The Quality of Life
April 8, 2014 - May 11, 2014
By Jane Anderson
Directed By Allen Nause

It turns out that true love knows no bounds, family roots run true and there are a few things red wine and a bong hit won’t fix. Jeanette and Neil live off the land in a yurt on the site of their Northern California home, recently destroyed by a massive fire. Neil is dying. Jeannette’s long-lost cousin and her husband are coming from the Midwest for a visit after losing their daughter. In a love story and comedic drama that plumbs societal, religious and ethical divides, the couples explore their respective life perspectives with finesse, humor, honesty and respect. 

• Winner 2007 Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an Outstanding New Play

• 2008 Ovation Award for Best New Play Winner


Jeannette   Linda Alper*^
Neil Michael Mendelson*^
Dinah Susannah Mars*^
Bill Michael Fisher-Welsh*





*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
^ Artists Rep Resident Artist


Scenic Designer  Tim Stapleton
Costume Designer Elizabeth Huffman
Lighting Designer  Kristeen Willis-Crosser^
Composer/Sound Designer   Rodolfo Ortega^
Props Designer Natalie Heikkenen
Stage Manager   Stephanie Mulligan*







ON OUR WALLS:  For each stage production, Artists Rep partners with local artists, galleries and curators to offer patrons a lobby exhibit that reflects the themes of the play in the form of visual art. For The Quality of Life The Geezer Gallery will present an installation called INTERNAL WORLDS – Three Women Artists from April 4 through May 11. INTERNAL WORLDS brings together the art of three accomplished artists who, in the shadow of trauma, loss, and sickness, turned to their creative practice for strength, restoration and transformation. Represented is the maker’s interior space—the courage and will to see life differently through their creative process. Facing circumstances beyond their control, the artists chose not to represent the world, but to reflect the world as created, alive with hope. The results offer understanding and appreciation for art’s contribution to healing in the aftermath of their experience.   

Inspired by Artists Rep's production of The Quality of Life, INTERNAL WORLDS features paintings and acrylic monotypes by Janet Holt, mixed-media collage by Haifa Al-Habeeb, and mixed-media monotypes by the late Madeline Janovec.  Meet the artists! Stop by before the Wednesday, April 23  performance and talk with the artists. Come by starting at 6pm and talk with them about the inspirations for their provocative work before you head into the theatre.

Join the cast and crew for post-show discussion after the 2pm matinees on April 13, 20, 23, 27 & May 4, 11.

 VIDEO TRAILER! Click here to see the fantastic trailer by video designer Tommy Harrington.

STUDY GUIDE! Click here to download a study guide for this production - a GREAT resource for all!

Happy Hours, Surprise nights and discussions oh my! Click here for a full schedule of activities sure to make your theatre experience even more rewarding.

PLAYBILL! Bios, headshots, Q&A's and so much more! Click here to download the playbill for this production.

SURPRISE NIGHT SATURDAY! Come early to the April 26th performance and visit with Rojo The Therapy Llama! Read more about Rojo, his friends and how they spread cheer throughout Portland here.

Click here to read a detailed synopsis of The Quality of Life. SPOILER ALERT!

Jane Anderson, the playwright, made her debut as a theatre director in 2007 with the world premiere of her play The Quality of Life at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. The cast would feature such talents as JoBeth Williams (“The Big Chill”), Dennis Boutsikaris (“The Dream Team”), and Laurie Metcalf (“Roseanne”). In response to receiving such high praise, including winning the 2007 LA Drama Critics Circle Ted Schmitt Award for Outstanding New Play, the play would continue production with Jane Anderson at the helm, and her three stars, at the American Conservatory Theatre in 2008. At their new location, Metcalf would an Ovation Award in 2008 for her performance as Jeannette, while the other two actors would also be nominated for their performances. The Quality of Life would also win Ovation Awards for “Playwriting for an Original Play” and “Best Play – Intimate Theatre”. The play has continued to be produced across the country from Washington D.C. at the Arena Stage to Chicago at the Den Theatre.

Jane is a multi-award winning writer and director who has created some of the most thought-provoking theatre, film and television in the last two decades. Her plays have been produced Off-Broadway and in theatres around the country, including Actors Theater of Louisville, Williamstown, The McCarter Theater, Long Wharf and The Pasadena Playhouse. Her published plays: Looking for Normal, The Baby Dance, Defying Gravity, Food & Shelter, Smart Choices for the New Century, Lynette at 3 a.m. and The Last Time We Saw Her. Other works include The Pink Studio and Hotel Oubliette. Her most recent play, The Quality of Life, premiered at the Geffen Playhouse and produced at A.C.T. and was directed by Ms. Anderson. She wrote and directed The Prizewinner of Defiance, Ohio. She wrote and directed Normal for HBO which garnered six Emmy nominations (including best writing, directing and best made-for-TV film), three Golden Globe nominations, and Director’s Guild and Writer’s Guild nominations for best directing and writing. She became a writer for the AMC television drama Mad Men in the show's second season and was nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Dramatic Series for her work. She wrote HBO’s groundbreakingThe Positively True Adventures of the Alleged Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom for which she received an Emmy, a Penn Award and Writers Guild Award for best teleplay. Her other television films include When Billie Beat Bobby and The Baby Dance for which she received a Peabody Award, a Golden Globe nomination and three Emmy nominations for best writing and made-for-TV film. She wrote and directed the first segment of If These Walls Could Talk II, which starred Vanessa Redgrave and earned Ms. Anderson an Emmy nomination for best writing. Her other screenwriting credits include: How to Make an American Quilt and It Could Happen to You Ms. Anderson resides in Los Angeles with her spouse Tess Ayers and their son, Raphael.


Allen was Artists Rep’s Artistic Director from 1988 until July of this year. He has performed in many plays at Artists Rep including Frankie and Johnny in the Claire De Lune, Breaking The Code, Art, The Drawer Boy, Death Of A Salesman, Blackbird, Vanya, No Man’s Land and most recently The Gin Game with Vana O’Brien. Allen has appeared in many other Northwest theatres including Portland Center Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Empty Space, A.C.T. Seattle and the Intiman Theatre. Allen joined Artists Rep as the company’s first Artistic Director in 1989 and has directed many of its most popular productions. He directed Our Town with Mahesh Dattani in Bangalore, India and led two international tours to Africa and the Near and Middle East, representing American regional theatre for U.S.I.A. Arts America. In 2000, Allen traveled to Vietnam and co-directed a bilingual, bicultural production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a Vietnamese production of A Glass Menagerie as part of the Vietnam/America Theater Exchange. In May 2007, he directed All My Sons with the Palestinian National Theater in Jerusalem. Allen directed The Odd Couple for LUSH Theatre in Islamabad, Pakistan in the summer of 2012 as a U.S. Cultural Envoy through the Pakistan National Council for the Arts. Allen is a Resident Artist at Artists Rep.


Dates: April 8 - May 11
Performances: Wednesdays - Sundays @ 7:30pm & Sundays @ 2pm
Opening Night is Saturday, April 12

WEEKEND SPONSOR: Charlotte Rubin 


Jon & Jan Swanson


 The Oregonian

The Reviews...

"...exquisite, sweet and measured..." writes Marty Hughley in a beautifully written review for ArtsWatch.

" It's warm, heartfelt, profane, and hilarious, and it's life-affirming in the best possible way...leaves you bruised but hopeful," wrote Patrick Brasselll for Broadway World.

"It is, after all, not the issues that the play touches on that are most important here but the humanity of the play's characters, and it is that humanity that director Allen Nause's sensitive, thoughtful production most successfully brings home," wrote Richard Wattenberg for The Oregonian. Read the review here. 

“This really touched me deeply. I can’t remember being so affected by a play.” - Audience member

"...explore with us the dilemma of existence, meaning, communication, relationships, responsibility and tolerance, among other things. And, let me tell you, folks, with these artists at the helm to explore these areas with, it doesn’t get any better than this!" -- says Dennis Sparks in his review. Read more here...

“Beautifully written and directed, and the cast is amazing!” - Audience member 

 “It’s a beautiful heart felt script that shows how close people can become, even from opposite points of view, when they embrace their mutual ached and their hearts are open. Michael Mendelson is absolutely amazing – best thing I have ever seen him do. The entire cast was amazing!” - Audience member
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