Photo above by Jenny Warren

Bedrock Theatre was created in 2016 by a group of theatre artists and environmentalists. Originally inspired by the vibrant landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, the founders envisioned a type of storytelling that could only be fully realized out on the trail. These hiking plays combined the founders’ love for theatre and nature, immersing audiences in their own ecosystem through storytelling, music and play.

Bedrock Theatre currently operates from Portland, OR--but of course, we go where the trail takes us.

PERSEPHONE - leach botanical garden

an in-motion, musical adventure - august 2019

Photo by Sean Grosshans

Photo by Sean Grosshans

Book & Music by Emily Eisele, Sean Grosshans & Joellen Sweeney

Directed by Emily Eisele

Performed by Leif Schmit, Hannah Hogan, Elizabeth Fagan, Ashley Mellinger, Kilee Rheinsburg, Jay Tatco-Nowak & Sean Grosshans

Lighting Design by Jennifer Lin, Costume Design by Erin MacGillivray

Production Photos by Jenny Warren

Bedrock’s original adaptation of the Greek myth tells the tale of the Goddess Persephone, her abduction by Hades, King of the Underworld; the devastation of her mother, Demeter, Goddess of the Harvest; six fateful pomegranate seeds; and the painful compromise that is the genesis for Earth’s seasons.

After developing the story, text, and music over the course of a year, Bedrock presented the full production along the paths and trails of Leach Botanical Garden for a sold-out two-week run. Guided by the three Fates, audience members crossed the Bridge to explore the worlds Above and Below accompanied by live music and the Garden’s resident owls. An additional Low-Impact Performance was held on the East Terrace to allow patrons to enjoy the immersive outdoor experience without the mileage.

Bedrock was honored to be sponsored as the first theatre company in residence at Leach Botanical Garden during 2019 and to partner with Friends of the Columbia Gorge, 350PDX, and BARK, all local organizations fighting to protect the environment.

Click here to view the PERSEPHONE digital program!

PERSEPHONE - Garden Party

a staged reading with pomegranate punch - june 2019

(Photo by Jenny Warren)

(Photo by Jenny Warren)

On a sunny June afternoon, Bedrock shared a staged reading of the PERSEPHONE script-in-progress on the beautiful Leach Botanical Garden Terrace. Audience members listened to the newest draft of our original adaptation as performed by our new cast, and played a key role in the collaborative process by providing feedback about the story development.

Bedrock Band - 2019 Season announcement

AN EVENING OF MUSIC & LIVE STORYTELLING WITH bedrock’s co-founders - feb 2019

This was an evening of firsts for Bedrock: our first event at the gorgeous Leach Botanical Garden, our home for the 2019 season; our first time debuting several new songs; and our first season announcement as we revealed our project in development: PERSEPHONE.

Check out two Bedrock originals performed at Bedrock Band with the cozy acoustics of the Manor Fireplace Room. Music written & performed by Bedrock co-founders Emily Eisele, Sean Grosshans & Joellen Sweeney. More music and video clips here!


the backyard version, with snacks - june 2018

Photo by Jenny Warren

Photo by Jenny Warren

Created & Performed by Emily Eisele, Sean Grosshans & Joellen Sweeney

Bedrock’s original adaptation of The Nightingale was revised for performance in an intimate residential garden setting. This casual format took its cue from campfire storytelling, inviting the audience to relax, snack, listen, and even add their own embellishments to the tale. Bedrock company members portrayed multiple characters, traded off narrating, and shared live music.

The Nightingale - Powell Butte

the hike that started it all - sept 2016

The Nightingale rehearses "Where It's Green"

The Nightingale rehearses "Where It's Green"

Book & Music by Emily Eisele, Sean Grosshans & Joellen Sweeney

Directed by Sean Grosshans

Performed by Olivia Weiss, Conor Eifler, Kilee Rheinsburg, Emily Eisele, Sean Grosshans, and Joellen Sweeney

Opening of  The Nightingale  at Powell Butte Nature Center

Opening of The Nightingale at Powell Butte Nature Center

Based on the folktale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Nightingale was the Bedrock team’s first original adaptation. A legendary songbird waits just out of reach. A covetous king sets a reward. A crafty kitchen maid seizes an opportunity. Their paths converge in a tale that questions the true nature of beauty, and why we are compelled to possess it for ourselves. Guided in small groups by storytellers, audiences explored this vibrant story along a 3-mile loop at Powell Butte Nature Park in Portland, Oregon.