In writing a pair of stories for this issue about trends in documentary theatre—a passion of hers since college, when she first discovered the work of the Civilians and interned with Ping Chong + Company—writer and practitioner Amelia Parenteau kept running into a familiar conundrum: “It’s difficult to define or even talk about this type of work, because the field is so expansive,” says Parenteau, a longtime New Yorker now based in New Orleans. “This made for a thrilling challenge.” She finally concluded that the field’s unpinnability is “a testament to how vital and contemporary documentary theatre continues to be.”
Oregon native Rebecca Jacobson remembers listening wistfully to hometown band Blitzen Trapper when she was in college in New England. Now back in Portland and writing about the arts, Jacobson had the chance to merge these two interests with a story about the indie band making a musical, Wild and Reckless, at Portland Center Stage. “Spending time with the band as they embarked on this new creative process was something of a trip,” Jacobson says. “It was fascinating to watch how these musicians—most of whom have known each other since high school—communicated in their own language.”
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