As some of you know, Third Rail is moving to Imago, and let me just say: I am PREPARED. Must be something in the water: in the last month, I’ve moved myself into a new apartment, I helped my best friend up move to Seattle, and, former mentee and fellow company member Kaye Blankenship is moving out to New York City. Kaye will be driving herself, her dog, and all her worldly treasures due east at the exact time that we will be packing up our office. Needless to say, we’ve got plenty of boxes, and my biceps are growing at an alarming rate.
In the past three years our office and rehearsal space has been in one location, we’ve performed at the Winningstad and at CoHo, and we’ve presented National Theatre Live at the World Trade Center. All of these places have served us well in different ways – our office space was expansive, the Winnie allowed us to do bigger productions than ever before (did you see Noises Off??), the CoHo provided a venue in which to get intimate, and the WTC has been a venue, right in the heart of Portland, where we all can gather to watch world-class theatre together.
Unfortunately, that sprawl has its downsides, too. For a small, artist-driven organization such as ourselves, these multiple venues with disparate systems for rental agreements, financial reconciliations, and logistics, spread our resources thin. We are so thrilled to be moving all our operations to one location – Imago Theater. It’s almost hard to conceive of how nice it will be to rehearse in the same building that we perform in!
Within the next three years, our goal is to have a home of our very own. When we as a company talk about what it would mean to own our own space, the room fills up with possibilities – Isaac wants to have a little oaky gastropub as part of our building, we’ve talked about having the ability to host other companies – we want to create not just a theatre, but a cultural epicenter, a dynamic artistic home. Good venues are scarce in this city, currently, and it would be a dream come true to build a new one, and create a home not just for ourselves but for other artists who inspire us. What if we were home to a dance company? What if we had an art gallery?
In the meantime, the folks at Imago have generously offered Third Rail an interim residency that allows us to pull all our operations under one roof, leaving time to plan wisely for the future. I’m so excited about what will come out of the collaboration between these two longstanding organizations working in partnership.
So this week, I’m rolling my sleeves up. I’m getting ready to sweat. I’m preparing to sip a mojito while watching Scott Yarbrough build some walls. Third Rail isn’t just a company that puts on plays– we’re a group of individuals who can make anything happen when we put our minds to it. We’re all in, and we’re all hands on deck.
– Jory Bowers, Third Rail Company Member