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128 NW Eleventh Ave, Portland, OR 97209 · 503-445-3700 · www.pcs.org
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A set viewed from the POV of someone onstage reveals hollow false rocks that conceal lighting equipment. Rows of empty seats lie beyond.
False rocks on the set of Quixote Nuevo at Seattle Repertory Theatre

Behind The Curtain: Co-Pro!

By Haille Lantz-Sweeney, Production Coordinator

Co-productions are a special collaborative process that allows different theatre companies to join forces, with staff, resources, and creative ideas all working in harmony to create an experience that audiences deserve to see. Think of it like the Marvel Avengers of theater! Some shows provide logistical puzzles that are too much for one company to solve, and choosing to undertake these problems with other theatres allows companies with different strengths to assist each other and bring important works to more audiences. Quixote Nuevo is an example of a great co-production, and showcases the best parts of how this process uplifts all aspects of a show to create a better whole. 

Although working together is a positive end unto itself, each co-production has its own unique problems to solve. Quixote Nuevo has been lovingly referred to as a mini West Coast tour, beginning at South Coast Repertory Theatre in Costa Mesa, California, traveling to Seattle Repertory Theatre, and ending here with us at Portland Center Stage. Of course, this means the set that we shared not only needed to be loaded up and shipped up and down the coast, but also needed to match each of our stages. All three theatres have different floor shapes, and the team found the best solution; make three floors! The rocks that you see on our set were used at the other theatres, but might have swapped or moved to adjust to different sight lines. Using these tricks and ways to minimize cost, in addition to working with the combined resources of the different companies, co-productions are more cost effective and create a great path towards bringing more expansive shows to our stages in a way that is economical and sustainable. Co-productions not only allow for theaters to share resources, it exposes talented artists to different communities that they might not often get to travel to otherwise. For example, the cast and creative for Quixote Nuevo range from Chicago to San Diego and many places in between, while our second co-production of the season, Clyde’s, allows local favorites like Lauren Steele and Orion Bradshaw to travel to Syracuse before joining us again in Portland later this season.

Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).

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