Surfing, Dentistry & Family History Meet In OTHER INLAND EMPIRES

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Surfing, Dentistry & Family History Meet In OTHER INLAND EMPIRES

Writer and director Julie Hammond presents the Portland premiere of Other Inland Empires at Portland Playhouse from June 26-30, 2019. This new play explores the Jewish roots of surf culture with roving scenery, dreamy pop music, and sly humour.

When Hammond learned that Gidget, the quintessential California girl and 1950's spark of a global surf boom, was really the Jewish daughter of Austro-Hungarian refugees, she began to imagine events in reverse. What would happen if she, a California-born Jew, went to Central Europe to learn to surf? Armed with an audio recorder and faith in sun and waves, Hammond travelled east in a quest to weave her California surf-bum family with her grandmother's Holocaust survival, and the hope to discover the details of her family story. A series of stranger-than-fiction events-from discovering surf culture in a landlocked country to a wakeboarding accident that leads to a Slovakian hospital-open the door to her grandmother's moving tale of survival, and lays the ground for this new play.

Other Inland Empires is written and directed by Julie Hammond and features performers Stephanie Wong, Dominique Hat, and Bana Biltaji with live music by Matthew Ariaratnam, scenic design by Robert Leveroos, lighting design by Gillian Hanemayer, and dramaturgy by Caroline Liffmann. The production was previously presented at the rEvolver Festival in Vancouver, BC and the FURY Factory Festival of Devised and Ensemble Performance in San Francisco, California. The Portland premiere is made possible with support from Ronni Lacroute and community sponsor Hand2Mouth Theatre.

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