Parking lot drive-in performances to pop up in Portland’s Central Eastside

AM Extra

'Risk/Reward' and 'Boom Arts' will host an evening of pop-up performances that spectators can watch from their car.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) —A parking lot in Portland’s Central Eastside will soon become center stage for local artists. This Saturday, Risk/Reward and Boom Arts theatre groups, will host an evening of pop up drive-in performances that spectators can watch from their car.

The show– “Pavement” — is the latest innovative way local artist are bringing live performance back to the city amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“The basic motivation is to get live performance back on track and have some options for people that are craving it you know,” Risk/Reward producing artistic director, Katie Watkins said. “This time in the age of social distancing we are trying to keep everything as safe as possible.”

Just like at drive-in movie theaters, audience park their car in the lot and be able to tune their radio to XRAY.FM to listen in and watch the show from the safety of their own vehicle.

“Cars will be surrounding the performances, so it’ll be kind of a theatre in the round… so the audience members can see each other, they can see the performance and kind of foster a sense of community with the feeling of being an audience,” Boom Arts artistic director, Tracy Francis.

A select number of standing room spaces are available to those without vehicles.

The outdoor event will feature two shows with a collection of short performances from local artists including: Suba Ganesan (Portland Creative Laureate), KT Kusmaul(Body Home Fat Dance), Oluyinka Akinjiola (Rejoice! Diaspora Dance Theater), Musicians: Kenji Bunch and Monica Ohuchi (Fear No Music), Emmanuel Henreid (Portland Opera), and Amenta Abioto, theatre artist Gerrin Mitchell and spoken word by Anya Pearson.

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Get to know the artists for our Drive-In!🚘

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“People do want to get out and do want to do something and have some sort of interaction and it seems like a very safe way to do it,” actor Gerrin Mitchell said.  “I’m so delighted that they thought of me to come in and work on this particular project.”

“We’re just being innovative and trying our best during this time,” Portland Opera and crossover singer, Onry added. “I’m really excited about it.” 

Still wondering where exactly this is taking place? Organizers say you’ll have to buy a ticket to find out. A portion of proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to “Don’t Shoot Portland” to support the ongoing fight for racial justice. For more information about “Pavement,” click here.

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