Mona Golobek tells her mother's story in "The Pianist of Willesden Lane" at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. (Photo by mellopix.com)

Portland Center Stage to Feature Wide Array of Drama and Music

The Oregon theatre’s season ranges from American classics like ‘Our Town’ and ‘Streetcar’ to solo shows, ‘Sex With Strangers’ and ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’.’

PORTLAND, ORE.: Portland Center Stage (PCS) has announced its 2015–16 season, an 11-production schedule will include Aaron Posner’s Seagull takeoff Stupid Fucking Bird, as well as Hershey Felder’s The Pianist of Willesden Lane. And, continuing a trend that’s beginning this season, an actor from the NBC fantasy procedural “Grimm,” which shoots in town, will tread the PCS boards.

“Theatre brings us together as a community to share in the exploration of being human through comedy, through music and through drama,” said Chris Coleman, PCS’s artistic director, in a statement. “Each of these works is, in its own way, an opportunity to discover something about ourselves.”

First will be Thornton Wilder’s American classic Our Town (Sept. 12–Oct. 11). Next is Laura Eason’s Sex with Strangers (Oct. 10–Nov. 22), about a fling between two writers that changes their careers, and their lives. That same month, jazz musician Fats Waller will come to life again in the Tony-winning musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Oct. 24–Nov. 29), created by Murray Horwitz and Richard Maltby.

The holidays at PCS will contain not one but two stocking stuffers: David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries (Dec. 1–27), about Sedaris’s experience playing a Christmas elf at a Macy’s department store, and Second City’s Twist Your Dickens, a sendup of A Christmas Carol (Dec. 9–31).

The new year will kick off with another Dickens classic, Great Expectations (Jan. 16–Feb. 14, 2016), adapted by Lucinda Stroud.

Next, Dael Orlandersmith will perform her one-woman-show Forever (Jan. 30–March 20, 2016), about her fight to reconcile with her damaged past and accept her family. Orlandersmith first performed the show at Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles last year.

Another one-person-show will follow with Dan Hoyle’s Each and Every Thing (Feb. 6–March 27, 2016), a piece about finding a sense of community in our smartphone-laden world. Hoyle has been touring the show since its world premiere at the Marsh in San Francisco.

Chekov’s The Seagull is reworked with a  comedic flair in Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird (Feb. 27–March 27, 2016), about a young director’s frustrating journey in pursuit of art.

Hershey Felder will once again direct his show The Pianist of Willesden Lane (April 2–May 1, 2016), based on the book by Mona Golabek and Lee Cohen, and featuring music by Golabek and Lee Cohen. The one-woman show follows Golabek, who is a pianist, as she tells the story of her mother, a Jewish woman growing up under the Nazi regime. Felder and Golabek have been touring the show since its world premiere at the Geffen Playhouse in 2012.

Closing out the season is Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire (May 14–June 12, 2016). The production will star actor Russell Hornsby, best known for playing Hank Griffin on NBC’s “Grimm’; Hornsby also acted in the 2010 Broadway revival of Fences. The current PCS is closing in May and June with a production of Three Days of Rain starring two “Grimm” actors, Silas Weir Mitchell and Sasha Roiz.

Founded in 1988, PCS is Portland’s leading professional theatre, attracting more than 150,000 patrons annually.

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