Red Herring
February 12, 2013 - March 23, 2013
By Michael Hollinger
Directed By Christopher Liam Moore

If you pay attention, will the clues lead you in the right direction?

Replete with farcical spy antics and ill-fitting shoes, something smells fishy in this comedic noir fable. A pulpy delight awaits with Commie spies afoot, the H-bomb looming, Joseph McCarthy’s daughter in the wings, and a hard-boiled detective hot on the trail of a fog-filled murder case. As the knots of three convoluted relationships tie and fray, the plot-crossed lovers in this 1950s espionage bumble, subvert and strategize their way to finding each other, eventually unraveling their trysts into a riotous, inescapable tangle.
Northwest Premiere.


Maggie Pelletier Val Landrum*
Frank Keller Leif Norby*
Lynn McCarthy  Amy Newman*
James Appel Joshua Weinstein+
Mrs. Kravitz Vana O'Brien^
Andrei Borchevsky    Michael Mendelson*^







Set Designer Richard L. Hay
Costume Designer Gregory Pulver
Lighting Designer Kristeen Willis Crosser
Sound Designer Rodolfo Ortega
Props Designer Rusty Tennant
Stage Manager Carol Ann Wohlmut*
Assistant Director Thomas Chapman
Dialect Coach Mary McDonald-Lewis
Fight Choreographer Jonathan Cole 
Production Assistant  Kristen Mun
Production Assistant Kailyn McCord
Dresser Jamie Hammon








*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
+ Equity Membership Candidate
^ Member of Artists Rep's Resident Acting Company

EXTENDED! Audiences love Red Herring so we've added 4 performances. BEST SEATS are now available for these performances so buy them now!
Wednesday, March 20, 7:30 pm
Thursday, March 21, 7:30 pm
Friday, March 22, 7:30 pm
Saturday, March 23, 7:30 pm


BEHIND THE SCENES: Join the cast for a Post-Show Discussion after the 2pm matinee performances on  February 17, 24 and March 3, 6, 10. 

Join us before the show on March 2 when a Portland Police Homicide Detective will be available for questions and conversations. Starts at 6:30pm. 

Happy Hours, Surprise Nights and Book Clubs! Click here to see a full schedule of Audience Enrichment Events. 

Click here to see photos of the production by Owen Carey.

STUDY GUIDE! Click here to download the Study Guide for this production. A great resource!

Click here to get a sneak peek at the playbill for the production.

Our new partner librarians from Multnomah County Library have chosen books for us to read, informed by the scripts from this season. Click here to see what they have picked for Red Herring.

Click here to read a detailed synopsis of our productions. Spoiler Alert!


Red Herring had its world premiere at the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia in 2000, directed by Terrence J. Nolen. It was the fourth collaboration between the theatre and the playwright. In total, Hollinger has premiered seven plays at the Arden, including three Barrymore Award winners for Outstanding New Play: Opus (one of American Theatres Top 10 most produced plays in 2009), Ghost-Writer and Red Herring.  Since then, it has gone on to be prolifically produced across the nation, including in 2003 at Everyman Theatre in Baltimore, and in 2004 at the 12 Miles West Theatre Company in New Jersey, directed by Brian B. Crowe.



Hollinger’s plays have been produced more than 40 times in cities across the U.S. and in London. He has also written seven touring plays for young audiences, three short films for PBS, and co-authored the feature-length “Philadelphia Diary.” Awards and honors include the Roger L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays, a Barrymore Award for Outstanding New Play, the F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Theatre Artist, a Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award, a commission from The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project, and fellowships from the Independence Foundation, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Mr. Hollinger is a resident playwright at New Dramatists and Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University. Michael received a Bachelor of Music in viola performance from Oberlin Conservatory and a Master of Arts in theatre from Villanova University.  Because of his background as a musician, Michael considers his plays compositions: characters are instruments, scenes are movements; tempo, rhythm, and dynamics are critical; and melody and counterpoint are always set in relief by rests - beats, pauses, the spaces in between. Hollinger’s most recent project is a translation and adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s Cyrano for the Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia, co-adapted and directed by Aaron Posner, the playwright and director of Artists Rep's first show of the 2012/13 season, And So It Goes…


Dates: February 12 - March 17
Performances: Wednesday - Sunday @ 7:30pm; Sunday @ 2:00pm
Opening Night is Friday, February 15 



 The Oregonian


United Airlines

Marcy & Richard Schwartz

The Reviews...

Read the preview Marty Hughley wrote for The Oregonian’s A&E section here. 

 “I love it. It’s so smart and well-written; the actors are fantastic.” - Audience Member

Abe of calls Red Herring a “...gut-busting hilarious” look at one of our most prized and mocked institutions – marriage – through a '50s crime-noir lens. Read that review here. 

“I laughed so hard; it made me so happy!” - Audience Member

"Silly spy games are the focus - or are they? - of Michael Hollinger's comedy "Red Herring," which sends up McCarthy-era Soviet paranoia while getting gumshoe on its plot..." - Washington Post

“The acting, the directing, the set, the play – everything about it is incredible!” - Audience Member

 "I laughed out loud more often than at any Portland production in recent memory.,"  - Matthew Korfhage, Willamette Week. Read the full review here.

"... a rollicking good time: tightly written, fast paced, I can’t believe the actors can keep up with it.  And it has a happy ending, a beautiful ending.  Love triumphs over all!” - Audience Member

"Not following up this trail of often hilarious clues and wonderful performances left by this production would be a crime, and might have you end up as the fish out of water." - Faddah Wolf of Portland Stage Reviews. Read the full review here.

Tickets for Artists Rep's 2014/15 season are on sale now! Click on the link below to purchase or call our Box Office at 503.241.1278.