2016/17 Season Announced!

Season Announcement Header

Owen Carey

We like to announce early! On January 25 we invited our subscribers in for a very special event where Artistic Director Dámaso Rodriguez announced and talked about each of the seven shows we will produce for the 2016/17 season.

Dámaso explained how stylistically diverse each of the seven plays are, how imaginative and entertaining will be will, and how each of them grapple with the concept of family and the pursuit of happiness.

“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 Rodriguez 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.”

CLICK HERE to watch a video about the 2016 /17 season to learn more about Dámaso's perspectives on these plays!

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.

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 will be available starting April 1, 2016. Single tickets become available August 1, 2016.


by Nick Jones

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
• NW Premiere

American Hero
by Bess Wohl

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

A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration
by Paula Vogel
A collaboration with Staged!

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

Marjorie Prime
by Jordan Harrison

In this tender and 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
• 2016 film adaptation starring John Hamm, Geena Davis & Tim Robbins
• NW Premiere

Feathers and Teeth
by Charise Castro Smith

The 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 1976 and young 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 campy horror show, part revenge tragedy, the highly theatrical Feathers and Teeth delivers a meaty exploration of grief and obsession.
• Make-believe farce of horrific humor
• NW Premiere

The Talented Ones
by Yussef El Guindi

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

The Importance of Being Earnest
by Oscar Wilde

An all-female, all-star Portland cast leads a gender-bending 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