You say you want a revolution, but where? When it comes to battling forces of political oppression, one imagines the struggle being ignited on the streets or in the halls of government.
Yet there are more modest—and still consequential—arenas where battles are being waged. At Shaking the Three Theatre’s warehouse in Southeast Portland, for example, where rehearsals are taking place for Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A, a play about an abortionist who is ostracized from her community à la Hester Prynne.
Progressive art is as common in Portland as Teslas in Los Angeles. But in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and on the eve of the midterm elections, our city is revving up for a particularly innovative and engaged season of dance, literature, podcasting and theater.
Want to question all you think you know? See a live episode of Sarah Marshall’s podcast You’re Wrong About, famed for its contrarian takes on Tonya Harding and Martha Stewart. Interested in Rochester, N.Y.’s drag scene? PAM CUT’s Doc-O-Rama series will be your guide. Desperate to get out of your comfort zone? “Yeti Lovemaking,” a short story from Ling Ma’s collection Bliss Montage, is a fine (and furry) start.
And then there’s Shaking the Tree. Fucking A promises to be one of its most provocative productions—an unabashedly pro-choice play that is also a disquietingly detailed reflection on the tortured, co-dependent relationship between America and abortion.
We’ve put together this package of stories about the fall arts season (along with a calendar featuring 10 other intriguing events, because we think they’re all worth experiencing. Some will entertain and some will disturb, but all are likely to reawaken your faith in what humans can achieve when they harness the collective power of stories, images and ideas.
If that’s not worth voting for, what is?
—Bennett Campbell Ferguson, Assistant Arts and Culture Editor