Fertile Ground Plays Presented by Lakewood
JANUARY 27 - FEBRUARY 6, 2022
Lakewood has two productions in the 13th Annual Fertile Ground Festival
FREE + STREAMING ON THIS PAGE BEGINNING JAN. 27, 2022 - CONTRIBUTION SUGGESTED
Come see brand new theatre works originated by Lakewood Theatre Company and premiered through the Fertile Ground Festival. This year Lakewood will premiere two new works as staged readings. This year's Festival is entirely virtual. Fertile Ground, a Portland-wide festival that involves local theatres, artists, and playwrights, “aspires to increase the appreciation for Portland’s lush creative culture, the artists and projects spawned right here in our native soil.” Fertile Ground is put on by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance, a nonprofit volunteer organization in collaboration with local nonprofit theatres.
The two shows in 2022 for this year are online. You can view these shows below. Note: performances are free but a donation is encouraged. CLICK HERE for a link to our contribution page. The plays include:
Young Playwright's Festival 2022
CLICK HERE to download a flyer of 2022 Fertile Ground shows at Lakewood
PLAYBILLS: ABOUT THE SHOWS
January 27 - February 6, 2022 online
Program Directed by Matthew Zrebski
Plays by Eli Carey, Eli Mohr, Karli Lonnquist, Nico Vilches, and Niku Edlund-Farsad
Produced by Lakewood Theatre Company
Young Playwrights Festival celebrates its 6th year as a participant in Fertile Ground Festival. Past YPF selectees have gone on to regional and national recognition by the Young Playwrights Festival in Los Angeles, National Endowment for the Arts/American Theatre Wing 2020 Songwriting Competition, and other state and local competitions.
YPF is a collection of one-act plays by high school playwrights from the Portland metro area who have been selected to work with professional directors, actors, and playwrights to gain insight, experience, and feedback to develop their plays. YPF provides an opportunity for these playwrights to learn and discover how to hone their playwriting skills through a series of workshops with theatre professionals. The culmination of this process is to experience the audience’s response at this presentation of their work. The actors include Tom Walton, Melissa Whitney, Crystal Ann Muñoz, and Connor French.
The 2022 sponsors for the Young Playwright's Festival are DAVID & JEAN AVISON and the CITY OF LAKE OSWEGO.
THIS YEAR'S PLAYWRIGHTS:
Eli Carey (they/them) currently attends The Theatre School at DePaul University where they are pursuing a BFA in Comedy Arts. They are very excited to be spending their winter break being a part of the Young Playwrights Festival! In Portland, they have done work with Oregon Children’s Theatre’s Young Professionals Company and Comedysportz. Eli has also produced, written and directed student work at both the high school and college level. In Chicago, they spend their time exploring the city and performing in local comedy venues.
Eli Mohr is currently a senior at Ida B. Wells High School in Portland. He has very recently picked up play writing and he is so excited that he has been selected to be a part of this outstanding process. He would like to thank the incredible team at YPF for giving him this amazing opportunity. He would also like to thank his parents and sister for their continued support throughout all of the different paths his life has taken him.
Karli Jean Lonnquist, 17, is a senior attending Jesuit High School. She has written multiple plays, including lemongrass, honey, whiskey., which she performed at the Young Professionals company in their Breaking Character show series, and Archer, Archer, which was produced at Jesuit in their 2021 Playwriting Festival. Karli has 11 years of professional and educational acting experience, and has dabbled in various forms of theatre technology. Additionally, Karli enjoys discovering obscure music and podcasts, managing KJ’s Cakery, her at-home cake business, engaging in multi-genre vocal competitions, and is passionate about uplifting the voices of people with disabilities in the arts. This is Karli's first year being involved in the Young Playwrights, Fertile Ground Festival and with the Lakewood Theatre Company.
Nico Vilches is a senior at Ida B. Wells high school and will be graduating this June. He will then attend Lewis & Clark College as a Music major. Throughout his time in high school, Nico has participated in several local productions. With Southwest Stageworks, he played Monty in A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and sound designed and composed original music for Enso Theatre’s production of Gruesome Playground Injuries. Nico is beyond thankful for this wonderful opportunity. He would like to thank Matt Zrebski, Conor Eifler, and Cynthia Whitcomb for their boundless wisdom throughout this process! This is Nico's first year being involved in the Young Playwrights, Fertile Ground Festival and with the Lakewood Theatre Company.
Niku Edlund-Farsad is a junior in high school. Her experience with the performing arts has ranged from stage to film to music, and she loves the community created by theater fanatics like her. Her favorite genre to write in is magical realism, as she finds inspiration in the unusual and art in the mundane. Recently her interest has expanded from being on stage to behind the scenes as a writer, and she has previously written for the New Works Festival at Lincoln High School. This is Niku's first year being involved in the Young Playwrights, Fertile Ground Festival and with the Lakewood Theatre Company.
MATTHEW ZREBSKI (Program Director) is a multi-award-winning playwright, composer, script consultant, teaching artist, and producer-director whose career has been defined by new play development. He has served as the Artistic Director for Youth Could Know Theatre, Theatre Atlantis, and Stark Raving Theatre - all companies specializing in new work - and since 1995, has mounted dozens of world premieres. Notable productions include Joseph Fisher’s plays Prometheus Bound, Cupid & Psyche, Faust. Us., and Tundra (Kennedy Center Fund For New American Plays Recipient) as well as the recent Bob: A Life in Five Acts, Orlando, and the premiere of Rob Handel’s I Want to Destroy You. As the Resident Teaching Artist at Portland Center Stage, he teaches playwriting through Visions and Voices. He also mentors through Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools (WITS) program and is on staff for the Acting Academy at Oregon Children’s Theatre where he teaches acting, directing, and helped to found Ink Well, a playwrights lab. He holds a BFA in Theatre from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and The Recording Academy.
Tom is excited to be back reading some of the latest brilliant work from C.S. Whitcomb. Recently he has been seen... nowhere... doing nothing. But he has high hopes for the future! Past Lakewood productions include five years of working with the Young Playwright’s Festival, Jerome in a reading of C.S. Whitcomb’s The Ghost of David Belasco, Ned Allyn in Shakespeare In Love, and Stanley Stubbers in One Man Two Guvnors, and Col. Arbuthnot in Murder on the Orient Express. Tom would like to thank you all for watching and supporting the Lakewood Center for the Arts!
Melissa is happy to be treading the boards again at Lakewood after having taken a break from theatre to return to school and pursue her teaching career. She was last seen on the Lakewood stage as a Pigeon sister in The Odd Couple. Other Lakewood roles are Rachel Crabbe in One Man, Two Guvnors, Joanna Lyppiatt in Present Laughter, Henrietta in The Hollow, and others. In addition to her work at Lakewood, Melissa has worked at Artists Repertory Theatre, Vertigo, Coho, Defunkt, and PAE, but is probably best known for her time as part of the acting ensemble of the Northwest Classical Theatre Company.
CRYSTAL ANN MUNOZ
Crystal was a 2016 Drammy nominee for her portrayal of Olivia in the Portland Shakespeare Project’s TWELFTH NIGHT, and participated in Portland Shakespeare’s PROSCENIUM LIVE series, reading Hesperides in Ellen Margolis’ PERICLES WET. She also recently appeared in Profile Theatre’s Drammy winning production of ORLANDO. Other Portland credits include THE HUNTSMEN (Portland Playhouse), EYES FOR CONSUELA (Profile), IN THE HEIGHTS (Stumptown Stages), A PIGEON AND A BOY, THE MINISTRY OF SPECIAL CASES (Jewish Theatre Collaborative), KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN (triangle productions!), GUAPA (Milagro Theatre), HAMLET (Anon It Moves), A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (Post5 Theatre), and in 2013, Crystal won a Drammy for Actress in a Leading Role for her work as Matilde in Lunacy Stageworks’ THE CLEAN HOUSE.
Connor French is a Playwright/Actor based out of Portland, Oregon. He holds a Bachelor degree in Theatre and Physics from the University of Oregon. His play, Just a Shack in the Woods (2018), won the New Voices festival (2018), and was produced at the University of Oregon in 2019 as a one act, and has since been expanded to a full 90 minutes. He has a particular focus on relationships, and how the simple, mundane moments of life can sometimes be the most impactful.
Time: January 27 - February 6, 2022 online
Written and Directed by C.S. Whitcomb
Produced by Lakewood Theatre Company
Note: performances are free but a donation is encouraged. CLICK HERE for a link to our contribution page.
C.S. Whitcomb’s latest work, White Rabbit, is set at UCLA Film School in 1971.
At three a.m. in the editing room back corridors, Alys, a sophomore, runs across Declan Owen, a legendary, mysterious figure, a guerilla filmmaker who was a friend of Jim Morrison. He is sort of a mad genius. This is about the art of making films on no budget while the draft looms and Vietnam rages. It is also a love story.
The play features actors Kelsey Glasser, Tom Walton, and Don Stewart Burns.
THE PLAYWRIGHT: C.S. WHITCOMB
Playwright and director of White Rabbit and a Mentor for YPF
C.S. Whitcomb is one of Oregon’s most prolific playwrights whose plays have been produced off-Broadway, regionally, and locally.C.S. Whitcomb wrote The Seven Wonders of Ballyknock(2015) and Parnassis On Wheels(2018) which both had world premieres at Lakewood Theatre Company. She also wrote Stoker and Santos produced by Proscenium Live. Lear’s Follies was commissioned by Portland Shakespeare Project and had its world premiere, produced by them, at Artists Rep. Holidazed (with Marc Acito) was twice produced at ART. Her play Looking-Glass, co-authored with Michael Sutton, was produced Off Broadway and is published by Broadway Plays. She has been nominated for the Angus Bowmer Award, Emmy, Drammy, Edgar Allan Poe, and Writers Guild of America Awards. She has written roles for Jason Robards, Ellen Burstyn, Anjelica Huston, Martin Sheen, Gena Rowlands and many others. She co-wrote the documentary THINK: The Legacy of Think and Grow Rich which had its red carpet premiere in L.A. in October. Her latest book, The Heart of the Film: Writing Love Stories in Screenplays was published in 2018. She teaches screenwriting locally and takes a group of writers on a Trans-Atlantic cruise every spring. For more go to cynthiawhitcomb.com.
Kelsey has appeared at Lakewood as Countess Andrenyi in Murder on the Orient Express and as Viola in Shakespeare in Love. A Portland native, she grew up performing with Northwest Children’s Theater (Crazy for You, Footloose, Frankenstein) and Northwest Classical Theater (Troilus & Cressida, As You Like It, Henry V). She studied acting at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with the Atlantic Theater Co. (Romeo & Juliet, Top Girls, The Winter’s Tale) and the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford. When not on stage, you can find her pouring wine at one of her two restaurants - Arden and Wild Thing - or leading virtual wine tastings @ardenpdx.
Tom is excited to be back reading some of the latest brilliant work from C.S. Whitcomb. Recently he has been seen... nowhere... doing nothing. But he has high hopes for the future! Past Lakewood productions include five years of working with the Young Playwright’s Festival, Jerome in a reading of C.S. Whitcomb’s The Ghost of David Belasco, Ned Allyn in Shakespeare In Love, and Stanley Stubbers in One Man Two Guvnors. Tom is currently playing Col. Arbuthnot in Murder on the Orient Express for Lakewood through Feb. 13th. Tom would like to thank you all for watching and supporting the Lakewood Center for the Arts!
DON STEWART BURNS
Don Stewart Burns is delighted to be working again with writer C.S. Whitcomb. He has been seen on this stage as George in Parnassus on Wheels, Mayor Meekly in Unnecessary Farce, as Old Bailey Tip in C.S. Whitcomb’s The Seven Wonders of Ballyknock, and as the Blind Hermit in Young Frankenstein. Oregon Theatrical Award Society awards include City of Angels, Arcadia, Ah! Wilderness, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Scandalous Adventures of Sir Toby Trollope and Bullshot Crummond, and an OTAS Board Award for “Featured Player.” He has appeared in eight feature films, and three television series: Leverage, Grimm and Nowhere Man.
Fertile Ground Festival of New Works is a multi-day arts festival that is held at the end of January and beginning of February in the Portland metro area. This city-wide festival is focused on new work in the Arts. It features world premiere projects, staged readings, developing works, and a myriad of other arts events from the Portland creative community. The Festival includes dozens of Portland-generated new works each year. From fully staged world premieres, workshops, and readings of theatre, ensemble, and collaborative driven work, dance, comedy, and film. This festival spans the spectrum of creative endeavors and seeds the next generation of creation through artist conversations, workshops, lunchtime readings, and more..
Unlike a typical fringe festival, Fertile Ground features the finest new work of our LOCAL artists, performers, and resident theater companies, ensuring that the artistic and financial benefits of the festival stay in Portland. Where other New Works Festivals are curated by one theater company and typically feature a string of staged readings, this festival is collaboratively shaped by a variety of aesthetic voices.
Fertile Ground features a full range of artistic experiences, giving audiences a greater depth and breadth of work from which to choose in a concentrated time frame. From Portland’s oldest and largest producing institutions to its newest, smallest or self-produced companies, the Fertile Ground Festival offers the breadth of creation. For this reason, we feel this festival is nationally unique, providing a new model for creating and sharing new work that will be of substantive value to the national theater and arts.
Fertile Ground was launched by the Portland Area Theatre Alliance (the service organization for Portland theater artists and organizations) in 2009 to provide a platform for Portland theater companies to showcase their commitment to new work; and to invite regional and national artists, artistic leaders, and art aficionados to discover for themselves that Portland truly is fertile ground for creativity, innovation, and daring acts of performance. Fertile Ground has grown its scope of offerings to encompass the open field of arts creation to include dance, comedy, and visual arts. Fertile Ground aspires to provide a forum where art lovers near and far will come to appreciate that Portland truly is fertile ground for creativity, innovation, and daring acts of performance.
About Lakewood Theatre Company
69 Years of Live Theatre: Founded as a not-for-profit organization in 1952, Lakewood Theatre Company is a professional theatre dedicated to the study and presentation of drama in all its forms; the training and development of actors; and the creation, maintenance, and operation of a theatre in which to present plays and other forms of entertainment. Lakewood Theatre Company is the oldest continually operated, not-for-profit theatre company in the Portland Metropolitan area. It annually provides more than 350 theatre artists the opportunity to learn and display their craft and attracts more than 35,000 people to its shows.
Season support for Lakewood is provided by:
- The Kinsman Foundation
- Ron & Marilyn Nutting
- The James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation