Chris forrer, Artistic Director
Daphne Dossett, Business and Relations Manager
Garrett Gibbs, Production Manager
How Old Is Business? We are currently producing our second season of plays.
Number of Years In This Area? 2 years
Family Business? No, but it is a family affair as we are in residence at the 5Gs ranch, owned by the Gibbs family, and they are invaluable in our operations.
What is your Mission? The mission of Penguin Productions is to entertain and inspire our community by creating classical theatre for a contemporary world right here in the heart of Yamhill County. We believe that our community is best served by seeing productions of historic works that are accessible, understandable, and relevant to them and are performed by diverse ensembles of people that represent the wide-ranging demographics that make up our nation.
Please Describe Your Business: We produce two classical works on our fixed outdoor stage from mid-July to late August. Soon, we will begin to produce one smaller production in the wintertime that will take place in the black box theatre at the Chehalem Cultural Center (stay tuned for more news on that soon!!)
How Does Your Business Stand Out in the Industry? We believe that we are bringing something to Newberg that the area hasn’t had before by supplying professional quality live theatre. The theatrical fixtures in the valley like the Gallery Theatre serve invaluable places in this community and we are proud to offer outdoor classics produced at a professional level to serve our community alongside them. You shouldn’t have to drive all the way to Portland to see professional theatre!!
Do You Have Any Stories To Share About Customers’ Reactions to Your Performances? We had one woman come to “Macbeth” last summer dressed head to toe in red and sporting a red lawn chair. She said that she knows how bloody the show can be and wanted to sit in the first row without fear of getting her clothes stained with stage blood. What a hoot! And a good call too, since we did use big blood (it’s a tragedy, what’s the point of doing shows with fights and injuries and murders if you can’t have a little fun with the effects??) We also had Daphne’s niece and nephew (7 & 5 at the time) out to “As You Like It.” It was the first play they had ever gotten to attend and they loved it. And, this is really cool—they UNDERSTOOD it. They knew what the different characters Daphne and Chris (they’re married) played and could talk about why which one was their favorite. If a 7 and 5 year old can understand the characters and the story then we are doing our job in creating accessible and entertaining theatre for EVERYONE.
Are There Any Misconceptions About Your Business? I don’t believe so, although I do think it’s important that the community knows that we are a professional company. As stated above, we love and value our community theatres, and we want our audiences to know that at our shows you will see working professional actors being paid a competitive wage for their talents.
If Your Business Has An Unusual Name, Please Explain. The short story is that Garrett really likes penguins and we thought that an alliterative name would be very marketable, and provide a mental callback to Penguin Books’ Shakespeare publications. A little more elaborate version, and the reason WHY Garrett likes penguins so much: penguins are some of the most outwardly serious creatures on the planet, yet they get into the most absurd hijinks and actions. This dichotomy of committing to the absurd and hysterical with the utmost seriousness might be the most apt metaphor for the theatrical process that I’ve yet heard! We bring to life warriors, fools, nobles, traitors, friends, and lovers, and we do so with a deep respect and solemnity about the work that we do.
Please Share any Stories related to running the Business The first season is always a struggle for any business, and perhaps even more so for an arts company, so making sure that we met our operating expenses and could pay all of our creative team last summer was a big challenge. The community responded powerfully to our work, enough so that we were able to bank 100% of our ticket sales to build for Season 2! Our biggest goal for this season is to make sure everybody in Newberg knows who we are by the time Season 2 is over in August. Marketing, marketing, marketing…
This isn’t explicitly any of the categories listed, but: Daphne and Chris got married on the Penguin stage last May, with Garrett officiating. It was the first thing that we did on the stage and we think it’s sanctified it and filled it to the brim with love and luck for the future.
Nuts and Bolts
Hours: Can contact via email or cell phone anytime; during the summer season all productions take place at 7:00 PM
Location: 17530 NE Terrys Ln Newberg, OR 97132