Liminal Falls in Love, Exercises Left, Right Sides of Brain

For Immediate Release
Media Contact – Alex Reagan, 503-860-9585, reaganal[at]

The Theory of Love
from Liminal Performance Group
Portland, Ore. – April 13 through April 29, 2007

Birds are suddenly appearing, and Liminal may have something to do with it.

Liminal’s latest original work has arrived, this time in the form of a traveling multimedia lecture-opera entitled The Theory of Love. The Liminal Love Theorists have been at the blackboard for over three years of research, testing, and experimentation into the hidden workings of Love. All of its constituents and behaviors have now been successfully identified and analyzed, and the resulting formula is no less than 100% pure Love. This is the stuff. Not tested on animals, this new mixed-genre product proves conclusively that everyone’s favorite emotion is more than mere hypothesis.

But hasn’t enough been said about Love already? 

“It certainly has,” says composer and project leader John Berendzen, “and Liminal would like to have the last word.”  The Resurrectory (2005) was a complex and relentless sonic investigation into Death. The Theory of Love wrestles down the only other great subject with equal passion and intensity.

Now available for mass consumption in a readily digestible musical lecture format, The Theory of Love begins its tour of public presentations aimed at educating the senses. Special host partners Reed College, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and Chapman Elementary School (NW) provide the multimedia classroom facilities appropriate for the Portland premiere undertaking. Future tour partners include On The Boards’ Northwest New Works Festival (Seattle, June 2007), and Links Hall (Chicago, Fall 2007).

Leading the public experiment are singers David Abel (bass) and Ms. Leo Chapeau (alto). Their syllabus/libretto (written by Abel) leads us down the corridors of Roland Barthes’ ravishing ruminations on the metaphysics of love, through the motherless monkey experiments of psychologist Harry Harlow (do we need love more than food?), and on to parts unknown. All throughout, the Loveplus video database informs the spoken and sung words with its imagery, turning information into beauty, and making beauty informative.

This classroom is no study hall, and Liminal assures audiences that there will be no risk of nodding off. Using alternative techniques of musical hypnosis for accelerated superlearning (pioneered by Soviet-bloc and Japanese researchers in the mid-20th century), audiences are invited into states of blissful, relaxed attentiveness as mind and sense hyper-saturate with full-spectrum vibrations of sound, light, and thought.

An experiment in harmonizing the poetic and the analytical, the sexy and the brainy, Love is a foray into a new form of communication, a full-body experience of sound, word, and image. As the frequencies of the left and right brain synchronize with each other and to the your environment, The Theory of Love presents solutions to the long-sought equation of Love to the conscious and subconscious mind. Finally, you are left to answer the question for yourself: 

Love, is it just a theory?

The Theory of Love
a traveling multimedia lecture-opera
from Liminal Performance Group


Mr. David Abel – bass, librettist
Ms. Leo Chapeau – alto, love practitioner
Mr. Leo Daedalus – tenor, media/art director, linguist
Ms. Anna Daedalus – soprano, art/media director
Samuel Miller – 16mm specialist
Jenny Fern Anderson – vestiary
John Berendzen – baritone, composer, director

Portland Premiere

Friday April 13 – Sunday April 15
Reed College, Eliot Hall

Friday April 20 – Sunday April 22
Pacific Northwest College of Art, rm 314

Friday April 27 – Sunday April 29
Chapman Elementary School auditorium

Friday and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm
Sunday at 8pm

$8-15, pay-what-you-can
Limited seating

For reservations, detailed directions and more info:
503 890 2993

Liminal is a nonprofit Portland-based ensemble of artists producing performance and media works. Now celebrating its 10th year anniversary, Liminal has produced more than 12 original projects, winning numerous Portland Critics’ Circle (Drammy) awards for its productions of The Seven Deadly Sins, Three Plays Five Lives, The Resurrectory, and others.

The Theory of Love is funded with support from RACC, The Kinsman Foundation, and individual donors. Sponsored by Willamette Week, Reed College Theatre Department, and the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

# # #

Liminal presents Caryl Churchill’s play Far Away

For Immediate Release
Media Contact—Anthony Alvarez , 503 804 6727,

Portland, Ore.—From January 19 to February 18, Liminal Performance Group will present the Portland premiere of Far Away, a play by British playwright Caryl Churchill. First produced in 2001, Far Away is a play set in a war-torn age, where absurd alliances, mass killings and fear are everyday occurences.

“I have always admired the way Churchill challenges conventional notions of character, identity and narrative structure,” says director Georgia Luce. “In Far Away, Churchill constructs an world that is strange, yet very personal. Churchill’s plays provoke more questions than nswers, and Far Away offers images and sounds of a world that is completely absurd, but strangely familiar.”

As in many Liminal productions, video media will take a prominent role in the performance. The entire set is composed of video projected onto multiple surfaces in the 70-foot deep performance space designed by longtime Liminal collaborator Moses Gunesch. Music for Far Away is composed by Liminal sound designer, John Berendzen. Several hundred hats are exclusively designed and created for the production by designer and Liminal collaborator kollodi.

Far Away features Liminal actors Jennifer Olson, Jeff Marchant, and Madeleine Sanford. The show will also introduce ten year-old Hallie Blashfield, daughter of noted video artist and Liminal collaborator Jim Blashfield.

The work will be staged in the recently vacated Goldsmith Building in Portland’s Old Town, which promises to become the nexus of contemporary art and performance in 2006. The Goldsmith will soon be converted into artist workspaces and is already home to the new Portland Art Center Annex.

Liminal Performance Group presents:
Far Away
By Caryl Churchill

January 19-February 18, 2005
Goldsmith Building
20 NW Fifth Avenue, Portland

Thursday-Saturday, 8 pm-10 pm
Admission is $6-$10, sliding scale. 

For more information:
Liminal Performance Group:, 503 890 2993 or 503 313 8200

Far Away is funded with support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Typhoon! Restaurants and the Portland Mercury. Liminal is a nonprofit Portland-based ensemble of artists producing performance and media works. Liminal was founded in 1997 and has produced more than a dozen original projects. Since 2000, Liminal has received ten Portland Drammy awards for its productions of Objects for the Emancipated Consumer, The Seven Deadly Sins, Three Plays, Five Lives, FaustFaust and The Resurrectory.

Liminal’s Resurrectory Re-Commits, Investigates 100-Year-Old Murders

For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Bryan Markovitz, 503 709 2034,
Gavin Shettler, 503 239 5481,

Portland, Ore. - From May 4 to June 18, 2005 the Portland Art Center presents The Resurrectory, a new installation by Liminal that converts the Portland Art Center gallery into a sordid Victorian theater of human anatomy and criminal investigation. Visitors are invited to freely explore the space during regular Center hours and during special evening hours when Liminal staff actively work in the resurrectory. More like a public facility than an art installation, The Resurrectory exhibits a body of stories about serial murderers, their victims and physicians hungry for fresh cadavers.

The Resurrectory began more than a year ago when Liminal director Bryan Markovitz learned of a series of brutal murders from 19th century Edinburgh, Scotland, that exposed a part of medical history few talk about: the trafficking and sale of cadavers to anatomy schools. Members of the Liminal ensemble and a team of collaborators, including painter Gabriel Liston and filmmaker Jim Blashfield, began using the Edinburgh stories as the root of an investigation that has since expanded to include Portland history, 19th century medicine, modern forensics, criminology and the underground cadaver trade.

More than a year of research and development led to the structure of The Resurrectory, which expands on Liminal’s interest in subverting the traditional functions of theater and installation art. “The Resurrectory is not exactly a performance, nor is it precisely an art exhibit,” says director Bryan Markovitz. “While it has qualities of theater and art, it is more like a working facility where stories of long-dead murderers, their victims and medical school physicians are resurrected in sounds, images, action and words for intense scrutiny.” Visitors will find puzzling stacks of ephemera, intricate drawings and paintings, re-enactments of murder, and a dissection with the aid of light projections and music. One of the most interesting aspects of The Resurrectory is that it can be experienced in so many ways. The visitor has the choice to decide what The Resurrectory is and what it means.

Three distinct but interconnected arenas are at the heart of the resurrectory space: the inquest, the operating theater, and the collections. Within the inquest, live performers and video projections re-commit 108 murders and follow the path of their victims to the dissecting table. In the operating theater, an anatomist dissects a cadaver with the aid of video and a live ensemble of musicians (heard through headphones provided in the space). Finally, collections of evidence, illustrations and photographs are investigated by a cataloguer struggling to document hundreds of possible crime scenarios and track them on a wall-size map of the crime scenes.

The Resurrectory represents the Portland Art Center’s commitment to installation art and site-specific projects. “We are very pleased to present Liminal,” says Portland Art Center executive director and curator Gavin Shettler. “Our goal is to provide resources and exhibition space for local artists who are creating challenging new work. The Portland Art Center’s nonprofit exhibition program is essential because it gives Portland artists a public forum and exposes Portland audiences to art that is difficult to present in traditional galleries.” 

The Portland Art Center presents:

The Resurrectory
By Liminal Performance Group

May 4-June 18, 2005
Portland Art Center - 2045 SE Belmont Street, Portland, OR 97214

Installation time: The unattended resurrectory space is available for public viewing Wednesday-Saturday, Noon-6 pm. Admission during this time is free.

Performance time: Public viewing with resurrectory staff in attendance takes place every Thursday-Saturday, between the hours of 8 pm-10 pm. Admission is $6-$10, pay-what-you-can. Reservations are not required.

For more information:
Portland Art Center:, 503 239 5481
Liminal Performance Group:, 503 890 2993

The Resurrectory is funded with the support from the Flintridge Foundation, the Portland Art Center and individual donors.

Liminal is a nonprofit Portland-based ensemble of artists producing performance and media works. Liminal was founded in 1997 and has produced more than a dozen original projects. In 2003, Liminal received five Portland Drammy awards for its productions of The Seven Deadly Sins and Three Plays, Five Lives.

The Portland Art Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating space for Northwest artists and the community to connect. Its mission is to cultivate the vitality of the area by establishing innovative and provocative interactions between art, artists, and the community. Located in Central Southeast Portland, Oregon, our gallery provides space for unconventional, cutting-edge art, while our Resource Room and website function as a communication hub for contemporary arts in the Northwest region.


Liminal and Sang-Froid Riding Club Host a Night of Bikes, Bands and Bacchanalia

For Immediate Release
Media Contact – Bryan Markovitz, 503 890 2993,

Portland, Ore. – On Thursday, November 6, 2003, Liminal Performance Group and the Sang-Froid Riding Club will celebrate the close of their fall seasons with a unique event that brings together some of Portland's finest motorcycle enthusiasts, experimental theatre artists and indie pop bands.

The event will feature live music from Bronwyn and the Minor Thirds, a special lecture/presetation on the workings of motorcycle engines, motorcycle rides around downtown, and a dramatic performance by Sang-Froid Riding Club Members of a heartbreaking scene from the wildly popular 1986 film Top Gun. Bar libations and refreshments will also be available. Proceeds of the event will benefit Liminal.

"Some may find a motorcycle club and an experimental theatre to be strange bedfellows," says Liminal Director Bryan Markovitz "but we share similar missions to promote our particular skills and bring them to a wider audience."  

"I've known Bryan for several years," says Sang-Froid President Zachary Hull. "I have always been impressed with how skillfully he and the Liminal crew produce such inventive work. When Bryan approached me with the idea of working together I didn't give it a second thought."

Bikes, Bands and Bacchanalia - An Evening with the Sang Froid Riding Club
Hosted by the Sang-Froid Riding Club and Liminal
With special guests Bronwyn and the Minor Thirds
November 6, 2003, 8:30 pm
$5 admission
Liminal Space, 403 NW Fifth between Flanders and Glisan

Liminal (1997-) is a Portland-based ensemble of artists producing performance and media works. Liminal has produced twelve original performances in six years and received five Drammy awards in 2003 for its productions of The Seven Deadly Sins and Three Plays Five Lives. Liminal recently produced Samuel Beckett’s play, Krapp’s Last Tape and is currently showing Faust (Faust). 

The Sang-Froid Riding Club (SFRC) is an Oregon nonprofit organization dedicated to the sport of motorcycle riding and racing. "Sang-Froid" comes from the Latin Sanguis Frigidus - "cold blood" - and means "cool under pressure." Motorcycle riding requires calm and concentration to achieve excellence, and this sang-froid is both their motto and their goal. Headquartered in Portland, Oregon, SFRC was formed to promote skillful motorcycle riding and to bring creative motorcycle events to the Portland community. 

Bronwyn plays elegant rock music. Bronwyn has been described as everything from spastic and energetic to sexy and exotic. Bronwyn's music is varied and constantly evolving. Their latest release, Through The Fog, Through The Pines, is available online at

The Minor Thirds are a vaudevillian "writerly" band obsessed with rhetorical devices and grammatical tricks. They recently toured Nevada and California with Bronwyn. Their latest album, Saskatchewan, is available at 


Liminal’s Faust (Faust) haunts audiences this October in an immersive performance of alchemy and occult experimentation

For Immediate Release
Media Contact - Bryan Markovitz, 503 890 2993,

Portland, Ore. - From October 2 to November 1, 2003 on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, Liminal Performance Group will present Faust (Faust), an eerie new performance installation for the Halloween season based on the epic tragedy of Dr. Faustus, the archetypal character who sells his soul to the devil in search of knowledge. In Liminal’s new work, the story of Faust is used as a springboard to create a constantly changing environmental performance of mystical science and alchemic ritual. Audiences may witness the strange world of Faust(Faust) each night starting at 9 pm and ending late.

Faust (Faust) is an open-ended continuous installation presented by the Liminal ensemble. Unlike a traditional theatre performance, Faust(Faust) does not have a linear beginning and end. Instead, the performance is made from an ever-changing flow of surreal actions that are different every night.

“This is Liminal’s version of the classic haunted house,” says Liminal Director Bryan Markovitz. “It is replete with unknown and unearthly phenomena that appear and recede in the multiple rooms of the performance space. The situations that audiences witness are real, not staged, and they happen based on arcane rules governing the world of the event.”

The experience is like walking through a macabre gallery of specters driven by magical forces. Liminal’s 4,000 square foot performance space is divided into four rooms where fragments of the Faust story are presented by a small ensemble of actors, vocalists and live musicians who interact with each other throughout the different rooms. Audiences are free to explore the ever-changing environment, view the performers from different locations, and come and go as they please during nightly installation hours.

“This project is particularly challenging because we are creating many small discrete elements that are mixed together in the final performance,” explains Liminal Sound Director John Berendzen. “We are not interested in establishing a predetermined order of events or manipulating a line of dramatic action. Instead, we are applying simple rules of engagement to generate outcomes that are compelling because they are spontaneous.”

Faust (Faust) explores the limits of human endeavor through situations based on scenes from original Faust play texts by Marlowe and Goethe. In Faust, we see a person who comes to the end of learning through the humanities and who attempts to know the universe directly through the occult. To explore Faust’s dilemma, Liminal establishes a structure that allows the ensemble to present the story as a perpetual event. When the doors at Liminal Space open every night, Faust’s search continues. Resolution is never achieved.

Various elements and signifiers of the Faust story become the tools of the ritual experiment and react when combined in different ways. Colors react to frequencies; Performers react to planetary rotations; Sounds react to chemicals. The result is a performance that has no known outcomes. It is in the hands of forces beyond Liminal’s control.

Faust (Faust)
October 2-November 1, 2003, 9:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Visitors may come and go as they please during hours of operation
Liminal Space, 403 NW Fifth between Flanders and Glisan
Reservations: 503 890 2993,
Tickets: $6 Thursdays, $8 Fridays and Saturdays

Liminal (1997-) is a Portland-based ensemble of artists producing performance and media works. Liminal has produced eleven original performances in six years and received five Drammy awards in 2003 for its productions of The Seven Deadly Sins and Three Plays Five Lives. Liminal recently produced Samuel Beckett’s play, Krapp’s Last Tape.

The ensemble operates its own performance and workspace in downtown Portland that is also used by a variety of Portland artists and performing groups. For more information, visit Liminal on the Web at