Portal Theatre premiere's devised production about the women of science (Photo)
Portland-based Portal Theatre will hold its Oregon premiere of "No Belles," a devised production that tells the story of women who have won the Nobel Prize, nightly December 4 through 6 at Action/Adventure Theatre in Portland. Only 15 out of the 566 winners (less than 3 percent) in the sciences have been women, and this production tells the stories of those who have (and others who should have) received a Nobel Prize.
"No Belles" premiered at Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August, earning high reviews (see excerpts below) from reviewers such as "The Scotsman" (4 stars), "The Broadway Baby" (5 stars), "The Cult Den (10 out of 10), "Arts Award Voice" (5 stars) and "The Public Reviews" (4 stars). Portal Theatre has returned home to share its first production with Portland, a model it plans to follow in the future by creating a new production each year and performing it locally after taking it to festivals.
"No Belles" focuses on the stories of four women, three who won the Nobel Prize and one who did not, while telling a number of the other women's stories in short form. The production focuses on the stories, not about the science.
"'No Belles' is pure storytelling, staged very simply," said Michael Phillips, creator of Portal Theatre. "Three stools, three women, great stories. These stories are inspiring, especially since a lot of these women were engaged in science that has literally changed our lives. And, we think their stories are important, that we shouldn't forget them and their work."
Portal Theatre is led by Michael Phillips, artistic director and associate professor of theatre at Western Oregon University. Cast members are Jade Hobbs, Melissa Schenter and Kimberly Wilson, and the production manager is Jenessa Raabe. For more information about Portal Theatre, visit portaltheatre.com.
Tickets are $15 each and are available online at Brown Paper Tickets (brownpapertickets.com/event/928338). Each performance will be held at 8 p.m. Action/Adventure Theatre is at 1050 SE Clinton St. in Portland, Ore.
Reviews from Edinburgh Festival Fringe
"The Scotsman" (4 stars): http://www.wow247.co.uk/blog/2014/08/18/no-belles/
"What could have become a twee tribute or hectoring lecture in less sensitive hands instead emerges as a witty, captivating and positively feminist show, thanks to the infectious, disarming and ultimately very moving enthusiasm of the three performers for their subject matter."
"The Broadway Baby" (5 stars): http://www.broadwaybaby.com/show.php?id=699527
"No Belles is a well-pitched piece of theatre that's informative, and, perhaps more importantly, inspiring. It has important stories to tell and resonates well after you have left the theatre."/
"The Cult Den" (10 out of 10): http://www.thecultden.com/2014/08/event-review-no-belles.html
"On stage their performance was impeccable, genuine and heart-warming. I know it's early in
the month but this is my show of the Fringe this year and anything else will have to be truly great to beat it."