Last month I blogged about three new Portland theater companies; time to add a fourth theatrical upstart to the list. Newcomers Surprise Party Theatre just announced details of their inaugural event: A "Shakespeare party" that invites attendees to pick up a script (Measure for Measure, this time around) and participate in a group reading:

The Shakespeare Party is Surprise Party Theatre’s flagship project. Think of it like Shakespeare karaoke—audience members are assigned parts at the door, provided scripts, and then we just get on our feet and straight up perform a Shakespeare play. No stage, no auditions, no experience required. And no audience but ourselves. All in a comfortable and inviting bar where you can relax and have a drink with your friends (at least while you’re not busy busting out iambic pentameter). Show up early to claim your part. Shakespeare Parties are hosted by Surprise Party Theatre’s resident Shakespeare dork, Jonathan Owicki, who will provide color commentary, choose appropriate dance music, lead the drinking games, and let you in on today’s Secret Word.

Now, the premise of Surprise Party's inaugural event prompted a round of heckling from my cretinous co-workers during our editorial meeting this morning, but I'm acquainted with company founder Jonathan Owicki, and I've heard good things about the Shakespeare parties he's been hosting out of his apartment for a while now. Plus, as always, it's nice to see theater made by and for people under the age of 40.

Who: Surprise Party Theatre
What: Shakespeare Party: Measure for Measure
When: Wednesday, January 18th, 7:30 PM
Where: The Waypost (3120 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR 97212)
Admission: Free! ($5 suggested donation at door for a script, which is required to participate.)