It’s not every day that your organization gets invited to participate in a groundbreaking, innovative theatre production. But that’s exactly the opportunity that came Central City Concern’s way a few months ago, when Portland Playhouse approached us with the opportunity to play a small part of their upcoming production, How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes.
How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes, which opens February 4, is:
not a play; it is not a lecture; it is not an interactive workshop; it is not a physical theatre piece; it is not a public conversation. How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes is all of these things. Most significantly, it’s an opportunity to challenge a different audience every show with the question: how do you attack the problem of poverty in America, with a lens specifically focused on Multnomah County. Over the course of 90 minutes, the audience will listen, explore and ultimately choose how to spend $1,000 cash from ticket sales sitting onstage at each performance. The show is an experiment in dialogue, in collective decision-making, in shared responsibility, and in the potential for art to help us make our world a better place. Spectacularly eclectic in form, often delightful and occasionally uncomfortable, How to End Poverty will engage Multnomah County audiences alongside community experts.
Portland Playhouse staff have looked to local Portland nonprofits – including Central City Concern and dozens of other organizations doing important work – to make the show enriching, thoughtful, and provocative. According to Elliot Leffler, Director of Community Partnerships,
“…representatives of these organizations – including staff members and clients – will engage the public in a spirited, thoughtful, and unconventional dialogue about poverty, its root causes, its systemic entrenchment, and how we might collectively address it most effectively.”
Our own Sean Hubert, Chief Housing and Employment Officer, and Gary Cobb, Community Outreach Coordinator, will bring their expertise and experience to the shows on February 4 and February 6, respectively.
Further, many of our staff, as well as clients, will be attending throughout the show’s run (February 4 – February 22). Audience dialogue is a major part of the production and we look forward to hearing how Central City Concern attendees contribute to this community-wide conversation.
We are greatly looking forward to being a part of How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes. You can find out more about the show and buy tickets for a showing at http://www.portlandplayhouse.org/htep.