IN THE BEGINNING was Stark Raving Theatre, a little company with the audacious goal of producing nothing but new plays.
Check that. In the beginning was New Rose Theatre, with its long and fruitful sponsorship of new plays set in the Northwest by Charles Deemer.
Check that. In the beginning was Storefront Theatre, which made up new plays like an artisan baker whips up fresh new pastries every morning.
Check that. New plays have always been a part of the mix on Portland’s theater scene, but never with the frequency and impact of the past 10 years or so, when companies across the city have made it a prime goal to create new work. And part of the credit for that goes to JAW, the Just Add Water festival, Portland Center Stage’s annual summer development workshop for writers from hither and yon. The festival has focused on national playwrights, with a few locals and auxiliary programs, and a good percentage of its shows have gone on to full production at Center Stage, other Portland theaters, or companies across the country.