Bag&Baggage’s mission is to crack open and explore the classics of world literature through innovative and provocative theatrical productions, connecting these great works to the people in our diverse community in a way that affirms our shared humanity. As the only professional performing arts organization in Hillsboro, we believe we have a responsibility to connect our work to the lives and experiences of the people who call our community home.
Bag&Baggage Productions was founded in 2005 by Hillsboro-native Scott Palmer, along with a small group of other theatre professionals, with a mission to travel the state of Oregon performing high quality, accessible, classical theatre for communities without a resident professional theatre. Like a traveling troupe of Elizabethan players, this small band of performers would arrive in places like Hood River, Corvallis, Beaverton, Astoria, Sandy and Hillsboro with everything they needed to put on a show in their “bags and baggage…” (hence our company name, which comes directly from Shakespeare’s great pastoral comedy As You Like It). In 2007, B&B partnered with the owners of The Venetian Theatre to become the newly opened venue’s resident performing arts organization. Over the course of the next 10 years, B&B performed dozens of shows in The Venetian, growing from a small, scrappy suburban theatre into a fully-fledged professional theatre with a national reputation for excellence. When The Venetian closed to the public in 2016, B&B’s staff and board worked closely with the City of Hillsboro to keep the theatre in downtown. Through an innovative partnership with the City of Hillsboro, B&B purchased a former Wells Fargo bank building in downtown Hillsboro and raised more than $1.6 million to refurbish the space into a state-of-the-art studio theatre now known as The Vault Theater and Event Space. With the opening of The Vault in 2017, B&B expanded their programming to include a wide range of partnerships, including presenting other non-profit arts groups, film and cinema events, educational programming and workshops, and a renewed focus on equity, diversity, and social justice.
Bag&Baggage is Hillsboro’s flagship performing arts organization, and the largest non-profit cultural organization in the City.