Dormant theater troupe, Pacific Stageworks, plans fundraiser show

first_imgLocal theater lovers who flash back a decade or two will recall a rich, diverse, thriving theater scene in Vancouver and Clark County. Compared with today, a surprisingly big group of working troupes used to get mentioned in this newspaper’s theater listings and stories.Old Slocum House Theater. Blue Parrot Theater. Vancouver Community Theater. Heartland Theater Productions. Masque & Mirror Theatre Company. Tears of Joy Theater. Grassy Knoll Productions. ACME Productions. Arts Equity. Serendipity Players. Several of these formed a Clark County Theater Alliance and staged plays at a once-and-future church, the Columbia Arts Center.But since then, due to everything from unaffordable and vanishing venues to “artistic differences,” nearly all of those groups have folded. Magenta Theater is Vancouver’s sole downtown theatrical success story today, and its popularity is due both to reliably people-pleasing fare (Sherlock Holmes, Jeeves and Wooster, “Miracle on 34th Street”) and, arguably, to the absence of any other downtown theater draws. And even though Magenta has grown into a big and busy business, it remains a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization. Working Clark County thespians tend to find opportunities — and paychecks — in Portland, which boasts many dozens of theater companies, from experimental and DIY to well-funded and highly professional.“In Portland, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a theater company,” said Heather Blackthorn.One of the Clark County groups that started, sputtered and stopped after just a handful of productions early in this decade was Pacific Stageworks. Blackthorn wasn’t involved with Pacific Stageworks, but she was and remains an irrepressible thespian who acted at Clark College and with Blue Parrot before life and family took her to places as far-flung as Puyallup and Kansas — where she kept studying acting and launching little grass roots theater companies, she said.Now, life has returned Blackthorn to Vancouver, and she sums up her feeling this way: “I’m back! Let’s put on a show!”last_img

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