From the Community Council: Getting It Right

I’m honored to be the military advisor for Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue at Profile Theatre, and I’ll tell you why. We’ve all seen dozens if not hundreds of works of military fiction written, directed, and produced by creatives who mean well, their heart is in the right place, but they don’t ask veterans for their advice on their work and they focus on the veterans PTSD and/or their injuries.

As far as the details go, I am very grateful that people believe the military experience is worth writing about, but some of that gratitude disappears, whether I like it or not, when I see small things done wrong. For example, the salute is a simple action that is done wrong so many times and could be so easily corrected. Only the tip of your ring finger touches the end of your right eyebrow. Easy! But it is almost always overlooked and when that happens the whole work loses credibility, at least to the population of the audience the work is trying to honor. It sounds nitpicky to many, but that is what the military is: attention to detail.

Not only did Josh, the artistic director, and Lauren, the Director of Education and Community Engagement, ask me to come in and speak to the actors, they believed in my idea to bring veterans in before a showing of the play so the audience could get a better understanding of the diversity of our veteran population.

I would like to speak on both of these happenings:

First, 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.

Last Sunday, before the show we had a panel of veterans meet some audience members and take questions. On the panel was a Vietnam Veteran who is also a Native American, a former Marine with five (3 to Iraq and 2 to Afghanistan) combat tours, a female veteran who was deployed to protect the Eastern Seaboard on a Destroyer on 9/11, and an Army infantryman who lost both legs in Iraq, and me. After I introduced them all and asked a few questions we opened it up to the audience and the questions were amazing, respectful, and intelligent. By the end of our little session we had changed many of their views on what, exactly, a veteran is. I know this because they told us… in those words. There is a stereotype of “the veteran” in our society. We are supposedly all white, male, gun ho, non-creatives with our souls and hearts torn apart by war. That stereotype was completely blown away after the meeting. I saw it happen in real time, and that is why I’m proud to be a part of Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue. This play helps people see the humanity in the warrior.

I’m honored to be a part of this production because it’s been my mission to not only help other veterans for the past 10 years, but it’s also been my mission to change how those who haven’t served see our military members. Yes, we have lived through very traumatic events and many of us suffer from those memories or even physical injuries, but we, as a society, should focus on our abilities and not our disabilities. We need to know that our veteran population (10% of this country) are just as diverse as the population as a whole.

-Sean Davis
Military Advisor for Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue and Profile Community Council

Profile’s Community Council are people from the Portland area of varying ages, ethnicities and  backgrounds who are invited to view the backstage process from beginning to end and share their perspectives with our communities.

 

Save

Save

From the Community Council: Alone in the Audience

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, Profile Community Council

Profile’s Community Council are people from the Portland area of varying ages, ethnicities and  backgrounds who are invited to view the backstage process from beginning to end and share their perspectives with our communities.

Donation Drive for Do Good Multnomah

Throughout the run of Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, Profile is pleased to partner with Do Good Multnomah. Do Good Multnomah is a non-profit organization that provides low-barrier emergency shelter to houseless Veterans in Portland, Oregon. By partnering with the community, we are establishing a model for sheltering and serving houseless Veterans that emphasizes relationship-building, one-on-one engagement, and direct community participation.

When you come to the theatre  to see Elliot, consider bringing a donation to help local houseless veterans.

Needed items include:

  • Blankets
  • Socks
  • Hats & Gloves
  • Hand Warmers
  • Backpacks

Leave items in the donation bin by the box office.

Buy tickets to Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue here.

Learn more about Do Good Multnomah here.

Save

Save

In Her Words: Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue Ten Years Later

Anthony Lam as Elliot in Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue at Profile Theatre 2017. Photo by David Kinder

From Quiara Alegría Hudes, January 2017

It's over ten years since Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue premiered in New York. It's almost fourteen years since my real-life cousin Elliot crossed the border north into Iraq from Kuwait. He was among the first marines to enter the conflict, and they were learning as they went. They were the real-life guinea pigs in a very real war. The medical response teams were unsure what the nature of the injuries would be, and therefore had to improvise treatment–there was much trial and error in those early years. One of the surprises was the amount of severe trauma that would be survived. My cousin described the scene in an evac hospital where there was row after row of guys in such extreme pain that the nurses practically threw pain meds at them. My cousin was one of those patients–and a fortunate one. He didn't have to lose his leg after his severe injury, though many surgeries followed and his physical health remains compromised.

At that time–when he enlisted–it seemed to me that was the beginning. But there's always a beginning before the beginning. I've been reflecting a lot since then on the war before the war. As a child of the 80s I came of age when AIDS was ravaging our Latino community in Philadelphia. Add to that the extreme toll the War on Drugs took on the same community. It left us decimated. Fathers, sons, brothers in jail–sentenced to decades for low-level possession, for the “crime” of addiction. Daughters, mothers, sisters left behind to the scrape up the pieces, to raise sons in this toxic environment where being a Latino was increasingly criminalized.

It seems to me our community's youngsters fled this domestic war–the War on Drugs–determined not to be a victim of its fallout, determined to “escape” the vicious cycle of addiction, dealing, and criminalization. For many of them, higher education was not financially viable. So they enlisted–the military offered prestigious, respected, paying jobs.

It seems to me a complicated web. Young men of color escaping a domestic war, determined to rise above, and thereby enlisting in a foreign war to go fight abroad. And some of them, when they got hurt, became a new kind of addict–opioids to cure the war wounds.

These generational echoes continue to resonate for me. These echoes are why I wrote Elliot.

Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue
February 2-19, 2017

BUY TICKETS

 

Save

Cast and Creative Team for Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue

Cast


Jimmy Garcia*
Pop

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 Miracle Theater, Stark Raving Theater and Portland Center Stage companies. 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 ART's A Civil War Christmas and can next be found at Miracle Theater's world premiere Oye Oya.

Anthony Green*
Grandpop

Tony holds a BFA in Acting and a Master of Theatre Studies in Production and Design from Southern Oregon University.  Most recently Tony was seen in Defunkt Theatre's critically acclaimed production of Hir, Jewish Theatre Collaborative's production of Davita's Harp and Into the Beautiful North at Milagro Theatre.  Other Portland credits include American Night, O! Romeo!, How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent, BoomCrackleFly and the Drammy Award winning Oedipus El Rey at Milagro, Equus at Post5, Cymbeline with Anon It Moves, Antony and Cleopatra with Portland Actors Ensemble, King Lear, King John and Mary Stuart at NWCTC.

Anthony Lam
Elliot

Anthony is excited to be performing at Profile Theatre for the first time. He was last seen as Atómiko in Into the Beautiful North at Milagro Theater. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a B.F.A. in Theater Arts. He has done commercial work throughout the Northwest and recently played the tactical cop in the season premiere of Grimm. When he is not acting, he spends his time with his wife, chasing his three children all over the place.

Cristi Miles*
Ginny

Cristi is a performer, director and teacher based in Portland, OR.  Portland credits include: The Journey Play is the Whole thing, Enter THE NIGHT, The Three Sisters, Song of the Dodo and  R3 with PETE; Midsummer (a play with songs) with Third Rail Rep, Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Dying City with Portland Playhouse. She is co-artistic director of PETE, an Assistant Professor of the Theatre at George Fox University and trained at The Oregon Center for Alexander Technique (AmSAT certified teacher). Brandeis University, MFA.

 

Creative Team

Alice Reagan
Director

Alice is a New York-based freelance director.  Credits include Jackie by Elfriede Jelinek at Boom Arts, Or, by Liz Duffy Adams at Shakespeare & Company, Phaeton (a diggle of a fragment) by Mac Wellman at Classic Stage Company, Enter THE NIGHT by Maria Irene Fornes with Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble, The Miser by Molière with Brave New World Rep, Nomads by Julia Jarcho at Incubator Arts Project, I Came to Look for You on Tuesday by Chiori Miyagawa at La MaMa.  She is the recipient of two Foundation of Contemporary Arts Grants, the Princess Grace Award (Fabergé Theater Award) and Princess Grace Special Project Grant, and was a Drama League Directing Fellow.  Alice is Assistant Professor of Professional Practice in Directing at Barnard College.  MFA: Columbia.  alicereagan.com.

Kaye Blankenship
Scenic Design

Kaye is a scenic, lighting, and props designer originally hailing from Sammamish, Washington. She earned her BA in theatre from Lewis & Clark College in 2012, and after a year working in New York, she is back in Portland and excited to work with Profile Theatre once again. Favorite past shows include: The Antigone Project (Profile), Annapurna (Third Rail), Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood LIVE (Mills Entertainment), A Winter's Tale (Anon It Moves), Static (Third Rail), Ramona Quimby (OCT), Snowstorm (CoHo), In The Next Room (Profile Theatre), and Waxwing with String House Theatre, where she is also a founding company member.

Miranda K. Hardy
Lighting Design

Miranda is a Lighting Designer based in Portland.  Previously with Profile she lit Bright Half Life and Master Harold and the Boys.  She is an associate company member with Portland Experimental Theater Ensemble designing lights for R3 [Drammy Award], The Three Sisters, All Well, or, the whale, and Procedures For Saying No, designing scenery and lights for Song of the Dodo and Drowned Horse Tavern.  She has worked on shadow/animation spectacular The Letting Go and Kaddish For Bernie Madoff.  Miranda has worked in New York City, as well as nationally and internationally including four seasons as the resident Lighting Designer at Festival Di Due Mondi (Spoleto, IT).  M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts.

Jenny Ampersand
Costume Design

Jenny is a designer based in Portland OR.   Her costume work was last seen at Profile for Bright Half Life.  She is an associate artist with PETE (Portland Experimental Theatre Ensemble), Liminal, and The Late Now.  Other local credits include, costumes for Third Rail's The Realistic Joneses, Oregon Children's Theatre's Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Liminal's 7deadly Sins (Drammy Award), scenery for PETE's Enter THE NIGHT, Shaking the Tree's A Doll's House, Phame's Up the Fall, and puppets for Strawberry Theatre Workshop's This Land-Woody Guthrie.  She received her BFA in Scenic and Costume Design from Cornish College of the Arts.

Phillip Johnson
Sound Design

Phillip is a theatrical artist based in Portland Oregon and the Technical Director of Ridgefield High School’s drama program. His recent productions include Hands Up (Red Door Project), Worse Than Tigers (ACT Theater/Red Stage), Contigo Pan y Cebolla (Milagro Theater), The Antigone Project, A Lady Onstage (Profile Theater), and The Importance of Being Earnest (Valley Repertory Theater).  When he isn't designing or teaching Phil  is traveling the world spreading art education to impoverished areas. He most recently taught theater in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. Phil Has a B.F.A. and M.A. from Ohio University. For updates, downloads and links to show soundtracks please visit PhilJohnsondesignstheworld.com.

D Westerholm*
Stage Manager

Profile Theatre: 2014 Tanya Barfield Season, 2013 Sam Shepard Season, 2014 Sarah Ruhl Season, The Road to Mecca. Other Portland stage management credits: Trevor, The Skin of Our Teeth (ASM), The Price (Artist’s Repertory Theatre); The Light in the Piazza (Portland Playhouse). Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Production Assistant: The Unfortunates (2013), A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013), Troilus and Cressida (2012), The Very Merry Wives of Windsor, Iowa (2012), Julius Caesar (2011), The African Company Presents Richard III (2011). BA in Theatre Management from Western Washington University, MFA in Stage Management from Columbia University. Active member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Esther McFaden
Production Assistant

Esther is making her Profile Theatre debut with Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue. Recent credits include A Christmas Carol (PA), To Kill a Mockingbird, Blues for Mister Charlie, The Heidi Chronicles, and Julius Caesar (SM Intern) at Trinity Repertory Company, and Trevor (PA) and The Skin of Our Teeth (PA) at Artists Repertory Theater. Other favorites include Upside Down, A Musical Tale After the Christ (SM) with the Upside Down Theatre Company, Godspell (SM) with YA4Ever, and Chicago (SM) with the Young Artists Ensemble. She is a graduate of Emerson College.

*Member Actors Equity Association, the professional union of actors and stage manager.

Save

In Repertory

Experience these plays as never before produced: In rotating rep!

Both plays are staged on the same convertible set, share a cast of actors and focus on the central character of Elliot.  You need not see them in order, as each story stands on its own.  But do see them both for a fully rounded experience.

BUY TICKETS

November 1-19, 2017
Alder Stage

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL

Somewhere in Philadelphia, Elliot has returned from the war in Iraq and is struggling to find his place in the world. Somewhere in a chat room, recovering addicts forge an unbreakable bond of support and love. In this fearless, heart-stirring Pulitzer Prize-winner, worlds virtual and real unfold onstage, challenging our notions of family, forgiveness, community, and courage.

A rich, brilliant montage of American urban life that is as dazzling to watch as it is difficult to look away from.Associated Press

ASL interpreted performance November 10th.

Play two of the Elliot trilogy.

 

THE HAPPIEST SONG PLAYS LAST

Iraq War vet Elliot has a bright new career: movie star. But shooting a film on location in Jordan, with the tumultuous Arab Spring rumbling nearby, he finds that his wartime nightmares have followed him into his new life. Back in Philadelphia, his cousin Yaz has her hands full cooking for the homeless and trying to keep her beloved community from crumbling. Set to the joyful sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, this final play of Hudes’ trilogy chronicles a year in the life of these two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world.

An intensely engaging new drama.Chicago Tribune

ASL interpreted performance November 17th.

Play three of the Elliot trilogy.

 

From Lin-Manuel Miranda

What must have it been like to be August Wilson's neighbor?

I think about that sometimes when I'm having morning coffee with Quiara. We live in the same building–a lucky circumstance that allows us to pop into each other's homes for writing sessions or breaks or just catching up. She is funny and wise and brilliant–everything her plays reflect and more–she's also a goofball. We laugh a lot.

And then I see or read her plays–these heartbreaking, stunning, alive works that tell Latino family stories with more unflinching honesty and beauty than anything we've ever seen–and I realize, she's really doing it. Line by line, play by play, she is chronicling the interior life of our people. She reaches for all of our humanity, and gets it. Just as August Wilson went into his home and channeled the voices of his family, ancestors and community, Quiara finds the jazz and music in her people and gives us a brilliant, honest expression that could only have come from her.

And then sometimes she takes a break and we have coffee.

I am so lucky. I'm Quiara Alegría Hudes' neighbor.”

– Lin-Manuel Miranda

Season subscriptions to the 2017 Quiara Alegría Hudes Season now on sale

Click here or call the box office 503.242.0080

 Photo by Anita & Steve Shevett

Save