In a press release sent late yesterday, Action/Adventure Theatre Managing Director (and sometime Mercury photographer) Pat Moran announced that after five years on Southeast Clinton, the company will be closing its theater space next month. Moran emphasized the challenges of running a small arts space, writing, "It’s become increasingly difficult for small arts spaces like ours to survive in Portland and while we are heartbroken that this city has to lose yet another venue, we can no longer shoulder the financial burden of maintaining our theater."
This is a story we've been hearing a lot among local arts outfits—from the IPRC to NW Dance Project, Portland arts organizations have struggled to find spaces in a changing city, where rising rents often mean displacement and difficulties staying afloat even when permanent spaces are available.
There's some good news, though: Moran says Action/Adventure will continue to produce shows following a hiatus through the end of the year. He says a search is underway for a new space for his company. This means they'll be the latest company to join the city's crowded field of itinerant performance groups.
In the release, Moran touted Action/Adventure's scrappiness, writing, "We want to send a great big THANK YOU, from the bottom of our scrappy little hearts, to all of the artists, audience members, critics, collaborators, and ill-timed train horns that have made the past 5 years an incredible (and exhausting) journey. During that time, we’ve hosted more than 40 different organizations and artists and created more than 30 productions. It’s been an amazing run."
But scrappiness alone can't pay the rent. Brief irritated arts editor interlude: I'm no rich patron, but if I were, I'd think about what kind of city I want to live in, and whether I really want to live in a city with a bunch of startups and no more tiny theater companies.
Action/Adventure will be presenting their ongoing Saturday Morning Cartoons series on July 8 at 11 am. Now might be a good time to show up for it.