Damaris Webb: Bicoastal Performer, Teaching Artist, and Theater Maker

directing a staged reading of Cottonwood in the Flood Saturday 11/4

a two-act drama about the African American experience in 1940s Oregon and the rapid rise – – and even more rapid fall – – of the city of Vanport  

– by Rich Rubin, directed by Damaris Webb
– with students of Lewis & Clark College

CottonwoodInTheFlood:PublicDomainVMFSaturday, November 4th @ 2pm
Fir Acres Black Box Theatre, Lewis & Clark College
Free and open to the public 

Cottonwood in the Flood tells the story of an African American family during the rise and fall of the newly built city of Vanport on the banks of the Columbia River north of Portland. In 1943 the population of Vanport swelled to nearly 40,000.

The family, along with other newly arrived shipyard workers struggle with the inherent racial, economic and cultural injustices, and as their hopes are raised and their dreams are dashed, the members of the family do their best to adjust to daily life in Vanport and grab hold of their fair slice of the American pie.  On Memorial Day 1948, the entire city of Vanport is obliterated by a catastrophic flood of the Columbia River, an event that in several discomfiting respects presages the devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina nearly six decades later.

The reading will be preceded by a screening of a short documentary based on oral history of the Vanport Flood by one of its survivors, Beatrice Gilmore. Additionally, Ms. Gilmore will partake in a panel discussion after the reading along with the playwright, Rich Rubin and Prof. James Stanely Harrison, who is currently working on a book about Vanport.

The event is made possible by the generous support of: Dean of Students and the Division of Student Life, The Office of Diversity and Inclusion, The Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement, The Ray Warren Symposium, Lewis & Clark Theatre Department.
The Vanport Mosaic is a community driven, artist-led, multi-disciplinary non-profit that produces, curates, and creates collaborations with storytellers, media makers, artists, historians, and educators to engage the public in remembering silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest to better understand our present. – Co-Directors Laura Lo Forti & Damaris Webb

directing LEFT HOOK staged reading Friday, 10/13


LEFT HOOK a staged reading of a timely drama about gentrification and community displacement in 1970’s Portland, set in an Albina boxing club. Written by Rich Rubin Directed by Damaris Webb.

PLeftHook_VanportMosaic_BoxingHand_ShawnteSimmsresented by Westminster Presbyterian & The Vanport Mosaic.


Reservations recommended: lefthookpdx@gmail.com
Suggested donation $10. Run Time: 2 hours with intermission.

Left Hook offers a window into the personal hardships experienced when a thriving community is torn apart by outside forces. We are asked to bear witness to this challenging local history — a start to understanding the intentional and systemic choices that lead to the continued displacement of the African American community in Portland.

In this time of engaged discussions about gentrification, affordable housing and displacement, theater can be a catalyst for asking the critical questions that must be addressed in order to move forward. Left Hook provides that springboard, particularly timely in light of recent initiatives such as Right of Return a Portland Housing Bureau policy which gives housing subsidy preference to persons and their descendants who were displaced by urban renewal and subsequent gentrification, and The Albina Vision, a bold new plan for restoring the historic Rose Quarter neighborhood. Please join us for a curated conversation post performance featuring Kent Ford, Ray Lampkin Jr. & Stanley Dunn.
Featuring: Anthony P. Armstrong, Jocelyn Seid, Jasper Howard, James Savannah, Mario DePriest, Paige Moreland & Kenneth Dembo
Stage Design: Lara Klingeman Costume Design: Wanda Walden Stage Manager: Judith Yeckel

The Vanport Mosaic is a community driven, artist-led, multi-disciplinary non-profit that produces, curates, and creates collaborations with storytellers, media makers, artists, historians, and educators to engage the public in remembering silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest to better understand our present.- Co-Directors Laura Lo Forti & Damaris Webb

www.vanportmosaic.org | info@vanportmosaic.org

August 2- 4: teaching deep play practices as part of the life.art.being festival

Life.Art.Being2017Deep Play Practices: an urban retreat for the art tribe
As part of the life.art.being festival with Damaris Webb 

Wednesday August 2nd – Friday August 4th, 2:00 – 5:00 pm
Be Space @ Vibrant Studios, 1532 SW Jefferson Street

Day One: The Four Postures of Mindfulness & Little Disciplines/parallel play Day Two: solo forms/contemplative dance practice Day Three: Red Square

Uncover a refreshing and holistic approach to arriving and becoming present within ‘the village’, rooted in contemplative awareness practices and the postmodern improvisational dance lineage.

Open to all humans interested in creative physical expression, this workshop is intended to support a wholesome way of being an artist in the world while strengthening our internal compositional eye, and is complementary to many styles of performance training. Yielding to deep play, we evoke our individual kinesthetic delight with an awareness of the group, showing us a path to manifesting spacious, confident and balanced improvisational expression.


May 26-June 4th: directing & performing as part of the 2017 Vanport Mosaic Festival

HerculesSquashCastCreditAntonioHarrisHERCULES DIDN’T WADE IN THE WATER
by Michael A Jones, directed by Damaris Webb
by Don W Glenn directed by Jocelyn Seid

Offered as part of the 2017 Vanport Mosaic Festival, May 26 – 29.
Staged readings of two new one-act plays about the American Dream, displacement & Hurricane Katrina from the African American perspective.

Six Public Performances:
The Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center 5340 N Interstate Ave

Friday 5/26 @ 7 PM, Saturday 5/27@ 7 PM, Sunday 5/28 @ 2 PM
Friday 6/2@ 7 PM, Saturday 6/3@ 7 PM, Sunday 6/4 @ 2 PM
* curated post-show conversation following Sunday 5/28 matinee

Runtime 2hrs 30 minutes with one intermission, the box office at IFCC opens one hour before curtain.

with: La’Tevin Alexander, Anthony Armstrong, Arlena Barnes, Kenneth Dembo, Jasper Howard, Eric Island, Rickey Junior, Anya Pearson*, Seth Rue*, Andrea Vernae & Damaris Webb.  Stage Management: Jory Bowers* & Judith Yeckel, Costume Design: Wanda Walden, Technical Direction: Lara A. Klingeman * Courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association

Admission: Sliding scale $5-$25. Please visit the Surge of Social Change exhibit running in tandem with this performance.
Tickets at www.vanportmosaic.org.

The Vanport Mosaic is a collective of artists, historians, educators and media makers seeking to engage the public in remembering the silenced histories of the Pacific Northwest to better understand our present.

Artistic Directors: Laura Lo Forti and Damaris Webb www.vanportmosaic.org


performing “The Box Marked Black” in Boulder & Denver February 23rd – March 4th

show gallerysquare product theatre presents

The Box Marked Black:
Tales from a Halfrican-American growing up Mulatto. With sock puppets! 

written and performed by Damaris Webb
directed by Debra Disbrow, dramaturgy by Ashley Hughes


8p Thursday, Feb. 23
7p Friday, Feb. 24
8p Saturday, Feb. 25
@ Boulder Creative Collective – 2500 47th Street Unit 10, Boulder, CO
join us for conversation following Saturday’s performance

7 p Thursday, Mar. 2
8p Friday, Mar. 3
7 p Saturday, Mar. 4
@ Buntport Theater – 17 Lipan St, Denver, CO

presented in repertory with Hoarded Stuff Performance’s “Practicing”

directing a staged reading of “Fishers of Hope” for Boom Arts GLOBAL VOICES LAB – February 11th


February 11, Cascade Campus, Portland Community College
Presented by Boom Arts in partnership with the Cascade Festival of African Films & the World Affairs Council of Oregon

Fishers of Hope by Lara Foot (South Africa)
Directed by Damaris Webb
Staged reading Saturday, Feb 11 at 3pm

International plays in translation offer a unique window into global perspectives. This two-weekend Lab connects visiting and local theatre directors with dynamic contemporary international plays in translation. Join us for readings and workshop performances, followed by conversations with artists and scholars, on two Portland campuses:

Post-show discussion with Prof. Elise Granek, Environmental Science, Portland State University

Lara Foot, one of South Africa’s most acclaimed contemporary playwrights, has been called the artistic heir to Athol Fugard. In this play, a community reckons with the impact of environmental degradation.

Teaching Hive-Mind at OMSI as part of their Movement in the Museum series

logoLet’s get our swarming hive-mind on!
Tuesday February 7th at 6pm


Movement in the Museum is a new class series that explores principles of science in the actions and sensations of our moving bodies. Each class kicks off with a hands-on science activity or demonstration to explore the evening’s topic, a 1-hour dance or yoga class, and a 15-minute discussion. No previous dance or yoga experience is required. Open to ages 12 and over.
Tickets: $15 (OMSI Members receive 15% off) 6pm
Species Strut: Improvisation and Dance with Damaris Webb
In this class we begin with inspiration from the insects and learn about their bodies, movements, and relationships to their natural habitats. Exploring through our bodies we’ll imagine moving through vastly different scales of shapes and sizes, with multiple limbs, and maybe even with hive mind. Come ready to laugh, play and enjoy!

Directing a staged reading of “Left Hook” as part of the 2017 Fertile Ground


Friday 1/20 @ 7:30pm,
Saturday 1/21 @ 2pm & 7:30pm,
Sunday 1/22 @ 2pm
The Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center – 5340 N Interstate Ave


written by Rich Rubin
directed by Damaris Webb
presented by The Vanport Mosaic
part of the 2017 Fertile Ground Festival

Admission: Pay What You Can. Suggested $10; $5 Students/Seniors
Buy tickets: fertilegroundpdx.org
Run time: 2hrs with intermission – join us for a curated conversation following the Sunday matinee.

More information at http://www.vanportmosaic.org.

La’Tevin Alexander, Anthony Armstrong, Kenneth Dembo,
Mario DePriest, Jasper Howard, Tonea Lolin & Jocelyn Seid

technical design Lara Klingeman, costume design Wanda Walden,
production stage manager Judith Yeckel

The Box Marked Black at SJCT – Friday Harbor, Washington

The Box Marked Black

show gallery


presented as part of
San Juan Community Theater’s
Off the Rock series
Friday, August 26 7:30 pm

SJCT’s Guberman Theatre – 100 Second Street
Friday Harbor, Washington


Offering Contemplative Dance Practice in Be Space’s annual Life.Art.Being Festival

July 17-23, 2016
2016 life.art.being festivalA week dedicated to
creating beauty and practicing presence with the self, the body, each other, & Earth


hosted by
Be Space and Shambhala Meditation Center

Full Festival Guide at http://be-space.org/life-art-being/

I will be offering DEEP PLAY PRACTICES: a 3-session Contemplative Dance Practice workshop
Day One: The Four Postures of Mindfulness & Little Disciplines / solo quad practice
Day Two: Corridors / contemplative dance practice
Day Three: Red Square / contemplative dance practice


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