Chris Coleman was raised in the church of theater. His mother ran a drama ministry at their Baptist church near Atlanta. “I was dragging the angel wings, dimming the lights and holding up the book for the actors,” he recalls. Coleman came to Oregon in 2000 as artistic director of Portland Center Stage and calls a condo in the Goose Hollow district home. “My fantasy was to live in a city where you could walk to work,” he says. “The first six years, I didn’t have a car.”
Stage left: An abstract painting by Herbert Ouche hangs on the wall. Ouche was a custodian at the theater who later left to continue his fine arts education.
Props to the props: A small wooden desk near his front door is from the theater prop shop. “I borrowed it and they never asked for it back. I think we forgot about it. Until now.”
Backdrop: The kitchen walls are a sunny yellow and hot red in sharp contrast to the dreary days of winter. “I needed color for these mornings.” A third wall in purple calms things down. “I don’t think perky is my strong suit.”
Bouquet encore: Most days he has fresh flowers in the house. “They cheer me up.”
The seagull: The colorful lacquered bird bowl from Russia was a gift from a woman who attended a Chekhov play Coleman directed several times.
Scene stealer: A stainless-steel dining table sets a modern scene but the smudge and fingerprint factor drives him batty. A friend suggested the surface would look better once it had aged and gained a natural patina of nicks and scratches, so Coleman hurried along the process, intentionally marring the table with scissors. “It still shows everything. Stainless steel is a pain. Never again.”