PORTLAND PRESS HERALD
BY BOB KEYES
Aimée Petrin, executive and artistic director of Portland Ovations, programmed the 2021-’22 performance season around the idea of coming home.
“I keep thinking of the season ahead as a welcome back, or a welcome home,” she said. “I think COVID has made the idea of home more pronounced. During the time of COVID, we have had to think what home means. Our relationships to our homes are different, and the intentionality of where we live and how we live is different. Home is about the feeling of value, safety, and feeling you are in the right place.”
With those themes in mind, Petrin and her team at Portland Ovations will host a preview event 5-6 p.m. Thursday at Merrill Auditorium to discuss the 2021-’22 season. Several performances have already been announced, including the Broadway National Tours of “Rent” (Oct. 28-29), which explores the idea of losing home through the eyes of artists; “Cartography” (Nov. 4), a multimedia theater piece, presented in collaboration with Indigo Arts Alliance, that tells stories of immigration and home; as well as dance and classical performances presented as part of the Seeking Resonance Series.
Portland Ovations and Indigo Arts Alliance began collaborating on the series several years ago, to explore spiritual and religious life. It has morphed into a series about the vibrational quality of resonance and what it feels like to connect with one another, our shared spaces and our common places.
“It has become a series about how we relate to this place called home,” Petrin said. “Home permeates the whole season.”
During the pandemic, Portland Ovations commissioned five Maine artists and a museum to create five new performance pieces to roll out with full productions over three seasons. At least two – a musical piece by Samuel James and a dance piece by Riley Watts – will be staged this year, Petrin said. All of the artists are creating work with a connection to home and Maine.
Petrin will announce details Thursday.
“The season has all the hallmarks of a Portland Ovations season,” she said, “with Broadway National Tours, a dynamic chamber music series and incredible dance performances, all interspersed with this rich thematic series about the home.”
The preview event is free, and proof of vaccinations, or a negative COVID-19 test, is required. portlandovations.org