Dept. of Stupid Ideas

I was recently chatting with a friend about making music, theatre, etc., and we were both agreed that, yeah, it’d be cool if there was a place in the country you could go where you could crank up the amps, and folks could jam, try out new stuff. And pretty soon we were like…and yeah…we could do play readings! And workshops! And record! And a space for photographers! And…and…and…we need a barn! Or a rich friend with a barn. A rich patron of the arts with a barn. At which point, it devolved into some kind of mutant Mickey Rooney on acid let’s put on a show, and we laughed it off, and the conversation meandered into something equally silly….


For some reason, I keep thinking about the barn. What if…there really was one out there? And someone was into it? You could kind of, I don’t know, do a co-opt thing where folks chipped in a few bucks to help defray costs, and you could have jams with a few invited friends, a pot-luck, a bit of theatre, a bit of music, and….

Yeah. It’s totally fucking nuts. But then, so am I, so I went a posted an inquiry on Portland Craigslist under “Artists.” I’m sure nothing will come of it. But…but…but….


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

4 responses to “Dept. of Stupid Ideas

  • k. crow

    I’ve long had a yen to start something like this for artists. Part get-away, part-think tank. Time to start looking for an endowment.

  • MattyZ

    I think it’s a great idea, Steve – and very “Portland”. And we certainly need more performance venues. A flexible new arts space is exactly what we need here. OR…if it is more “in the woods” – that works too – a “retreat” would also be an amazing addition to our landscape.

  • Althea Hukari

    Dear Steve,I don’t have much of a barn, but I do own 1/4 of the 3 acres in Hood River where I currently live. Talking with my sisters (and co-owners), I am the only one with designs on this place: Co housing with a select few is one, a retreat center of some kind is another. Who knows? Maybe they can work together in some way. I have a year to come up with some kind of proposal for my sibs. Unfortunately I have no legacy with which to endow any of my schemes, but I do have a line on some land… Maybe we should talk?althea

  • splattworks

    Hmm. Well is there any space where someone can get in out of the weather and crank up some amps without the police getting called? Drop me a note at splatterson@mindspring.comThanks,Steve

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