Apohadion. The word sounds like it could be the name of one of Godzilla’s enemies. In spite of its epic quality, the term has no relation to mutant dinosaurs.

Dave Noyes is one of three partners who run The Apohadion Theater (pronounced a-fo-dee-un) a DIY performance space in the Bayside area of Portland. Located at 107 Hanover Street, the venue brings a variety of art-related events to the city including live music, film screenings and theater productions.

Ed Knisley and Patrick Corrigan, a local artist known for his comics in The Bollard, are the other two partners.  All three reside in Portland, having founded The Apohadion only two years ago. The venue was originally known as Fort Awesome – home to a screen printing company owned and operated by the three friends.

A bit of a walk from the downtown area and a definite hike from the Old Port, The Apohadion does seem a little out of touch with the rest of the city. Based on the outward appearance, one would never guess the nondescript building would be the location of such an eclectic mix of events.

The inside appearance is a different story. Picture the utilitarian feel of a basement or garage, combined with the charm of a flea market. The walls are covered with hand-drawn posters and screen printed fliers, most of which are from past shows. Vintage furniture, handmade curtains and painted murals add to the friendly, comfortable vibe.

When asked where the name “Apohadion” came from, Noyes credited Corrigan for using the term. “Pat had been making drawings for an imaginary theater called The Apohadion,” said Noyes. “It just kind of naturally unfolded that way.”

The music at the venue is a mixed bag that includes jazz, rock, punk, hardcore and industrial. All three members prefer the events taking place to be as diverse as possible. “Maybe some people attach [The Apohadion] to a certain genre,” said Knisley. ” But we’re pretty open to giving anything a try.”

Shows at The Apohadion are also all-ages, which sets them apart from other music venues in Portland. “I know when I was under 21 and under 18, I definitely found solace in all-ages shows,” Knisley explains. “That was a big part of my involvement and appreciation for music, so it’s nice to be able to do that and not have to worry about checking people’s IDs.”

The majority of the bands that play at The Apohadion contact Noyes, Knisley and Corrigan directly to book a show. The three partners rarely seek out bands to fill a bill, due to the venue’s word-of-mouth DIY reputation.

“I think we fill a good niche in terms of show spaces,” says Knisley. “We do a lot of shows that really don’t have another place to happen. Places like SPACE Gallery have such a high overhead that they can’t often take on shows that they want to do. Our overhead, seeing as it’s much lower, allows us to do shows in a DIY setting and make them work, which is good.”

The upkeep of the space relies heavily on donations. Like many DIY shows, a contribution of $5 to $10 at the door is appreciated but not required. Despite this fact, the Apohadion team stays optimistic about the future of theater. “We’d love for this to be a self-sustaining venue, and maybe one day it will be,” said Noyes.



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