The first impression I had was that I didn't see any names that I recognized. I was hoping that they'd bring back Mike Daisey, of course (I did call him the darling of the festival last year, and he mentioned trying to do a 24 hour performance--something that I'd love to see), but also, it's pretty unusual that they don't have any repeats.* When you add the popularity of Superamas and the Reggie Watts fest of last year, I'd have expected at least one of those three artists to be back. Who knows how busy any of those artists are, but I' recalling the back-to-back years that Nature Theatre spent here as an example.
There have only been a few performers (most notably, Laurie Anderson) that I have known before hearing about them in conjunction with this festival, and this year continues that pattern. A quick scan of the lineup and I'm already excited about seeing Erik Friedlander (I'm hoping he'll collaborate with the Portland Cello Project at the Works), the Back to Back Theatre piece sounds intriguing, and another piece has...vampires? Pan Pan Theatre's production, looking at living life publicly online, hits home for obvious reasons as well.
At any rate, after stepping up my volunteering for two years, and then becoming a blogger last year, I'm really thinking about taking the week off and getting a (non press) pass this year. I want to be able to attend the late night stuff as well as the regular shows, and really, I have told multiple people that if I ever move away from Portland, the TBA would keep me visiting annually. I'd still like to blog, but it also looks like it might be time to take the plunge and grab an audience pass.
*Granted, I'm basing this one what I've seen and remember. No fact-checking here! There are TBA alums, but none that rang a bell for me.