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Lakewood Center is venue for several of this season's shows that begin Jan. 18

SUBMITTED PHOTO  - 4x4: A Collection of One Act Plays is just one of more than 100 new works being presented during Fertile Ground Festival of New Works Jan. 18 through 28. Festival passes are available now.

For The Review, Tidings

Portland's Fertile Ground Festival of New Works will take place Jan. 18 through 29. More than 100 new works will burst forth from the rich soil of Portland's arts community.

From theater, dance and comedy to staged readings, multimedia works and more, Fertile Ground offers new perspectives, inspiration, powerful storytelling and joyful celebrations of the human experience — all locally grown in Portland.

Festival passes are on sale now. Passholder reservations begin Jan. 1. Be the first to sign up for this line up of Portland-made acts of creation.

Once again Lakewood Center for the Arts in Lake Oswego will serve as one of the performance venues for Fertile Ground works. Shows being presented at Lakewood Center include:

  • "My Audience with Angels, Saints and Demons," Jan. 20 at 2 p.m.

    Writer, director and actress Cheryl E. Grant returns to Fertile Ground with short plays about isolation, the struggle for connection and love.

    These character-driven plays take place in the dimensions of memory, in between the lines, poems, to the longing of hearts that don't quite fit and the souls that can't conform, longing to find their place and create a strange beauty in this difficult world.

  • "A Woman in Washington's Army" taking place at 2 p.m. Jan. 21.

    This play is written by Lake Oswego playwright Laurence Overmire.

    "A Woman in Washington's Army" is based on the incredible but true story of Deborah Samson, a young woman who disguised herself as a man and fought with distinction during the Revolutionary War.

    After the war, she became the first female touring lecturer and, upon her death, her husband became the first man to receive a pension as a soldier's widower.

    Steeped in colonial history, with period music, this play is a time-traveling adventure with plenty of action and colorful characters.

    The playwright, who is also a genealogist, discovered Deborah while researching the descendants of Gov. William Bradford of the Mayflower.

    "I feel she deserves an honored place in history," said Overmire.

  • "One Off! Completely Improvised One Act Plays" at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 and the Young Playwrights Festival taking place at 7 p.m. Jan. 23 and 28.

    By Infinite Improv, this is directed by Aden and Eric Nepom.

    The world of improvised theater can open the imagination in ways utterly unpredictable, totally magical and completely entertaining.

    In this highly interactive showcase audience suggestions transform the players into all kinds of characters and transport them to all manner of places.

    How will the show turn out?

    Nobody knows until the moment that all share it together. Play with theater you help create, or simply sit back and enjoy an evening of unforgettable, unscripted theater with the locally and nationally recognized, award-winning, talented friends and company of Infinite Improv!, in One Off! — completely improvised one act plays.

  • Young Playwrights Festival at 2 p.m. Jan. 27.

    The Young Playwrights Festival is a collection of one act plays by high school playwrights from the Portland metro area who have been selected to work with professional directors and actors to gain insight, experience and feedback to develop their plays.

    YPF provides an opportunity for these young playwrights to hone their skills through a series of workshops with theater professionals.

    The culmination of this process is to experience the audience response at this presentation of their work. The featured playwrights are Philip Chan, Kendall Gordon and Aishwarya Marathe.

    The readings will be directed by Megan Kate Ward.

    Tickets are $10 for each event and can be purchased online at or by calling 503-635-3901.

    To view the complete Fertile Ground Festival schedule and to purchase a festival pass visit

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