The Portland Civic Theatre Guild is delighted to announce that Shakespeare’s Skull by Portland playwright Rich Rubin will be the 2019 Fertile Ground New Play reading for the Portland Civic Theatre Guild’s Readers Theatre, Friday evening, January 25 at 7:30 pm and Saturday morning, January 26 at 10:30 am, at The Sanctuary, home of triangle! Theatre Company.

Shakespeare’s Skull is a tongue-in-cheek comedy about Shakespeare and the grave robbers who loved

him. The year, 1794; the place, London.  Frank Chambers is a young physician with a dwindling income

and a penchant for gambling.  Horace Walpole is a celebrated British aristocrat who believes genius is reflected by the shape of our skulls.  Fate brings Frank and Horace together for a singular purpose:  To steal the skull of the greatest literary genius of all time.  Horace is hoping to prove his theory, while Frank is hoping for a few extra coins in his pocket.  Will their hopes be realized or will unforeseen events flip them upside down?

Rich Rubin’s plays have been performed throughout the U.S., as well as internationally in Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.  Recent Portland productions include Cottonwood in the Flood, a co-winner of the 2012 Fratti-Newman Political Play Award, and Left Hook, a finalist for the 2018-2019 Woodward-Newman Drama Award.  Member, Dramatists Guild, the New Play Exchange, and Portland’s Nameless Playwrights and LineStorm Playwrights.

We are also pleased to recognize our four finalists for their outstanding works:

The Old Forever New Things by Daniel Kitosser

Out There Right Here by A.R. Nicholas

Bible Stories for Agnostics by John Longenbaugh

Crooked Numbers by Ellen Margolis

Shakespeare’s Skull marks the seventh year of the Portland Civic Theatre Guild’s participation in Fertile Ground: A City Wide Festival of New Works. The Guild calls for submissions from Portland area playwrights in the spring, selects a new script, and provides everything the playwright needs to bring the new work from the page to the audience. Previous readings include The Sweatermakers by Andrew Wardenaar, Love is Enough by Donna Barrow- Green, Deception by Nancy Moss, Rimbaud’s Daughter in Louisiana (or the Drunken Pirogue) by Steve Patterson, Badge of Honor by Tim Blough, and I Love You/ Who Are You by Matthew Miller.

The Portland Civic Theatre Guild produces the First Tuesday Readers Theatre series from October to May at The Sanctuary located at 1785 NE Sandy Blvd. This year’s season kicks off Tuesday October 2 with Foxfire by Susan Cooper and Hume Cronym starring Benjamin Tissell, Virginia Howe Kincaid, Del Lewis, Tiffany Groben and Alex Trull. David Mitchum Brown directs.

Guild After Dark, a three show series of evening performances, includes Holiday Radio Hour with the Willamette Radio Workshop, Monday evening December 4, Shakespeare’s Skull by Rich Rubin, Saturday evening January 26, and A Musical Treat, Monday evening May 6, directed by Adair Chappell. All evening performances are at 7:30 pm at The Sanctuary, home of triangle! Theatre Company.

The Guild also serves the Portland theatre community with annual awards and fellowships announced each year at the Drammys. These include the Portland Civic Theatre Award in Support of Theatre, the Mary Brand Theatre for Youth Award, and the Leslie O. Fulton Fellowship.

Information about Fertile Ground: A City Wide Festival of New Works is available at www.fertilegroundpdx.org. Purchase tickets: fertilegroundpdx.org