Just as a single year of our lives can pose unlimited opportunities for change, Post5 Theater has faced its own since its conception four years ago. At its dawn in 2011, it was a mere reverie connecting two young men: Ty Boice and Orion Bradshaw. Today, this reality is to be passed on to new leadership as one founder, Ty, and Associate Artistic Director, Cassandra Boice, move away together with their babe, on a new road to Seattle.
The theater is now located in Sellwood but it began in the upstairs of Milepost 5, a building in the northeast side of the Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood, where a community of artists enjoy affordable housing and network opportunities. The neighborhood has become a creative haven, a new sprout on 82nd Ave, which has been plagued with instability, homelessness, and crime for many years. Arts and community are always a means to restore the downtrodden and face social issues at hand.
From this place, Post5 Theatre emerged. Milepost 5 currently provides space for two visual art galleries, a community garden, meeting/workspaces for small businesses and entrepreneurs, but the theatre company has long since moved to Sellwood.
Post5 Theater was born from an idea shared by few but was brought to life with a crowd-source campaign that blossomed into a couple thousand dollars. Now the theater is “one of the fastest growing, critically acclaimed and well attended small arts organizations in the Northwest,” according to Ty Boice. With its ticket sales already reaching beyond 70% for the 2015 season, he hardly stretches the truth.
Originally the theater was developed to perform “free” Shakespeare, which I believe can only translate to the theater’s mastering of teaching William’s old dog new tricks. Post5 has been able to renew his arcane, delicate words in a way that most people can relate to, while highlighting his influence and eternal appeal. Since their showcase at the Fertile Ground Festival in January, myself and the other writers here at Thru Magazine have enjoyed reviewing them for what theater should evoke from us, in plain: it has to be genuine, absorbing and unforced.
Acting is the fervent art that Post5 aligns itself with and even pokes fun at on occasion. Although they never seem to reach a point where they are taking themselves too seriously, the quality never suffers. My favorite moments in the audience are those when I get to know the actors outside of their character, in little moments of body language; between the unrehearsed smirks and knowing glances.
With Jeff Gorham leading the theater’s board, he has big shoes to fill, being that the Boice duo filled so many roles for the troupe. There is the remainder of the season to fulfill, and the pair doesn’t leave until that is over. Gorham still has the keys to a vehicle at full throttle and has every opportunity to drive to the next milestone. Both Ty and Cassie plan to continue contributing their artistic talents to the theater post move. What began as a stage for abstract Shakespeare performances will continue on as a vibrant plain begging to have its boundaries pushed.
Keep up with Thru’s Arts Happening PDX calendar for all present and future Post5 appearances.