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Shannon Bryan

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Posted: June 16, 2015

Listen for clues during Congress St. Stories: A Scavenger Hunt on Monday

Written by: Shannon Bryan

Sometimes stories are more than stories. Sometimes stories hold a clue to something bigger.

But you’ll have to listen close to hear it.

On Monday, the stories told by ten local performers will reveal clues that will lead listeners to locations all along Congress Street in Portland – and to a puzzle that need to be solved.

Congress St. Stories: A Scavenger Hunt is part theater, part interactive riddle (with a short walking tour of some interesting Congress Street spaces that attendees might not have been in before).

The unique theater experience was thought up by Linda Shary, founder of Guerilla Downtown. It’s also part of the PortFringe Festival, which features new and experimental performances at multiple venues throughout Portland from Saturday through June 28.

The storytelling scavenger hunt starts at Geno’s (625 Congress St.), where attendees will be given a clue card to get them started. That clue will lead them to their first story, told by a performer at a specific Congress Street location.

“You’ll encounter a performer that may not look like a performer,” said Shary. “There’s more of an improv feel to it. The performers will not be rehearsing. I gave them a profile of a character and location and I’m asking them to help come up with the moment they will present to the audience.”

The stories are brief – only a couple minutes long – but weaved into those stories will be a clue to finding the next performer and a letter of the alphabet.

Those letters will later come into play to solve a puzzle – solve the puzzle and attendees could win a PortFringe pass to enjoy more of the festival.

But Shary hopes the experience will be more than that.

“What makes life worth living to me is looking at moments in time differently, when you walk by someone on the street and actually notice them or notice something different,” Shary said. “Like all theater, you hope that they don’t walk away and just go, ‘That was interesting,’ but that they are somehow touched or moved and ‘get it’ in their own way that comes back again and again. But if they just say ‘That was cool’ and go get a beer, that’s fine, too.”


WHEN: Groups of 6-10 people will be sent out every three minutes between 6 p.m. and 6:40 p.m. Monday. The experience should take about 20-30 minutes. Reserving a time slot in advance is appreciated.
WHERE: Starts at Geno’s, 625 Congress St., Portland
HOW MUCH: $5 cash
MORE INFO: or 207-807-7812

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