March 9th, 2017

Travel and Art: Connecting to the Larger Whole

Art is often thought of as stationary – paintings, sculptures, statues.  But of course, it is often much more experiential (think literary readings, dance, or live theater), and can be more of a direct interaction between the artist and the individual experiencing the art.

Travel and art share a lot in common.  Traveling to a new destination allows visitors to explore different ideas, experience new points of view, learn about history, and connect to a larger whole.

McMinnville’s art scene is a draw for many visitors, either for its own sake or to augment a trip to some of the area’s many winery and dining destinations.  While in the heart of Oregon wine country, guests can take in live music at many locations around town, see a musical at community run Gallery Theater (currently running the cult classic Reefer Madness), take a walking tour of public art, attend the McMinnville Short Film Festival, or visit local galleries.

Linfield College, just over a half of a mile from McMinnville’s bustling historic downtown, hosts dozens of art shows, readings, guest speakers, concerts, and live theater events each year.  Stephanie Mulligan is Touring and Outreach Coordinator at Triangle Productions! in Portland, a 2013 Linfield graduate, and director of Linfield’s upcoming production of Circle Mirror Transformation.  She describes the play:

Linfield College Theater McMinnville Oregon“We start with a Creative Drama class in a small-town community center, add a random group of strangers, and ask them to expose intimate secrets to one another. Jean-Paul Sartre famously wrote in No Exit, “Hell is other people.” In Circle Mirror Transformation, playwright Annie Baker bats away that notion with her unusually tender view of humanity, and the ways we reveal our passions and our pain. Her perspective, and her process of exploration completely intrigues me.

What does it mean to connect with other people? What does it cost to reveal your personal story? How do strangers become community, and can art bring us closer together? These are some of the ideas we’re exploring in the rehearsal room. As a theatre maker, I ask the actors to approach every moment truthfully. We may be exploring the human condition in depth, but it’s not an academic study. It’s a distillation of lives lived. Baker’s device of using theatre games allows the audience into the characters’ hearts.”

We encourage you to explore – and connect with – the thriving arts scene in McMinnville the next time you come to visit.

Linfield College’s production of  Circle Mirror Transformation runs March 15-18 at 7:30pm each night.  You can learn more about the show and their other upcoming productions here.