GOT A STORY FOR Back Fence PDX: MAINSTAGE? We want to hear it!

We are gearing up for our big TENTH anniversary show on October 8th at Portland Center Stage and we are looking for Portland neighborhood stories from people who’ve never told a story on our stage!

If you are interested in pitching, please tell us which neighborhood in Portland you live in now, where you are from, if you are involved in your local community, and a little background on you. Then hit us with your best, highest stakes story, about the Portland neighborhood you currently live in, or a Portland neighborhood you lived in previously. It needs to be a story you have not told on stage before. We are specifically looking for stories that take place in NE, NW, or SW Portland. We will be accepting pitches for this show through the end of May and we will start casting the show soon after. 

If you feel like you have a great story regardless of theme — pitch it anyway — great stories trump everything. Pitch sooner rather than later. For your info — this is not our full time job, so it may take us a bit to get back to you about pitches. If you receive your initial response and don’t hear back from us within 4 weeks, feel free to hit us up again. It’s actually really helpful to us.

We look for stories that:

  • Have never been publicly told before. Or, at least a big juicy chunk of it has not been told.
  • Are high stakes and are about YOU. In the story YOU had a lot to gain or lose depending on how things turned out. This could even mean the telling of this particular story is high stakes (confessional). Like, you’ve really never told anyone this story, or at least not “that one part.” And High Stakes can mean you were locked out of the house nude, the stakes were high for you in the moment.
  • Have big time emotional turmoil afoot. The story must be personal, about you and from your POV, what did YOU have to gain or lose. What did the story change about you. In the story you are different at the end than you were at the beginning. Again emotional turmoil can be happening within you (your own neurosis exposed) or to you, or next to you. Maybe you caused some shit to go down.
  • Are different or unusual (Your story features subject matter/you have an unusual occupation/experience that has not been heard on the Back Fence PDX stage before.)

Pitches should be under 300 words.  No cliff hangers!  We must understand the entire arc of your story — anecdotes are not enough. Also, in your pitch letter tell us about peculiar hobbies, the kinds of communities you are/have been involved with, anything that let’s us in on who you are.

Feel weird about writing it out? We also accept recordings of stories, keep it around 2 minutes in length and attach it to an email. SEND ALL PITCHES or RECORDINGS to: INFO [at] BACKFENCEPDX [dot] COM.

So, we get the entire arc of your story her are some things we think help. You should have a one sentence clear answer to all of these. You can expand from there.

What was going on with you right before the inciting incident? What were you like at the time the story took place? Be specific. This is typically one of the more brief parts of the story.

What happened that shifted/rocked your world — that shifts the course of things? Did you meet someone? Did you find out a secret? Remember something? Receive some news? Have something happen to you? This is typically one sentence. Think of it like this: One day xxxx happened (and it rocked/shifted my world).

What hope or fear drove you? What did you stand to gain or lose? Obstacles? Surprises? This is typically the longest part of the story. One surprise after another. 

What finally changed this situation, for better or worse? Did you succeed or fail or feel a shift? Did you get what you wanted? Not get it? This is typically a punchy one or two sentences and relates back to the question you pose at the beginning of the story. 

How did the turning point change the way you operate now/see things/change how people see you? Can you make that universal for an audience to relate to? This is also typically one sentence.