Category Archive: 2017

PRESS Reviews, mentions and more

Profile doubles the impact

Richly rewarding productions of Quiara Alegría Hudes’ “Water by the Spoonful” and “The Happiest Song Plays Last” open in rep


Stage and Studio Interview

With Dmae Roberts on KBOO

November 7th, 2017

Director Josh Hecht and actor Anthony Lam were guests on the show.  They shared insights into working on Water by the Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last.  Anthony plays the leading character of Elliot in both productions and opened the season in the title role in Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue.

Listen to the full interview HERE

Pulitzer winner Quiara Alegria Hudes expands the idea of family in ‘Elliot Trilogy’


 Read it here: THE OREGONIAN

Water/Happiest Cast

In order of appearance






Anthony Lam

Elliot Water/Happiest  

Anthony is returning to Profile Theatre to continue his work as Elliot Ortiz, seen in the season opener Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue. His past theatre credits include: Michael in the stage reading of Washer/Dryer with Theatre Diaspora and Atómiko in Miracle Theatre’s production of Into The Beautiful North. He spent the summer filming Translated, a feature film in Eugene, OR as well as working on commercials throughout the Northwest.

Crystal Ann Muñoz






Crystal Ann Muñoz

Yaz Water/Happiest

Crystal is honored to be working with this earnest, fearless group of artists. Profile audiences may have seen her previously in Eyes for Consuela (Sam Shepard season) or the Drammy Award winning Orlando (Sarah Ruhl season). Other Portland credits include The Importance of Being Ernest; Civil War Christmas (Artists Repertory Theatre), Olivia in Twelfth Night (Portland Shakespeare Project), The Hunstmen (Portland Playhouse), Kiss of the Spiderwoman (Triangle Productions) and In The Heights (Stumptown Stages), another work by our playwright, Quiara Alegría Hudes. Thank you for joining us. “Somos Americanos. Punto.”

Wasim No'Mani






Wasim No’Mani

Ghost/Ali Water/Happiest

Wasim is an actor. Meaning, he tries to tell the truth whilst lying. Indeed, he is as confused as that sounds. Wasim THANKS every one of his stupendously talented cast-mates. Watching their work is both a jubilant joy and frantically frightful. Wasim deeply THANKS director, Josh Hecht, for including him in this creative process. An emphatic extension of GRATITUDE to Quiara Alegria Hudes whose words we are all trying our damndest to live up to. Wasim eternally THANKS his family for their insistent support, despite the questionable nature of the undertaking  Finally, Wasim THANKS YOU, audience member. Without you, there’s no point in this.

Julana Torres






Julana Torres

Odessa Water

Julana is a Portland local with an extensive career in dance, music, and theatre. She has recently returned to the stage after a long hiatus to teach with Portland Public Schools and establish the full time dance program for Franklin High School. She is beyond ecstatic to return to Profile after performing last spring as Beatriz in 26 Miles. Other credits include Óye Oyá (Milagro Theatre), Cuba Libre (ART), West Side Story (Musical Theatre Company), Peter Pan (Civic Theatre). Upcoming works include feature film Losing Addison, and Between Riverside and Crazy this spring with Artists Rep. She also performs as the lead singer for popular latin jazz orchestra The Bobby Torres Ensemble.

Member Actors Equity Association







Akari Anderson

Orangutan Water

Akari is thrilled to be making her Portland debut at Profile. Theatrical credits include Anna in The Baltimore Waltz (Powerhouse Theatre), Ophelia in Hamlet (Martel Theatre), Sabina in The Skin of Our Teeth (Vassar College), Susan in The Secretaries (Idlewild Ensemble), and Ensemble Member in On The Table (Sojourn Theatre Company). Film: Frances Ha (dir. Noah Baumbach). Holds a BA in Drama from Vassar College. Special thanks to Tomiko, Reed and Hiroko.

Bobby Bermea






Bobby Bermea

Chutes & Ladders Water

Bobby is thrilled to be returning to Profile where he last appeared on stage during the Athol Fugard season in “Master Harold” …and the Boys and My Children! My Africa! He also directed last season’s Blue Door. Bermea is co-artistic director of The Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project and a member of both Sojourn Theatre and Badass Theatre Company. He is a playwright, director, contributor to Oregon ArtsWatch and three-time Drammy award winning actor. Bermea has worked in theaters literally from New York, NY to Honolulu, HI. Coming up, look for Bermea in Between Riverside and Crazy at Artists Rep, Fences at Portland Playhouse and The Librarians on TNT.

Member Actors Equity Association


Duffy Epstein






Duffy Epstein

Fountainhead/Lefty Water/Happiest

Duffy is really happy to be working at Profile Theater again, having appeared as Saul in True West.  Recent appearances include Slank in Peter and the Starcatcher; Ian in The Other Place (Portland Playhouse), Duane/db in db (Coho), Harold in I Want To Destroy You (Theater Vertigo), Cash in The Pain and the Itch (Third Rail). For Judy!

Dre Slaman






Dre Slaman

Shar Happiest

Dré earned her MFA in Acting at Northern Illinois University where she studied the Meisner Technique under master teacher Kathryn Gately. She has also studied at the Moscow Art Theatre, the William Esper Acting Studio (NYC) and received her BA in Theatre Arts at University of Pacific. Theatre Credits include: Jaffa’s Gate, The Stinky Cheese Man, Nine Parts of Desire, The Arab-Israeli Cookbook, Albee’s Everything in The Garden, Edgar’s Pentecost, and Hair. Dré’s on-camera credits include GRIMM, MEDIUM, and others. She owns and operates local company Farm to Fit and is on the Board of the Portland Area Theatre Alliance.






Jimmy Garcia

Agustín Happiest

After studying at Southern Oregon University and performing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Jimmy is happy to be back in Portland where he began his acting career years ago on the stages of Milagro Theater, Stark Raving Theater and Portland Center Stage.  In Southern Oregon, he performed a variety of roles working with such esteemed directors as Bill Rauch, Libby Appel and Pat Patton to name a few. He has most recently performed in Milagro’s world premiere Óye Oyá, ART’s A Civil War Christmas, Profile Theater’s Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue, and ART’s An Octoroon.

Member Actors Equity Association

Water/Happiest Rep: Design & Production Team

Josh Hecht


Josh Hecht (Artistic Director) is a Drama Desk Award-winning director whose productions have been seen in New York at MCC Theater, The Cherry Lane, The Duke on 42nd Street, New World Stages, Culture Project, regionally at The Guthrie Theater, the Berkshire Theatre Group, the Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Signature Theatre (DC) and internationally at the Dublin Arts Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and elsewhere. His collaboration with Ping Chong and Company was commissioned by and premiered at The Kennedy Center before touring the northeast. His writing has received the support of the Jerome Foundation. He is formerly the Director of Playwright Development at MCC Theater and the Director of New Play Development at WET. He’s served on the faculty of the New School for Drama MFA Directing program, the Fordham University MFA Playwriting program, Purchase College SUNY’s BFA Dramatic Writing program and has been a guest artist at The Juilliard School, NYU’s Dramatic Writing MFA, Carnegie Mellon’s MFA Playwriting, University of Minnesota’s BFA Acting program and others.


Peter Ksander

Scenic  Design

Peter is a scenographer and media artist whose stage design work has been presented both nationally and internationally. In 2006 he joined the curatorial board of the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator. In 2008 he won an Obie award for the scenic design of Untitled Mars (this title may change), and In 2014 he won a Bessie award for the visual design of This Was the End. He holds a MFA from the California Institute of the Arts, is an Associate Professor at Reed College and is an associate company member with the Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble. This is his second design with Profile having designed Bright Half Life last season.


Brynne Oster-Bainnson

Costume Design

Brynne received her BA from Drew University in 2013. She works as the wardrobe supervisor for Broadway Rose Theatre Company and is also the costumer for David Douglas High School and St. Mary’s Academy where she enjoys spreading the love of costumes to the next generations. Brynne has worked as a costume designer for Broadway Rose, Third Rail, and CoHo. Highlights of her recent shows Fly By Night (BRTC), The Nether (TR), Angry Brigade (TR),  and db (CoHo). She is very excited to work with Profile for the first time on these two incredible shows with this outstanding creative team.


Carl Faber

Lighting Design 

In three seasons with Profile Carl has designed: Orlando, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Eyes for Consuela.  Recent designs with Artists Rep (Grand Concourse, Broomstick), Third Rail (The Angry Brigade), Broadway Rose (Trails, Beehive – Drammy Best Lighting), Theatre Vertigo (Carnivora), NWCT (Mary Poppins).  Regional: Arena Stage, Boston ICA, Williamstown Theatre Festival.  Touring Production/IT: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.  Touring Associate Lighting/Video: Bon Iver, The National.  Lighting Artist: Eaux Claires Music Festival.  Founding Member: Woodshed Collective NYC.  Staff Assistant Lighting Designer: Portland Opera.  Broadway Assistant Designer: The Book of Mormon.  Education: Catlin Gabel, Vassar College.  Member: United Scenic Artists Local USA-829.

Represented by United Scenic Artists


Matt Wiens

Sound Design

Matt is excited to be a part of Profile’s Quiara Alegria Hudes season. Recent work includes Pen/Man/Ship, How I learned What I Learned, and You For Me For You, at Portland Playhouse. Matt would like to thank his family for their support and encouragement!


Kyra Bishop Sanford

Props Master

Kyra is excited to be part of this production! Local credits include scenic and props designer and TD for You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Enlightened Theatrics) and Troilus and Cressida (Portland Actors Ensemble), scenic and props designer for The Pillowman (Life in Arts), production designer and TD for Men Run Amok (part of Fertile Ground 2017), props master for The Events (Third Rail Rep), Plaid Tidings (Enlightened Theatrics) and Reborning (Beirut Wedding), as well as carpentry and paint work at various theatres in the area. She received her BFA in Scenic Design from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University.


Jamie Rea

Production Manager

From Berlin’s aerialist street ensemble, Grotest Maru to Wellington’s all female dance ensemble JAVA, Jamie has been exploring this powerful tool of connection and change for over 2 decades. Serving as an award winning director, designer, and performer, she has worked up and down both coasts and as far away as Australia. She does however also love to plant roots, building a human-resource-focused way of working, as a foundation for extraordinary art. To that end, it has been her pleasure to serve as Production Manager for Jewish Theatre Collaborative for 9 years, for Enlightened Theatrics for the past 3 years, and by project for many others including Sojourn Theatre and The Beirut Wedding World Theatre Project.


Baleigh Isaacs

Stage Manager

Baleigh is delighted to be working with Profile Theatre for the first time, marking her Portland debut after spending a dozen years in Chicago. Her Chicago credits include productions at Steppenwolf, Lookingglass, Chicago Shakespeare, American Blues, Remy Bumppo, and Drury Lane as well as Million Dollar Quartet, Love, Loss, and What I Wore, Old Jews Telling Jokes, and Motherhood the Musical.  Baleigh has also worked with the Alliance Theatre and Georgia Shakespeare in her hometown of Atlanta.  Her NYC credits include Les Miserables, The Rhythm Club, and Summer of ’42.

Member of Actor’s Equity Association


Breydon Little

Assistant Stage Manager

Breydon is ecstatic to be working with in rep with Profile this fall! He is a stage manager with credits at Portland Playhouse, and independent projects with Michael Streeter, Beth Thompson, and Elizabeth Huffman. He is a proud member of Theatre Vertigo and a production manager at Clackamas High School.


Ashlin Hatch

Assistant Director

Ashlin is thrilled to be collaborating on her first project with Profile. Other recent directorial credits include Nice Town, Normal People (Rhizome Theater Co.) and This Must Be the Place (Reed College)—both devised, interview-based performances aiming to sow seeds of social cohesion, compassion, and kindness.

In Conversation


On Saturday, November 18th we proudly hosted our 2017 featured playwright

Quiara Alegría Hudes IN CONVERSATION

with Josh Hecht, Artistic Director at Profile Theatre


This Pulitzer Prize winning dramatist is traveled to Portland for a special one time event.  She joined Artistic Director Josh Hecht on stage for an hour-long conversation about her writings and the role of art in activism.  Quiara also read an excerpt from her forthcoming memoir and selections from her newest project Emancipated Stories: Pages From Those Behind Bars.  Quiara selected a few lucky audience members to read a selection of the Emancipated Stories live onstage!  Many patrons also took the opportunity to purchase copies of Water by the Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last to have them signed by Quiara!

It was an illuminating conversation and enriching visit from this playwright.  Throughout her visit – and our season – she generously shared her whole self with the creative team, patrons and Community Profile writers.  We gained insight into her ways as a writer, person and passionate community member!


We look forward to our  next opportunity to host a vibrant contemporary playwright!  

Look for announcements about Lisa Kron & Anna Deavere Smith in the 2018-19 season.







In Dialogue Events: The Rep 2017

Events for Water by the Spoonful

Friday, November 3rd:
Opening Night Toast | Post-Show
Join us immediately following the opening performance of Water by the Spoonful for a toast to the launch of the Rep Production.  Wine provided by 2017 Wine Sponsor Wildwood/Mahonia.
Alder Lobby

Sunday, November 5th:
Jamie Rea: Changeover Observation | Post-Show
Production Manager Jamie Rea will describe the scenic changeover from Water by the Spoonful to The Happiest Song Plays Last as it is happening in front of you, and will answer questions about the collaborative design process for this project.
Alder Stage

Wednesday, November 8th:
Ian O’Loughlin: Brains, minds, and the science of addiction  | 6:55pm
Addiction lies at the intersection of brain chemistry, human behaviors, environments, and cultural forces.  It is hard to imagine a more complex and multidisciplinary phenomenon to study, but a number of recent and striking studies in cognitive science, social psychology, and neuroanatomy have provided us with tools that can help us to understand its nature, showing how the individual who faces addiction is situated in a complex tangle of habits, neurotransmitters, external cues, and social structures.  Recognizing the addict as cognitively situated in this way may help us to confront and engage with the forces of addiction as they are encountered in the world.

Ian O’Loughlin earned his Ph.D. in the philosophy of cognitive science at the University of Iowa, and is now a faculty member in the philosophy department at Pacific University, where he teaches courses on the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, language and logic, and artificial intelligence.  He has presented and published work on the cognitive science of memory, learning and education, self-knowledge, and implicit cognitive bias.

Friday, November 10th:
Sean Davis: Art Heals the Soul | 6:55pm
Sean Davis, army veteran and military consultant for Profile on all three plays of the Elliot Trilogy, engages in a short talk about how art brings community together and how that is, “more important now than ever before in my lifetime.”

Sean Davis is the author of The Wax Bullet War, a Purple Heart Iraq War veteran, and the winner of the Legionnaire of the Year Award from the American Legion in 2015 and the recipient of the Emily Gottfried Emerging Leader, Human Rights  award for 2016. His stories, essays, and articles have appeared in the Lidia Yuknavitch’s TED Talk Book The Misfit Manifesto, Forest Avenue Press anthologyCity of Weird, Sixty Minutes, Story Corps, Flaunt Magazine, The Big Smoke, Human the movie, and much more.

Saturday, November 11th:
Jamie Rea: Changeover Observation | Post-Show
Production Manager Jamie Rea will describe the scenic changeover from Water by the Spoonful to The Happiest Song Plays Last as it is happening in front of you, and will answer questions about the collaborative design process for this project.
Alder Stage

Thursday, November 16th:
Adrian Baxter*| 6:55pm

Saxophonist Adrian Baxter will tune our ears to the harmonies and dissonances of jazz – a central stylistic and structural theme in Water by the Spoonful – by performing three improvisations inspired by the five stages of loss.

Adrian P. Baxter learned the entrance requirements for the classical performance program at U of O from Carl Woideck, author of “Charlie Parker: His Music and Life”, during his first year of college at Lane Community College. He then attended the University of Oregon. He dropped out of college to join “The Cherry Poppin’ Daddies”, unable to attend school with a heavy touring schedule, and remained with the band through their “Big City Muscle Car”, and “Kids on the Street” albums which were re-compiled with new material in what would later become the platinum “Zuit Suit Riot” Album. He returned to school, played in local bands, worked part time as a bartender, studied theory and jazz performance under Steve Owen, arranging under Garry Versace, and earned a Bachelor of Music (BM) in Jazz Studies. Now based in Portland, OR, transcribing, arranging, and performing with several local artists, and teaching for M.U.S.E.. He has also enjoyed performing with Les McCann, Tito Puente Jr., Melcochita, Yolanda Del Rio, Ramsey Embick, Mel Brown, Andre St. James, Dr. Freddy Vilches, Mariachi Viva Mexico, and many local Portland artists.
Alder Lobby

Saturday, November 18th:
Mat Chat with the cast of  Water by the Spoonful | Post-show
Alder Stage

Events for The Happiest Song Plays Last

Saturday, November 4th:
Opening Night Reception | Post-Show
Join us immediately following the performance for nibbles, drinks and music.  Catering provided by 2017 Season Partner Pambiche.
Morrison Lobby

Sunday, November 5th:
The Day’s Mail by Quiara Alegría Hudes* | 6:55pm
Enjoy a reading of this short piece by our featured playwright, directed by Ashlin Hatch who is serving as the Assistant Director on both of the Rep productions.

Thursday, November 9th:
Daniel Pollack-Pelzner: Art and Activism* | 6:55pm
Quiara Alegría Hudes unites music and poetry to stage her unique vision of communities in transition. Daniel recently interviewed Quiara about her musical training and theatrical influences; in this talk, he’ll discuss the dramatic and political roles that Bach, jazz, and Puerto Rican folk music play in the Elliot trilogy.

Daniel Pollack-Pelzner holds the Ronni Lacroute Chair in Shakespeare Studies at Linfield College, where he teaches courses in literary history, drama, and gender studies. A Portland native, he received his B.A. in History from Yale and his Ph.D. in English from Harvard. His articles on Shakespeare and contemporary culture have recently appeared in The New YorkerSlate, and The New York Times. A frequent speaker at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he is the scholar-in-residence at the Portland Shakespeare Project and a consulting scholar for Age and Gender Equity in the Arts.

Saturday, November 11th:
Dr. Lindsay Benstead: Understanding the Arab Spring* | 6:55pm
Lindsay Benstead will discuss common myths surrounding the Arab spring, which shook the Arab world beginning with Tunisia in December 2010. Among these myths are that the seeds of change began only in the 2000s, or that the “Arab spring” has failed.

Lindsay J. Benstead is Associate Professor of Political Science at Portland State University, Contributing Scholar in the Women’s Rights in the Middle East Program at Rice University, and Affiliated Scholar in the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD) at the University of Gothenburg and Yale University. She has conducted surveys in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Jordan and contributes to the Transitional Governance Project. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan—Ann Arbor and served as doctoral fellow at Yale University, post-doctoral fellow at Princeton University, and Kuwait Visiting Professor at SciencesPo in Paris.

Sunday, November 12th:
Mat Chat with the cast of  The Happiest Song Plays Last | Post-show
Alder Stage

Friday, November 17th:
The Day’s Mail by Quiara Alegría Hudes* | 6:55pm
Enjoy a reading of this short piece by our featured playwright, directed by Ashlin Hatch who is serving as the Assistant Director on both of the Rep productions.

Saturday, November 18th:
Dr. Erin Spottswood: How Technology Fulfills Our Need for Communication and Connection | 6:55pm
Dr. Spotswood’s research interests focus on 1) how subtle cues embedded in online environments influence interpersonal communication dynamics, and 2) how the concepts of identity and face are crucial to understanding these dynamics on social media sites. Subtle features of online environments can play an important and at times unconscious role in social dynamics, from perceptions of the self and other to interpersonal behaviors and social norms. The goal of her research program is to examine how online environments reinforce or challenge traditional theories on interpersonal dynamics to advance our understanding of how communication technology transforms interpersonal perceptions and communication behavior.

(*): These In Dialogue events are one aspect of Profile’s commitment to engaging with our community in conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion, and are a part of our Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.


24 Hour PlayFest

Profile is thrilled to announce our inaugural 24 Hour Playfest – a wild, exciting and vibrant way to celebrate our mainstage playwright and come together as a creative community!

On the evening of Sunday, June 18th over 30 local theatre artists, including directors, playwrights and performers will gather on the set of 26 Miles. They’ll be divided into 6 teams and given a prompt from the show. The playwrights will write into the night, delivering their new short plays to their collaborators by 9am the next morning. That afternoon, throughout the Artists Rep building, the teams will meet together to rehearse and polish their pieces. That night we share them with you in a not-to-be-missed one-night-only performance.

Join us Monday night and see what Portland’s freshest creative minds come up with!

Monday, June 19th 7:30pm
Morrison Stage

Tickets: $15
Purchase here.

Community Council




From the Community Council for The Rep


Three Haikus of Reflection
(Water by the Spoonful)

We are dysfunction
Skeletons in our closet
No one is alone

Of all emotions
Only two bond us the most
That is Love and Pain

Don’t forget to love
Give a bit of love each day
a spoonful can save
 Santos Herrera

If Life Had Rehearsals
(A reflection after attending rehearsals for Water by the Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last)

One is in a corner tuning a Puerto Rican Cuatro.  Another dances in the hallway by himself. Another does sit-ups. Another whispers lines to himself. Two others chat quietly, and I can only assume it’s something funny. They both giggle, and I wish I knew the joke. Another lies on the couch. Eyes closed. Soaking in a bit of rest before they begin. All is part of a personal routine. Actors prepare for what’s to come, for what will be asked of them, to live a different life, to be angry, to lose a loved one, to be happy. They will be asked to live. They will be asked live again and again and again until that life is perfect. Until every word, every movement, every entrance and exit, every punch line is perfect. And I think of Shakespeare, and how all the world’s a stage and how everyone is a player with entrances and exits, and I wonder how different life would be, if everyone rehearsed, if everyone took the time to go over their lines to find just the right way to say it, to take a moment to dance by themselves before starting their day, to rest, to joke with a friend, to exercise, to create music, to know when to enter, to know when to exit, to know when it’s over. Would life be perfect? We’ll never know, but it’s fun to wonder.
 Santos Herrera

Beautiful Chaos

I sat in the corner of the room trying to be as unobtrusive as possible as I watched the team begin rehearsal. This is my second time in the room and tonight there are more actors who are present, and we are in a smaller room. Finding a space to be an invisible observer was challenging.

Despite my efforts to be a fly on the wall, Baleigh, the Stage Manager insisted on setting up a table for me to sit at. I insist on helping move the table since it is for me and I settle in. Not long after Josh enters the room and outlines tonight’s rehearsal “….over there”, “….at the table” MY newly acquired table. It was back to my perch on the wall!

On November 1st, two amazing plays will open on Profile’s stage to an anxious audience that will be moved and delighted they have chosen to be a part of the magic called theatre! They will not know that what they are watching is the long, hard, painstaking creative work that is transforming from lines on a page into blocking, coaching, and table-shifting through masterful directing: Beautiful Chaos!

Behind the scenes the cast and crew have to weave rehearsal time, fittings, lighting, sound checks, blocking, fight instruction, falling instructions, equity breaks, photo-ops, random drop-ins from community members, room shifts, schedule shifts, life shifts into a finished product that will tell the story of an often distant writer. There’s no tweeting a line correction. No running down the hall to ask, “why is this character saying this? Or doing this?”. It’s their creation left in the hands of other creatives to produce something worthy of the story being told and the time of those watching it. All of these pieces, seemingly jagged edges of a too many to count jigsaw puzzle, slowly come together into a final masterpiece that hopefully hits it mark.

This “Beautiful Chaos” of voices, instructions, changes, revisions, props, staging, and so on is all thought-out (sometimes) to provide a honorable storytelling and memorable viewing experience. The unpredictability of some of it, #thatpart is the beauty of it all. Some of the chaos is orchestrated by the playwright themselves, some by the constraints of time, budgets, space, and resources. But somehow, all of these puzzle pieces scattered across theater floors all-around the globe come together for that opening scene on opening night to wow audiences with laughter, love, horror, and a host of other emotions night after night after night.

I am grateful to be a part of Profile’s Community Council! This rare privilege allows me to peek behind the curtain to see the beautiful chaos take form, to have a voice at times in the shaping and storytelling of narratives for and by impacted communities, to engage the creatives and the audience in dialog beyond the scripts, and to see amazing theater right here in Portland.
– Tony Funchess

An Artist’s Commitment to the Community Helps Heal our Veterans

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning in Portland, Oregon and I’m driving with the windows down on 84 west and take the downtown exit. I’m on my way to a rehearsal for Water by the Spoonful to see the work that goes into making a Pulitzer Prize winning play a success on a Portland stage. Water is the second play of a trilogy that Profile Theatre will be putting on, a trilogy written by Quiara Alegría Hudes inspired by a relative of hers that was a veteran. That’s how I got involved. It was important enough to Josh Hecht, the artistic director and director of the final two plays of the trilogy, to invite veterans like myself into the process. I am a Purple Heart recipient and Iraq War veteran who has spent the last ten or more years trying to help other veterans suffering from the unseen wounds of war with art. I put on art therapy groups with painting, monthly writing groups, and workshops around the country, so when I was asked to be on the community council, I jumped on it.

Spending my Sunday morning in a brown rehearsal room was an amazing experience for me. As soon as I walked in the room I felt the artistic and creative energy. There were eight people in the room. Half were actors and the other half were just some of the staff behind the scenes who work so hard to make the production come together.

I watched as the actors went through their lines. Josh listened and spoke softly. He gently coaxed out ideas from the actors about their characters, their dialogue, and the space they inhabit. He did this instead of giving obvious instructions. In this way all the actors understood the changes made. It was all very inspiring.

Josh’s commitment to community engagement is something that I wish more artistic directors across the country shared. I know that art heals the soul because it saved my life after coming back bone-broke and soul-shattered. Art helped me put my life back together again, so being able to bring veterans to the shows, having the monthly writing groups that Profile Theater has hosted and produced, and allowing our veterans to speak to the audiences and be a part of the process has done so much toward helping veterans in the Portland community.

The Happiest Song Plays Last finishes up the trilogy.  As a special bonus in all of this, Profile Theater has partnered with the Writer’s Guild Initiative… they have been bringing award winning writers across the country to work with the veterans in the monthly writing groups, and they will be showcasing the veterans’ work on stage on November 13th. I hope to see you there.
Sean Davis

Spoonfuls of Notes on a Scene, Rehearsed Three Times.

  • Rehearsal begins with notes.
  • “Collapse happens just a beat after his exit but before the next line”
  • During break, actors’ conversation covers road rage song and Barry Bonds, and concussions in football vs. steroids. 
  • Actress performs handstand into laying down on stage, complimented.
  • Motivation conversation. Play around with letting some of that excitement into it, so that here is a real turn, her disappointment as she waits and waits and waits.
  • Break up each sentence into a step into the realization he isn’t coming.
  • At the end of the first time, laughter and a reference to Ghost.
  • Second time a little more fuerza, all business and all shock
  • “If you need to go, then go” is more intense, more insistent.
  • She is relaxing into the sorrow.
  • Line flub on “It’s okay” allows Odessa to restart to her preference.
  • Third time, a little more sunk into the sadness, earlier.
  • More angry less insistent, claims her space, her function in the emergency.
  • Actors use laughter to get back into the scene.
  • A reminder that this is heightened, we’ll both keep our eye on it, look at the moment letting her go.
  • A characterization of the creative conversation: open, receptive, collaborative, each person has an opinion that is specific, rooted in action or text, and to be valued.
    -Katy Liljeholm

Upon walking in I hear, “it’s those moments of breath that allow the audience to catch up”. The actors are rehearsing a fight scene. Another actor, waiting to be called, turns to a friend and says, “what’s up sweetness and light”. I am watching scene practice for the upcoming play Water By the Spoonful.
I notice how the director starts his comments, almost always, with “I wonder…”
I notice how the actor questions how a ghost would fight.
I notice how I close my eyes when the actors say something that cuts deep, and keeps reverberating in my head.

I remember, I am a vessel for the feelings produced in each play by Profile Theatre. I realize the necessity of theatre in our modern world and it’s my duty to share, and allow you to experience these incredibly powerful moments.
-Margaret McKay


From the Community Council for 26 Miles.

Excerpt from blog post The Staggering Resilience of Teenage Girls:
Good theatre should always leave you feeling like you’ve watched these characters be permanently transformed by whatever moments of their life you observe onstage, and this play definitely accomplishes that.  I’m excited to see more of the journey as it moves forward to production, and to reflect on how it lands after the second, third, fourth viewing.  But for now, what I’m taking away – and what I hope anyone reading this takes away too – is to be thoughtful and intentional about the way we communicate to, and about, girls and young women.  When we make jokes about their pop music and their selfies and their eyeliner, they’re hearing us tell them they aren’t worth taking seriously.  But they are.  They so deeply, truly are.  They deserve to be heard, and seen.
(Read the full blog post here.)
Claire Willett

I attended a rehearsal of 26 Miles by Quiara Alegria Hudes presented by Profile Theatre. It was so refreshing to watch the actors work their scene, review their character’s lives, work through the social constructs their characters live in, and then see the actors make new choices for their characters, discover new things, take risks. I kid you not, I felt like I was in a Narrative Therapy session. The director was like the therapist working closely with the client helping them uncover/discover/reveal their emotional lives beneath the surface to make new bold creative choices. I’m in love with Profile Theatre! Thank you for making loud, proud choices and presenting relevant work during these trying times. Blessed be!
Joaquin Lopez

Admittedly, when I was approached with an invitation to join Profile Theatre’s Community Council for their current  show, 26 Miles, I proceeded with immense caution. In the past I’ve found these sort of invitations to be disingenuous or these experiences unwelcoming and tokenizing to an ambitious and assertive  woman of color actor such as myself. Typically in these spaces, I’m overwhelmingly surrounded by older, whiter, wealthier, more well-educated folks than myself. The end result is not the engaged and inspired one that was likely dreamed up, but one of deep resentment at being a politely checked off box of a diversity effort. It’s an appeasement of a trend towards “equity” while still keeping art, creative work, and most importantly theatre elevated and accessible mostly to those who identify with whiteness.

When I walked through the door of the rehearsal room at the first read through I was unsurprised to again find myself adrift amidst by the typical theatre patrons: affluent white folks over the age of fifty who come looking to be entertained. I took a deep breath and continued forward into the room, determined to follow through with my commitment to the Community Council. I found a seat, selected some snacks, and began to observe.

Here’s what I noticed that was different from my past experiences: There were two folks animatedly speaking in Spanish to one another. These two people turned out to be two of the actors in the cast. I was struck by the authenticity of their identity– real people cast in real roles that feel as though they’re truly written for them. While this may not seem notable, as an actor and woman of color, there a precious few strong, beautiful, authentic, and inspiring roles written with us in mind. Here, Profile Theatre has found a treasure  in the work of Quiara Alegría Hudes. In addition to doing a spectacular job in casting, they’ve also selected a director who clearly loves the play and feels some deep connection to the work as a part of the Latinx community herself. I can honestly say that Profile has a new fan.

The play itself is stunning. There were so many moments in which I felt that the anger, pain, confusion, disgust, and hope that Olivia experiences are a mirror of my own childhood. I too grew up a mixed-race child, raised by one side of my family and always feeling like I didn’t know or understand half of my own heritage– for me, raised by my Japanese family and devoid of my Mexican ancestry. I too angrily and clumsily sought to uncover the missing pieces of my identity without realizing that’s what I was doing. I too enveloped myself in creative pursuits, chased excellence, and clung to an obsessive dream of escaping someplace and seeing some distant creature (for me, it was wolves and not buffalo.) I too know how all-consuming humiliation and non-acceptance from peers can feel, and how it can make irrational and self-destructive actions feel like the only reasonable option.  I too didn’t appreciate or understand how deeply my mother loves me, how forgivably human she is, and how much we truly need one another to grow past our own pain into whole people.

The initial read through was memorable, the second rehearsal I attended was thoughtful, delightful, and deliberate. I look forward to seeing the staged production next week, where I’m sure it will be nothing short of breathtaking, heartbreaking, and immensely healing for someone like me: a young woman on a lifelong journey of fitting together the halves of my own identity.
Melissa Magaña

When I first read 26 Miles, I was surprised to find myself in the character of 15-year-old Olivia. Like Olivia, my parents were divorced and I never experienced any of the culture of my Mother’s Colombian side of the family. She was a “Spanish Beauty” in her day and I “don’t even tan right,” as Olivia quips to her Mom. Like Olivia, I was a writer with an obsession for buffalo and Yellowstone Park. Yup, odd as it seems, buffalo enthralled me and the majestic view of Yellowstone’s Hayden Meadow, with hundreds of the magnificent beasts entranced me. I desperately wanted a little stuffed animal buffalo I found in the gift shop, but I didn’t have enough money and I felt a little childish desiring a toy at age 10, so I bought this post card.

Invited to a rehearsal for Profile Theatre’s production, I walked in expecting to find myself on-stage in Olivia. But memory and nostalgia butted heads with reality and the present, and now that I am the mother of a teenaged daughter, I found myself relating to the mother character. Beatriz and I have little in common except the shared experience of loving your daughter so much that her pain cuts you so deeply, you can’t breathe. And when someone teases and hurts your child, the anger is so hot, you can’t see.  Despite this astounding love, mothers make mistakes. We need our children’s forgiveness just as much as they need our acceptance.
Diane Englert, Executive Director of Staged!

When I first heard this play I was grappling for a timeline. A direction. The second time I heard the play, it was like driving home. I knew where we were headed and I could get lost in the gush of the wind…Being on Profile’s Community Council has allowed me the incredible opportunity to practice watching theatre…this is what I wish most for my peers: the opportunity to practice. To appreciate the levels of creation in theatre one must practice.
Margaret McKay


From the Community Council for Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue.

Last week, I got to eavesdrop on rehearsals for Quiara Alegría Hudes’ Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue at Profile Theatre in Portland, and I was so pleasantly jolted back home listening to the actors and directors negotiate Spanglish, Spanglish accents, Spanglish music and Spanglish family matters, all in service to such a sharp script. The play reads to me like a critique of the US war machine and its exploitation of brown people, an amazing and kind of ruthless tribute to Rican dads, and one of the kindest provocations to Latino masculinity I’ve seen. I’m looking forward to the final production—the first in a trilogy Profile is producing throughout the year, including Water by the Spoonful, which is my favorite. Go see.
Roy Pérez

I attended the last dress rehearsal of Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue, which was a full run-through without pause. In sitting in a theatre in which you are the only person not connected to the production, you notice so many things you might not normally think of, such as the difference the absence of an audience makes, especially when, for example, a funny line is spoken. Getting to look behind the scenes makes crystal clear how much theatre is a collaborative endeavor with hundreds of small parts coming together to make an amazing whole.
Pancho Savery

When I came in to speak to the cast of this amazing play (Pulitzer Prize finalist!), they were so welcoming and eager to hear about my story as a Purple Heart recipient with multiple tours. We all sat in a small room, with more people than chairs, and I told my story. I described the depression, rage, and guilt that comes with surviving a coordinated ambush in combat and then being sent home to attempt a transition back into the civilian life. They created an atmosphere safe enough for me to tell them some of my most vulnerable stories including past thoughts of suicide and acts of self destruction. Afterwards, they asked questions for a while. Some about their characters, other about my life, but also some questions about veterans in general. These last questions, I noticed, were changing their views on how they pictured veterans. At the end I must have hugged each one of them before leaving.
Sean Davis, Military Advisor for Elliot 

In Dialogue Events: 26 Miles

In Dialogue Events include our series of lectures, pre-show talks, post-show discussions and concerts, as well as community events and other exciting programming, all of which explore the featured writer’s world. Through our In Dialogue programming, we extend the event of a Profile production beyond the bounds of what is onstage, bringing the community together for exciting, provocative and inspiring experiences.

Saturday, June 17th:
Opening Night Reception | Post-Show

Join us immediately following the performance for nibbles, drinks and music.  Catering provided by 2017 Season Partner Pambiche.
Morrison Lobby

Sunday, June 18th:
Mat Chat with the cast of  26 Miles | Post-show

Thursday, June 22nd:
A Cultural Inner-View: Youth Honoring/Challenging Tradition*| 6:55pm

Join us for a discussion featuring Rosita Rendon, a coordinator for Latino Network’s Studio Latino after-school program, and Arts & Culture Manager, Joaquin Lopez. The two discuss the unique experience growing up bilingual and bicultural; navigating two worlds at home and at school; and what you learn along the way.

Panel Discussion Co-Hosted by Latino Network
Morrison Lobby

Friday, June 23rd:
Liz Yerby: What’s a Perzine? | 6:55pm

Liz Yerby talks about the history of zines, perzines and writing about identity.

Liz Yerby is a cartoonist and zinester out of Portland, OR.  They make surrealist comics about mental health and daily life.  Their art can be found in Visionquest and 1001 Journal as well on their website,  Liz Yerby is also one of the organizers of this year’s Portland Zine Symposium.
Morrison Lobby

Saturday, June 24th:
Patricia Schechter: Women on the Road: Some Paths to the Present* | 6:55pm

Is “hitting the open road” just a guy thing? Did Thelma and Louise have to die?  There is a rich history to women, travel and ideas about freedom–especially involving the car–and it might not be what you think.  This short lecture sets the play “26 Miles” in context with a look at a few key moments in recent cultural history, with a few surprises along the way.

Patricia A. Schechter teaches women’s history at Portland State University.  She has published a number of books and articles, included the co-authored volume with Avel Louise Gordly, Remembering the Power of Words: The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader (OSU Press, 2011).
Morrison Lobby

Sunday, June 25th:
Mat Chat with the cast of  26 Miles | Post-show

(*): This In Dialogue event is part of Profile’s commitment to engaging with our community in conversations about equity, diversity and inclusion, and are a part of our Diversity and Inclusion Initiative.

To see past In Dialogue Events go here.

In Dialogue Community Events 2017

In Dialogue Community Events are opportunities to come together to discuss, explore or experience themes and ideas that lie at the heart of the work of our featured playwright and are often presented through partnerships with other local organizations.



Community Profile: Our City’s Veterans

Monday, November 13th at 7:30pm

Alder Stage

The 2017 Community Profile program culminates in a public performance of the veterans’ writing staged with professional actors.  This event is in conjunction with our rotating repertory production of Water By The Spoonful and The Happiest Song Plays Last, the final two plays in a trilogy of work centered around Elliot Ortiz, a veteran of the Iraq war.


Past 2017 Community Events:

February 5th
Know Your Neighbors: A Conversation with Local Veterans about Service, War and Coming Home

Moderated by Profile Community Council Member, veteran and community organizer Sean Davis, a panel of local veterans will share stories about the frontlines of both combat and of returning to our community.  Humanizing experiences most of us only witness via the news or Hollywood films, the panel will explore the challenges and pressures facing our veterans, addressing the question “What do you most wish civilians understood about you and your service?”

Location: 1515 SW Morrison Street.  Rehearsal Studio


In Dialogue Staged Readings

In Dialogue Staged Readings include new and contemporary plays in conversation with Quiara Alegría Hudes body of work, as well as readings of Hudes plays not included in our Main Stage season.

Tickets to In Dialogue Readings are free as part of Profile’s ongoing efforts to make quality theatre available to all members of our community.



Check back for the 2018-19 Lisa Kron/Anna Deavere Smith season!


The 2017 Readings Were:

awe/struck by christopher oscar peña
Directed by Josh Hecht

Monday May 15 & Tuesday May 16
Milagro Theatre

Twenty-one-year-old Denia arrives in Chicago, looking to create a place for herself in this unfamiliar country. Monique’s never left Chicago but feels more and more like a stranger in her own home. A chance encounter between them transforms their lives forever in this wildly theatrical new play about identity and perception.

Originally commissioned by The Goodman Theater. Developed at the Sundance Institute and at the LAByrinth Theater Company in New York

Following the readings we hosted a post-show conversations between our special invited guests and Profile’s Artistic Director Josh Hecht, about issues that lay not only at the heart of awe/struck, but are deeply relevant to our Portland community as a whole.

Monday, May 15th: Jimena Alvarado, Women’s Studies Professor at Portland Community College
Tuesday, May 16th: Octaviano Merecias-Cuevas, Policy & Civic Engagement Manager at Latino Network


Orange Julius by Basil Kreimendahl
Directed by Tamara Carroll

Monday July 17 and Tuesday July 18

Vietnam vet Julius suffers the toxic effects of Agent Orange. His youngest child Nut worries their time together may run out before they can embrace something essential about their relationship. Paging through forgotten photo albums and acting out old war movies about brothers-in-arms, Nut leaps through time and memory, in an attempt to forge a bond of recognition with Nut’s father before it’s too late.

Orange Julius was developed at the O’Neill National Playwrights Conference and La Jolla’s DNA festival of new work, and was produced by Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre and P73 in New York. Kreimendahl received an MFA from the Iowa Writers Conference and has been commissioned and produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others.


Profile Theatre