The story of Bag&Baggage (B&B) reads like something out of Elizabethan history. Founded in 2005 by a small group of theatre practitioners, B&B’s original mission was to travel the state of Oregon performing high quality, accessible, classical theatre for communities without a resident professional theatre. Like a travelling troupe of Elizabethan players, this small band of performers would arrive in places like Hood River, Corvallis, Beaverton, Astoria, Sandy and Hillsboro with everything they needed to put on a show in their “bags and baggage…” (hence our company name, which comes directly from Shakespeare’s great pastoral comedy As You Like It).
The company grew quickly, gaining a reputation for artistic quality, affordability and a very quirky sense of humor. In 2006, the company had doubled in both audience numbers and budget size and we found our services to be in greater and greater demand.
Over the course of the next few years, the company (like Shakespeare’s theatre troupe) found a series of patrons in the Hillsboro area and we decided to focus our work exclusively for the citizens of our Artistic Director’s home town of Hillsboro, Oregon.
In 2007, the company was approached by Denzil Scheller, the owner and operator of the soon-to-be opened Venetian Theatre. Originally built as a vaudeville stage, and used as a movie theatre throughout the 1980s, the Venetian was spectacularly refurbished by Denzil in partnership with the City of Hillsboro. Now a state-of-the-art, 400-seat performing arts theatre, Bag&Baggage is proud to call the Venetian their primary performance venue.
Opening our first season in 2008-2009, Bag&Baggage quickly attracted the attention of local and regional press who praised our work as thoughtful, inventive and of a high professional standard.
Our performances follow a standard schedule each season: First, we open each season with an outdoor summer Shakespeare event at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza. Next, we return to the Venetian for 4 consecutive shows beginning in September with an American classic, followed in December by a holiday themed production, then a major literary adaptation of Shakespeare in March and, finally, closing our season in May with a classic of English drama.
Since our first season, audience numbers have consistently grown year by year. Currently, Bag&Baggage sells upwards of 15,000 tickets annually, making us the largest non-profit arts organization in Hillsboro and one of the largest in all of Washington County.
Bag&Baggage is a participant in the A-ha! Program: Think, Do It, funded by the MetLife Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications Group, the national organization for the professional not-for-profit American theatre.
Get to know our Second Resident Acting Company! 2014-2015 Resident Acting Company Cassie Greer Cassie Greer has been acting for her whole life, as she recalls her mother frequently telling her after childhood tantrums that she “could win an academy award for that performance”. Deciding to get serious about her career, Cassie received her training… Read More.
Access Programs – Making Live Theatre Affordable For All Bag&Baggage is committed to making access to professional live theatre affordable to all members of our community. We have implemented a wide range of Access Programs to ensure that everyone who wants to attend one of our shows can do so in an affordable way.… Read More.
As a group of ambitious, professional theatre practitioners and educators, we inspire Oregonians to engage in creative, accessible and moving live-theatre experiences. Through our commitment to professional, text-based live theatre, we will make Hillsboro a renowned theatre destination for diverse audiences from Washington County and beyond. Our Core Values Fairness. We will commit to paying performing… Read More.
Voting Members: Gayle Nachtigal, Washington County Circuit Court Judge, retired Chair Scott Palmer, Artistic Director President Lisa Dupre, Washington County Fair Complex, Marketing and Events Manager Vice Chair Patricia Logan, Owner, Thomas Tax & Associated Services Enrolled Agent and Licensed Tax Consultant Treasurer, Finance Committee Chair, and Audience Development Committee Donna Swanson, Portland Community College,… Read More.
Scott Palmer, Founding Artistic Director Scott Palmer, Bag&Baggage’s founding Artistic Director, has directed and produced critically acclaimed theatrical productions across the globe. As the Artistic Director of Glasgow Repertory Company (Scotland’s Shakespeare company), Scott directed world premiere adaptations of King Lear, Titus Andronicus, Richard III, Henry V, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It and… Read More.