We met at a location in inner Southeast Portland at an address I can’t disclose.
I can’t even tell you who was there.
It had all the trappings of a real cloak and dagger event. As it turned out, there were only poison and a gun.
This, gentle readers, was my introduction to Anonymous Theatre Company. The company presents one performance per year. ONE. You either see it or you don’t. This year, Anonymous will open with On the Porch One Crisp Spring Morning by Alex Dremann a 10-minute play, followed by The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard, 80 minutes of murder, mayhem, and mischief.
The mystery is not just for the audience to untangle. What further makes this performance unique is the fact that the actors don’t meet prior to the performance. Nobody but the director knows who else is in the show, and it stays that way until the players walk onto the stage from their anonymous seats in the audience the night of the performance. To prepare, they rehearse one-on-one with director Darius Pierce in various secret locations in and around Portland. They don’t even know what the set will look like. At the rehearsal I attended the set was all you see in the photo–two chairs, a box and a couple of coffee cups. God only knows what will happen Monday night.
Pierce is well-known in Portland acting circles. This coming season he will be performing in Anything Goes at Lakewood Theatre, and The Santaland Diaries and Stupid F—ing Bird at Portland Center Stage, to name a few. Many of the actors at Anonymous, he told me, are either new to Portland or new to acting.
I am sworn to secrecy on the rest of it. But I can’t wait to see the show.
The Real Inspector Hound tickets are available through www.anonymoustheatre.org or at the theatre the night of the show. The performance is Monday, August 10, 7 p.m. at the Portland Center Stage Gerding Theatre, 128 NW Eleventh Avenue in the Pearl. See you there!