The Bar[d] Party: UNPLUGGED
The Bar[d] Party: UNPLUGGED
Created by Orion Bradshaw and Phillip J. Berns
August 12 – Community Social Hour Mixer: 6 – 8 PM
August 14 – Performance: 6:30 – 8:30PM
Join us for The Bar[d] Party: UNPLUGGED! Travel through four separate performance spaces and witness scenes, monologues, and poems inspired by or taken from Shakespeare (or his contemporaries) – while also engaging in meaningful dialogue, oral Storytelling tradition, and communal creation. Gain awareness about and donate to different charitable organizations, while unpacking how the Bard’s stories connect to the life and times we live in.
“Let’s Party. Let’s Dialogue. Let’s Give Back.”
About The Show
CoHo Productions is proud to introduce The Bar[d] Party. Inspired by the formula of Chicago’s Back Room Shakespeare Project, they work and play by the credo – “Serious Actors. No Director. One Rehearsal. In a Bar.”
The Bar[d] Party inhabits restaurant and pub spaces, dynamically immersing their audience in the “hot detonation” of Shakespeare’s poetry and characters, all while directly involving them in the action at every turn. Each performance seeks to engage its audience in consistent dialogue and collaboration, a quick-fire game of give and take. Our world is crying out for reconnection, and The Bar[d] Party hopes to answer that call in their own unique way.
Veering slightly from their “regularly scheduled programming”, The Bar[d] Party is enthusiastically teaming up with CoHo Productions, bringing you The Bar[d] Party: UNPLUGGED, in hopes of providing a truly unique, collaborative, and community-minded Storytelling experience for our beloved PDX.
First, kick off the weekend at CoHo Productions for a “Friends & Family Social Hour Mixer,” on Friday, August 12th! This is an opportunity for members of our community to break bread, reconnect, and learn more about what to expect when The Bar[d] Party hits the stage on August 14th. Come eat, drink, and be merry with the whole crew – and catch up with friends, old and new! That’s the Party.
Then, come back on Sunday, August 14th for an immersive evening of performances, communal conversations, and giving. The Bar[d] Party will be inhabiting several different areas of CoHo’s space! Each station will showcase short works inspired by or taken from Shakespeare and connect audience members to goings-on that currently affect the community at large. The performances will also be accompanied by brief art-making sessions (speaking, writing, drawing – oh my!) and facilitated conversations led by The Bar[d] Party, in which the audience will be encouraged (but not required) to participate. We want to experience YOUR stories, too! That’s the Dialogue.
And – as The Bar[d] Party never parties without giving back – for the first time ever, 4 separate organizations will be highlighted during this one-night-only event: one in each location – supporting Youth Education, LGBTQIA+ Support, Reproductive Rights, and Racial Equality. Let’s. Give. Back.
CoHo Productions and The Bar[d] Party cannot wait to share this experience with you. “We can have the party we came for.” See you at the Party SOON!
The Testimonials Are In
“Bar[d] Party is an incredible way to expose people to Shakespeare in a casual, familiar environment. It removes the gatekeepers that have made theatre elitist for so long: there are no stuffy patrons or donors who expect special treatment, no pompous programs or self-congratulatory actor bios, and, most importantly, there aren’t $80+ ticket prices barring entry to all but the wealthy. It’s egalitarian theatre: bawdy and irreverent, open to everyone, and performed simply for the fun of it.”
– Douglas Killingtree
“What I love about Bar[d]Party is how deeply it’s rooted in the community. I had the joy of participating in both The Tempest and 12th Night and it was so much fun to utilize a public space and watch members of the community engage and respond to the work and the performers. Folks I invited loved the casual nature of engaging with Shakespeare in a public space where they could also participate with their friends and come and go as needed. While I love all of the pomp and circumstance that can go into theatre, having really accessible work is also highly important – especially at this time when we’re all craving community. Bard Party is simply the best – both as a participant and audience member!”
– Amanda Soden
“I like that The Bar[d] Party invites the community to the table, and ties its productions to organizations in need. It’s Shakespeare in a fresh way, and the process encourages connection, communication, and collaboration between the artists and the audience.”
– Jessi Walters
About the Creators
Orion Bradshaw is a Storyteller, Licensed Teacher, Equity Facilitator, and Social Justice Advocate; he is a proud member of the Actors’ Equity, the National Education, and the Oregon Education Associations. Orion spent 6 seasons altogether as an Actor and Teacher at the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, relocating to his beloved Portland in 2011 to co-found Post5 Theatre. He then earned his Master of Arts in Teaching degree from his alma mater Southern Oregon University in 2019, while also training with the Racial Equity Coalition, among others. Orion has been a Performer and Teacher for over 15 years and currently serves as a licensed Substitute Teacher for Portland area schools, as well as a Facilitator with Matthew Reynolds Consulting, LLC. May our Learning never cease! Connect online at
mrrconsulting.org/ and facebook.com/thebardparty.
PHILLIP J. BERNS
With a passion for storytelling, Shakespeare, and social justice, Phillip J. Berns is a master Storyteller with over 25 years as a professional Actor. A founding company member of Post5 Theatre, where he also served as Marketing Director, Phillip has also performed with Bag&Baggage Productions, FUSE Theatre Ensemble, and Willamette Shakespeare, among others. He holds a BA in Theatre Arts and another in Advertising from Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, from which he hails. Specializing in physical comedy and Clown, Phillip revels in the classics and has brought his one-man adaptation of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol to Portland for nine years. In addition to theatre, Phillip is also a reader of Tarot, an officiant of weddings, and a registered Return to Work Specialist who delights in the whimsical and spooky. Phillip is grateful every day for his community, his cat companions, and especially for the special someone who inspires him daily. Connect online at phillipjberns.com.
Cast, Crew, and Creative Team
The Bar[d] Party Company includes:
Victoria Alvarez Chacon
Janelle Rae Davis
Mamie Colombero Wilhelm
… come see which of these fine folx (plus perhaps a few special surprise guests) will be joining us for this event!
CoHo needs your support
CoHo is a nonprofit theater that heavily relies on the generosity of our community to continue. If you support our mission, please give what you can!