Zombies, Martinis, Murders, Tears, Heartbreak and Hilarity: B&B’s Sixth Season!

May 21, 2013


Bag&Baggage Productions, Hillsboro’s resident professional theatre company, is thrilled to announce the line-up for the 2013-2014 Season, their sixth as the in-house theatre company at The Venetian Theatre in downtown Hillsboro.

“This is, without question, our most ambitious season yet,” said Scott Palmer, founder and Artistic Director. “We are pulling out all the stops this season and we are so excited for each and every one of these shows.”
Beginning in August, the season starts off with a world premiere adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar featuring an all-female cast performed in the round, outdoors at the Tom Hughes Civic Center Plaza. Adapted and Directed by Palmer, Caesar will include text from a nearly lost Restoration-era adaptation called Caesar in Egypt by Colby Cibber. Performances take place from August 1 through 17, 2013.

Moving back indoors to The Venetian Theatre in September, B&B will present the Oregon premiere of one of the most celebrated adaptations in recent American theatre history, Simon Levy’s The Great Gatsby. A trimmed down script that focuses on the characters at the heart of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, Levy’s Gastby is the only adaptation to receive approval from the Fitzgerald estate. Filled with the beauty and sensuality of the jazz era and using projections and choreographed movement, Gastby will be a powerful and visually arresting treatment of one of the greatest novels in American history. The Great Gatsby runs from September 26 through October 20, 2013.

In October, Bag&Baggage will present their first-ever Halloween show, Twelfth Night of the Living Dead, a fringe hit in Los Angeles and New York, adapted by Brian McInnis Smallwood. Combining the poetry of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night with the blood and guts of The Walking Dead, this over-the-top gore fest is not for the faint of heart; a hilarious, tongue-in-cheek, blood spattered Halloween treat! Performed over six nights from October 26 – 31, 2013.
Following in the farcical footsteps of their other Christmas shows, Bag&Baggage will skewer yet another holiday classic, this time taking aim at Frank Capra’s beloved It’s A Wonderful Life. In a world premiere adaptation by Artistic Director Scott Palmer, B&B will turn Capra’s charming, home-town fairy tale into a fast-paced, furious slapstick comedy called It’s A (somewhat) Wonderful Life: A Radio Play! Hysterical infighting amongst the cast of a 1940s radio program combined with incompetent sound engineers, too much mulled wine and a complete lack of respect for Capra’s homage to love and redemption will create yet another holiday massacre as only B&B can do. It’s A (somewhat) Wonderful Life: A Radio Play runs from November 27 – December 23, 2013.
The New Year brings B&B back to Shakespeare and another major adaptation of the Bard; LEAR, based on William Shakespeare’s King LearLEAR helped establish Palmer’s international reputation when it was first performed 10 years ago in Glasgow, Scotland where it was called “a 21st Century Lear to cherish” by The Scotsman Newspaper. Palmer’s heavily adapted script strips away the broad political landscape of Shakespeare’s great tragedy to focus on the madness that is at the heart of the story. Using original source materials such as the anonymous play King Leir (upon which Shakespeare based his version), and later treatments of King Lear from the Georgian period (including The Wife of King Lear which explores the woman and mother never mentioned in Shakespeare’s play), LEAR is a powerful, haunting and visually arresting exploration of how private pain can destroy, and redeem, a family. LEAR runs from March 6 – 23, 2014.
Rounding out the season is one of the funniest and most beloved of all English comedies, Noel Coward’s witty and acerbic Private Lives. Hailed as Coward’s comedic masterpiece and filled with rebellious flippancy and sophisticated romance, Private Lives is a comedy that has stood the test of time. Private Lives runs from May 8 – 25, 2014.

“How can you go wrong with a season that includes martinis, zombies, murder, betrayal, sex, mulled wine, and an onstage blinding?” said Ian Armstrong, who will play Nick in The Great Gatsby. 
Bag&Baggage is offering significant discounts on Season Tickets between now and August 17th, with a number of different options for adults, students and seniors. A Platinum Pass (which provides one ticket to each of the six shows) is only $147 for adults and $118 for students and seniors. A Venetian Mainstage Pass (which provides one ticket to the four main Venetian Theatre shows) is $110 for adults and $87 for students and seniors. Season Tickets are available online at www.bagnbaggage.org or by calling the Bag&Baggage box office at 503 345 9590.
In addition to the details of the season, Bag&Baggage is also announcing a major new artistic initiative: the creation of a Resident Acting Company. “I come from a very traditional, British-style repertory company background,” Palmer said. “My training in the UK, and my experience directing overseas has always led me to prefer working with a regular company of actors. Our new Resident Acting Company formalizes this and helps ensure that our audiences will see highly skilled, deeply committed actors who understand our vision for theatre in every single show.” The Resident Acting Company for 2013-2014 is comprised of 10 actors, many of whom have appeared in previous B&B shows. Cassie Greer, a longtime actor with the company, is one of the founding Resident Acting Company Members.
“This is exactly the kind of thing every actor wants from their career,” said Greer, who will star as Marc Antony in Julius Caesar. “Regular work, a group of actors you love and trust, and the opportunity to develop your skills in front of a passionate and committed audience members. It really is a dream come true for us.” In addition to Greer, B&B’s Resident Acting Company includes Arianne Jacques, Ian Armstrong, Adam Syron, Theresa Park, Dallas Myers, Gary Strong, Megan Carver, Benjamin Farmer and Branden McFarland.
Bag&Baggage is committed to unique interpretations and novel stagings of plays by the world’s best-known authors. We seek to rethink and reinvigorate the most celebrated titles, to challenge the public to experience them in new ways, and to connect our work to the lives and experiences of our audiences. Lead by Hillsboro native Scott Palmer, B&B is the only theatre company of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, and the only professional theatre in Hillsboro.