We Need Your Support

Sowelu could not provide artists the opportunity to bring impactful works to the community without your generosity and good will.

Sowelu is a volunteer-driven, 501-c3 non-profit organization. Since our inception, support from the community has enabled us to create affordable, viscerally engaging performances and to bring educational theater and outreach programs to diverse parts of our region.

Please consider supporting Sowelu with a tax-deductible, year-end contribution. You will receive our thanks and tax ID in a letter for your tax deduction.

Donate Online or mail to Sowelu Theater at 5706 NE Simpson St, Portland, OR 97218

Join Us in Our Mission

Founded in 1998, Sowelu is a critically acclaimed ensemble known for exploring challenging material with compassion and truth. For casting light into shadow, revealing what goes unnoticed or lacks voice in the world.

It is our mission to:

  • Create vibrant, original works and contribute our unique voice to the local and national library of performance
  • Create an awareness of the creative capacity of individuals in all walks of life
  • Build respect for regionally located theaters who are an integral part of our national artistic topography
  • Empower artists to create with us and throughout the community

Interested in partnering with us to achieve our mission? Give us a call.

Past Seasons


In the Boom Boom Room

By David Rabe, Directed by Barry Hunt at Shaking the Tree Theatre, 2016

The Lower Rooms

Film, Best Drama & Best Actor Oregon Independant Film Festival, Director Barry Hunt, 2015

Hard Times Come Again No More

by Martha Boesing, Directed by Lorraine Bahr and Jim Davis at PerformanceWorks, 2013

Anse and Bhule

Film, Official selection Santa Fe Film Festival, Director Barry Hunt, 2012

Vincent River

by Philip Ridley, Directed by Barry Hunt at Theater! Theatre!, 2012

The Hero

By Luke Heyerman, Directed by Barry Hunt/ Choreographed by Keith Goodman at Firehouse Cultural Center, 2008

Star of Hope

By Lea Floden, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 2008

Quiet City

Film, Best Director/Best Cinematography Bend Film Festival, Sowelu Workshop Development, Written/ Directed by Aaron Katz, 2007

Streamers

Drammy Award Best Supporting Actor, Directed by Barry Hunt at Center for Self-Enhancement, 2007

Dance Party, USA

Film, New York Sun Top 10 2006, selection SXSW Film Festival, Sowelu Workshop Development, Written/ Directed by Aaron Katz, 2006

An Evening of Flamenco and Ballads

Stan Olmstead, Back Door Theater, 2006

The Water Principle

by Eliza Anderson, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 2006

Domain

a dance in two parts by Keith Goodman at Back Door Theater, 2005

Picnic on the Battlefield

by Fernando Arrabal, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 2005

The Fever

by Wallace Shawn, Afsaneh Boutorabi directed by Rod Menzies, Presented by Sowelu and Creative Enterprise at Backdoor Theater, 2005

Keep Tightly Closed in a Cool Dry Place

by Megan Terry, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 2004

Am I Turning Into A Fish?

by Sowelu Ensemble, Directed by Barry Hunt at Pacific Crest School, 2004

Curse of the Great Eleven

by Lea Floden, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 2003

Some Explicit Polaroids

by Mark Ravenhill, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 2002

Fen

Caryl Churchill, Directed by Lorraine Bahr at Back Door Theater, 2001

The Swan

by Elizabeth Egloff, Directed by Barry Hunt at Backdoor Theater, 2001

Blue Night in the Heart of the West

by James Stock, Directed by Barry Hunt at Backdoor Theater, 2000

The Treatment

by Martin Crimp, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 1999

Headless

by Lea Floden, Directed by Barry Hunt at Back Door Theater, 2000

The Further Adventures of Anse and Bhule in No-man's Land

by Tania Myren; Awarded Drammys for Actor, Director, Production, and Set; Directed by Gretchen Corbett, 1999

Brightest Thing in the Dark Tonight

by Luke Heyerman, Directed by Barry Hunt, 1999

Savage in Limbo

by John Patrick Shanley, Directed by Barry Hunt, 1998

The Hero

by Luke Heyerman, Portland Critics Circle Honoree, Barry Hunt directing soon-to-be Sowelu ensemble in Stark Raving production, 1998