2016/17 Season

Click the show titles in the menu to the right for details on each production!

Artists Repertory Theatre presents a stylistically diverse season of seven imaginative and entertaining plays that grapple with family and the pursuit of happiness. The season features one World Premiere commissioned by Artists Rep’s new play development program Table|Room|Stage, along with five Northwest Premieres (including a musical) by some of the best emerging contemporary playwrights in the country, and one re-imagined classic featuring an all-female cast. The 2016/17 selections emphasize the aesthetic and scope of work Artists Rep has been committed to producing for almost 35 years as Portland’s premiere mid-size regional theatre.

“Next season features a diverse, exhilarating and provocative mix of theatrical styles from intimate drama to bold satire, from musical theatre to classic comedy,” said Artistic Director Dámaso Rodríguez about the play selections. “Each of these wildly different stories explores how families — biological, chosen, situational or ideological — can cross boundaries and unite or divide individuals over something they believe will make their lives better.”

Artists Rep’s productions feature the work of our Resident Artist Company, alongside guest artists from Portland’s world-class theatre community and beyond. Now comprised of 27 theatre practitioners, Artists Rep’s Resident Artists represent some of Portland’s finest talent, in a variety of theatrical disciplines.

Full season subscriptions for all seven plays are on sale now by calling the Artists Rep box office at 503-241-1278. The current full, seven-show subscription prices are $175/Previews, $245/Regular Run, $315/Opening Night.  Partial season subscriptions and Flex Passes are also available. Single tickets become available August 1, 2016.


By Nick Jones
Directed by Dámaso Rodríguez

September 6 – October 9

Morrison Stage

The star of this hilarious and heart-wrenching new comedy is Trevor, a 200-pound chimp intent on reviving his showbiz career. He worked with Morgan Fairchild, for crying out loud! He lives with his human “mom” — just a regular family, trying to get by in spite of neighbors who simply can’t understand. Swinging between reality and fantasy, TREVOR takes aim at the nature of humanity and the lies we tell ourselves.

  • Award-winning new play inspired by true events from Orange Is the New Black writer, Nick Jones
  • Runaway hit in LA with multiple awards
  • Killer runs Off Broadway and in Chicago
  • NW Premiere

RUN TIME: approximately 90 minutes + one intermission


American Hero

By Bess Wohl
Directed by Shawn Lee

October 4 – October 30

Alder Stage

When the American Dream is dashed, try making a sandwich! A trio of disparate and desperate ‘sandwich artists’ find themselves abandoned by their fast-food franchise and left to their own devices in this utterly amusing and ridiculously believable story of making ends “meat and cheese.” This post-recession, comedic commentary embraces the humor in misery, the creativity in despair, and the ingenuity of the human spirit as this indomitable group bands together to succeed on their own damned terms.

  • Satirical comedy on the pursuit of happiness 
  • NW Premiere

RUN TIME: Approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. No intermission.


A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration

By Paula Vogel
Original score by Daryl Waters
Directed by Paul Angelo
Music Directed by Andrew Bray

A collaboration with Staged!

November 22 – December 23

Alder Stage

Set during a time when the country is divided by conflicting ideologies and convictions following a contentious presidential election, Vogel’s sweeping, music-rich story plays out one frigid Christmas Eve on the banks of the Potomac River. Amid the hubbub of holiday preparations, an array of abolitionists and assassins, slaves and freemen, Union and Confederate soldiers, along with President Lincoln and Mary Todd, all pursue their paths to liberation. Propelled by traditional American songs, marches and spirituals — all revitalized for this production by luminary Portland musicians — A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS is a lively reminder for people of all beliefs about humanity’s potential for compassion, reconciliation and hope.

  • Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright
  • Uplifting family excursion
  • NW Premiere

RUN TIME: approximately 2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.
Best-suited for school-age children and up. Children under 5 are not allowed.

By special permission, our production features the new and stylistically diverse arrangements of luminary Portland musicians Darrell Grant, Holcombe Waller, Mark and LaRhonda Steele, Okaidja Afroso, Edna Vázquez, James Beaton and Brian Adrian Koch of Blitzen Trapper. Click HERE to see a full song list of the newly arranged compositions of the period songs in the play.

These Makers from Art Design Portland (ADX) and Portland Apparel Lab (PAL) created pieces for A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS:
Dawn Moothart, Textile Artist, Portland Apparel Lab (fabric backdrop and sliding curtains)
Thomas Phillips, ADX Director of Fabrication (Piano/Harp)
Bill Wessinger, ADX Fabrication Technician (Piano/Harp)
Rio Wrenn, Textile Artist, RAW Textiles, (fabric backdrop and sliding curtains)

Check out the blog posts from our Fresh Eyes team Brennan Randel, Matthew Corwin, and Daniel Pollack-Pelzner who have been on the journey with us making this unique production HERE. Our Fresh Eyes program brings ‘civilians’ into the rehearsal process where they get to see what it takes to bring a play to life first-hand and then they make some fascinating observations about the process.

Marjorie Prime

By Jordan Harrison
Directed by Adriana Baer

February 7 – March 5

Alder Stage

In this inquisitive new drama, a family grapples with the difference between a life lived and a life remembered as 85-year-old Marjorie struggles to keep hold of her memories and identity, gently assisted by an artificial version of her late husband, Walter. An exploration of aging, memory and technology, MARJORIE PRIME peers into what lies ahead and how our past is rewritten to face today.

  • 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Drama
  • 2017 film adaptation starring Jon Hamm, Lois Smith, Geena Davis & Tim Robbins
  • Season 4 writer/producer on Orange Is the New Black
  • NW Premiere

RUN TIME: Approximately 80 minutes. No intermission.


Feathers and Teeth

By Charise Castro Smith
Directed by Dámaso Rodríguez

March 7 – April 2

Morrison Stage

This fairytale concoction of teen angst and devastating loss make for a grisly good time in this crackling new “thrilledy” — a stew of dark comedy, family drama and fantastical carnage. It’s 1978 and 13-year-old Chris is reeling from her mom’s illness and recent death. Throw in dad’s new girlfriend (mom’s ex-nurse!), a few freaky little creatures and the boy next door, and things really get out of hand. Part monster tale and part revenge tragedy, the highly theatrical FEATHERS AND TEETH delivers a meaty exploration of grief and obsession.

  • Dark Comedy
  • 2015 Kilroy List
  • NW Premiere

RUN TIME: 90 minutes with no intermission

FRESH EYES: Get a new perspective on the making of FEATHERS AND TEETH from two community members, Elizabeth Tavares and Anthony Hudson, with their ongoing observations through the rehearsal process of this play. They will come into the process of creating this production for our stage several times and blog about their experiences. This is a program of Table|Room|Stage.

The Talented Ones

By Yussef El Guindi
Directed by Jane Unger

April 25 – May 21

Morrison Stage

The American Dream teeters on the edge of the abyss as immigrants Cindy and Omar face their thwarted dreams and unraveling marriage while Omar’s buddy Patrick connives to push them over the edge. In this surprisingly funny dark comedy, trouble erupts one night when bad choices are followed by verrrrry bad choices. The stakes become lethal as these characters manipulate the truth and do anything to justify their desires. 

THE TALENTED ONES is Artists Rep’s first new play development commission for Table|Room|Stage as part of the Oregon Community Foundation’s “Creative Heights Initiative.”

  • Award-winning playwright
  • World Premiere

RUN TIME: approximately two hours + one intermission

The Importance of Being Earnest

By Oscar Wilde
Directed by Michael Mendelson

May 16 – June 11

Alder Stage

An all-female, all-star Portland cast leads this production of Oscar Wilde’s magnificent 19th Century comedy of manners and social status. Lovely Gwendolyn and adorable Cecily don’t care who they marry as long as his name is Earnest (so manly and respectable!). Jack and Algernon are utterly smitten and only too happy to ditch their given names to bamboozle their way into the ladies’ hearts. Imperious Lady Bracknell is aghast, agog and practically apoplectic, but her efforts to impose propriety prove useless against Cupid’s earnest truth. High jinx, bon mots and cucumber sandwiches are served.

  • “A trivial comedy for serious people.” - Oscar Wilde
  • A fresh take on an enduring farcical masterpiece 

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