Dear performers, friends, and fans of Dark Follies,
Dark Follies began a decade ago with what was meant to be a one-time event. Bringing together a love of street theater and a desire to create a space to showcase the performance talent present in Portland’s goth community, Dark Follies first performed in Monument Square during the 2008 September First Friday Art Walk. Most of these performers were from Plague, Portland’s beloved and long running goth/industrial dance night held at what was then Asylum, now Aura.
The show went so well that we were asked to do it again and in 2009 Dark Follies began performing street shows on First Fridays from June to September every summer.
A lot has changed over these ten years. The Art Walk has blossomed into an event that attracts thousands to Portland each month. Monument Square, once mostly quiet during these First Friday nights, has become filled with artists, musicians, and performers. Two years ago, due to an installation being presented in Monument Square, our show was moved for one night to Congress Square. We fell in love with the location and for the past two summers it has been our First Friday home.
This once simple street show has gone places we never expected it to. We’ve had five stage shows (and another on the way) and appeared at a multitude of music and art festivals around New England. In 2010 we added a full band to our lineup and it has become an integral part of our show. We have worked with numerous talented performers that have helped Dark Follies be a true variety show. We also like to think that we have helped to show that those subjects and aesthetics that some consider to be dark, are not as scary as they might seem.
Dark Follies’ focus has also changed, or perhaps in some ways has gone back to its roots. We were created to help give a platform to performers who did not have a place to share their talents. During this past year we brought back our Parlor Show, a performance format that is immersive for the audience and gives our performers an opportunity to share innovative works more suited to a smaller setting. We have begun to create performance art more suited to the stage than the street. We are in the process of recording an album of music from these shows; music which simply can’t be shared in a street show format.
It’s been an amazing ten years, and so it is with very mixed feelings that we are announcing that September 7, 2018 will be Dark Follies final regular First Friday Art Walk performance.
There are numerous reasons for reaching the decision to stop doing our regular street shows. As noted above our focus has changed greatly over the past few years, and we find are unable to share many of our new works in the street format. We are being booked more often for weekend events and in the future, we are simply less likely to be available for First Fridays. There is also the issue of time and cost for our performers who often drive an hour or more to be a part of our street shows.
We have loved our time performing at First Fridays and we will always remember it fondly as it is where we began. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of Dark Follies’ street shows – the performers and musicians; the organizations that have supported us – Creative Portland, the City of Portland, and Friends of Congress Square; and most of all the wonderful audience who has turned out time and again in all kinds of weather to show us their love and support.
We are not going far. We will still be performing around Portland, Maine, New England, and beyond in new and different venues. And yes, we may from time to time, turn up for a street show or two.
Thank you for all your love and support. We hope to see you at our final street show on September 7th in Congress square.