New. Now. Necessary.
Single tickets to our 2017/18 season go on sale August 1. For information on Season Tickets, click here.
“Our 2017/18 season includes of some of the most provocative, talked about and acclaimed new plays in recent memory. These seven playwrights are urgently responding to our complicated times and will make you think, feel and start a conversation,” said Dámaso Rodríguez, Artists Rep’s Artistic Director. “I am especially proud that Artists Rep will take on the challenge of producing the timely world premiere of Oregon playwright E.M. Lewis’ extraordinary epic Magellanica, a play with the immersive grip of a great novel. It will be an unforgettable theatre experience.”
The 2017/18 selections emphasize a strong commitment to reflecting the world we live in today through a wide variety of voices. This group of plays is unflinching, topical and designed to create robust dialogue.
Artistic Director Dámaso Rodríguez and Managing Director Sarah Horton recently stated for the company’s 2017 The Ghostlight Project ceremony:
“We believe that it is the special role of theatre to create art that illuminates our commonality, seeks truth, promotes empathy and encourages connection. It has always been our responsibility as art-makers to do that. For us, the key to fulfilling that potential lies in using the power of theatre to share and amplify many perspectives, voices and points of view. We reaffirm our commitment to our mission statement: to produce intimate, provocative theatre and provide a home for artists of varied backgrounds to take creative risks …with renewed urgency.”
Artists Rep’s productions feature the work of the Resident Artist Company, alongside guest artists from Portland’s professional theatre community and beyond. Now comprised of more than two dozen theatre practitioners, Artists Rep’s Resident Artists represent some of Portland’s finest talent, in a variety of theatrical disciplines.
By Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Co-Directed by Lava Alapai & Dámaso Rodríguez
September 3 – October 1
An Octoroon is a raucously irreverent Gone with the Wind meets Looney Tunes mash-up that The New York Times calls “…this decade’s most eloquent theatrical statement on race in America today.” Riffing off a 19th Century hit set on a Louisiana plantation, Jacobs-Jenkins offers a brazen, metatheatrical melodrama that twists a funhouse world of larger-than-life stereotypes into blistering social commentary. It’s gasp-inducing satire from one of America’s most thrilling writers.
- Shocking Comedy
- 2014 OBIE Award for Best New Play
- MacArthur Genius Grant winning playwright
October 1 – October 29
An installation of visual art and live theatre presented in partnership with The Chújú Gallery/SF and The Geezer Gallery
“Lin Bo’s artwork – in combination with the theatrical installation, Qín (Caught) – is a fascinating labyrinth. The performance itself is compulsively engaging, chockfull of twists and impish conspiracy. Spoiler Alert: Come prepared to be surprised!” – San Francisco News
Ripped from today’s headlines and breaking the theatrical mold, artist Lin Bo’s work, Qín (Caught), presents a sly philosophical puzzle that investigates the murky intersections of fact and fiction in the crafting of art … and news. The show features Lin, a dissident visual, performance and conceptual artist whose piece, Shìwēi (‘Rally’) led to his arrest and two-year detention by the Chinese government in 2012. After his release, Lin moved to San Francisco and launched a traveling exhibition of his work to Vancouver BC, Tacoma, Portland, Las Vegas and Minneapolis. In each city, Lin is partnering with theatre companies rather than traditional gallery spaces; in Portland, Artists Rep is hosting the exhibit.
The Artists Rep exhibition includes his current work, as well as a new theatrical piece, Qín (Caught), a lively exploration of the American obsession with ‘story’ and ’narrative’ as markers for ‘authenticity.’ Lin will be introducing the work at each performance, and discussing his harrowing experiences in detention under the Chinese authorities. Recently profiled by The New Yorker Magazine, he is writing a book about his journey as a dissident artist in an authoritarian culture, which will be published following this tour. In Portland, Lin is collaborating with artists: playwright Christopher Chen, Dmae Roberts, Chris Harder, Sara Hennessy, Greg Watanabe, Horatio Law, Megan Wilkerson, Sarah Gahagan, Jennifer Lin, Rodolfo Ortega, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Samson Syharath and Shawn Lee to recreate this piece for Portland viewers.
Static elements of Lin Bo’s work may be viewed throughout October in the Morrison Lobby at Artists Rep on Tuesday through Sunday, noon to 6pm. Tickets to the live performance, where attendees can hear Lin’s introductory remarks, are available starting Aug. 1.
By Stephen Karam
Directed by Dámaso Rodríguez
November 19 – December 17
It’s the small family dinner that made big waves on Broadway. Enclosed in a basement apartment, a middle-class family gathers to christen Brigid and Richard’s new digs with a fancy Thanksgiving dinner on paper plates and undertake their holiday ritual of smashing the peppermint pig. With darkness falling and mysterious bumps from above, the lights ominously flicker on the Blake’s family banter. While Momo mumbles quasi-prophetic gibberish from her wheelchair and Aimee makes urgent trips to the bathroom, the world creaks curiously around them and layers of their fragile lives and lurking secrets are revealed. “There is so much love, dread, tenderness and brutality in The Humans…deeply-felt family tragicomedy thriller...” - Newsday
- Tragicomic Family Drama
- 2016 Tony Award for Best Play
- 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist
By E.M. Lewis
Directed by Dámaso Rodríguez
January 20 – February 18
In 1985, scientists and engineers from around the world converge at the South Pole Research Station to figure out, among other things, if there really is a hole in the sky. In the darkest, coldest, most dangerous place on Earth, eight imperfect souls are trapped together. Utterly isolated from the outside world for eight and a half months, this research team must face life or death challenges, their own inner demons and depend upon each other for survival.
With epic scope in the tradition of The Kentucky Cycle or Angels in America, this play takes its inspiration from the true story of the discovery of the hole in the ozone layer at the height of the Cold War. Part historical adventure, love story and mystical foray into the unknown, it’s about a world that can either tear apart or come together for its own survival. It’s a vital story for today and an extraordinary excursion for audiences to the end of the Earth.
- Epic. Captivating. Unforgettable.
- A 5-act adventure, with a dinner break
- Award-winning Oregonian playwright
- Limited Run
By Stephen Adly Guirgis
Directed by Adriana Baer
March 4 – April 1
Meet Walter “Pops” Washington, retired after 30 years from the NYPD after being shot by a white, rookie cop. Holding court from his recently deceased wife’s wheelchair over a motley crew of housemates, he righteously, tenaciously, holds out for a police department settlement until an ecstatic experience shakes him from inaction. For once, “Pops” will make it go how he wants it to go while everyone else hustles to get what they think they deserve. A well-lived life can’t only be eating Ring Dings, drinking whiskey all day and living in a ramshackle palace on Riverside Drive, now can it?
- Explosive Comedy
- 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
- 2015 New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play
- From the writer of The Motherfucker with the Hat
By Larissa FastHorse
Directed by Luan Schooler
April 1 – April 29
A group of mismatched teachers and actors have been charged by the school district to devise an ethnically sensitive play to somehow celebrate both Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month. In order to be as respectful and accurate as possible, the three white actors defer to the only Native American in the room for guidance and find their expectations of her insights are wildly misguided. In this wickedly funny satire, this foursome must find their way through a hilarious thicket of assumptions, historical perspectives and school district policies as the absurd pageant must go on!
- Provocative Satire
- Multiple Fellowship and Award-winning playwright
- PEN USA Literary Award for Drama
- TABLE|ROOM|STAGE commission
By Lauren Gunderson
Directed by JoAnn Johnson
May 20 – June 17
Two teens – a sick and snarky girl who hates poetry, and a sweet and sporty boy who just wants to get his class work project done – are thrust together to work on a school project about Walt Whitman’s poems. Like boxers in a ring, the mismatched pair spar their way through Whitman's epic Song of Myself into an uneasy friendship. With growing urgency and searing poignancy, I and You is a funny, tender and surprising journey about the strange beauty of human connectedness.
- Revelatory Drama
- 2014 Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award
- 2014 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
- 2016 Dramatist Guild Award Winner