Don Kenneth Mason and Ben Newman imagine a better world in "Blood Knot." Photo by Jamie Bosworth.
Last month, on closing night of Profile Theatre’s production Road to Mecca, the company learned that the landlord of its home, Theater! Theatre!, would not be renewing its lease in June. Lights would go dark on the space that’s housed myriad companies since 1994 to make room for Tao of Tea production space. Profile and the building’s other tenants, Theatre Vertigo and Fuse Ensemble, set off on a frantic scramble to find new homes (see our earlier story).

Fast forward to tonight: the opening of Profile’s third play of the season, Blood Knot. With a certain cosmic poetry—from one closing to another opening—artistic director Adriana Baer announced delightfully big news: the company will be moving into Artists Repertory Theatre. The business offices will move in June and the company will rehearse and stage its 2014 season, focusing on the works of Sam Shepard, in Artists Rep's theaters beginning in January (the company had already been considering a move to a calendar season). “It really will be our new artistic home,” said Baer, to enthusiastic applause.

She explained that the two companies, both with new artistic directors, began talking immediately after Profile learned of its impending homelessness, and they moved quickly after both sides realied it was a perfect partnership to be.

“We have two amazing theatre spaces—yet we rarely have productions running simultaneously,” Artists Rep’s incoming artistic director Dámaso Rodriguez told PoMo earlier this week. “More programming is a major goal, which is not just finding the budget to produce more plays, but doing partnerships, co-productions, and residencies…I'm excited to be able to say we are hosting Profile Theatre's 2014 season. The Profile residency will include administrative space, rehearsal space, and up to four full productions on our stages. We plan to use this next year to explore how our existing partnerships can grow, and how we can support even more activity in our building.”

In addition to Profile infusing Artists Rep’s theaters with more programming and new, engaged audiences, the move will mean increased potential and capacity for Profile, which has mostly sold out the season’s two main stage productions thus far in Theater! Theatre! and will benefit from bigger houses—not to mention it takes some of the sting off of losing a space that the company has so deeply invested in renovating, adding a new soundsytem and bar. “While our missions are very different, Artists Rep and Profile share a deep commitment to creating thought-provoking productions, diverse educational outreach, and to fostering a strong arts community in Portland,” said Baer in the company’s press release. “As another new Artistic Director in town, I am especially excited to be coming to Artists Rep at the beginning of Dámaso’s tenure. I know this move will broaden Profile's programming opportunities and prove energizing for all involved."

But personally I think Artists Rep's marketing director, Nicole Lane, said it best: "It was kismet. It’s just a beautiful thing. We’re really excited about having them in the space and all the collaboration that can now take place!"

That's one Theater! Theatre! company with a new home. Now we just need to house two more. End theater homelessness: adopt a production company today.

Please carry on and read our review of Blood Knot, a play so controversial during its 1961 South African premiere that police shut it down and banned it.

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