Portland Choirs, Come Sing with Third Rail

We invite you to consider participating in a unique collaboration with Third Rail Repertory Theatre. The mission of Third Rail Repertory Theatre is to provide a dynamic artistic home for audiences and artists in Portland and to bring to life exceptional stories that provoke dialogue, encourage empathy, and inspire curiosity. This fall Third Rail is producing David Greig’s beautiful, challenging, and mighty play, The Events, and we want you to be a part of it.

Inspired by true events, The Events tells the story of Claire – a priest who leads a community choir. Claire experiences something terrible – a young man she vaguely knew turns a gun on her and her community in a mass shooting that she survives. This is not a biopic of such terrible events. The play is not filled with violent acts. Instead, it follows Claire’s attempts to answer the question “Why?”. It explores the desire to fathom the unfathomable and asks how far forgiveness will stretch in the face of atrocity. In the end, Mr. Greig’s award-winning play is a celebration of community and the inherent need for all of us to find a place where we belong.

The Events is written for two actors, an accompanist and a community choir. Part spectator, part performer, the choir is fully integrated into the play through songs and, in some instances, through dialogue. The choir acts as symbolic Greek-chorus, community members and witnesses to Claire’s story. It’s a wholly unique piece of writing combining the beauty of choral music and the storytelling of theatre.

This is where you come in. Third Rail will present 17 performances of The Events and we are looking to incorporate a different choir for each performance. Choirs will sing a song of their own choosing as well as preparing material that is part of the play. A full packet including accompanist music, backing tracks and recordings of the songs will be supplied to each participating choir. Choirs need to prepare the material in advance.

We’d love to schedule time to talk with you in person about the opportunity. Here are some further details:

• Performances run Thursday – Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sundays at 2 pm, October 24-November 18, 2017. October 24-26 are dress rehearsals and preview performances at the Imago Theatre space on 17 SE 8th Avenue.
• We are looking for choirs with participants numbering between 12 – 45.
• Each choir will be asked to be familiar with seven pieces of original music ranging from 1 to 7 pages and, on average, 40 measures long. Music may be held and read during the show. We do not expect, demand, or even desire, a polished performance of these songs.
• Choirs will also perform a song that is representative of their work. Something “…bright and bold and offering a strong sense of their identity.”
• Actors and director will attend a choir rehearsal to foster familiarity between the choir and the show.
• We would like to schedule at least one group rehearsal with all the choirs or an individual rehearsal with each choir.
• Choirs will be asked to arrive before the house opens on their performance night to walk through the show with the actors.
• Choir will be invited to participate in post show conversations with audiences.
• Choirs will be invited to share promotional materials for program, website and lobby.

Please note: The play does address adult themes quite directly and, as such, contains language and situations best suited to mature audiences and participants. Third Rail can provide scripts, scores, and music recordings to review. We are also available to answer and address any questions or concerns you might have.

Interested? Please contact our director, Scott Yarbrough, at scott@thirdrailrep.org

July 17, 2017