David Harrower

Good with people, reluctantly

David Harrower's contemporary two-hander "Good With People" does fascinating personal battle in Our Shoes Are Red's hands

Portland is a town where good theater happens in little spaces. Not just small Equity houses like Artists Rep and Portland Center Stage’s black box Ellyn Bye Studio, but holes-in-the-wall and carved-out places like defunkt, the Shoe Box, and Shaking the Tree, spaces where a good old-fashioned Shakespeare history or a big-scale Broadway musical might have more people onstage than seats in the house. And right now, in something of a popup production, you can find good theater in the little Performance Works NW, off of Southeast Foster Road, where one evening late last week roughly thirty people came close to filling the available seats and two people prowled the stage.

Evan (Matt DiBiasio) lands back home, bringing his baggage with him. Photo: Devon Allen

Those two actors were Devon Allen and Matt DiBiasio, for their occasional producing company Our Shoes Are Red/The Performance Lab, and they were performing the Scottish playwright David Harrower’s 2010 character drama Good With People. Allen is Helen Hughes, who works in a small hotel ┬ácalled the Seaview near a loch in the town of Helensburgh, Scotland, on the north shore of the Firth of Clyde. DiBiasio is Evan Bold, a traveler with a past, and the only guest we see in the course of the hour-long play.


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