Echo Theater (and other) Shows

Dear Liza,

Your cousins Jasper and Kestrel had a wonderful circus/trapeze camp over their spring vacation. On Friday, I got to see what they had learned.

This camp was different from the Cascadia Circus camp they have been attending. It is held inside, at the old Echo Theater on SE 37th Street. Originally built in 1910 as a silent movie house, the Echo became a live music venue and dance hall when talkies arrived across the street at the Bagdad Theater. Its wide open inside space is hung with trapezes and covered with tumbling mats, with a few bleachers for us folks to watch everyone’s progress.

Also different was the focus on process, rather than performance. Each kid took their own time getting on and off the stage, and no one seemed stressed. Cousin Jasper really enjoyed himself and was more confident and relaxed. In this picture, Jasper is in the green shirt, and Kestrel is in the black shirt.

Heath, the leader of the troupe, was impossible to get a picture of because he never stops moving. He dashes about like a hummingbird, comforting, encouraging, and revving up, as required. The kids, which ranged from four to twelve years, all seemed to get the attention they needed to flourish.

There was mat tumbling, pyramid building, and quite a bit of swinging on trapezes. I asked if they had classes for kids my age, and was invited to sign up! (I was only half joking).

After the demonstration, we went for ice cream at Ben and Jerry’s and then everyone headed home.

That evening, Grandpa Nelson and I watched Tank Girl at the Hollywood Theater. Auntie Katie’s shop, Books with Pictures, was hosting it and the show was sold out! We enjoyed the silly movie and seeing Katie so happy, successful, and in her element.


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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