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January 31, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I had a far better week, and I want to thank you all for the tremendous outpouring of love and support sent my way. Tucked inside my wallet, I now have additional phone numbers for folks willing to provide me with caring hearts and listening ears when I am in crisis. I'm sure that cradled in the arms of this community, I will pull through. 

Mental illness is insidious in that I know I am far luckier than most people. Randy Newman has a line in one of his songs, "my life is good," and that's true for me, too, although not for the reasons Mr. Newman listed. (For instance, I don't live in Beverly Hills, and, unfortunately, Bruce Springsteen hasn't ask me to be the Boss for awhile!) What I have in abundance is Roger's love and steadfast devotion, the work I am privileged to do at the Clinton, and the many friends and strangers who are pulling for me. And I get to live in Portland, the most beautiful city I have ever called home. But depression doesn't care if I am happy or loved. Sometimes a switch gets flipped in my brain, and without the necessary resources, I descend without warning into a dark, dark place.

Life can turn on a dime, however, as we were reminded with heart-wrenching certainty this past week. And so, while it is sometimes hard to remember that my life is worthwhile when my brain chemistry and gut are feeding me lies, I know I want to fight the stigma of mental illness that has kept me from seeking help in the past.

As Dr. King told us, "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." Last night I was able to watch the Broken Planetarium musical Tear Down This Wall. One song borrows a line from the Decemberists, "this is why we fight." We fight because we choose love, we choose light, and we choose life without barriers or walls. We must continue to resist all that holds us down and keeps us in the dark, even when it seems an impossible task. 


Something to Believe In

-- Carl Phillips
My two hunting dogs have names, but I rarely use them. As 
I go, they go: I lead; they follow, the blue-eyed one first, then
the one whose coloring—her coat, not her eyes—I sometimes 
call never-again-o-never-this-way-henceforth. Hope, ambition: 
these are not their names, though the way they run might suggest 
otherwise. Like steam off night-soaked wooden fencing when 
the sun first hits it, they rise each morning at my command. Late 
in the Iliad, Priam the king of Troy predicts his own murder—
correctly, except it won’t be by spear, as he imagines, but by 
sword thrust. He can see his corpse, sees the dogs he’s fed and 
trained so patiently pulling the corpse apart. After that, he says,
When they’re full, they’ll lie in the doorway, they’ll lap my blood. 
I say: Why shouldn’t they? Everywhere, the same people who 
mistake obedience for loyalty think somehow loyalty weighs more 
than hunger, when it doesn’t. At night, when it’s time for bed, 
we sleep together, the three of us: muscled animal, muscled animal, 
muscled animal. The dogs settle to either side of me as if each 
were the slightly folded wing of a beast from fable, part power, part 
recognition. We breathe in a loose kind of unison. Our breathing 
ripples the way oblivion does—routinely, across history’s face.


Tear Down This Wall

Part of the Fertile Ground Festival and Presented by Broken Planetarium

Friday, January 31 @ 8:00pm
Saturday, Feb 8 @ 2:00pm & 8:00pm
Sunday, Feb 9 @ 8:00pm

The creators of Sirens of Coos Bay and Frankenstein: A Cabaret present a new musical set in Soviet-era Berlin, retelling Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, the original star crossed lovers, this time divided by the Berlin Wall. Reflecting on our own political moment of division and borders, the play documents Pyramus and Thisbe in love through a wall for twenty years before making a last desperate attempt to be together. 

With music by a full women's choir backed by a synthesizer, the lyrical choreography of Kelsey Mahoney Watson, playwright Laura Christina Dunn's whimsical humor, and a guest appearance by three jaded Fates and a very unlikely Zeus, this play examines what are the walls that divide us, and how can we tear them down?

By Laura Christina Dunn
Choreographed by Kelsey Mahoney Watson

Music by Matt Burlin, Laura Christina Dunn, Kristin Gordon George, Avery Hill, Ali Ippolito, Craig Lardiere, Rachel Sakry, and Forest Veil (Monica Metzler).

Directed by Emilie Landmann
Music Direction by Kristin Gordon George
Art Direction by Laura Foster
Costumes by Kelly Bliss
Cast: Sarah Warren, Corinne Gaucher, Lexie Quandt, Laura Christina Dunn, Rebecca Harrison, Susan Winterbourne, Leina Versen, Michelle Patton, Amandalyn Friedland and Resonate Choir

Tickets $15-25 sliding Scale
accepting festival passes and Arts for All
Buy tickets @

Funding provided by The Regional Arts and Culture Council.

Hidden Colors 1

Presented by Melanated Sisterhood PDX

Saturday, February 1 @ 2:30pm

First in this series of five documentaries, Hidden Colors 1 shares the real and untold history of people of color around the globe. This film discusses some of the reasons the contributions of African and aboriginal people have been left out of the pages of history. Traveling around the country, the film features scholars, historians, and social commentators who uncovered amazing facts such as: The original image of Christ; The true story about the Moors; The original people of Asia; The great west African empires; The presence of Africans in America before Columbus; The real reason slavery was ended And much more.

Donations will be accepted at the door to offset the operating expenses of the Clinton. The Clinton Street Theater is gifting the use of its space for this important series.

Once In A Blue Moon:
Oddities, Rarities & Anomalies

Presented by Portland Storytellers’ Guild

Saturday, Feb 1 @ 7:30pm

Once in a blue moon, the expression goes, an event may send us careening off in unanticipated directions. And who better to chart such surprising courses than four of Portland’s best storytellers?

Join Barbara Fankhauser, Mike Goss, Anne-Louise Sterry and John Wylder for “Once in a Blue Moon,” Saturday evening, February 1, at the Clinton Street Theater as they explore the unexpected. How do they change gears? Reframe? Survive? How would you?

One thing we have come to expect from a Portland Storytellers Guild performance— an engrossing and entertaining evening — is surely in the offing.

Doors open at 7 and the show starts at 7:30. Tickets $12/15 in advance; $20 at the door.

10 Minute Play Festival Open Casting Call

Sunday, Feb 2 

Time slot #1: 10:30am-1:30pm
Time slot #2: 2:00pm-5:00pm

If you want to act with a fun group of Monkeys, come on out to casting calls! You may only attend one three-hour time slot and you must stay the entire time so you can be seen by all of the directors. We will lock the doors for entry at the beginning of each of the time slots, so arrive fifteen minutes early. Be prepared to give your availability for rehearsal schedules. Casting calls are cold reads, and no need to bring resumes or anything but yourself and your positive attitude!

There is nothing like being on stage in front of a packed audience. If you throw yourself out there, be positive and collaborative, and get cast in a role, we promise you one of the funnest experiences you will have in 2020!

Can you hear that voice in your spirit?  Answer it.

Sixth Annual Groundhog Day
Community Event


Sunday, Feb 2 @ 7:30pm

It's that time of year again. We're screening the much loved film GROUNDHOG DAY, and we've got other surprises in store for you, too, including a trivia contest with lots of prizes.

Many, many thanks to our SPONSORS:
  • Portland Digs
  • Comedy Sportz
  • Pedal PT
  • Broder Cafe
  • Peoples Food Coop
For our raffle and as trivia prizes we'll be handing out GIFT CERTIFICATES from a few great neighborhood businesses.

For everyone to enjoy we have DONATIONS: 
  • New Seasons is providing chips & salsa,
  • K&F is on with coffee,
  • Off the Waffle will bring over some waffles!

The Action of Now

A Portland Premiere

Monday, Feb 3 @ 6:45pm

Anna Francis was a student and Tanner Moore a substitute teacher.  Now Anna has become internet famous under stage name Bella Rose, for her songwriting which has an emphasis on climate change.

Due to a lack of urgency in addressing climate change Tanner has left academia.   He is an auditor fresh-off unveiling student-loan companies deceptive practices, yet his next assignment looks into an investment management firm where a receptionist looks strikingly similar to Anna Francis.

The more Tanner Moore audits the more Tanner Moore knows.

Brief Q&A with director Christian Mueller after the screening.

Tickets are $10.


Robin Hoods of the Waste Stream

Tuesday, Feb 4 @ 7:00pm

It’s estimated that a third of all food produced, amounting to nearly $1 trillion dollars every year and 1.3 billion tons in weight, is never eaten. Not only could this wasted food feed the world’s 805 million hungry people more than four times over, it is one of the planet’s biggest environmental problems. Robin Hoods of the Waste Stream highlights that the issue of food insecurity is not through a lack of resources – it is logistical. For this reason, Under-30 leader Komal Ahmad of Copia calls food waste “the world’s dumbest problem.”

The documentary’s driving mission is to inspire people to copy successful models, which will benefit non-profits and entrepreneurs alike – not just beneficiaries of the world’s Robin Hoods. “Unfortunately, at this point in history, there is so much waste to go around that it’s become a resource,” direct Karney Hatch says. After people watch the documentary, he wants them “to get out of their seats and feel like they can either go support one of the projects they’ve seen in the film, or even go start their own.”

Q&A with director Hatch after the screening, along with a performance by Megan Alder, the local musician who created the soundtrack.

Tickets are $7-10 sliding scale.


A Fire & The Lover's Wind

Presented by Church of Film

Wednesday, Feb 5 @ 8:00pm

Ebrahim Golestan launched the Iranian New Wave with A FIRE (1961), edited by the beloved poetess Forugh Farrokhzad. On the surface a document of the massive Ahvaz oil fire, Golestan and Farrokzhad transformed the towering inferno into a modern dragon, a monster of the Shah's industrialization program laying waste to the livelihoods of the innocent villagers caught in its wake.

For THE LOVER'S WIND (1970-1978) Albert Lamorisse (The Red Balloon) traveled to Iran to make a soaring poem, personifying the wind as a witness to the nation's vast history, with incredible aerial photography. Displeased with the results, the Shah demanded Lamorisse return to make changes more sympathetic to the dictatorship, resulting in the great director's death in a helicopter crash.

These two beautiful works survive as a testimony to an era of increasing experimentation, confrontation, and artistic exploration!

Subtitles for The Lover's Wind by Church of Film!

Tickets $5-8 suggested donation; no on turned away for lack of funds.

The Native Wisdom Documentary Film Series

Presented as part of EVERYBODY READS 2020 by Multnomah County Library System.

Thursday, Feb 6 @ 7:00pm

Two films celebrate the efforts of Oregon’s Indigenous scientists, tribal elders, and culture keepers to preserve ecosystems where they gather first foods and medicines. The films, from Native nonprofit Wisdom of the Elders, demonstrate how Traditional Ecological Knowledge is influencing resource and wildlife management, giving hope to a changing world.

Conversation with filmmakers Tim Keenan Burgess (Paiute, Shoshone) and Kunu Dittmer-Bearchum (Northern Cheyenne/Ho-Chunk Nation) will follow.



Melanated Sisterhood PDX continues the Hidden Colors Series throughout February. This five-part documentary film series was directed by Tariq Nasheed and produced through King Flex Entertainment, to explain and describe the marginalizing of African Americans in America and the world. Five different shows; each a different day and time. Check the website for more details.

Killer Queen Volume 10 heads our way on Friday, February 7th. This month we're celebrating the fabulous talents of our incredible & most MAXimal headliner MAX LITTLE with an all Drag King line-up!

New series coming to the Clinton on February 11 @ 7:30pm -- OUTSPOKEN. Outspoken is a community organization and event series that educates, entertains, and promotes unity by bringing together experts and willing audience members from opposing sides of divisive issues for a unique conversational experience. In honor of the month of love, February's theme is Polyamory vs Monogamy. Early Bird Tickets available now for only $5.

On Thursday, February 13, KBOO Community Radio presents Black February: Music is an Open Door, a documentary about more than just music. It’s a film about where music comes from and what it means. Featuring legendary jazz composer Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris, who in 2005 celebrated the 20th anniversary of Conduction, his revolutionary technique for live music-making, with 44 performances in 28 days with 85 musicians pulled from all across New York’s musical community.

How to Really, REALLY? (REALLY!) Love a Woman, produced/directed/performed by friend of the theater Eleanor O'Brien, is at the Clinton for one night only--Valentine's Day, February 14. This part vagina monologue, part TED talk, part stand-up comedy routine, part true confession, part truth or dare invites the audience to celebrate a return to old-fashion goddess worship, with a modern twist! Tickets $25 and available now!

ANIME LOVERS!!!! THE WONDERLAND on February 15 & 16 tells the tale of Akane, a girl with no self-confidence. On the day before her birthday, she meets a mysterious alchemist Hippocrates and their student Pipo, who both tell her they're on a mission to save the world. Together, they set out from the basement for "Wonderland," and Akane finds herself labelled Wonderland's savior. Join them on this gorgeously animated fantasy directed by award winning director Keiichi Hara (Miss Hokusai, Colorful) with character and visual designs by International artist and fan favorite Ilya Kuvshinov.

Can't be with your sweetie on Valentine's Day? Well, we've got Eva DLuscious's Annual Valentine's Day Tribute to Led Zeppelin on Saturday, February 15. Burlesque and variety acts with Zepp covers from local band Scarlett Siren & The Howlin' Tramps.

Are you a CAT PERSON?!! The Cat Video Fest arrives in Portland on February 22 & 23 as a fundraiser for the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon.



HELP!! HELP!!! The Clinton Street Resistance Series is taking a break because we need to find more sponsors and gifters of raffle-prizes in order to continue. We also need a few good volunteers. If you're interested in how you can help, email

If you're interested in buying a copy of my book, you can pick one up at the theater for $15. If you aren't in the Portland area, you can order one from Powell's Online Book StoreAmazon or Barnes & Noble. Not sure if you want a copy? You can read an excerpt in Hip Mama Magazine.

SafeOregon provides a reliable, anonymous method to report unsafe situations. Funded by the Oregon Legislature as part of a statewide effort to improve safety, SafeOregon offers a way to report concerns such as threats of violence, fights, drugs and alcohol, weapons, bullying, harassment, intimidation and self-harm. Find out MORE.

Get rid of your winter blues @ the Portland Winter Light Festival, a three-day vibrant outdoor art festival February 6 - 8 that features interactive light-based art installations, dynamic live performances, stunning kinetic fire sculptures, and educational programming. Now in its fifth year, you'll find over 100 artists, performers, and creators:

Mark your calendars for THIS YEAR'S EVENT on Sunday, March 1, 2020! Portland is marching! Our event will be a permitted, family-friendly, intersectional event welcoming womxn and their allies. Rally at Noon, March at 1:00. ADA accessible. Rally location is PSU / South Park Blocks in downtown Portland. Remember, rise!

Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.

— Vaclav Havel

Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.

Kind regards,

Lani Jo

Every Saturday night since April 1978, the historic Clinton Street Theater has played host to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

On the first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month, members of our very own shadowcast, the Clinton Street Cabaret, perform live while the movie plays on the screen behind them. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, the Rocky Horror Picture Show is "Be It Yourself," turning the attention on YOU the audience. You bring the costumes! You bring the dance numbers! You bring the fun!

So unpack that French Maid's dress from that box behind the kids' old toys and dust off your tap shoes. Bring your rice, the toast, and some friends and come on down to the longest running RHPS in the WORLD! No matter when you decide to come, whether you are are a virgin or a veteran you'll delight in this cinematic right of passage and cherished Portland tradition.

Doors open at 11:30pm
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Clinton Street Theater · 2522 SE Clinton Street · Portland, OR 97202 · USA