First Public Performances of Orchestra of the Moon

A figure from a Goya painting moonlighting in the Orchestra of the Moon.
A figure from a Goya painting moonlighting in the Orchestra of the Moon.

Portland-based early music project Orchestra of the Moon recently gave its first public performance, on April 22nd, at the gallery where Jessica Beer’s exhibition of photographs, On My Walks, premiered.

The 8-piece Orchestra featured vielles, doucaine, hurdy-gurdy, krummhorns, recorders, bagpipe, shawm, shryarpfief, and three percussionists.

The program was drawn from the corpus of instrumental dance music from before the year 1400, with a couple additions of instrumental arrangements of sacred music sources of the same period.

The audience was rapt and appreciative, and several people were moved to inquire about how to join the orchestra, part of whose mission is to “get people playing medieval music together.”

The band then played two days later at the salon of Emily Lau, held at Zoomtopia, offering Istanpitta Ghaetta and La Tierche Estampie Royale.

Many thanks to the band, for their hard work and dedication, and thanks to our wonderful and appreciative first audiences!




Donate Funds to Ritual Art Troupe

Currently, here are the ways to donate funds to the Ritual Art Troupe (you can also volunteer time or donate venue, food, materials or equipment or donate scripts):

    • By check:
      The best way to donate to the Ritual Art Troupe (no fees) is to write a check to “Ritual Art Troupe” and mail it to: 

      Ritual Art Troupe
      304 Winfield Street
      San Francisco, CA 94110-5512

    • By credit card:

      You can donate using a credit card on GoFundMe (2019 winter holiday promotion fee is 1.9% + $0.30) by clicking on the Donate button above. This table shows some examples (using “non-profit” GoFundMe transaction processing fees): 

      Gross Donation Fixed Fee % Fee Net Donation
      $5.40 $0.30 $0.10 $5.00
      $10.50 $0.30 $0.20 $10.00
      $51.27 $0.30 $0.97 $50.00
      $102.24 $0.30 $1.94 $100.00
      $509.99 $0.30 $9.69 $500.00


      You can donate using a credit card on PayPal (fee is 2.2% + $0.30) by clicking on the Donate button above. This table shows some examples (using “non-profit” PayPal transaction processing fees):

      Gross Donation Fixed Fee % Fee Net Donation
      $5.42 $0.30 $0.12 $5.00
      $10.53 $0.30 $0.23 $10.00
      $51.43 $0.30 $1.13 $50.00
      $102.56 $0.30 $2.26 $100.00
      $511.55 $0.30 $11.25 $500.00

      Project designation:

      If you would like your donation to go to a specific project of the Ritual Art Troupe, such as Orchestra of the Moon, The Opus Project, Theatre Makers Meetup, or True of Voice, please write the project name on the memo line of your check or, after you click on the Donate button above, type in the project name “If restricted, please specify project:” field.

Affiliate program:

Donation receipt:

If you would like to receive a receipt for your donation, please include a note with your legal name (used with the IRS) and email address.

Donor recognition:

If you would like to be recognized as a donor on our website, please email us giving us permission to do so and specifying the name under which you would like to be recognized. And please send lots of good energy to the folks on our donor list.

Tax deduction:

Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by U.S. law as indicated by our IRS 501c3 tax exemption letter.

Early Drafts of New Woodblock Prints for Orchestra of the Moon

Here are a few examples of some quick drafts I recently made of blockprint art related to my new project, The Orchestra of the Moon.  Blockprint is a new art form to me, and the lettering is especially tricky, yet I kind of like the results.  It was fun to just start carving stuff on an old piece of wood and see what happened.  I now have a better idea of how I want the design and lettering to go together.


The horizontally oriented design was the first one (you can see the lettering was really scratchy and faint.)  Still, I think I like it the best, and will use it as the basis for another, more serious block in the near future.

The two vertically oriented images represent two different stages of carving on the same block; the face came first, and then I carved it out to just show a full moon.  The face was a little too goofy for me, whereas the face in the first block has a slightly benign, slightly eerie quality that I thought was nice for the Man in the Moon.

20160219_221810    20160224_112314

The Orchestra of the Moon is a Portland-based early music band,  which was started as the house orchestra for my puppet theatre, as well as to bring the joy of early music to audiences who might not otherwise be exposed to it, for example, the pub crowd.

Of Serpents and Sea Spray

Brad and Stardust spent a lovely evening discussing theater over delicious food in an elegant setting with charming staff at the New Delhi Restaurant.

Stardust and Maharaja of Indore at New Delhi Restaurant

Then, we made our way over to the Custom Made Theatre for opening night of the world premiere of Rachel Bublitz’s “Of Serpents and Sea Spray“, a play about the strange and heroic journey of a girl, tormented by the loss of her parents, who eventually manages to make sense of her life (directed by Ariel Craft).

The Birth of the Ritual Art Troupe

The Ritual Art Troupe is the brainchild of Stardust Doherty and Jacob Breedlove, conceived as a vehicle for nurturing the creation and production of new art in whatever form.


The name came to us as a result of a brainstorm during a three-day ride from Portland to San Francisco, visiting friends, family, and animal spirits in Eugene and Arcata with stops to check in with the ancestors at the Wolf Creek Radical Faerie Sanctuary and at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, which contains seven percent of all the old-growth redwoods left in the world, along the way.

Stardust at the Sanctuary


EXIT Theatre Load-In

The street entrance of the EXIT Theatre. There is a no parking zone in front of the theater, but according to the House Manager, no one ever seems to get ticketed for parking there. If no parking is available, then one can double-park and unload with someone monitoring the vehicle and its contents.

The street entrance doorway of the EXIT Theatre. All sets, props, etc., will have to fit through this doorway.

The path for loading in sets, props, costumes, actors, and crew up to the doorway entrance of the main stage at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco.

The path for loading in sets, props, costumes, actors, and crew from the doorway entrance of the theater into the main stage at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco.

View of the main stage of the EXIT Theatre from the audience.