There’s been a huge transition on the national stage. The curtain has closed on one act and opened on another. There’s a whole new cast of players, and no one’s sure where this plotline is headed. Not to say that the audience is always sitting still to find out. This hour, we’re going to talk to artists who’re standing up with their art.
Trump Inspires A New Era Of Protest Music - 1:53
Donald Trump’s inauguration party featured musicians like Toby Keith playing the Lincoln Memorial. But alongside the celebrations and demonstrations across the country, there’s also signs that a new era of protest music is brewing in the Northwest, from Portland’s Kyle Craft (who’s usually more Bowie than Guthrie) to Seattle’s Death Cab for Cutie, Wimps, and Tacocat.
Margaret Jacobsen — On The Front Line - 5:43
Writer and photographer Margaret Jacobsen is spending the weekend at the center of a thousand hopes and aspirations. The Portland branch of the Women’s March on Washington had a rocky start, with some group members feeling like the original organizers weren’t doing enough to make everyone feel welcome. Many group members perceived Jacobsen, who is African-American and identifies as genderqueer, as a unifying figure, and Jacobsen stepped up. You can find Jacobsen’s photos and essays on family and social issues here, and her extended conversation on Think Out Loud here.
The Women’s March Portland takes place Jan. 21 from 12–4 p.m. beginning at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
The Slants Meet The Supremes - 9:00
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s dispute with Portland dance-rock band The Slants. It’s a legal fight that’s taken eight years to play out, as the band has tried to trademark its name and the PTO has pushed back, saying it’s a racial slur. We dive into the major issues in the case. You can also hear band founder Simon Tam tell “Think Out Loud” about what happened in the courtroom.
The Many Voices Of Eliza Jane Schneider - 13:47
Every January in Portland, the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works serves up a garden-fresh buffet of world premieres. This year, the one that most caught our ear was a one-woman show by Eliza Jane Schneider. For five years, she voiced most of the female characters on “South Park”: Wendy, Shelly, Principal Victoria, Mrs. Cartman, the Mayor. She’s created characters for A-list feature films and video games, and to top it all off, she writes and performs award-winning plays and one-woman shows. For Fertile Ground, she’s premiering a work called “Displaced,” where she channels dozens of displaced individuals she’s met around the world, Jan. 20–28 at Abbey Arts.
Listen to our extended conversation with Schneider, which covered everything from the people she’s met touring the world to having to get Keira Knightley’s voice pitch perfect for Mouseschwitz (as Disney is known in the biz), to her coaching interviewer Aaron Scott in how to do a Liverpudlian accent, to more on what it was like to nab the “South Park” gig.
The Clown Who Spouted Shakespeare to Travel the Globe - 23:52
Michael O’Neill is a clown, big shoes and all. In his newest one-man show, “William Shakespeare’s Fools,” also premiering as part of Fertile Ground Jan. 20–22 at BodyVox, he links together 12 characters from eight of the Bard’s plays in a single hour.
O’Neill told “Think Out Loud” about his journeys around the world bringing laughter to disaster-ravaged places with Clowns Without Borders, and then talked with us about the legacy of Portland’s most famous borderless clown: Ben Linder. While helping Nicaraguan villagers build hydroelectric dams, Linder was killed by Contras in 1987, becoming world news. Linder is the subject of another Fertile Ground world premiere, “El Payaso” at Milagro Theatre through Jan. 21, which will tour the state throughout 2017.
Both O’Neill and the cast “El Payaso” will perform on Jan. 27 at the Alberta Rose Theatre as part of the 18th Annual Clowns Without Borders Benefit Show.
The Making Of A Harrowing Expedition, On Stage - 33:05
Everyone knows the story of Lewis and Clark’s expedition, but did you know that shortly after the Corps of Discovery returned, Thomas Jefferson and the millionaire John Jacob Astor organized a second expedition — this one by land and by sea — to create America’s first settlement on the Pacific Ocean? The writer Peter Stark recounted both harrowing journeys in his book “Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival.” It’s the subject of the new play “Astoria” at Portland Center Stage through Feb. 12. “Oregon Art Beat” host Katrina Sarson is deep into a profile segment that will air on Feb. 2 on OPB TV, and we listen in on an interview she did with the only woman in the cast, Delanna Studi.
There will be an advance screening event of Art Beat’s Astoria special at the Liberty Theater in Astoria on Jan. 27. For more on PCS’s adaptation of “Astoria” for the stage, check out Think Out Loud’s interview with director and writer Chris Coleman.
Literary Powerhouse Roxane Gay - 39:49
Roxane Gay is one of those writers who seems comfortable in every genre. She’s a novelist, a short story writer, an essayist, a pop culture critic, and a comic book writer. Despite the medium, though, she often returns to certain through-lines: the horror and pervasiveness of sexual violence against women, the challenge and necessity of feminism, the power of resilience, and the leavening agent of humor. Gay made a big splash in 2014 with her essay collection “Bad Feminist,” and she spoke with “Think Out Loud” about her new short story collection, “Difficult Women” (listen to the full conversation).