Public Showing August 28 @ 8pm

The Intimacy Project by Sasha Blocker

Heaven or Helen by Vanessa Hopkins

The Honey of His Music Vows by Danielle Frimer, Avital Shira, Maria Difabbio and Susannah Jones

Lab Work August 15-27, 2016

The Intimacy Project

Produced, Directed, Devised & Performed by Sasha Blocker

Sceneography & Creative Devising by Max Ward

Performed/Devised by: Camille Cettina, Jenny Ampersand, Beth Summers, Stephanie Woods, Clifton Holznagel, Jane Ferguson, Caitlin Fisher-Draeger, Joellen Sweeney, Jean Luc Boucherot & Laura Loy.

The Intimacy Project is a theatrical experience that blurs the line between audience members and performers to provoke moments of intimacy, whether that is sharing a secret, embracing a spontaneous dance party or holding hands with a stranger.

Audience members will choose their level of participation as they physically navigate the performance space. This will be facilitated by performers and prompted by design elements. The performance will integrate movement, dance choreography, scripted and improvised text, and multimedia to create an evening that allows each audience member to co-create their experience.

Sascha Blocker is an associate artist with Push Leg Theatre Company, which won two Drammy awards in 2014 for Nighthawks (Best Devised Production and Movement Choreography). Sascha was awarded a 2016 RACC project grant to produce an immersive theater project, which focuses on the theme of intimacy. She is a founding company member of Das Collectivnost de Teatro y Ridicule International, which premiered work in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and Bilbao, Spain. Locally Sascha has worked with Imago, Hand2Mouth, Third Rail, CoHo, Post 5, Liminal Performance Group, the Portland Actors Conservatory, and has produced work for the Fertile Ground Festival. Sascha earned an MFA in Performance from the London International School of Performing Arts in conjunction with Naropa University. Sascha teaches Communication Studies classes at Portland State University and Clark College, classes include: Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Small Group Communication, & Communication in the Workplace. She also teaches Improvisation, Movement, & Devising Experimental Theater at Portland Community College (Cascade Campus).

Heaven or Helen 

 by Vanessa Hopkins 

Sound Design by David Chandler

Performed by Samantha MacLaughlin and Vanessa Hopkins

A segment of an original piece inspired by the true story of Helen Dora Kohn (aka Helen Shucman), the cantankerous woman who wrote (channeled) the world renowned, “A Course in Miracles”.

While a professor of Psychology at Columbia University in the mid 1960’s, Helen teamed up with the esteemed Head of Psychology, Dr. William Thetford for over 7yrs to “Scribe” this manuscript which she was instructed to by a “Voice” that consumed her. Her name was not associated with the book (by her request) until after her death. Helen lived a dual life, struggling greatly during those years during the book’s dictation and fearing for her sanity as well as her reputation.

This impressionistic multimedia production will present abstract interpretations on the themes of religion and science through out time– toggling back and forth between the ecstasy and insanity of transcendence to the confines of the everyday “civilized” ego mind. The interplay between the reptilian brain and the “evolved” frontal lobe– the higher and lower self which is unified in both atheist and believer alike.

Vanessa Hopkins is a lifetime performer received  scholarship in both Dance and Theater at Santa Monica College. A near fatal car accident at nineteen deepened her passion for the healing arts and yoga, which continues to inspire her to create works of art that make the metaphysical and healing experience more accessible to a wider audience. After attending ACT, she spent years exploring and performing experimental theater, dance and music in the Bay Area, New York, LA and Europe. Vanessa has trained with Diego Pinon(Butoh), The SF Butoh Festival, Jess Curtis of Contraband, Suzuki/Viewpoints and Devising with SITI Co and PETE, Clown with Philip Cuomo and Advanced Acting with Jeffrey Tambor. Some favorite roles include: Mephistopheles (Shotgun Players), George Sand (L.A. Ovation Award “best actress”, City Garage Theater), Masha (Circus Theatricals), Audrey Wood (Ashland Contemporary Theater). She’s acted in several independent films, TV and commercials, as well as performed in her own video sketches. As a director in theater: Edge Of Nowhere, Mr Williams and Miss Wood,  and The Rocky Horror Picture Show . Currently, Vanessa is writing a feature narrative film while in post-production for her first  documentary film, Sky Dancer.

The Honey of His Music Vows

Created and Performed by Danielle Frimer, Avital Shira, Maria Difabbio and Susannah Jones

A musical performance about love, Shakespeare and text messaging. This piece will focus on the times in our lives when we are seduced by language, the feverish moments when we crave the heightened language of poetry, and the moments when words totally and utterly fail. There is only one serious question. And that is: Who knows how to make love stay?

Danielle Frimer is an actor, singer and writer and a recent graduate of ACT’s MFA Acting program. At ACT, her roles have included Nell in Indian Ink, Teresa in Napoli, Annabelle in A Christmas Carol, Ophelia in Hamlet and Victoria/Edward in Cloud Nine. In Portland, she has played the Princess in Love’s Labour’s Lost (Post 5 Theater, dir. Avital Shira), and Olivia in Twelfth Night (Portland Actors Ensemble, dir. Avital Shira). Frimer currently works at an interactive entertainment technology company in San Francisco called PullString, where she writes and voices conversational characters. She also writes songs and performs them at open mics. She has a B.A. from Yale University, where she was the recipient of the Branford Arts Prize.

Avital Shira Originally from Portland, OR, Avital Shira is a director who has a particular passion for heightened language and the blending of music and language in devised work. Directing credits include Love’s Labour’s Lost (Post5 Theatre), The Importance of Being Earnest (LA Athletic Club), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Disjecta), Phantomwise (NYC Fringe Festival), and Twelfth Night (Portland Actors Ensemble). She has directed staged readings for theatres including Corrib Theatre, Jewish Theatre Collaborative, the GirlsWrite Festival and the Theatricians, and has often collaborated with playwrights to co­devise and/or dramaturg developing work. Avital has assisted directors around the country at theatres including Lincoln Center Theater, Denver Center of Performing Arts, Writers Theatre, and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Avital is a graduate of Yale University, where she was awarded the Branford Arts Prize and the James S. Metcalfe prize for her direction of Much Ado About Nothing. She is a member of the 2013 Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Maria Difabbio is a singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. She wrote and performed with the Portland based folk band “Skidmore Bluffs,” and her songs were featured in What Is Left, a poetry/performance piece directed by Avital Shira. Most recently, she sang on Laura Gragtmans new album “Hug The Lonely Cactus.” She is also a stage manager, and has worked with Portland Center Stage, Post 5 Theatre, PAE, and Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT.

Susannah Jones is a New York based actress, singer and audiobook narrator. Recent credits include Mother in the national tour of A Christmas Story: The Musical, Olivia in Twelfth Night with Mainestage Shakespeare, and Susan in Company at The Bucks County Playhouse. In Portland, she played Miranda in The Tempest and Lady Catherine in the workshop of The Admirable Crichton with The Portland Shakespeare Project. She is a series regular on the webseries Plant, and received the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series at the LA webfest in 2014. Susannah is a graduate of NYU Tisch and received the Stella Adler Studio award for excellence in 2011. For more info, please visit

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