Portland, August 25th, 2013. “What good is sitting alone in your room?” That was the question posed by PHAME Cabaret organizers who drew hundreds to their annual event at the Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center in N Portland.
PHAME is also announcing two major new artistic initiatives celebrating the organization’s upcoming 30th anniversary: a season of six PHAME-produced showcase events, from February to December 2014, titled “PHAME @ 30,” and the commitment to developing and producing a newly devised musical production specifically for the student artists of PHAME, involving collaboration and commission, and premiering in Summer of 2015 – a first in PHAME’s history.
The new artistic initiatives are direct outcomes of the continued growth and strength of PHAME as the Portland metro community’s acclaimed fine and performing arts academy for young and older adults with developmental disabilities, says PHAME Executive Director Stephen Marc Beaudoin. “Both our ‘PHAME @ 30’ anniversary season of events and the new stage work we’ll be creating and commissioning are significant artistic undertakings, and they’re only possible because of significant community belief and support, the remarkable talent of our PHAME student artists and performers, and our incredible artistic staff. We can’t wait to celebrate 30 years of PHAME across the city of Portland in 2014 with friends old and new!”
PHAME was founded in 1984 with an original adaptation of “The Nativity Story” adapted for a small group of student artists involved at that time. Since being founded in 1984, PHAME has served hundreds of young and older adults with developmental disabilities, and reached tens of thousands of audience members across Oregon and across the globe. Celebrating 30 years of PHAME is a major milestone, and the “PHAME @ 30” season will spread the magic of PHAME across the city with a season of six PHAME-produced performances, as well as many more community events and happenings.
“PHAME @ 30 allows us to showcase the work of our students in new ways, across artistic disciplines, and in diverse venues across Portland,” says PHAME Artistic Director Jessica Dart. “This is a step toward aligning the practices of PHAME’s artists with the practices of the arts community at large.” The “PHAME @ 30″ series will include a performance of new play readings (February 1, 2014 at Portland Center Stage lobby); a visual arts exhibition (date/venue TBA); a major concert featuring PHAME musicians with special collaborators (date TBA at The Aladdin Theater); the “PHAME @ 30 Birthday Bash” (June 26, 2014 at Castaway); “PHAME is a Cabaret!” (date/venue TBA) and a special PHAME Holiday Concert (date/venue TBA).
One highlight of the “PHAME @ 30” season will be the “PHAME @ 30 Birthday Bash” event, an interactive performance, art installation and food and drink celebration starring our PHAME artists and performers, on Thursday June 26, 2014 at Castaway event space in Northwest Portland. Artistic Director Jessica Dart calls this “a major blow-out event. We’re planning some very exciting surprises including special guest collaborators, performances and presentations by PHAME student artists, great food, drink, and a fun party atmosphere.” Because of the 30th anniversary focus, PHAME will not produce a traditional musical production in June 2014, but the organization invites its audience to the “PHAME @ 30 Birthday Bash” and the full range of “PHAME @ 30” events across Portland in 2014, and to follow the development of our new production to be premiered in Summer 2015.
Concurrent with the “PHAME @ 30” season, the artistic staff and collaborators to be announced will begin work on a newly devised production, crafted specifically to highlight the full talents of PHAME artists, to premiere in Summer 2015. This work, Artistic Director Jessica Dart says, is “an exciting opportunity to craft a story, music, movement, and striking visual images from scratch, specifically for our students. It’s time we seized the opportunity to tap into the strengths and talents of our students even more directly than we have in the past.” The new work will premiere in Summer 2015 at a venue to be announced.