June 23, 2017
June 23-24 @ 7:30, June 25 @ 5pm |


| Artists Repertory Theatre, Alder Stage | 1516 SW Alder St.

The 2017 Risk/Reward Festival showcases six new works by visionary performing artists from across the region. Come celebrate our 10th year blurring the boundaries of theater, music, dance, and performance art in new and surprising ways.

Due to the popularity of our Pay-What-You-Will tickets and in honor of our supporters who took a risk — we are making ALL TICKETS PAY-WHAT-YOU-WILL for the entire festival this year!

Get your tickets here.


The 2017 festival lineup features:

LINDA AUSTIN DANCE – A world, a world – Dance (Portland, OR)

QUEEN SHMOOQUAN – Queen Shmooquan. Dark Wave. – Performance Art/Comedy/Music (Seattle, WA)

PAM TZENG – A Meditation on the End by Jo-Lee – Dance/Physical Storytelling/Clown (Calgary, AB)

PEPPER PEPPER – Diva Practice (solo) – Dance (Portland, OR)

SHANNON STEWART/DONAL MOSHER – Strange Gardens – Film/Literature/Dance (New Orleans, LA/Portland, OR)

KIANA HARRIS – DIVINE – Dance Film (Seattle, WA) – lobby installation

Each day the festival includes the same five new works, performed back-to-back over a 2-hour extravaganza with short breaks and one intermission. Please come before and stay after to experience our lobby installation of Kiana Harris’s dance film DIVINE. 




 AFTERPARTY – Friday, June 23, 2017
10pm-1am (attendance is FREE!)
Voicebox Karaoke (NW Portland location)
2112 NW Hoyt St, Portland, OR 97210

See the art, then BE the art!!! Singing skills not required. Join us for the Opening Night party at NW Portland’s premiere karaoke lounge.

AFTERPARTY – Saturday, June 24, 2017
9:45pm-11:30pm (attendance is FREE!)
Seattle artist Coley Mixan performs rock-funk selections from their upcoming album Artist Repertory Theatre lobby

Born 4,692 days after the launch of the Voyager I Space Probe, Coley Mixan is a musician, visual artist, librarian, astronomical sleuth and vegan baker. Mixan offers live visual and sonic art experiences that juxtapose queries into food justice, sound ecology & identity–and works as an established researcher, social justice activist, videographer, and sound engineer (as well as a public advocate at the King County Library System). Mixan’s work percolates love songs to the multiverse through the artists’s body and voice, emboyding the making of space-as-time through an intraexploration of queer agency. As an agent fascinated by the intricate forms of cultural/caloric/mythological consumption, Mixan is often performed as a switchboard of athletics, (g)astronomic pursuance, and the tortuous discoveries of intraconnected holes, cavities, and channels between gluten chains & sound waves.

What is the Risk/Reward Festival? 


We solicit proposals from regional artists for new works that can be performed in less than 20-minutes. A panel of local artists and tastemakers select a lineup and we challenge the artists to run wild – encouraging creative risks, experimentation and bold investigation. No one really knows what to expect until opening night. Several performances are staged back-to-back nightly in a festive environment. Audiences come to sample a variety of artistic voices and art forms in what the Willamette Week calls, “speed dating for contemporary performance.”

Thanks to our festival sponsors!


The 2017 festival was curated in collaboration with a panel of regional artists and administrators including:

Jerry Tischleder | Producing Artistic Director [Risk/Reward]  

Katie Watkins | Festival Director [Risk/Reward]

Erin Boberg Doughton | Performing Arts Program Director [PICA]

Vanessa Goodman | Artistic Director [Action at a Distance]

Anthony Hudson | Carla Rossi [Queer Horror]

Philip Johnson | Sound Designer, Musician

Kyle Loven | Performance and Visual Artist

Charles Smith | Director of Program Management [On the Boards]

Samantha Van Der Merwe | Artistic Director [Shaking the Tree Theatre]


The Risk/Reward Festival is dedicated to the presentation of new performance and preference is given to works that are currently in development or that have not been produced fully in the past. Risk/Reward addresses some of the most pressing needs of local artists and audiences by providing a platform for artists to present new work while introducing Portland audiences to artists from across the west coast.


The festival’s major goals are:

  • To provide a supportive environment for artists to present new work with full technical, administrative and marketing assistance.
  • To introduce audiences to new artists and forms.
  • To provide a place for artists and audiences to mingle and connect over a shared artistic experience.
  • To promote creative experimentation in the performing arts

Applications for the 2017 Risk/Reward Festival closed Feb 5, 2017.
The full application can be referenced by clicking HERE.

Want to participate in the Risk/Reward Festival?
We typically accept applications between December-February annually. To stay up-to-date on our next call for submissions, sign up for our mailing list!