SUMMER MARKS the end of the season for most theater companies, but that doesn't mean there's nothing on Portland's stages. This weekend alone sees the fifth installment of Hand2Mouth Theatre's Risk/Reward Festival, as well as the kickoff of a summer of solo shows at the CoHo Theater.
Risk/Reward is a two-night "micro-festival" created by Hand2Mouth Theatre to support and showcase new, boundary-pushing contemporary performance, as well as to develop and strengthen relationships between audiences and performers along the 1-5 corridor. (This year features performers from Portland, Seattle, Anacortes, Los Angeles, and Vancouver, BC.) Among the most intriguing offerings is Other Side Through You, from Canadian artists Cat Main and Jamie Nesbitt. The show is based on Main's sister, who has cerebral palsy and uses an alphabet board and a facilitator to communicate—the show explores skepticism around whether Main is actually communicating, or is serving as a sort of human Ouija board. Other participating artists include LA's Pappas & Dancers, Anacortes-based dancer Corrie Befort, and Portland dancer/choreographer Tracy Broyles, as well as Hand2Mouth themselves, presenting Something's Got Ahold of My Heart, their song-based exploration of love. Risk/Reward, Artists Repertory Theatre, 1516 SW Alder, Sat June 23-Sun June 24, 7:30 pm, $14-20, hand2mouththeatre.org.
This weekend also marks the second week of CoHo Productions' Solo Summer, a six-week run featuring a different solo performance each weekend. Up this week: Cory Huff's self-explanatorily autobiographical Mormon Redneck Thespian: How to Overcome a Life of Drugs, Abuse, and Being a Redneck. And as a late-night bonus, The Match.com Monologues is a raunchy look at online dating, written by former Mercury Managing Editor Phil Busse (opens Sat June 23, Fri-Sat 10:30 pm, through July 21, $10). Solo Summer shows are at the CoHo Theater, 2257 NW Raleigh, Thurs-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2 pm, through July 14, $15 per show, cohoproductions.org for more info.