Watch Me Pull a Drama Out of This Hat

Due to the ever persuasively urbane Mead Hunter, once again I’m stepping up on the auction block to offer my services for Commission! Commission! at Portland Center Stage’s JAW. The deal is, Portland Center Stage’s audience buys a swanky dinner and has a chance to bid on the services of the playwright of their choice. Once they, uh, buy you (“let me check yore teeths, son”), you interview them briefly on the subject they want you to write about (“I’d like something about nuclear winter that has…kittens in it”), and then you have about 20 minutes to bang out a play, which the actors have about 20 minutes to put together, and then the playlets are performed post-dinner. It’s definitely dangerous fun, like riding a BSA Lightning on freshly wet pavement at top speeds. In the dark. With your headlight out. The kicker this year is they’re opening the event, which is usually performed only for those who buy a dinner, up to the public, which means I have an opportunity to choke and embarass myself in front of even more people.

If you’d like to check out this combination art event/parlour trick, you can see the line-up of fine playwrights at: Commission! Commission! It’s nice company to be sweating bullets with. I don’t know what hell I’m doing there, but you ought to come to check out the other folk.


About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

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