Saturday, August 16, 2008

Arts Equity awarded 2nd Kinsman Grant

We are pleased to announce that the Board of The Kinsman Foundation has awarded a 2008 grant to Arts Equity Onstage for our productions of Tom Cone's  "True Mummy" and Kevin Kling's "21A."

We are deeply grateful to The Kinsman Foundation for their support of our artistic endeavors. 

August 29th

Our 500th Performance

a Benefit Celebration for Arts Equity

Save This Date!

Arts Equity is going to celebrate a milestone in the history of our theatre:  Our 500th Performance on August 29th.   On June 17th 2005 (that is the same day as the new Hilton Hotel ) we opened Arts Equity in a renovated space we dubbed "The Main Street Theatre."  When we opened "The Main Street Theatre" we were part of the redevelopment of the downtown core in historic Vancouver. 

Now three years, two months and twelve days later we are going to post our 500th performance on Friday August 29th in the Arena at Theatre! Theater located at 3430 SE Belmont in Portland.  Although we are not currently occupying "The Main Street Theatre" we remain a Vancouver based theatre company searching for another venue in Southwest Washington. 

We want you to be part of the evening's celebration as Thomas Rheingans and Shoehorn join our production of "21A" starring Joey LeBard for an evening of music and theatre.   Thomas Rheingans piano series in Vancouver at the Fries is a must event that begins in the fall and you can check out Shoehorn on youtube

Tickets are $25 and available online now!  Join us for libation and an evening of fun all to benefit Arts Equity and help us continue with this our fourth season. 

You will be able to purchase CD's of both Thomas and Shoehorn at the benefit or you can do so anytime on their CDBaby websites.  Thomas Rheingans and Shoehorn on CDBaby.

This benefit is to help replace the box office receipts  that were stolen during the first weekend of our run at Theatre, Theater.

Rasanen and Rhoe

Friday, August 1, 2008

They Don't Call It Show Art Baby!

Do Something Patriotic, Support the Arts

During my tenure at the Kennedy Center, I had the privilege of working as part of the producing team during the Washington run of Lily Tomlin's The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe directed by Jane Wagner.  Ms Tomlin was a very hands on person in every detail of her production whether it was selecting the media buys for bus placards, or the gifting of comp tickets.  Her show sold out six months straight and not until the final week did she give out any comps to her show, and only as a way of saying thank you for the work you put in to help make her show a success.  As she put a pair of comps in my hand she gave me one of the single most important pieces of advice I have every received..."They don't call it show art baby!"

So what we are asking you to do is this:  Do Something Patriotic, Support the arts.  Arts Equity needs your support no matter what level you choose.  Thanks!

Why Be A Green Theatre Company?

Are the Arts Sustainable?

Part One:  Where we've been.  Arts Equity premiered its first production in June of 2005 at The Main Street Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.  Over the next three years, seventeen plays and a series of musical events were staged at the home of Vancouver's 1st professional theatre company.  Arts Equity vacated The Main Street Theatre in the spring of 2008.  Our artistic successes were outweighed by other factors--the high cost of maintaining a rented space and our inability to attract a corporate patron base to our downtown location.  Thus, we chose to embark on a season of plays being presented in different venues in Portland and Vancouver.  That season has begun and will continue.  

The core purpose of Arts Equity remains securely in place.  From the beginning, we have sought to produce theatre that is passionate, exuberant, profound and deep in the American spirit.  We stage classics, premieres of new plays and contemporary music-theatre.  At The Main Street Theatre, we provided Vancouver-area patrons the chance to experience, appreciate, and respond to the works of celebrated playwrights (Nobel, Pulitzer, and Emmy Winners) as well as younger, under discovered artists from the Northwest.  We have had great successes--our production of Herringbone ran 44 performances in the summer and fall of 2006, and in the summer of 2007 we extended our staging of Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile.   We managed to build a dynamic and powerful group of artists, providing roles for 70 actors.  Though out, we tried to cultivate an engaged, diverse and responsive audience. 

Part Two: Where we're going.  The Same ideals continue to guide us as we reshape Arts Equity.  We will produce  theatre designed to delight and promote serious thought among adult theatre-goers.  Our current aim is to imagine, build and operate a model that supports and makes possible sustainable theatre for southwest Washington.  The area, we continue to believe is under served in terms terms of high quality theatre.  The wish to achieve sustainable theatre has two parts--to survive and thrive as a serious artistic entity and to adopt and promote ecologically minded practices.  The pieces are in place to reach both these aims.  

In terms of artistic excellence, Arts Equity has thrived through out its existence.  Staging an impressive line-up of plays, we learned to operate in an efficient and frugal fashion.  Our administrative costs are strictly controlled. Stage design and set construction--where our efforts have consistently received high praise from reviewers and audience members--are prime examples of our thrift and green practices.  Our sets are constructed almost entirely from re-used and recycled fount items.  The current production of (21A at Theatre, Theater in Portland) is a perfect example.  The play takes place on a bus.  Our substantial and authentic st was rebuilt from a bus, located on its way to salvage, that we disassembled.  The total cost was less than $10.  Our environmental impact is a large, net positive.  This is how we operate.

For each of our past two productions (21A and Exit the King, performed at The Main Street Theatre in the spring of 2008) we received grant support from a non-profit foundation.  We intend to build on these successes.  With each instance of foundational support, we increase our experience in this important process, and we build the reputation of Arts Equity as an artistic entity worthy of support.  

Our future course lines up as follows:  We want, first to attract financial support from business and professional entities.  We believe that partnering with private interests sharing our green values can enhance our prospects.  We want, second, to locate Arts Equity in a new home in the Vancouver area.  We are looking for a building we can re-fit, an existing structure we can turn to new use with a special emphasis on applying green practices to the renovation and subsequent operations.  

Thursday, July 31, 2008

True Mummy has been rescheduled for spring 2009

Our production of True Mummy by playwright Tom Cone (Herringbone) has been postponed until sometime in the spring of 2009 at a location TBA. We had been in rehearsal for True Mummy when one of our actors (Debbie Hudkins) sustained an injury to her knee that required surgery. Debbie was on vacation in Hawaii when the boat captain hurriedly demanded that everyone get out of the water and back on board the vessel. No it wasn't a shark, but those pesky and dangerous Man of War jellyfish. Debbie was toweling off when the vessel went one direction and she went the other. The result was a blown-out knee cap, intense pain and the need for surgery. You may remember that Debbie and her husband David were the bar owners in our production of Steve Martin's "Picasso at the Lapin Agile" (click to see the photos) that ran all summer in 2007. We wanted to keep our cast together for this production so the logical thing to do was postpone. The cast includes Debbie Hudkins, David Hudkins, Carolyn Haycraft, and Danica Suguitan.

True Mummy refers to a black luminous, clear glaze, the "best shellac in the history of art" that was made from the ash of cremated mummies. What is sacred today? Is any degree of desecration justified if it is in the pursuit of truth and the creation of art? There is no shortage of ideas in Tom Cone's probing play!

"True Mummy" is funded in part by a generous grant from The Kinsman Foundation.

Welcome To Arts Equity's News Blog

Greetings, friends of Arts Equity, and welcome to our new "News Blog."
As most of our regular patrons know, Producing Director Llewellyn Rhoe makes every effort to get the word about about our groundbreaking, innovative productions. Our web site,, is continually updated with the latest information, as is our ongoing online events schedule at
As strong as those resources are, though, we needed a vehicle that would allow us to get the word out quickly when new developments occurred at Arts Equity. A blog seemed to be the obvious choice. We'll be posting important bits of news here from time-to-time... please remember to add the blog to your "favorites" list or bookmarks (and for those of you with RSS feed subscriptions, be sure to add us there too).
We're looking forward to our new journey as a touring company... and we hope you'll come along for the ride.
-Webmaster Harold