About Us


Quintessence is a project-based theatre company in Portland, Oregon, and we had

been quiet since 2012 but we made some beautiful noise in 2017!


Tom(boy) Sawyer by Connor Kerns ran for 12 performances in June/July!  Yes, Mark Twain’s classic adventure novel got a modern Pacific Northwest rock and roll treatment.  A girl with “mean, mean pride” named Tom, a river (the Columbia), and a murder.  Artistic Director Connor Kerns’ new play is constructed scenically as a playlist by the music of RUSH, a rock band that has been playing together for 40 years.

Go to our show page for more details:


Murren Kennedy as Hector and Taylor Grady as Tom.



Since 2001, Quintessence has been putting the power of words and imagination at the

center of its work.  An intimate setting, a small company of creative people, and minimal

visual elements allow our storytelling to shine and offer you, our audience, a truly

theatrical experience.  Quintessence has performed for many years at the University

of Portland, but now we can be found exploring other venues depending on the project.



Quintessence seeks to invigorate classical, new-play texts and creative theatrical

projects, firing the imagination by putting the power of words at the center of our work.

We can be reached at:  info@q-lit.org

Photo Credits (left-to-right, top-down):

Saren Nofs-Snyder and Todd Van Voris in Macbeth – photo by Caley Bell

Bill Barry in Much Ado About Nothing – photo by Roger Nelson

Rafael Untalan in Cymbeline – photo by Owen Carey

Taylor Grady in Tom(boy) Sawyer – photo by Gary Norman

Rebecca Ridenour and Jeff Schwaub in Northanger Abbey – photo by Roger Nelson

Rosalind Fell, Lucy Paschall, James Drake, and James Lawrence in Pride and Prejudice –

photo by Roger Nelson