Portand, June 19th, 2013. Miracle Theatre Group (aka Milagro) and the Jewish Theatre Collaborative announced JTC’s impending residency for the coming years at El Centro Milagro. JTC Founder and Executive Director Sacha Reich, and Miracle Theatre Group Executive Director José Gonzalez posed outside the theatre. Milagro will share its spaces and resources with JTC, in essence, offering it a home. JTC is a young, itinerant theatre company that has developed a strong following with Jewish and non-Jewish audiences; residency will provide stability for JTC from which to grow stronger.
While a relief to JTC, which had been rendered homeless by the closure of Theatre Theater, this is not a new relationship but an evolution of an artistic affinity a decade old. As a culturally identified organization focused on Latino arts, Milagro has served as a role model and Executive Director José Gonzalez as a mentor to JTC Founder and Executive Director Sacha Reich since JTC’s inception. Reich has a long and rich history with Milagro, serving for several years as an Artistic Associate and directing MainStage productions. Reich is a colleague, friend and member of Milagro’s family. As JTC began to produce both main stage productions and develop a touring capacity inspired in part by Teatro Milagro, El Centro Milagro frequently served as a venue for holiday performances and rehearsals. The two companies share a passion for theatre that offers culturally specific stories to broader audiences in a way that has artistic integrity and is dramatically compelling.
Jewish Theatre Collaborative began their search for a home as the news of Theatre Theater closing rocked the Portland Theatre community. Finding the right location was paramount to JTC who will be launching their new Page2Stage program this coming year. It was important for JTC to stay rooted in Portland’s Eastside neighborhoods. While much of the Page2Stage programming can be accessed at satellite venues around the city, JTC will need an anchor and solid home for the culminating main stage production, which in 2014 will be the world premiere adaptation of Meir Shalev’s novel A Pigeon and a Boy. Resonating poetically with JTC’s real life needs, the novel is deeply interested in the subject of home.
At four years, JTC is still a fledgling theatre company. In 2013-2015, Milagro will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary Season. At El Centro Milagro, JTC has found a home that it loves, that will nurture it and help it to flourish for the exciting foreseeable future.
About Jewish Theatre Collaborative:
The Jewish Theatre Collaborative is a creative, innovative response to a Jewish Community challenged by both fragmentation and drift away from traditional institutions. Like museums and Judaic Studies programs, JTC brings together Jewish and non-Jewish audiences to explore the complex legacy of the Jewish experience in the modern world. No other organization in Oregon is able to harness the unique outreach potential of theatre performance to achieve this goal. Despite a growing Jewish population on the Eastside, there is little organized Jewish life and even less Jewish Cultural opportunities to nourish them.
An extraordinary Latino arts and culture organization, Milagro is a company that merges the highest aesthetic ideals with social responsibility, illustrated by a long tradition of innovative programming to meet the needs of the region’s diverse artists and audiences. Milagro consistently seeks new ways to weave the performing arts into the fabric of community life, and enhances the livability of Northwest communities by collaborating with human and social service organizations that wish to use the performing arts to address issues of concern, including health, education and cultural sensitivity. Through a rich variety of artistic programs, Miracle gives a primary voice to issues affecting the local and national Latino community, and introduces a host of new performers and diverse audience to the local arts and arts education fields.