2019-2020 Season: Generations
“I have loved all three of these playwrights for some time. Paula Vogel helped shape my theatrical aesthetic; Lynn Nottage opened my heart with her fierce portraits; Branden Jacobs-Jenkins continues to explode my sense of what plays can look like and speak to. I’m thrilled to share their work with a Portland audience in an extended two-year artistic conversation.” — Josh Hecht, Artistic Director
Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize. In the industrial town of Reading, Pennsylvania, a group of friends spend their days on the factory floor and their nights sharing drinks, secrets, and laughs. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to erode their trust, they find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat. Based on Nottage’s extensive research and interviews with residents of Reading, Sweat is a searing reflection of America’s economic decline.
Nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play of 2017. Sholem Asch’s play The God of Vengeance made a splash on Broadway in 1923, when it was shut down and all of the actors were arrested on charges of obscenity for portraying a lesbian romance between a brothel-owner’s daughter and one of the prostitutes. Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Paula Vogel weaves scenes of Asch’s incendiary play with the imagined conversations with the risk-taking company that brought the script to the stage. Indecent is a riveting backstage drama filled with music, groundbreaking Yiddish theatre, and stage magic.
Nominated for a 2012 Drama Desk Award for Best Play. It’s the Golden Age of Hollywood, and aspiring starlet Vera Stark works as a maid to Gloria Mitchell, an aging star grasping at her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in an antebellum epic starring…her boss. While Vera’s portrayal of a slave turns out to be groundbreaking, decades later scholars and film buffs still grapple with the actress’ legacy in Hollywood and the impact that race had on her controversial career. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage’s fast-paced, sly satire, will take you on a seventy-year journey through Vera’s life and the cultural climate that originally shaped her and continues today.
Winner of the Obie for Best New Play. When Anna, an unmarried school-teacher in the prime of life, is suddenly diagnosed with the fictitious Acquired Toilet Disease, a mysterious new illness with a high risk factor for elementary school teachers, she and her brother Carl take flight to Europe in search of romance and a cure. Vogel’s fantastical satire takes us on a whirlwind odyssey through Paris, Amsterdam, Munich and Vienna, and is part heartfelt tribute, part political indictment written at the height of the AIDS crisis.
RUINED by Lynn Nottage
RUINED is a haunting, probing work about the resilience of the human spirit during times of war. Set in a small mining town in Democratic Republic of Congo, this powerful play follows Mama Nadi, a shrewd businesswoman in a land torn apart by civil war. But is she protecting or profiting by the women she shelters? How far will she go to survive? Can a price be placed on a human life?
MOTHER COURAGE by Bertolt Brecht
We will present RUINED alongside a concert staging of MOTHER COURAGE, which was the play’s inspiration, for one week only. The indomitable Mother Courage follows one luckless army after another across a war-torn world in her canteen wagon. She’ll do anything to hold onto her money-making wagon, even if it means the loss of her children. Brecht’s masterpiece is considered one of the defining plays of the 20th Century.
April 30th – May 3rd, 2020