350 E Main Street
Hillsboro, OR 97123
Contact: Beth Lewis
P: 503 345 9590
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Hillsboro, OR – After nearly 15 years of leading Hillsboro’s only professional theatre company, Bag&Baggage Productions (B&B), Founding Artistic Director Scott Palmer has accepted a new position as the Producing Artistic Director of Company of Fools, a professional theatre based in Sun Valley, Idaho. Palmer leaves his position at B&B on March 1, 2019.
Cassie Greer, B&B’s Associate Artistic Director, has been appointed Interim Artistic Director while the B&B Board and staff determine the process and timeline for selecting a new artistic leader of Hillsboro’s largest cultural nonprofit. Greer begins her role as Interim Artistic Director on March 1, 2019.
During his tenure as B&B’s Founding Artistic Director, Palmer led the company from a small, scrappy, suburban theatre with a budget of under $5,000 in 2004 to a nationally recognized professional theatre company with a budget of over $820,000 in 2018. In 2015, B&B was awarded a National Theatre Company Award from the American Theatre Wing, honoring B&B’s commitment to its community. Palmer was also appointed to the prestigious National Theatre Conference in 2017 in honor of his acclaimed work with Shakespearean adaptations.
Perhaps the most enduring legacy Palmer leaves is The Vault Theater and Event Space, B&B’s new permanent home that was created through an innovative partnership with the City of Hillsboro and a successful $1.6 million capital campaign. B&B has been housed at The Vault since September of 2017 and is mid-way through their second season in the venue. Palmer will remain as Artistic Director for the next four months, directing B&B’s holiday show Bell, Book and Candle and the first play in B&B’s nationally acclaimed “Problem Play Project,” The Island In Winter or, La Isla en Invierno by Hillsboro playwright Carlos-Zenen Trujillo.
“We are so grateful that Scott Palmer, one of our own, brought his vision and passion for professional theater to Downtown Hillsboro,” said Mayor Steve Callaway. “Under Scott’s leadership, Bag&Baggage established a permanent home on Main Street, became a nationally recognized organization, and cemented its place as a foundational piece in Hillsboro’s thriving arts scene. Downtown Hillsboro is a regional destination for professional theatre, thanks in large part to Scott. His thought-provoking productions and commitment to equitable opportunities for all has enriched our city and changed lives.”
“It has been the greatest honor of my career leading Bag&Baggage, and I am deeply grateful to the staff, board, artists, patrons, and donors who have helped make The Vault a reality for this community,” said Palmer. “After all we have achieved together, with The Vault open and Bag&Baggage stronger and healthier that it has ever been, it feels like the right time for me to pursue other goals and new challenges. My heart will always be on Main Street in Hillsboro, but I know that our beloved artists, our passionate board, our dedicated donors, and the incredible staff at B&B will lead the company into ever greater success. Bag&Baggage is in good hands, and I am excited to see what the future holds for this place that has been my home for nearly 15 years.”
Palmer takes over as the Producing Artistic Director of Company of Fools, a professional theatre company based at the historic Liberty Theatre in the Sun Valley region of central Idaho. Company of Fools is part of the larger Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Idaho’s largest cultural nonprofit with a budget of nearly $4 million, and a leader in arts education, visual arts, performing arts, and theatre in the state. Palmer becomes one of three leaders of the Center with responsibility for managing the theatrical programming for Company of Fools and supporting the Center’s broad outreach and engagement programs.
“Company of Fools is a growing Equity theatre company with a stellar reputation nationally, and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts is a powerhouse in Idaho and throughout the West, really,” says Palmer. “The opportunity to lead a well-established theatre company with a 25 year heritage of excellence, and work alongside the much larger staff at the Center to expand the impact of the arts and arts programming throughout the Western United States feels exactly like the next big challenge for me personally and professionally.”
Palmer, who is originally from Hillsboro, has worked as a director and artistic director across the globe, including as the Founding Artistic Director of Bard in the Botanics (Scotland’s premiere Shakespeare-producing theatre company); for Toi Whakaari in New Zealand; and in the United States, where he also founded Oregon State University’s outdoor summer Shakespeare event Bard in the Quad. Perhaps best known for his work on Shakespearean adaptations, Palmer was described as “One of Oregon’s, if not the nation’s, most ambitious directors” by Oregon Arts Watch.
“Theater and the arts have the ability to capture the imagination and broaden perspectives,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Bag&Baggage has engaged students and audiences in the community in thoughtful and provocative discussions, and expanded the local arts and culture scene. I am grateful for Scott Palmer’s leadership in Washington County and look forward to seeing Bag&Baggage continue to grow and thrive in this next phase.”
In addition to the more than 16 world premiere Shakespearean adaptations Palmer created and directed for B&B, he also adapted original works such as Charles Dickens Writes A Christmas Carol and the KBNB Holiday Series, a trio of holiday farces based on a fictional 1940’s radio station. Oregon Arts Watch said of the series, “Now that the Hillsboro-based company’s frequently hilarious series has entered its third year, it, too has attained the status of holiday institution.”
During the next four months, B&B will be reaching out to patrons, donors, and artists to discuss the transition and B&B’s future plans. B&B will also be launching their end of year giving campaign, Our Future Is You, which provides patrons and fans of B&B the opportunity to donate to the company in honor of the work that has been done under Palmer’s leadership. Donors will have the chance to tell the company their favorite memory of B&B during Palmer’s tenure along with their hopes for the company’s future.
More information on the transition can be found online at bagnbaggage.org.