2019 Risk/Reward Festival of New Performance

June 28, 2019
June 28-30, 2019 |

Tickets   |  Trailer

| Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave

The Risk/Reward Festival showcases five new works by indie performing artists from across the region. Come celebrate our 12th year blurring the boundaries of theater, music, dance, and performance art in new and surprising ways.


Dance (Portland, OR)

Media/Performance (Vancouver, BC)

Mediated Performance (Vancouver, BC)

Dance (Seattle, WA)

Music/Movement/Poetry (Portland, OR)


Due to the popularity of our Pay-What-You-Will model — we are making ALL TICKETS PAY-WHAT-YOU-WILL for the entire festival again this year!

Get your Pay-What-You-Will tickets here!




What is the Risk/Reward Festival? 


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. 

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 2019 festival was curated in collaboration with a panel of regional artists and administrators including:

Jerry Tischleder | Founder [Risk/Reward]  

Katie Watkins | Artistic Producer [Risk/Reward]

Renée Muzquiz | Associate Producer/Curator for Renée’s Queer Cabaret [Risk/Reward]

Roya Amirsoleymani | Artistic Director & Curator of Public Engagment [Portland Institute for Contemporary Art]

Kim Gumbel | Artist Manager [Vespertine Works]

Andre Middleton | Executive Director [Friends of Noise]

Amanda Richards | Songwriter/Producer/Playwright [Whiskey Dixie]

Jason Potter | Producer/Filmmaker [Affable Gentlemen Stories]

Kristina Haddad | Actress/Acting Coach [The Actor’s Lab]

Tonisha Toler | Community Engagement and Special Initiatives Fellow [The Collins Foundation]

Jessica Dart | Associate Producer [Boom Arts] + Outreach & Communications [CoHo Productions]


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

Want to participate in the Risk/Reward Festival?

 We typically accept applications between December-February annually. You can reference the 2019 application HERE. To stay up-to-date on our next call for submissions, sign up for our mailing list.