Thursday, October 29, 2009

25 Reasons to See “Stay for the Cake”

By Scott Rogers, guest blogger and writer/director/actor, "Stay for the Cake," an evening of one-acts about the creative life. Hosted by Portland Actors Conservatory, "Stay for the Cake" is the debut production of The Montgomery Street Players, a new all-PAC-alum performance group featuring Sarah Farrell, Maria Aparo, Elizabeth Calhoun, Robby Lundergan, Tom Mounsey, Scott Rogers, Vinnie Duyck, and Phoebe Smallwood. The show runs Friday through Sunday, Oct. 30-Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets, only $10, can be purchased here.

(in no particular order)

1. Bakery Bar is supplying the cakes for all shows.

2. Tickets are only $10 because we think Hamilton is the sexiest president on US currency.

3. Nearly a baker’s dozen of PAC alums are on the stage, in the director’s chair and managing the production.

4. Review 2500 years of theater history.

5. Get the scoop on what the Brothers Grimm actually did in their spare time.

6. Philip Cuomo curated the plays by working with PAC alums who were in the director’s chair.

7. The title is more than an invitation; it’s a command!

8. There’s cross-dressing.

9. There’s a sword fight.

10. Paul Graham doesn’t know (yet) that he’s being portrayed on the stage.

11. Collectable programs. Collect all three.

12. See what happens when a cease and desist order is served mid-show.

13. Axes, saws and at least one bloody apron.

14. There are many open seats after opening weekend.

15. We’re listed in the Oregonian, Willamette Week and The Portland Mercury – reputable and respected publications.

16. It’s the first show produced as part of PAC’s Alumni Performance Program.

17. Learn how to argue more effectively with people.

18. Get inside, and escape the rain.

19. You're very close to a 405 entrance ramp in case you need to flee the area quickly.

20. The show is in an old firehouse. You will be safe. Well, you’ll be safer than if the show was performed in an active, 19th Century lumber mill.

21. We swept the floors and cleaned the toilets.

22. Come see what makes us laugh, even after working on it for weeks.

23. Help PAC celebrate its 25th year.

24. More than likely, you’ll get to eat cake (diet restrictions and personal beliefs about cake aside).

25. It would absolutely delight us to do the show for you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stay for the Cake Opens Oct. 30!


In 25th Year, Professional Actor Training School Gives Rise to Alumni Performance Group

PORTLAND, ORE. – Sept. 25, 2009 – Portland Actors Conservatory, the premiere school for actor training in the Pacific Northwest, will present a new theater company comprised of Conservatory alumni called The Montgomery Street Players in Stay for the Cake, an evening of one-act plays running October 30 through November 15 at the Conservatory’s Firehouse Theatre. Tickets are $10 and available online at

Stay for the Cake represents all-original work written, directed, designed and performed by The Montgomery Street Players.

"Creating work opportunities, rather than just waiting for them,is essential for a theatre artist to remain vital," said Philip Cuomo, Associate Director of Portland Actors Conservatory. "As a school, we wanted to provide the faculty guidance, the infrastructure and the space that would allow alumni to create new works while exploring the producing, directing and design aspects of theater."

Each of the three plays in Stay for the Cake explores multiple aspects of the creative life. In Phyllis Hartnoll's Final Lesson, our heroine spins her last lecture as professor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, but gets most of it wrong. The Grimm Brothers take a break from folk tales in Donnerstrasse to write a pop song that will become popular one hundred years later – and a lawyer in a red hood tries to sort out the resulting legal mess Wrapping up the evening, a character based on philanthropist Paul Graham instructs the audience on constructive disagreement in How to Have an Argument. The existential crisis that interrupts him brings about an exploration of the creative process, gratuitous accents and cake for all.

Founded in 2009, The Montgomery Street Players is a performance group comprised of graduates from the conservatory's professional actor training program. They promoted Stay for the Cake with a public interactive performance on the Oregon Cultural Trust’s Day of Culture, October 8, in and around Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Portland Actors Conservatory is the premiere school for professional actor training in the Pacific Northwest. Artistic director Beth Harper leads the Conservatory's multiple offerings including its fulltime, Two Year Professional Training Program, ongoing Studio Class offerings, and the Summer on Stage youth theatre program. Portland Actors Conservatory provides the highest standard in actor training with distinguished faculty.The Conservatory is located near Portland, Ore.'s city center in the historic Firehouse Theatre, housing an upstairs studio space as well an intimate 70-seat theatre. Portland Actors Conservatory annually produces a three show season featuring its second year students working alongside professional guest artists, in addition to two student showcases. Portland Actors Conservatory is Oregon's only independent professional actor training school accredited with the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

The Montgomery Street Players is a performance group comprised of conservatory graduates from the classes of 2007 (Sarah Farrell), 2008 (Maria Aparo, Elizabeth Calhoun, Robby Lundergan, Tom Mounsey, Scott Rogers) and 2009 (Vinnie Duyck, Phoebe Smallwood). Stay for the Cake is the first production to be written, designed, directed and performed by the group.