When Portland Story Theater launches its 10 th Anniversary 2014/2015 Season this September, it will be in their new home, the Alberta Abbey. Built in 1924, this mixed-use building offers the growth opportunity that Portland Story Theater has been looking for over the last couple of years. It's a fantastic opportunity and bittersweet at the same time. Portland Story Theater's current home, the intimate black box space of Hipbone Studio, has been perfect in almost every way for the past seven years. But Portland Story Theater has been growing exponentially. They've had to turn away audience at practically every show. That's going to change, starting this September.
Performance spaces with more than 100 seats that are affordable are hard to come by in Portland but the Alberta Abbey, built in 1924 and located just two blocks west of MLK at 126 NE Alberta Avenue, has it all: fabulously comfortable seats, off-street parking, ADA accessibility, capacity for more than 300, and an adjoining space where they can serve beer, wine, and refreshments. But the most important thing the Abbey offers is an outstretched hand to welcome Portland Story Theater as their resident performance group. The Alberta Abbey and Portland Story Theater are joining forces to build a vibrant performance space together.
One of the original founders of Portland Story Theater, Lynne Duddy, grew up just a few blocks from the Abbey and has witnessed the rise and fall and resurrection of her beloved Albina neighborhood. This move carries a deep emotional connection for Duddy and a commitment to honor the Portland she knows and loves. Duddy and co-founder Lawrence Howard have worked to define a mission for Portland Story Theater that is rooted in giving voice to the true stories of ordinary people, promoting understanding, and building community in the urban environment. Because of the Abbey's location, Portland Story Theater hopes to forge a link between the Alberta Arts District and the Historic Mississippi District. Time will tell.