In business, the word “diversify” means to become more diverse or enlarge a field of operation. Portland’s performance scene still has a ways to go in representing diverse races and cultures that live here. Two companies–one in theatre and the other in dance–are run by leaders committed to diversifying the landscape in performance through their productions. We talk with Antonio Sonera of Badass Theatre Company who’s directing Sans Merci and Anita Menon of the Anjali School of Dance who’s creating Murder On The Ganges. Join us for a lively talk about their experiences founding multicultural companies and hear about their upcoming shows.

Badass Theatre Company presents Sans Merci by Johnna Adams
September 12 through October 11, Thurs-Sat @ 7:30pm, Sunday @ 2:00pm (September 11 preview @ 7:30)
Portland Actors Conservatory, 1436 SW Montgomery, Portland, OR.

Sans Merci
 by Johnna Adams, directed by Badass co-founder and Producing Artistic Director, Antonio Sonera, and starring Jahnavi Caldwell-Green, Jessica Tidd and four-time Drammy Award winning Portland icon, Luisa Sermol.Sans_Merci_Instagram_800x800

About the play:  An idealistic young woman – the sole survivor of an ambush by South America revolutionaries – is visited three years later by the conservative mother of the other attack victim. Slowly, the two dance through their grief, while negotiating the truth of what brought the two young women together, why they undertook their dangerous humanitarian mission, and what happened on that final day.  Sans Merci is a drama about love, a tragedy about loss, and a celebration of courage in the darkest heart of the human condition.

Badass Theatre Company has attracted funding from Ronni Lacroute, owner of Willakenzie Estate, Charlie and Darci Swindells, and an Indiegogo campaign. This is largely due to the company’s commitment to keeping theatre affordable and accessible. In its first season Badass Theatre Company has capped their adult general admission ticket prices to $20. Student tickets will be $15. The company has also committed to providing up to 10 complimentary tickets per performance to people who cannot afford the $20 ticket price. 20140827_201006

Tickets are on sale for Sans Merci, which will preview September 11th   and run September 12th   through October 11th   at the Portland Actors Conservatory 1436 SW Montgomery, Portland. Shows are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30pm and 2 pm Sundays. Follow Badass Theatre Company and buy tickets at or 503-358-4660

Tickets are $15 for students and $20 for general admission.

Murder on the Ganges – An Indian dance adaptation
One detective, two murder victims, and many suspects. The mystery will be solved in one evening. It’s a murder mystery adaptation — and one with a difference.MOG
Anita Menon, Founder and Artistic Director of the Anjali School of Dance, presents Murder on the Ganges”, inspired by Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot Murder Mystery “Death on the Nile”.

Set on the river Ganges in India, Murder on the Ganges will be bought to life by a diverse cast of actors, dancers and musicians from the Portland area. What makes this production different is that it incorporates a variety of dance and music styles not traditionally associated with a stage adaptation of a murder mystery.  The performance will include a variety of classical and native folk dance styles from India. The accompanying music will include Indian folk, classical, pop, and Bollywood selections.
Watch a preview video.get-attachment
Performances will be held on Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 5:00 PM and on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 6:00 PM at the Portland Center for Performing Arts (PCPA), Newmark Theater. 
Tickets are priced at $23.75 – $34.25 for adults and from $17.75 – $28.75 for children 12 and under, and are available for purchase directly from the Portland’5 Box Office.

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