Insights & Impetus on Artists & Cultural Adventures in Portland

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Take the Action Adventure

Posted by Nicole Lane on 06/07/2009

Reality TV is what’s hot if you watch the boob tube.  Personally, I’m not a big fan as I skew toward the more interactive or in-person forms of entertainment, but the networks have determined that most watchers are. 

So, if you like live entertainment AND reality TV then you’ll love Action/Adventure’s quirky Fall of the House show.  If you take the real-to-life, episodic sitcom concept and apply it to a theatre style that is somewhat improv comedy, then you’ll get this highly contemporary amalgamation of the two.

How they set it up:  A general story plot is planned out and written, but actors work without a script, improvising the dialogue that tells the audience the story.  Fall of the House is currently in its Fifth Season, each season has four episodes over four weeks time.  The seasons draw on the drama and character development covered in the previous season/s and then the episodes play out upon each other weekly.  Don’t worry, you won’t be lost if you jump in mid-season.  It’s just like watching a TV show, they will catch you up and it will all make sense no matter when you tune in.

I recently attended my first Fall of House show and found it to be well produced, endearing, giggle AND guffaw funny and quite interesting, albeit a bit rough around the edges.  Before the show I’d chatted with Tamara Carroll (Artistic Director/co-Writer) and learned more about how the show works.  Knowing more about the premise and process involved in Fall of the House, I walked away with a lot of respect for the 15 actors and seven writers involved, as well as Director Miranda King.  You can learn more about them here.

It sounds like an innovative theatrical idea (you say) but what’s the show about?  I say: think cultural relevance and reality situations of 20-somethings in Portland (clothing styles, sexual relationships, PBRs, bongs, quirky set pieces), think lowbrow theatre (like lowbrow art), think comic book plot and you’ll come close to visualizing this work.

How Portlandesque is such an idea?  Good question.  I did a little Google Search to see if I could find other theatre companies doing similar work, it is notable I didn’t find any.  However, this format made me think of a hilarious “choose your own adventure” web series my friend Hannah Bos is doing in NYC called The Mimi & Flo Show.  Click the link, truly a riot!  Maybe the next step for Fall of the House is choose your own adventure…live?

I like that Action/Adventure is a little off-beat.  I like it a lot.  I like that their Pay What You Can night is every Friday night – no one else does that on a Friday.  I like that show time is 10:30.  I like that the costumes look like what the actors actually wear in real life.  I like that they plop onto someone else’s set with only their couch and coffee table for a set.  I like that it is honest work.  

Jump off the couch folks…



Episode 1: June 5 – 7
Episode 2: June 12 – 14
Episode 3: June 19 – 21
Episode 4: June 26 – 28

The Arena Stage at Theater! Theatre!
3430 SE Belmont St
Portland, OR 97214

One Episode – $12
4-Week pass – $30
> $2 off with each previous week seen
> Fridays are always “Pay what you will.”

Reservations: 503.425.9176 or actionadventuretheater@gmail.com.

All showtimes 10:30 p.m. except Sundays, at 8:00 p.m.


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