, and which angles best showcase your ass. Private Chat is a scintillating window into the voyeuristic world of cam modeling, challenging the preconceived notions and stigma around sex work.
Featuring: Ashley Mellinger and Treasure Lunan
Available December 11, 2020 - January 9, 2021
Live event date: December 11th at 5:00pm PST

About Ashley Mellinger
As a theatre artist and filmmaker, Ashley Mellinger is committed to telling stories that re-imagine traditional narratives and include marginalized voices without centering on their identities and trauma. She is an award-winning half-Korean actor and producer. After graduating from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and working in NYC for a decade, she moved to Portland, Oregon and co-founded Desert Island Studios to increase artists' accessibility to film resources. Recent producing credits include Dawn Jones Redstone's proof-of-concept for her debut feature Noelia, and Roland Dahwen-Wu's first feature Borrufa. Pre-pandemic, her writing debut L'Ortolan was selected for the 2020 Spliff Film Festival and Portland Shorts Fest. Post-pandemic, she co-wrote and starred in the AAFL 72 Hour Shootout film, Vent (which won 2nd Runner Up, Best Editor, and Best Screenwriter).

THE MYTHOLOGY OF BLAME by Kailey Rhodes et al

The legacy-through time, across continents-of humankind's rejection of accountability. From Pandora to the Poor, who do we blame, and what would happen if we hold ourselves accountable instead?
Featuring: Kailey Rhodes, Kisha Jarrett, Andrea Vernae, Tyharra Cozier, and Claire Rigsby
Available December 18, 2020 - January 16, 2021
Live event date: December 20th at 5:00pm PST

About Kailey Rhodes
Kailey Rhodes is a Portland-based theater-maker and body-shaker. Credits include Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Portland Center Stage; Into the Woods and Ordinary Days at Broadway Rose Theatre; The Wolves at Portland Playhouse; Sense and Sensibility at Clackamas Rep; and Urinetown and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with Anonymous Theatre Company. She has previously appeared in Teenage Dick, An Octoroon, and The Importance of Being Earnest at Artists Rep Theatre, and hopes to rejoin them again one fine post-COVID day for their world premiere of Anthony Hudson's Looking for Tiger Lily. She doesn't have much to say because 2020 took all her words, and what she has left, she put in this piece.

Learn more about Wonderland at www.portlandplayhouse.org/shows-events/wonderland

Learn about other contributing artists and the festival panel judges at www.portlandplayhouse.org/wonderland-artists


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