We Are Proud To Present

A Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as South West Africa, From the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915

By Jackie Sibblies Drury

Directed by Kevin Jones

March 8, 2016 – April 10, 2016

Morrison Stage

A multiracial cast of six idealistic actors sets out to improvise a story about the first colonial genocide of the 20th Century in Africa, but get lost in the reality of their undertaking. The unusual presentation, humor and inevitable discomfort of this provocative new play gripped theatre hubs like New York, Chicago, London, Washington D.C. and Seattle with its unique theatrical investigation of prejudice, power and perspective. “90 minutes of original, enlightening, pulse-pounding theater… It’s absolutely thrilling … it is visceral, fiercely intelligent and entertaining.“ – Backstage

  • Off-Broadway and regional theatre hit
  • Portland Premiere

This play uses irony, satire, racially charged language and symbolic violence to examine power, racism and perspective.
We recommend this play for patrons 16 and older.

RUN TIME: 1 hour 45 mintues. No intermission.

POST SHOW DISCUSSIONS

This production is intended to engender conversation.
We invite audiences to stay or return for facilitated conversation about We Are Proud to Present… at these opportunities:

     Sun, March 13 post 2pm show with Lesli Mones, co-founder Red Door Project
     Sun, March 20 post 2pm show with Bennett Garner MD, MHSA
     Sun, March 20 post 7:30pm show with Aleksandr  Peikrishvili, LCSW, PW.Dipl
     Wed, March 23 post 11am show with Director Kevin Jones, co-founder Red Door Project
     Sun, March 27 post 2pm show with Roberta Hunte PhD
     Sat, April 2 post 2pm show with Jo Ann Hardesty, President, NAACP Portland
     Sat, April 2 post 7:30pm show with Paul Susi, The Color of NOW*
     Sun, April 3 post 2pm show with Dr. Sandra Jenkins, Oregon Psychoanalytic Center    
     Fri, April 8 post 7:30 show with Renee Mitchell, Spit/WRITE* & Chisao Hata
     Sat, April 9 post 7:30pm show with Charles McGee, President & CEO, Black Parent Initiative

     Additional post show discussions and other events are anticipated, please check back for updates.

     *Community Partner Performance - 20% of ticket sale with special code goes to this organization. 
       Seeing the show again? Support these organizations with your ticket. Look HERE for more info. 

 

Buy Tickets

Cast

Joshua Weinstein +^

WHITE MAN/Actor 1

Vin Shambry +^

BLACK MAN/Actor 2

Chris Harder +^

ANOTHER WHITE MAN/Actor 3

Joseph Gibson

ANOTHER BLACK MAN/Actor 4

Rebecca James Ridenour ±

Sarah/Actor 5

Chantal DeGroat +

Actor 6/Black Woman

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

± Equity Membership Candidate

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

Director

Kevin Jones ^

Production

Scenic Designer: Kristeen Willis Crosser ^

Lighting Designer: Peter West

Costume Designer: Wenda Walden

Composer: Matt Tabor

Sound Designer: Jen Raynak #

Dialect Coach: Mary McDonald-Lewis ^

Choreographer: Kemba Shannon

Production Stage Manager: Michelle Jazuk +

Fight Choreographer: Jonathan Cole

Assistant Director: Chelsea Burwasser

Properties Master: Will Bailey

Production Assistant: Jessica Evans Irvine

Production Assistant: Kira Atwood-Youngstrom

Production Intern: Grace Owens

Board Op: Dave Petersen

+ Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the U.S.

# The scenic, costume, lighting, projection & sound designers are represented by United Scenic Artists

^ Artists Rep Resident Artist

Press

PORTLAND REVIEWS

Examiner.com
by William Bessette

“There's no better a time for We Are Proud to Present... than right now. During an election cycle marked by heated rhetoric and racist undercurrents, the lessons portrayed in this truly intense experience couldn't be more apropos.”
“You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you'll laugh until you cry.”
“Hearts are shorn as laughs turn to horrified gasps.”
“By the end you're left breathless and slightly disoriented, with your hand clutching at your chest and your mouth hanging slightly agape as you try to process what just happened.”
“…immerse yourself in the topical parable that is We Are Proud to Present...”

READ FULL REVIEW

Willamette Week
by Enid Spitz

“We Are Proud to Present... is a belly laugh and a gut punch.”
“…Hilarious Play About African Genocide Left the Audience Silent and in Tears”
“…a theatrical mic drop.”

READ FULL REVIEW

PQ Monthly
by TJ Acena

“…one of the most powerful, most upsetting, most challenging, and most necessary pieces of theatre I’ve seen.”
“It becomes evident that there is no distinction between the history and present, the parallels between modern America and 20th century Africa are all too clear.”
“The show builds to a terrifying climax, made more frightening because there is no fourth wall; the audience exists in the world of the play, we are made complicit in it what happens.”
“ The actors give chilling performances, making normal people into monsters and monsters into normal people.”

READ FULL REVIEW

BroadwayWorld.com
by Krista Garver

“This is why we need theatre.”
“…brings all of the feelings and conflicts surrounding race front and center. It makes them inescapable in a way that I think only live theatre can. It's hard to ignore something when it's right in front of you…”
“This production could not be so powerful without the work of Kevin Jones and the incredible cast…”
“It needs to be seen.”

READ FULL REVIEW

Oregon Public  Broadcasting “State of Wonder”
by Aaron Scott with Kimberly Howard

LISTEN to this story, click the soundcloud link.

KBOO “Stage and Studio"
by guest host Alan Monticillo with director Kevin Jones and actors Chantal DeGroat and Chris Harder

LISTEN to this interview.

Portland Mercury
by Megan Burbank

“You should absolutely see it.”
“…a play that takes on decades of systemic violence and racism from an elliptical, almost painfully intelligent script by Jackie Sibblies Drury, and with direction from Kevin Jones, who translates Drury's controlled chaos to the stage with precision and pathos.”
“A punch in the face hurts for an instant, but it's easily dismissed. The same cannot be said of palpable discomfort that seems novel, until you realize it's the thing that's always there, unnamed and perhaps kept quiet, but nonetheless underlying our collective experience…”

READ FULL REVIEW

ArtsWatch
by Barry Johnson

“…We Are Proud to Present is a scorpion of a play, and its tail packs a serious punch…”
“…a catharsis that left me gasping for breath…”
“The genius of We Are Proud to Present a Presentation About the Herero of Namibia, Formerly Known as Southwest Africa, from the German Sudwestafrika, Between the Years 1884-1915 is that it gives its audience a “personal connection” to their conversations about race, and maybe it encourages them to find something new to think and say about it.”

READ FULL REVIEW

Dennis Sparks Reviews
by Dennis Sparks

“…you are only experiencing that Reality from your perspective.  The true Reality may lie in the combined point of view of the group, or it may not truly ever be found in its entirety.”; “…a riveting conclusion, an unsettling crescendo, in which we seem to be looking at things through a glass darkly, until it rotates and becomes a mirror for us.” 

READ FULL REVIEW

Judy Nedry Reviews
by Judy Nedry

“James Baldwin once said, “Artists are here to disturb the peace.” When you sign on to see this play, be prepared for your peace to be disturbed. It’s well worth it.”

READ FULL REVIEW

The Oregonian/OregonLive.com|
by Ben Waterhouse

“Director Kevin Jones deftly navigates a difficult script, alternating outbursts of chaotic shouting with absurdist improv, complicated choreography and moments of deadly tension.”
“We can't know what it was like to be the victims of history, but there is plenty of violence and suffering to be found in our own selves.”

READ FULL REVIEW

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NATIONAL REVIEWS

We Are Proud to Present … is “a genuine thunderbolt … devastatingly funny … dangerous and primal.” - The Washington Post

"incendiary ... inventive ...  impressively navigat[ing] the tricky boundaries that separate art and life, the haunted present and the haunting historical past ... Drury’s “breakout work.” - The New York Times

 “90 minutes of original, enlightening, pulse-pounding theater.” -  Backstage Magazine

“Incendiary results…consistently funny but ultimately discomfiting: - The New York Times

“A genuine THUNDERBOLT”
“Devastatingly funny”
“Dangerous and primal and weird”
– The Washington Post

“Culturally SHOCKING and emotionally STUNNING”
“Mind-blowing and dangerously confusing”
“The MUST-SEE SHOW of the season”
– DC Metro Theater Arts

“Stunning, fantastically funny, and emotionally exhausting”
“A brave new voice on the American theatre scene”
– Maryland Theatre Guide

“BRUTAL…astonishing”
“Whichever way you lean, just remember to 
pick your jaw off the floor before you leave the theatre.”
– DC Theatre Scene 

“A powerful punch”
 Broadway World

“Incredibly thought provoking…RAZOR SHARP SATIRE”
– Woman Around Town

“Disturbing and EXHILARATING”
– Brightest Young Things

“INCENDIARY results…consistently funny but ultimately discomfiting”

“We Are Proud… impressively navigates the tricky boundaries that separate art and life, the haunted present and the haunting historical past”
The New York Times

“A very STIMULATING and EXCITING piece of new writing”

“BLISTERING GOOD”

“This GUTSY and SUBSTANTIAL 90-minute play wades into some searingly crucial issues in culture and education, including who has the right to say they know a person, who controls the recording of history, how we tend to look at the horrors of the past through the prism of the horrors of the present, and even the effect on actors and audience of any play that deals with a mass extermination, an event that any piece of art must inevitably trivialize.”

“A VERY PROMISING new play about race, history and the demons we’re apparently unable to banish”
- Chicago Tribune

 

Video Trailer

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Special Events

March 11
6:30pm Pre-show Happy Hour

March 13
Post-show discussion after 2pm matinee with Leslie Mones, co-founder Red Door Project

March 18
6:30pm Pre-show Happy Hour

March 19
6:30pm Pre-show Happy Hour

March 20
Post-show discussion after 2pm matinee with Bennett Garner MD, MHSA

6:45 Music with Death by Thumb

Post-show discussion after 7:30 show with Aleksandr  Peikrishvili, LCSW, PW.Dipl

March 22
7:30pm Artists Rep’s In Concert series presents Loveness Wesa and Bantus

March 23
Post-show discussion after 11am matinee

March 25
6:30pm Pre-show Happy Hour

March 26

6:30pm Pre-show Happy Hour
6:45 Surprise Night Saturday with blues singer Karen Maria Capo
10pm Late Night Piano Bar with Mont Chris Hubbard

March 27
Post-show discussion after 2pm matinee with Roberta Hunte PhD, Asst. Professor at Portland State University

7:30pm Open Captioned performance

April 1
6:30pm Pre-show Happy Hour

April 2
2pm ASL Interpreted Performance

6:30pm Pre-show Happy Hour

Post-show discussion with Kevin Jones, play director, co-founder Red Door Project, with Paul Susi, The Color of NOW

April 3
Post-show discussion following 2pm matinee with Dr. Sandra Jenkins, Oregon Psychoanalytic Center

April 9
Post-show discussion following 7:30pm show with Charles McGee, Black Parent Initiative

 

 

Resources

How can you take action and get involved in our community?

RaceTalksPDX
The Color of NOW
NAACP Portland
Spit/WRITE
Black Parent Initiative
August Wilson Red Door Project
SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) PDX
...and there are so many more!

Suggested Reading

Why White People Freak Out When They're Called Out About Race - 'White fragility' is a defensive response to real conversations about race by Sam Adler-Bell
READ HERE

What Does It Mean To Be White? Developing White Racial Literacy by Robin DiAngelo PhD
MORE HERE

An Open Letter to My White Friends by Kronda Adair
MORE HERE

Diversity Training

http://www.trainup.com/Diversity-Training/Online/2474

Learn more about We Are Proud to Present...

An ArtsEmerson interview with playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury HERE.

Director Kevin Jones writes eloquently and emphatically about his perspectives on this play for the playbill HERE.

Download the study guide for this production HERE. A great resource for all!

Show Sponsors

Trish & Bennett Garner and Kris Olson & Les Swanson