Portland Area Theater Alliance announced the news today, confirming that the festival would be back April 12-21 after a one-year hiatus, with new festival director Tamara Carroll at the helm.
“I feel positively galvanized by this opportunity, and I can’t think of a more important moment to cultivate and celebrate new work,” Carroll said in a statement. “Some of the most incredible projects have not just been showcased at Fertile Ground—they were commissioned, envisioned, or created FOR Fertile Ground.”
For over a decade, Fertile Ground has been a pillar of Portland’s theater community, offering playwrights (and other artists) a chance to showcase new works, giving the event a zing of authenticity often missing from more polished theater productions.
After going virtual during the pandemic, the festival took 2023 off. Time and money were needed to find a successor to festival director Nicole Lane (the position had previously been largely a volunteer one). Earlier this year, a crowdfunding campaign generated over $6,600, and Carroll ultimately got the job.
“‘Fertile ground’ has always been the exactly perfect metaphor for what this Portland-grown festival is all about: a rich and vital arts community,” Carroll said. “There are infinite seeds of inspiration waiting to be nurtured to their full potential. Leading the as festival director, I have the privilege of creating a container for new work to grow and thrive.”