Johnny’s Blog

Hi Everybody

It’s November 5th, 2013.

I haven’t been a very diligent blogger. My last post was April 30th, when the blog was first set up.

Claire Stock just reminded me how to access my blog for posting things. So here goes!

We had a fabulous time doing King Lear this year at Two Rivers Correctional Institution!

People ask me what the next play is going to be, but my answer is still “Don’t know yet.” Any suggestions?

Open Hearts Open Minds is looking forward to starting two new programs this winter. Carla Grant and Don Kern are starting a theater company at Coffee Creek Correctional Institution, which is the women’s prison. They are going to do it through Open Hearts Open Minds.

I am planning to begin a new program at Columbia River Correctional Institution, near the Portland Airport. It will be modeled on our successful program at Two Rivers. It will be called “Living a Meaningful Life.” There will be a dialogue component and also an emphasis on Arts and Creativity. Probably no five-act Shakespeare plays, but a lot of smaller forays into theater and writing and music, et cetera. I am hoping that my many of my artist friends will help with this. Will Hornyak, Eugene Lewis and Deborah Buchanan have already expressed an interest. What about you?

In addition to our two new programs we are hoping to facilitate connections between artists and the Oregon Department of Corrections. Artists can help change the culture of our prisons–humanizing them and making them places where positive transformations are more likely to take place in the lives of the men and women who are serving time.

On Friday, Don Kern, Eugene Lewis and I will be going down to San Quentin to watch the Parallel Plays program, produced by Marin Shakespeare Company. These will be original works created by the inmates. Claire Stock saw their production of Merchant of Venice last Spring.

On November 15th and 16th I am looking forward to meeting other people who are doing arts programs in prison at the “Shakespeare in Prisons Conference” at the University of Notre Dame.

I’ve been talking with Crystal Ashton at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) about how Open Hearts Open Minds can help to enliven the lives of refugees in Portland through the Arts and other activities. For a start, we have organized a drum circle with Nii Ardey Allotey at the IRCO gym on Monday, December 9th.

So, a lot is happening! If you are reading this, you can consider yourself a part of our community. You are welcome to get more involved in what I like to call THE NONSTOP LOVE-IN!!!

You can call me at 503-347-6869, or email me at

peace & love







Hi Everyone

It’s April 30th, 2013. Beautiful day in Portland!

I’m meeting with Claire Stock at Crema.

Claire designed our website and has set up this blog for me.

Thank you, Claire!!!

Very exciting development today. We got a donation from Ronni Lacroute of Willakenzie Estate Vineyard, underwriting the full cost of our 2013 production of King Lear at Two Rivers Correctional Institution, near Umatilla, Oregon.


Public performances of King Lear will be on September 21st and 28th.

Please let me know if you would like to see the play. Seating is limited.

Rehearsals are going GREAT! Several of the actors are already “off book,” including Lear. I’m enjoying the rehearsals so much! We are going to have a powerful show this year.

In addition to the play, we will of course have our annual Love-In before and after the performance.

More and more I feel fortunate to be a part of the Non-stop Love-In that is happening every day at select locations on our beautiful green planet. Spring is so intense and beautiful this year in Portland. It would be hard not to feel the love.

On the subject of love…

I re-read Martin Luther King’s sermon “Loving Your Enemies” yesterday. When I finished reading it I discovered that once again my cheeks had gotten all wet. It’s not to hard to find online as a printed text or in the form of an audio of the original sermon. Highly recommended!

Well, I guess that’s it for today’s blog.

peace, love and happiness to y’all