Oct 272012
 
Susan Dunn and Maggie Kolkena, John Palmer House owners

Portland, October 27thProprietors of The John Palmer House, Susan Dunn and Maggie Kolkena, opened the doors of  their 1892 grand Victorian for Spellbound, Portland Story Theater’s 4th annual fundraiser. Ticket holders crept around the lavishly renovated private home in the Historic Mississippi District whilst sipping white wine Corpse Reviver cocktails.  Guests had an intimate look at the entire home, which some claim is haunted, as storytellers regaled them with what they claimed were true stories of the supernatural. (Photo Credit, Scott Bump)

Construction on the John Palmer House was originally started in 1890. John Palmer’s wife died just four years after moving into the home (some say her ghost still haunts its halls.)

Construction on the John Palmer House was originally started in 1890. John Palmer’s wife died just four years after moving into the home (some say her ghost still haunts its halls.)

Inside John Palmer House

Inside John Palmer House

“When Lynne contacted us with the idea of holding a Halloween event at the house, we were delighted!” says current co-owner Maggie Kolkena. “We were looking for ways to give back to our community and we’d been thinking of doing something like this, something involving the arts.” This will be the fourth year in a row that The John Palmer House has hosted this event for Portland Story Theater. The bulk of the proceeds support the work of Portland Story Theater, with a portion donated to a local community charity on behalf of The John Palmer House. “The John Palmer house is the perfect place to hold an event like Spellbound,” says Lynne Duddy, co-founder of Portland Story Theater. Lynne grew up a few blocks away from the Palmer House and the moment she saw the house being renovated a few years ago, she thought it would be the ideal setting for a story theater experience in honor of All Hallows Eve.

Lizzie and Maggie embody the era.

Lizzie and Maggie embody the era.

Jeff Burke entertains supporters

Jeff Burke entertains supporters

Featured in Portland Story Theater’s Urban Tellers Invitational, Mary Welch, enthralls listeners with a performance style that has passion and presence.

Featured in Portland Story Theater’s Urban Tellers Invitational, Mary Welch, enthralls listeners with a performance style that has passion and presence.

Tamara Lynne is the founder of Living Stages and is an outstanding practitioner of Theatre of the Oppressed (Teatro do Oprimido), which is a process of community action, reflection, and transformation through artistic expression.

Tamara Lynne is the founder of Living Stages and is an outstanding practitioner of Theatre of the Oppressed (Teatro do Oprimido), which is a process of community action, reflection, and transformation through artistic expression.

The John Palmer House is a lavishly ornate Victorian that has been beautifully restored and updated by the current owners, Susan P. Dunn and Margaret Kolkena. For many years the home was used as the Multnomah Conservatory of Music. The Sauter Family purchased the John Palmer House in the late 60’s and used the home as a Bed & Breakfast. In 2008, the home was purchased by the current owners. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (1977) and is designated a Portland Historical Landmark (1972). www.johnpalmerhouse.com/

Portland Story Theater is a 501(c)3 and was launched in 2004 to bring the urban community together to hear and tell true stories that stimulate the mind and rouse the heart. Portland Story Theater uses a unique collaborative approach to co-create story theater that is drawn from real-life experiences. Authentic. Honest. Urban. Portland Story Theater is building empathy, compassion, understanding by transforming our community narrative one story at a time. www.portlandstorytheater.com/

About the performers:
There are all kinds of master craftsmen in the world, Lawrence Howard is a master at crafting stories. One of
the original co-founders of Portland Story Theater, he delivers stories that resonate with adult audiences. This year he’ll be telling a story about being chased by a big black dog….or was it something else? Lawrence is best known for his Armchair Adventurer series, and will be taking “Shackleton’s Antarctic Nightmare” to Off Broadway in New York. www.lawrencehoward.name/

One of the original co-founders of Portland Story Theater, Lynne Duddy is the creator and a performer of the new works solo festival, Singlehandedly, which will be celebrating its 5th anniversary this Spring. Her performance art has been described by The Oregonian as “raw, revealing, and vulnerable” but the stories she tells at The John Palmer House have proven to also be creepy and disarming. This year she shares a true story about an eerie experience between the dream world and reality. www.lynneduddy.com/

Nobody tells a scary story quite like Jeff Burke. Best known as the proprietor of Hipbone Studio, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, unleashes his darker side at this event at the John Palmer House. Jeff has participated in several Urban Teller showcases and is an avid supporter of art in the Portland community. He also teaches figurative drawing at his studio in NE Portland. www.hipbonestudio.com/

Tamara Lynne draws upon some extraordinary experiences she had in Wales to create an unforgettable tale of doubt and indecision. http://www.teatrocambio.org/

Featured in Portland Story Theater’s Urban Tellers Invitational, Mary Welch, enthralls listeners with a performance style that has passion and presence. She likes to say she is a recovering bohemian, but that is always at the risk of having people question just how recovered she really is… Mary is also a visual artist and her work can be viewed at www.myartwhimy.com/